Hardtop Heaven

  • Blog, CAD

Lets face it, a Locost roadster with fold down hood is never going to be the most weather-proof car. The hoods take at least 5 minutes to put up and down. The wind and rain comes in everywhere and keeping them mist free is more involving than the actual task of driving.

Having been snowed in for over a week, with temperatures approaching −15°C. I decided a hardtop might a a good idea.

The hardtop will still be detachable for those rare summer days but it should be a much better option for a daily driver. Making a hood frame for a cloth roof, that didn’t look like an old bin bag at bursting point was always going to be a challenge.

Using a screen from a Smart Roadster may mean that I can utilise the associated removable glass roof panel too. In which case the rear roof section will be permanent.

Now that would be good.

3D wooden jigsaw puzzle

As soon as the foot of snow clears and I can actually get into the garage, then I’m going to start making the wooden / MDF mold. The plan is to make a giant slot together 3D jigsaw puzzle, like the ones from the local toy shop. There will be a lot of experimentation to do. The gaps between the wooden webs will be filled with rigid expanded polyurethane and sculptured using simple hand tools. It’s the same process they use when making luxury sports yachts.

Locost re-body

The roof should look a lot less ‘bald’ if a Smart Roadster glass removable roof can be used. Also, the front edge of the bonnet now appears rather too straight and will be much more curved before work on wooden / rigid expanded polyurethane mould has been started.

Locost Re-body Hardtop

As the design progresses, the side pipes will be replaced by ‘shark’s gill’ vents. When I find a rear window with a suitable curve, the profile of the rear might change very slightly.

Seventh Heaven - Locost rebody side view

In this shot, where you can see the top edge of the dash-board, there will be molded in wing mirrors. The bottom edge will flow into an inverse curve around the bottom of the windscreen.

From some angles I am happy will the curve of the rear end, from other angles the curve seems slightly too shallow. Maybe, if a very small spoiler is added at the junction between the roof and rear panel is added I’ll be happier.