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S3 N/A Glass-roof hunting...


tim_in_brighton

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Hello Gang,

Thought I might just ask... I’m wondering if anyone out there knows of a glass-roof S3 N/A in useable condition and fair price (I’m not looking for a steal, just fair) and in a good colour (well, they all seem to be red, which is good) and preferably a reasonable colour interior (not blue…did that one really come out of the factory like that?) coming up for sale soon-ish?

About a month ago, on a bit of a whim, I went to view an S3 N/A HC that was for sale locally, in Hove. I'd been looking out for an early Steven's car, but I was absolutely swept away by this S3. I was gutted that it sold later the same day and before I could sort the purchase. Ouch! So I've been seeking another S3, and I'm really smitten by the glass roof. I drove out to Wales last week to view the '86 there, but didn't feel the price was at all in line with the condition of the car. I've looked at two others too. Now I'm eyeing up the '84 S3 on ebay, but of course it doesn't have the glass roof. I’m also scouring the likely websites daily (here, Esprit World, Pistonheads, Autotrader, ebay).

Or maybe you’d suggest I don’t go that route? Are there drawbacks to the glass roof? Steven’s cars remain tempting, but in the flesh I was really smitten by the Guigiaro shape. I also feel like the S3 is classic enough to get away with the non-turbo power, but the S4 seems more of a let-down without a turbo.

Help please, anybody…?

Tim

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I have had a 'solid roof' Esprit for the last couple of years, but have now been driving around for the last couple of days in a glass roof one (both S3s), and based on just that, would not want to go back to the solid roof! It has a MUCH airier, lighter cabin, and the ability to ventilate without opening the windows (and suffering the noise) is bliss! Of course, you could always get one with air conditioning instead...

The only slightly annoying thing so far is the sun visor seems to be set a little lower (though I may be imagining this) and when I lean forward I bash my forehead into it. At least it is nicely padded!

Scott

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On an Esprit, the body isn't integral to the chassis, so the glass roof doesn't effect the stiffness or handling of the car. The only thing is that it might be slightly heavier, but not enough to be consequential, I would imagine.

Beyond that, I've been in a glass-roof Esprit and it really does add greatly to the driving experience.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Glass roof is the one thing I do not like about my car!

You lose the cocooned effect IMO.

If anyone has a Fibreglass roof in Calypso Red that'll fit a G car PM me!

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Dave Walters made some CF ones that were a direct swap for the glass, even used the same fixings, but i think they were stevens only. This also has the advantage that you can still use it as a vent.

One of the first things i bought for my SE as i hated the glass roof, it was like being under a grill and full sun on leather is one for the sadists only IMO! The car was twice as nice to be in (for me anyway) when i replaced it with the carbon panel. Mind you i'm weird, the sun absolutely kills my happiness which is why you will nearly always see my Elise with the hardtop on, it feels and looks like a better car to me with it on too.

:getmecoat:

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Mind you i'm weird, the sun absolutely kills my happiness which is why you will nearly always see my Elise with the hardtop on, it feels and looks like a better car to me with it on too.

:)

New_Moon-411-large_article.jpg

You wish...

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Mmmm, this just gets more complicated! I'm mostly set on the glass roof now, by your helpful comments. I can see the point of not having it, but do really like the open air option you get with the glass. Surely the early cars get pretty hot in the sun too? It seems less ventilation would be a problem. I'm also torn because I used to have a fixed-glass roof smart forfour, and never really found that to be a benefit. Didn't actually see anything as the sightline when driving didn't extend as far as the glass and the tint was heavy. That was fixed in place though, I'd think if it opened things would have been different. But then glass roof s3 does seem to be rare as hen's teeth, so the debate becomes should I opt for an early Stevens car to get the glass roof? Or do I settle for a solid roof s3? Hmmm...

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You are right Andy - Glass was the only choice from the factory but I knew someone had tried to produce a CF one......... I'd be interested in one for sure.

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I liked the idea of a glass roof until I had one. In Coffs Harbour Australia it's the last thing you need. I keep a pair of safety gloves in the car to take it off, it gets that hot in the sun you can't touch it. I had it tinted, to the point it's no longer translucent, the only way you could get back in it in the summer. Gime a solid roof any day, Please :)

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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I've done it!!! I've bought one! Much to my disbelief the car that I'd missed, the one that originally hooked me so badly, came up for sale again. OK, worry...but the seller had plausable reason. I think he must have been a bit surprised; two hours after it listed on Pistonheads I offered his asking price on the 'phone and arrived with cash five hours after that. I wasn't going to miss it twice. Two days later and I'm absolutely over the moon with it...the biggest thrill of my automotive life.

And so far I'm glad I've gone for the glass. Especially as I don't expect Australian style heat anytime soon.

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That will be the red '87 HC then? Looks very nice and tidy!

The very day I found the 'need' to get another Esprit at the end of March I saw that car on pistonheads, then later that evening it went up as sold! If it had not then I would have probably gone down to have a look at it myself...

I like the 205 1.9GTI sitting beside it too - the seller must have taste!

Have fun - and enjoy the sun!

Scott

by the way, I take it the lack of a proper glass roof put you off this one then - http://www.pistonhea...les/1714064.htm ...?!

Edited by scottmgibb
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