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  coupe into a covertible?

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Author Topic:   coupe into a covertible?
cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 808
From: Kissimee, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-23-2002 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71   Click Here to Email cobravenom71     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone ever converted a 73 coupe into a convertible? If a donor car was secured, would that be a doable project? How involved would it be?

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Red65
Journeyman

Posts: 87
From: Northglenn, CO, USA
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 12-23-2002 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Red65   Click Here to Email Red65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wouldn't recommend it. There are major structural differences between coupes and convertibles. You would need to install the proper floor pans and internal rocker panels to acheive the structural rigidity necessary. By the time you've done that much work, you might as well restore a 'vert.

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cobravenom71
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Posts: 808
From: Kissimee, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-23-2002 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71   Click Here to Email cobravenom71     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The floor pans on 73 convertibles are not unique as far as I can tell. There is a convertible 'brace' that is added to the floor pan, but that is a simple bolt/weld on affair.
What exacly do you mean by 'inner 1/4 panel'? The wheelhouses and inner braces would of course have to be changed, but with the quarters removed, that doesn't seem like to much of a job.
I'm mostly concerned about the cowl, or 'A' pillar. How much of that would need to be changed? Can the windshield frame just be replaced, or does the entire cowl need to be changed.
I ain't afraid of a little work, but only if it is ultimately 'do-able.'
My thinking is this: Rotted out converts are fairly cheap to acquire, and I have two hardtops that are in decent shape, yet have almost no desirability or collectability.(read:value). If I could get a convert-conversion done for less than 8-10,000, I think I would be ahead of the game.

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 34763
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 12-24-2002 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My friend did that to a Camaro, and ruined it. It rides like jelly now.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150

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soaring
Gearhead

Posts: 116
From: New Mexico
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 12-24-2002 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for soaring   Click Here to Email soaring     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mind you, I have never turned a coupe into a convertible. I wouldn't even consider it no matter how much work is involved. The amount of money it would take to convert would buy a fairly good convertible, then restoration comes into play. There has to be more structural differences than a few braces.

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Red65
Journeyman

Posts: 87
From: Northglenn, CO, USA
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 12-24-2002 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Red65   Click Here to Email Red65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I said internal rocker panels, not quarter panels. I'm not quite as sure on '71 - '73 models, but on '65-'70 models, the rocker panels under the door are doubled up. There is the outer rocker panel, which every car has, and an inner rocker panel that is only on convertibles. This inner rocker panel is required to keep the car from sagging in the middle. To install the inner rocker, you need to replace the floor pans and as I recall, do some torque box work. By the time you do all of this, and replace the windshield frame (which is not trivial), you might as well do a total restoration on the convertible. Converting a good coupe to a convertible just ruins a good coupe at more cost than restoring a rotted out convertible.

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cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 808
From: Kissimee, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-24-2002 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71   Click Here to Email cobravenom71     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, I guess the coupe-to-convertible conversion would be too much work to be worth it. But I definately will not spend the dough to restore a plain old coupe. Maybe I'll just sell'em.

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soaring
Gearhead

Posts: 116
From: New Mexico
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 12-25-2002 03:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for soaring   Click Here to Email soaring     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I restored my "palin old coupe" and thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, I now drive a vingage Mustang I am proud of.

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http://www.classic-mustang.net/ReadersRides/glenwren3.jpg

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cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 808
From: Kissimee, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-25-2002 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71   Click Here to Email cobravenom71     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not saying theres anything wrong with hardtops, but I already have a Grande and I don't really another one.(Plus I got no more room!)
Plus, I just looked at your car, and YOUR coupe looks a hell of a lot better than 'plain old'. Plus, the earlier bodystyles look good as coupes, while the 71-73's don't look as good as coupes.(to me, anyway)

[This message has been edited by cobravenom71 (edited 12-25-2002).]

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2bav8
Gearhead

Posts: 207
From: Mesa, AZ
Registered: Jun 99

posted 12-25-2002 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 2bav8   Click Here to Email 2bav8     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've seen a 66 coupe converted into a ragtop once at a show in Tucson. Guy did a nice job, but there was something that made it obvious the car wasn't a convertible originally. I think it was the rear seat area. Seemed like a lot of work...

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2BAV8 Mustang
www.geocities.com/2bav8
1966 Restomod Coupe

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 34763
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 12-25-2002 08:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cobravenom71:
Plus, the earlier bodystyles look good as coupes, while the 71-73's don't look as good as coupes.(to me, anyway)

That's certainly a matter of individual taste. I love the way the back of my '72 looks. {...and I can actually see out my back window! }

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150

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Red65
Journeyman

Posts: 87
From: Northglenn, CO, USA
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 12-26-2002 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Red65   Click Here to Email Red65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Speaking of coupe-to-convertible conversions, check this out:

http://www.mustangsplus.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MPFMP&Product_Code=08553&Category_Code=ronster

Not exactly my taste, but I respect the effort it takes to pull this off well.

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PONYMAN
Gearhead

Posts: 269
From: Ardmore, Ok. USA
Registered: Jul 99

posted 12-26-2002 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PONYMAN   Click Here to Email PONYMAN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Steve, I can se out my back window too! Just not very much. I remember the first time someone ran up on my back bumper. He just disappeared ad it scared the heck out of me.

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 34763
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 12-26-2002 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a friend with a '72 sportsroof. With big rear tires, the rear window was a skylight.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150

Be sure to remember our sponsors, Mustangs Plus, NPD, and Osborn Reproductions.

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soaring
Gearhead

Posts: 116
From: New Mexico
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 12-27-2002 06:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for soaring   Click Here to Email soaring     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might consider taking it on if you are REALLY bored and have lots of extra cash floating around. Agreed, the 65-67 coupes are the best looking coupes from all the models. After all, they are the catalyst of what a vintage mustang is all about.
But, you also must have some special skills that most folks don't have. For instance, how good are you at using a cutting torch and welder? Modifications of this sort require a great deal of skill and forethought, along with cash and a good resource for supplies and parts.
It's simply not worth it. Sell the coupe, and buy yourself a convertible to restore.
That's my 2C
Soaring

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 5781
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-27-2002 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you have a rust free cpe(not worth doing if you don't) and a cv donor car for peanuts, then it's worth doing. If...you have welding skills, and a GOOD cv for reference. Am speaking for 65-68. It is easier to install inner rockers and Tboxes in a cpe than to cut all the rotted sh*t out of a sagging cv! The floors DO NOT have to be changed if they're good. There are a lot of details that need to be attended to inorder to do it correctly.

But..... after the fat lady has sung, and it's all together.....it still has coupe numbers. It's like being a little bit PG!! Best deal is to add it all up and go shopping for a GOOD cv. There was a co. in Milwaukee that specialized in doing it and a number of companies did one. Glazier's, Mustang Central, to name a couple.

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