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Old 04-26-2008, 08:35 AM   #1
sixdogs
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Default Convertible top manual vs. power?

I know this has been much discussed but I am thinking of an '09 convertible--mostly because I like the way it looks as opposed to the mere fact of putting the top down. Plus, I understand the radio sounds better and noises are reduced. So the top will maybe get put down a few times a year.
I want to buy a manual top because I am frugal but I don't want to be silly. Is a maunual top a good or bad idea---under my circumstances?




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Old 04-26-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
gilbybarr
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I have a manual top....didnt want to pay all the bucks for the auto and get a bunch of options I didnt want or need just to get it. Its easy, quick and no problem. You just cant make the change at a stop light with a push of the button. The only things I got beyond the basic convert package was the 6 speed auto with paddle shift and NCM Delivery.....and I walked away with a new 2008 convertible for under $50k out of pocket. And, If I recall the comments here on the Forum, the feeling was that used Corvettes with high end option packages dont really end up trading for values that are that much different than those without. But who cars about all that.....only you can assess whether the autotop is worth it for you......Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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If I were to buy a 'vert, I'd buy it with a manual top. Mostly, I simply don't want to add unnecessary weight to the car.

Prior to the C6, the cars never had a power top. If it was good for the first 50 years, it'll be good enough for another 50.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #4
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Nothing wrong with a manual top, you don't have to worry about it breaking! I personally like not getting out of the car to put the top up and down. Plus I can do it while moving
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:15 AM   #5
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I've owned two with manual tops, and not once did I ever wish I had a power top. GM's decision to bundle the power top with the 3LT package was the prime reason I now own a coupe. They pushed the price difference to over $8,000. For 09, it will be bundled with the 2LT package as well.

In my opinion, it's an feature that should have been left as a stand alone option.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:23 AM   #6
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I bought the power top option, but only because it came with the option package I purchased. I had a 98 camero vert and the top pump motor went out. When I investigated getting it repaired it was very expensive. I was lucky I was able to rebuild it myself, but the hydraulic top system on the vette is much more complicated.

I like the idea you can put the top up or down quickly with the manual mode.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:24 AM   #7
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I vote for the power top. A buddy that I run with has a c5 with a manual top and it seems much nicer just to hit the button to get it up/down.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:29 AM   #8
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I have the power top on my 05 Vert. I did not want to order it for 2k option, but my great wife said that I would regret it if I did not order and that I should just go for it and thank goodness for her and ordering the power top. 90% of the time that I drive it the top is down and the power top is a huge plus!

Good luck and happy driving!!!
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:39 AM   #9
mvcrash
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There are many times I stop and put the roof up or down quickly without getting out of the car. It is fast enough to do when you stop for a traffic light which I have done several times also.
I would have ordered a power top even if it were not included in the car package I wanted.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:53 AM   #10
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I love my manual top. I custom ordered my C6 to the exact specifications I wanted (money was not the issue... I truly picked the car's options down to every little thing I wanted or didn't want). I can put the manual top up or down very easily in just a few seconds. I think if I'm in a hurry, I can have it up or down in about 1.5 seconds. It takes a little getting used to, but once you've done it about 5-10 times, you can do it blindfolded.

The power top takes 18-24 seconds. To me, this is an eternity. Think about how slow that is. Plus, the power top has a bunch of other negatives:
- extra weight
- extra mechanical things that can go wrong eventually
- hydraulic lines that can leak all over the place inside the car
- slow (as mentioned)
- less storage space in the trunk due to mecanicals taking up space


Unfortunately, however, nowadays you don't have as much of a choice in the top. Nowadays, if you buy the option packages, you get the power top, and if you don't buy the option packages, you get the manual top. You cannot order the top (or manual) a la carte, and you cannot delete it from the option package.

Personally, I think this is absolutely the wrong choice by GM. This should have been a true a la carte option, in my book. If I was in the market for a new one, I probably actually would NOT get a convertible because they shove that power top down my throat when I buy the other options.

Maybe, though, you should check with your dealer. Perhaps this has changed for the '09, and maybe they've listened to this forum, and all of the people like me that have complained, and maybe for the '09 they allow you to delete it if you don't want it??!! (I hope.)

Lots of people like the power top because it is a "status" thing... "oh, I have the power top, and you don't"... and to that, I just laugh. People like that deserve to be thrown off of a tall building.

For YOU, however, when you say that you only intend to have the top down a few times per year... you might actually consider the coupe? Have you seen/driven a coupe with the targa top off? Not bad!!! Why waste the money on a rag top that you don't intend to use? And, frankly, sure, I understand that you think the convertible looks better. But, don't you think it looks better when the top is DOWN (yet, you don't intend to put the top down)? And, with the top up, I think the coupe looks better??..?? As for the stereo, I have to say, I think the stereo sounds better in the coupe... well, at least it did a few years ago when I was buying mine... maybe things have changed? The speakers right behind your seats in the convertible don't do much for you... they just sound muffled. But, in the open area of the coupe, they can place speakers better to let the sound be more rounded. (Though, most people think the stereo sounds like crap anyway... and I tend to agree, overall, they should do better... but... you have a better chance of upgrading the coupe to sound good, than making the convertible sound good, in my opinion.)

Anyway, bottom line, I answered your direct question about the manual vs. power top. But, from an outsider's perspective, I must tell you, my friend, I think you should consider the coupe.


EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT

Oh, I see you already own a coupe. So, you already know how it looks/feels/sounds. OK, so, I'd really just consider keeping yours. That's a lot of time/effort/money to throw away for (a) looks, which you don't intend to take advantage of by lowering the top, and your car is undoubtedly already pretty darn beautiful... and (b) sound, which you can upgrade in your coupe for far less money than buying a new convertible... not to mention, I think you'll be disappointed... go try the stereo in the convertible before you buy one.

As for your statement that you're frugal... there's NOTHING frugal about you, my friend. Anyone that considers upgrading his '07 Corvette for an '09 Corvette, just so it will look/sound a little better, is not a FRUGAL man.

Last edited by rockethead7; 04-26-2008 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runutzzzzz View Post
Nothing wrong with a manual top, you don't have to worry about it breaking! I personally like not getting out of the car to put the top up and down. Plus I can do it while moving


Quote:
Originally Posted by jschindler View Post
In my opinion, it's an feature that should have been left as a stand alone option.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mvcrash View Post
There are many times I stop and put the roof up or down quickly without getting out of the car. It is fast enough to do when you stop for a traffic light which I have done several times also.
I would have ordered a power top even if it were not included in the car package I wanted.
I agree. I have had both and I use the power top much more then I did the manual top. It's much more convenient without having to jump thru hoops to put it down should you decide that it really is too nice to drive with it up.
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Last edited by VetteMark; 04-26-2008 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:56 AM   #12
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Default Manual Top

I have the manual top by choice. I'm sure a twist of the arm and a push of the button is nice, but I am content doing it manually. I don't ever have to worry about anything mechanically going wrong. If I found a new Corvette I loved, but it had a power top, I would buy it. I really don't think it is a big deal either way. As with all these options, and as others have said, only you can decide what is right for you. Either way, you will be happy. After all...you will be driving a Corvette! That in any form cannot be beat! Dan
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:58 AM   #13
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Manual top. Easy to operate and no added complexity of motors, sensors etc. Too bad GM decided to bundle it with the the 3LT option.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:19 AM   #14
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I just ordered a 2009 3LT vert. No choice here...unless you go with the basic 1LT package, the car comes with a power top now.

I wanted the HUD and the seat memories, as well as the telescoping wheel, so I really had no choice. If you can live without some of the goodies, the 1LT is by far the best value out there right now.

I think GM is just trying to simplify the ordering/production options they have to accommodate. In the future, I wouldn't be surprised to see the manual top disappear completely.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:28 AM   #15
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Default me too

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbybarr View Post
I have a manual top....didnt want to pay all the bucks for the auto and get a bunch of options I didnt want or need just to get it. Its easy, quick and no problem. You just cant make the change at a stop light with a push of the button. The only things I got beyond the basic convert package was the 6 speed auto with paddle shift and NCM Delivery.....and I walked away with a new 2008 convertible for under $50k out of pocket. And, If I recall the comments here on the Forum, the feeling was that used Corvettes with high end option packages dont really end up trading for values that are that much different than those without. But who cars about all that.....only you can assess whether the autotop is worth it for you......Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:38 AM   #16
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Get the power top. You will not regret it. I have used both manual and power. I have a C4 manual top (obviously, that's all that was available) and a C6 power top. I use the C6 power top much more often than I ever did the C4 manual top. My power top operates in well under 20 seconds. If you're buying the C6 for appearance, the power top adds a bit of wow factor.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:43 AM   #17
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It's certainly not a good reason, but the one member of our little driver's group of C6's (and they're ALL convertibles) who has the manual top says he continually gets laughed at when he's putting his top up or down - as in, "You paid HOW much for a CORVETTE and you don't even have a power top?".
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:49 AM   #18
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I vote for power top. I didn't want it at first but now I am really glad that I got it.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:17 AM   #19
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I have had both types and I do prefer the power top. It works just fine and will get another one when the time comes.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:41 AM   #20
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While I have a coupe now, I've had a lot of convertibles in my life with both power and manual tops. I'd always go with power. I know you can probably put the manual up and down faster, but you have to be out of the car to do it. With power, you can do it at a light, while driving really slowly, etc. With manual, if it starts to rain you have to pull over. For me and the kind of driving I do, I'd never go manual if I had the choice.

However, if you don't intend to put the top down much then you probably don't care about this.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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