Is an Add-On Hardtop with Gullwing Doors a Good Idea or a Bad Idea?

As many of you may already know, I’m an idea man. You also may know that sometimes, maybe, I’m not so great at deciding what’s a good idea and what’s a bad idea. This time I’m appealing to you wise people for help in hopes of maybe seeming like less of a moron: is an add-on hardtop for a roadster that incorporates gullwing doors a good idea or a bad idea?

The basic idea is really simple: you know those add-on hardtops for small convertible roadsters? Sometimes they were factory, sometimes they were aftermarket, and sometimes they got a little experimental, like this fastback hardtop for an MGB:


More often, though, they’re pretty straightforward. But they don’t have to be! It seems like a hardtop could be a great and relatively easy way to incorporate a pretty dramatic modification to a car: gullwing doors.

Gullwing doors are inherently dramatic, attention-getting things, and if you’re bored with the soft top of your old S2000 or Miata or Triumph Spitfire, wouldn’t you at least consider a hardtop that gave you a pair of gullwing doors?

Installation could be easy: remove your existing doors, then install the gullwing hardtop unit, which has doors designed to fit into the openings of your specific car, using the existing latching and locking systems already in place.


Then, presto, you’ve got gullwing doors, so everyone will be sure to notice you when you roll up in your half-primer MG Midget that needs a muffler and watch as you gracefully open the fiberglass gullwing door, twisting and flexing on its cheap supporting gas struts from a Mirage hatchback, and look at you with awe and wonder as you bang your head on the lower door lip as you exit.


Is that Elon Musk? everyone will wonder, silently. Unless you’re a woman, in which case they’ll wonder Is Elon Musk a woman now?

So, yeah, I’m sort of torn. I think this could be a cool, easy mod for a roadster, but it could also be a shoddy way to introduce all kinds of wind noise and leaks for no good reason.


Cool? Not cool? Brilliant? Stupid? Have at it.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)