Up 'Schmitt Creek

Another fine mess...

Thoughts on Domes

Opaque Dome: A GRP replacementOpaque Dome: A GRP replacement

his is Simon Frost's white KR200 lined up at Popham last weekend. My particular interest in this car was tweaked by the opaque replacement glass fibre dome that Simon explained was a temporary replacement for a cabrio hood that the previous owner had retained at the time Simon bought the car.

My own car was similarly equipped at the time I got it 20+ years ago. I forget whether transparent domes were even available at that time, but there was no way that I could have afforded one even if they were. So I stuck with the GRP replacement for a few years before opting for a cabrio hood conversion.

Some people sometimes get a bit snooty about these non-original domes. But leaving aside the fact that for a long time there was no source of replacement plexiglass domes, they do have some advantages. You don't roast on hot days like you can do under a transparent bubble (particularly the passenger) and you don't get the fitting problems that so often come up when canvas hoods are retrofitted to formerly dome top cars.

And they are repairable — if you scrape a plexiglass dome against the wall of the garage or some piece of road debris hits it there's a significant chance that you simply won't be able to make good the damage — at best you'll have a crack that you'll just have to learn to live with, at worst the dome is an expensive write-off.

There are downsides of course; the rear seat passenger, in exchange for not getting cooked, tends to suffer a fairly gloomy, claustrophobic and possibly even noisier ride, and the inner surface is pretty uninspired (even when painted) unless you can work up some sort of lining.

But fundamentally I actually think that opaque domes look rather nice. They have a nice 'bubble' shape that the cabrio hood doesn't have with stronger definition than the transparent domes thanks to being a matching colour. If 'schmitts were in production today couldn't you imagine domes like this being offered as an option?

Or how about this?

On the other hand perhaps domes and normal canvas tops are not your thing, so how about this red car (spotted in Argentina apparently)?
Argentina: A 'schmitt with a fringe on topArgentina: A 'schmitt with a fringe on top