Ransom PowerDork
9/4/18 5:39 p.m.

So I just went a drove a Spitfire, and am about to call about an MGB. Who knows where this is going, but I hope it'll go to Portland International Raceway. If it were going to be a Serious Business track car (and maybe it will some day) it would need a Proper Roll Bar (or probably cage, but definitely full sanctioning-body approved height). But since it's mostly a fun street car, and since TNiA definitely requires a bar...

How does one handle old cars that have low, clumsy tops, thus making the combo of full-SCCA-height bar and the factory soft top mutually exclusive? Anybody seen an old roadster at TNiA, and if so, what was it rocking for rollover protection?

TNiA has a convertible eligibility flowchart that sends the roll-bar-less owner off to Autopower. Autopower has a street/show bar that claims no safety benefit, but fits under the top. Paeco makes a similar street bar, but also makes a "slalom" bar which pretty much shares construction (like having a diagonal) with their proper race stuff, but lacks the full height, and thus still fits under a top.

I have also pinged TNiA about what to do. It sort of sounds like a proper bar would be at odds with the core requirement of it being a proper street car... I'll report back here with their response.

And before we get sidetracked, there's this and probably several other discussions about the whole question of a bar on the street and safety. Let's call that closed for this discussion, because the car cannot be used for one of its desired purposes without one, full stop, and I'm not going to install and remove a bar every track day.

Tom1200 HalfDork
9/4/18 9:19 p.m.

How tall are you? If like me your only 5'7" you could fabricate a bar that would fit under the top. I know SCCA wants 2" from the top of the helmet to the top of the bar. I do mostly PCA track days and my local track just wants a bar I've never seen anyone measure. 

I wish I could offer more help but my car has a full cage.

Ransom PowerDork
9/4/18 11:30 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I'm 6'0", so not worst-case-scenario, but not ideal for getting under a bar... I think I'm slightly biased toward longer legs and shorter torso?

Guess I can't really try the broomstick test without a bar in place.

Ransom PowerDork
9/6/18 12:32 p.m.

The conversation continues. "Jack Track" wrote back:

The height is an issue because the windshield in the B is not structural.  Can you put a lowered seat?

I also got a very quick response to my follow-up question about whether I was basically shooting for a modified broomstick test with the nose of the car as the front point, and the answer is that my helmet needs to be below the roll bar, full stop. So I don't have to go crazy with a long straightedge and windshield removal... cheeky

I also found someone who had modified their top to be quasi-raise-and-lowerable over a taller bar, and relatively easily removable (I still haven't gotten my head around just how much like assembling a pup tent the miscellany of British tops are, as there seems to be a fair bit of variation).

So, there's probably some way to make it work, but it's probably not going to be incredibly easy, and elegance may be a casualty.

Our Preferred Partners