Q: What spurred the development of the Roadster Tonneau?
A: After having enjoyed the top-down lifestyle for over a year in late ’97, Carter and fellow enthusiasts longed for a quick, easy-to-use cover to shade the interior against the hottest summers. At the time, there was a cover made for the Miata that was merely rehashed for the Z3. It required being held down by wiper blades, door handles, and trunk straps. In addition to it being an unpleasant sight, the idea of having to spend as much time unhooking it as putting it on just didn’t seem to define convenience. If a product isn’t convenient, it just wasn’t going to be used. The Roadster Tonneau addresses those issues by satisfying some key criteria: It neither requires nor contains any hardware that might risk scratching the paint; It installs easily and removes with the blink of an eye; The material satisfies key protective qualities while not being so heavy as to hamper stowability especially for a small vehicle like the Z3; and lastly, it looks great on the car.

Q: Should the Roadster Tonneau be used in the rain?
A: While the Roadster Tonneau is water repellant, the only cover that should be used to bear the brunt of a rainstorm is the convertible top. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. It might be possible to design a cover built to withstand the strongest squalls, it would likely involve tensioning hardware and bulkier materials that would greatly impede spontanaety and usability. In addition, the risk of pooled water in the center could lead to damage if it ran forward into the dash electronics during removal. Use the Roadster Tonneau only for the purposes outlined and use the convertible top for times that call for rain — besides, driving top-down after a rainstorm isn’t a great idea because a) rainclouds might still be around for another unexpected downpour, b) traffic can kick up rainwater/puddles still on the roads, and c) trees, bridges, and overpasses can continue to shed rainwater hours after a storm.

Q: Can the driver’s side be created with a zipper?
A: Some old British roadsters featured a zip-out driver’s hole in order to retain heat. With the Roadster Tonneau, driver’s side attaching strap isn’t designed to accomodate the door opening up. Again, adding such a feature would involve installing and designing all sorts of hardware to maintain the stronger tension required and that defeats the ease-of-use design. Those seeking additional cockpit warmth in cooler temperatures should use a windscreen as many owners have testified on it’s effectiveness to hold a column of heater air. The other consideration is simply driver safety.

Q: Is it secure in wind?
A: The Roadster Tonneau has been tested in 20mph gusts. To obtain increased steadfastness the versatile straps can be adjusted to not release under any tugging. Instead of fastening the quick-release straps clasp style, simply flip one strap over and fasten.