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Race roll cage for convertible


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I am at "Mont Tremblant" (North of Montreal) track this week-end, and been very lucky that the accepted me exceptionally without roll cage on my 2011 Shelby Convertible. But they also mention me to "never again come here without it", so I'm wondering how much cost a roll cage and how hard it is to install ?


Many german cars here, race without it as they accept the "automatic release protection bar" that are released automatically very quickly in case of roll over.


Still don't understand how can a fast car like the Shelby, or even the Supersnake doesn't come with such feature from the factory.


Are they only strait line car ? Even there, it's also a requirement for the fastest car at the drag strip.....so no way to race without it !


I seriously think to switch to a Boss 302 or even a BMW M3 if I get addicted to racetrack.....

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Well, if road course driving was something you ever really set-out to do in earnest, a convertible is really the wrong equipment for the job. The model itself isn't an altogether horrible track car and by no means does it only perform well in a straight line. But, to a certain extent, physics are physics and all the horsepower (kw) in the world can't overcome being hundreds of pounds (kilos) heavier in the nose than a 302 or other better-balanced cars or more structurally rigid ones with roofs - or chassis of more advanced designs that begin by establishing their rigidity without regard to a roof being present.


Nose heaviness alone gives the GT500 fits keeping up with a 5.0L GT-based GT350 in cornering with supercharging overcoming any inherent differences in displacement. People can and do enjoy tracking their convertibles when and where allowed, but the lack of roof alone and any supplemental safety systems in lieu thereof leave you handicapped from the outset - even before taking into consideration the softer spring rates GT500 convertibles are equipped with to compensate for the lower torsional forces their chassis can accommodate.


Can you improve upon these things? Sure. But there's no free lunch and little you can do that wouldn't compromise other aspects of what the car was meant to be, which Canadians apparently get enough of considering the disproportionate number of convertibles Canadians buy versus Coupes compared to the U.S. and other markets. It's stunning, really.


For those reasons alone, I resisted buying a Convertible, knowing I'd really need to be vested so much in its "all aroundness" to ignore its other inherent compromises. The matter becomes even more pronounced for '13/'14 with Convertibles being speed limited to the same 155mph as their predecessors despite the additional power (and yes, some of us do like to go that fast, somewhat regularly. But not for the opportunity to ALSO own a Coupe, I'd never have been able to rationalize a Convertible, which I was only able to rationalize given due to this being the very last of the mega-displaced supercharged factory motors for the mass market we're ever likely to see. Even then, I eventually wound-up abandoning one of my daily drivers to add a BOSS for the sake of driving something inherently track-biased, and the other daily driver in favor of a GT because I just happen to like the S197 so much, notwithstanding the IRS or direct injection to come.


Even then, the "rightest" answer from the standpoint of pure utility would've been a GT Covnertible and making even a second GT500 a Coupe, but that seemed too indulgent, while negating the whole notion of a matched GT500 pair to begin with.


It's just really tough to overcome the lack of a roof on a road course or any other environment that emphases directional changes so much. Even then, a glass roof is even more rigid than a traditional stamped roof rather than being just another expensive option. There will be times I'll be thrilled for the convertible, especially in a warmer climate and for events where unfettered access to the sky above and roof around means more than how quickly or precisely I can go. But truth be told, had I been buying a Convertible for the sake of driving a traditional "B road stormer" with a true roadster feel, lots of other cars like MX-5 Miata would've topped the list ahead of GT500, or even ANY Mustang when it comes right down to it.


But that WASN'T my first priority and it came behind my affinity for the S197 chassis, the Shelby legacy (as remote as it may be from anything Ford may produce today) and the GT500's brand image. That's how I was able to rationalize a Convertible and so have been many others, albeit to a lesser degrees than ever. But if ever it came down to a GT500 Convertible being my only car and road course driving being what I wanted to do with it most of all, I'd almost immediately begin looking for something else.


My $.02. YMMV.

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Put " roll bar " in the search box for pics......................should be easy to bolt in a vert, should provide the safety level you need @ that track..



Evolution Performance, Inc. Chrome Moly 6-Point Roll Bar





Our 6-point roll bar is intended for drag racing, and conforms to the NHRA and NMRA rules. Designed to fit the stock Mustang interior, this roll bar has door bars for additional side impact protection. The door bars are removable; they bolt to the floor, and are secured to the main hoop with one bolt. Easily installs in hardtop S197 Mustangs without welding inside the car. The Roll Bar is Chrome Moly and includes Dual Swingouts. Powder Coated Back.

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Thanks for all answers !


In fact, I'm not and will never be racing.....The 2 days of track I have done, we're mostly advanced driving courses, with an instructor onboard all the time ! I enjoy the track to test the limit of my car, and improve my driving, not to race.


During the week-end a certain moment, I almost taught to exchange my 01 Vert GT500 against a Boss 302, but I love my GT500.....



So whenever I decide to keep driving her on the track, I'll have to find a roll cage, maybe better brake pads, and new tires.....the F1 Supercar are now quite worn !


Otherwise next time I'll drive my Golf R at the track, instead.....but the big strait line power will miss me for sure into the R....

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