NSC in Placentia, Calif., has been chopping the tops of perfectly good cars since 1983. Now, with summer up on the Northern Hemisphere, they’ve taken to chopping the tops off SUVs, too, including the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Hummer H3 and Hummer H2. The premise of a convertible SUV would raise hundreds of red flags for anyone who has ever heard the phrase “torsional rigidity.” We’ve seen homemade Cabriolets where the windshields cracked after three locks of driving because what is left of therm twists like a pair of plastic salad tongs. But Newport does a solid engineering job on every project, and the SUVs are not exception. With welded-in reinforcement round the window frames and behind the back seats, as well as roll hoops welded into the right places, both FJ, H3, H2 are stiff that you won’t have to worry about anything breaking on them. The unibody FJ felt much stiffer than he H3, but even the H3 seemed sound over speed bumps and across water drains. The power tops are hydraulically tuated via a single button, with the final latch done by hand at the windshield header.
by Mark Vaughn