YOU CAN GO BEETLE TOPLESS THANKS TO NCE
VW TUNER WATER-COOLED PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE
1/24/00 by Tom S. Guide
Nothing compares to the sensation of driving a convertible. Add the excitement of piloting Volkswagen’s retro-style New Beetle and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a top-down water-cooled good time. One problem though, VW doesn’t offer a convertible for its shapely new Vee-Dub. As a solution, Newport Convertible Engineering (NCE) picked up where the German engineers left off in Beetle options by offering Volkswagen owners the opportunity to go topless.
VW Tuner recently visited the NCE design facility in Placentia, California, for an inside look at what’s involved in NCE’s convertible conversion for the ever-popular water-cooled Beetle.
To start the NCE convertible conversion, the new Bug is first stripped of its upholstery and glass. Next, under-car reinforcements are made via rocker-panel bracing prior to the roof skin being permanently removed. With the restrictive roof eliminated, NCE performs additional reinforcements inside the Beetle to structurally connect the B and C pillars. NCE then reattaches the modified rear hatch, which then servers as a decklid for trunk access. Next, all rough edges are fitted with prefabricated sill caps that seal the top to the car when the convertible top is up and cosmetically complete the package when the top is down. The convertible mechanism is installed together with the canvas top. Completing the convertible conversion process, NCE reinstalls the interior along with modified rear quarter-panels for a factory-like finished product.
NCE says the Beetle convertible conversion takes only three weeks to complete and carries a price tag of $6,995 on top of the price of the car4. When finished, you’ll be able to cruise topless in your New Beetle. Now that’s what the VW Tuner staff considers a water-cooled good time!