2004-02-12 - Find
a reupholstery shop (convertible top installer) in -your- area
Thinking about having
some work done to your Sunchaser? Want to recover the seats, interior
panels, or replace the convertible top? Well, have I got a resource
for you. It seems that ElectronTop,
in an effort to provide their convertible top customers with reputable
locations of convertible top installers, has put together an area code
or zip code based form to determine the auto reupholstery shop nearest
to you. I checked it our for my area here in Pittsburgh, and was pleasantly
surprised at the number of local upholstery shops. Why not give it a
whirl for your locale?
Whoah, it's been
a while. Well, I took a summer job teaching Physics and it has kept
me really busy. Thus the lull. However, I have had so many requests
for information about these little net-o cars, that I just HAD to put
something up, albeit quick and dirty.
The 1982-83 Toyota
Corolla SunRunner conversion by Griffith. Yes, the company you know
and love also built a 1982 Corolla conversion. Click below to see it:
Toyota Corolla SunRunner
Alrighty. Are you
getting the feeling like it's about time to start cleaning up your Sunchaser?
I am too. Here is a recent list of things that I've had milling about
- Weber 32/36 DGV
or 38/38 DGS carburetor. Kits at LCEngineering
- Exhaust Manifold
from a 22RE (82-85 Celicas) very similar to a header, but cheap and
- Painting your
exhaust manifold with
POR-20 silver 1400 degree paint
- Cleaning out
the underside of your car and painting it with Corro-Less then painting
it with truck bed coating from DupliColor or Rhino.
- Help Chris to
find the source of the original weatherstripping or a suitable replacement.
- Front airdam
piece can be bought online from numerous places for $45.
- Buy and install
a new top. I have suggestions -here-
You want to replace
your weatherstripping TOO?!?!? Boy you're asking a lot. Well, the best
place or universal extrusion weatherstripping is almost undoubtedly
SoffSeal. I have placed a link to their online catalog for "Universal
extrusions". When I get around to doing my car, I'll make sure
to put together some type of kit for sale on this site. =)
SoffSeal Main Website:
SoffSeal PDF of
Universal Weatherstrip. Sold by the foot:
So you say you need
a new top for your Sunchaser? Just cannot find any online sources who
seem to know the car? Well, I found a current source for you! Electron
Top (even appeals to my love of Physics...) has a catalogue for imports.
Listed, quite plainly, is the Toyota Celica Sunchaser. It's available
in 2 styles, the one-window and three-window and they're each $225 including
the window. As if I haven't stressed it enough, I'd strongly suggest
getting the three-window style to minimize your blind spot and make
the back seat less 'crypt-like'. ;)
Now, I have yet
to buy a top for my Sunchaser but the day is coming soon. I have read
their website and without knowing them, I like them. I like the fact
that they've been around for 42 years and actually advertise their patters
and colors. Seems like this would be the place to buy your tops folks,
but decide for yourself. You just cannot help but respect the operation
after reading the "Our Story" section.
Direct link to PDF
"Import Top" catalogue that includes our cars:
Recently, it has come to my attention that
it might be possible to go in together to have another run of fiberglass
tops made. It would likely be only the shell, and you'd have to affix
the hardware from the top that flew off on the highway to the new one.
I'll be thinking more on this. I have asked a local fabricator what
he would charge for this, and I showed him the top, and he said about
$350 in quantity, That is to say, if I could get the interest together,
we might as a community be able to have some replacements made. If this
sounds like something you might -actually- be interested in, please
contact me and speak encouraging words.
Wait! Chris! What have you done? You've
joined the scores of other money-grubbing bastards in the world and
added a DONATE button? Are we to believe that we should actually PAY
you to maintain this site? Who do you think you are, NPR?
Okay, I figured I should allow individuals
who are particularly well off have the option to support this site.
Of the most important issue is you contribution of information, but
I figured if someone out there who has a bunch of dough might like to
flip some bills my way, why shouldn't I make it easy to do? =)
Wow. Has it been this long since I've updated
things or what? Yowser. Well, then I should try to fill the community
in. I have received a number of new and interesting items relating to
sunchasers. One is a brochure from a 1982, that's right, a 1982 RA6X
sunchaser model. The only model I've seen was a RHD car from Australia.
I have, from a swell owner, a set of photos showing the frame reinforcements
found on the Sunchaser. Perhaps the keenest thing I have procured is
a statement/article written by an individual who worked on the Sunchaser
production line. His testimony has filled in MANY of the gaps existing
in the history of the Sunchaser conversion. Next time you're at the
pub raise your mug to José Cabanillas for his forthcoming contribution
to the Sunchaser Community.
Which brings me back to the word 'community'.
Because, heck, everyone who has contacted me has been really nice and
shown an interest in constructing some form of 'online community'. Now,
I _really_ don't like the idea of adding a bbs to this site that is
hosted elsewhere. I hate pop-ups and you should too. But I will be gearing
up here to start at a minimum the "Sunchaser Registry." This
will be a place where "We the Sunchaser owners..." can add
the information about our car to a comprehensive registry. So, who will
that be? Basically, anyone who owns a Sunchaser, TX-22 (know of only
1), or Legato (know of none). When will that be... heh... heh heh...
EUROPEAN SUNCHASER OWNERS
- It is at this point that I must plead with owners of the european
Toyota Celica Sunchaser produced by Tropica to send me any information
that they might posess if they would like me to cover those models too.
- If you ever happen upon this page to admire your handiwork, please
contact me! I'm desperately trying to glean any information I can before
the leads go dry! Thanks!
I hope you find what you're looking for.
If you don't, please do not hesitate to
contact me with any questions you might have. I'll ramble on and
on and on about how you should fix your Sunchaser or how you should
donate it to me! =)
Information to ponder:
Owner's Manual - 871 KB - What, you didn't get
one when you bought your Sunchaser from the nth owner?!?!? Well fear
not! Download this file and you'll have your own copy of one! A bit
grainier than I had originally indended, but I'll fix it up later.
Cabanillas Testimonial - 66 KB - Thanks José
for this. This is the best bit o' information
about the cars I have received thus far. This is straight from the
factory floor testimonial that you should read if you'd like to understand
about where the Griffith company came from and where it went.
Trend - Sunchaser Article - 3.22 MB - After a friendly
owner e-mailed me telling me the magazine date and issue, I ran straight
out to a local library to find this gem of an article. I shot it with
a digital camera, cleaned up the photos, then painstakingly re-typed
it into Aldus Pagemaker then exported it to Acrobat. I think you'll
Models Brochure - 1.00 MB - A small 2-sided pamphlet
that was probably just a handout at dealerships. What a svelte guy.
RA-6X Sunchaser Brochure - 968 KB - Though I
have no photos of a -real- car, this article proves that they were
at least produced to -some- quantity. Is it a Sunchaser? Well, it's
academic really. Nobody seems to have one, thus I'm going to say 'yes
You may need to download the free Adobe
Acrobat Reader 3.0 or better to view and print the above files.