Sam's Evaluation of Reproduction Trap Doors

 

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Below you will see pictures detailing the comparison of the new reproduction trap door with a genuine original.  Yes, this thing looks GOOD, but NO, it is not EXACT.

 

Of particular note, the original being used for comparison is from a 70 Sportsroof.  Yes, 67-70 are actually the same, except 69-70 did not have the trim panel across the top. 

 

I have detailed the similarities and differences below.  As far as weight goes, the original weighed 8 lb 7.4 oz on my trusty digital postage scale, and the new reproduction weighed 9 lb 11.7 oz.  I did remove the trap door latch from the original to weigh it, but not the spring nuts for the trap door hinges and prop handle. 

I think you will see that it is a very nicely done reproduction.  I particularly like the grain.  I'm sure the original has been filled in some with several coats of paint, and the grain in the reproduction looks crisp.  Perhaps a tad too crisp even.  That being said, I think this would be a really nice part for a daily driver, to replace that trap door that was cut for speakers, or to help in the conversion from non-fold down to fold-down seat.  I cannot in good conscience recommend this for use in #1 show cars.  The minor differences are noticeable to the trained eye and you may lose points in concours competition.  For everybody else, this is a very solid door, well done, and fill fit and look great in your car.

At first glance, the two trap doors look identical (except the obvious difference for the trim panel). 

However, closer inspection shows several minor differences.

 

                   

With the two one on top of the other, I noticed that the edges didn't quite line up.  Sure enough, the tape measure showed that the original was 33 3/4" wide and the reproduction was only 33 5/8" wide.  1/8" may not make much difference with the door installed, but I would not put this in a show car.

Next I noticed that the corners were a little sharper on the reproduction, i.e., more of a squared corner than the rounded corner on the original door.

The reproduction actually is really nice when it comes to how the face skin was trimmed and crimped over on the back.  You can see how the cutout matches almost identically in the corner, and follows the uneven line where it thins out along the side.  Again, not identical, but pretty close.  You can see the difference in the picture above.

 

 
 

Another shot showing the cutout and crimping of the face skin wrapped over to the back.

 
 

One last shot of the trimming and crimping, again, not identical, but pretty close.

 
                   

Overall, the indentions in the back look really good.  I've seen older reproductions where the indentions in the back just weren't as deep as the original (65-66 reproductions).  I checked with a ruler and the indentations are the same depth.  However, it still doesn't look perfect.  What I figured out was that the angle of the indentation, the area marked in red on the right-hand picture above, is not as steep on the reproduction as it is on the original.  So the indentation has the same depth on both pieces, but not the same angle to get to that depth.  The affect is that it doesn't look as deep as it should, but it is really an illusion as they do measure out the same.

 
   

UPDATE; Since I first put this page together, Dynacorn has come out with a bonafide 69-70 Trap Door.  Here are some pictures and my overall impression of it.

 

 
 

Ok, my overall impression is that this door is very nice, and everything I said above about the 67-68 door applies, with two exceptions.

There are two really noticeable differences that I have found, and that is the use of the same rear panel that is used in the 67-68 trap doors, ie, it has holes across the top for the 67-68 style trim panel (again, back side of door only), and the grain is slightly off.  I actually like the grain pattern, but the grooves in the grain are wider than the original, which is noticeable.

Below is a comparison of the new reproduction trap door (black) and an original trap door (green).  I have attempted to capture the differences I notices, most noticeable being the holes across the top and the grain.  Also of note is the shape of the corners and the drain holes.  All of this should be fairly obvious once you start looking at the pictures below.  As I've said earlier, I think the trap door is nicely done, and unless you are really familiar with these differences, you will not be able to notice them.

 

Lastly, a picture of a 70 with a trap door installed, view from the trunk.  You won't be able to see the top of the panel when it is installed.  So, yes, there is a noticeable difference that you and I will know and be able to see holding the trap door in our hands.  Once it is installed, I think it will be very difficult to see it, if at all.   I am quite confident that you can put this in your car and very very few people would be able to tell. 

That's about as straight as I can shoot it.

 

 
   

 

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Copyright 2007 Sam Griffith