Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the quality of the convertibles not sold by the manufacturer was any less. I'm just more of a purist and shy away from cars that aren't canonical, if that term can be applied here.
As Steve alluded to earlier, the ASC-built 240SX convertibles are pretty shoddy. They replaced the sturdy inside door panels from the original car with cheap, brittle plastic. They also added a seat belt mounting point on the door itself, which then called for about 30 lbs of metal bracing. Over time, the doors would sag on their hinges. But as you said, the Straman jobs seem a lot better.
I'm an fan of both import and domestic cars, and I never quite figured out why the two groups have so much animosity towards each other. Old vs. new, now that I can understand!
That is my CRX. Great car. From the articles I have read and the messages Ive read from owners of other Straman CRX's is that it drives as good or better than an original CRX. I do not doubt that. My car shows no signs of stress or added flex. It is 21 years old and doesn't have a single squeak or creak. Everything about the conversion looks as though it came from the Honda Factory that way. All interior bits that are affected by the conversion were custom modified for a very professional finish.
If you find any of these professional 'series-built' convertibles for sale, you can feel confident that that it is built to a very high standard. Remember that most of the mid-eighties convertibles offered by car makers (Mustang, Camaro, Celica, 240SX, LeBaron, etc) were built the very same way: cut from a hardtop and re-inforced. There is no difference!
That is my DeSoto. Good catch. Most classic car owners don't recognize them, so it is good to see an import fan catch it.
By the way, here is a nice '86 300ZX convertible for sale right now:http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Nissan-3 ... enameZWDVW