Racing Beat Hard Boot

[12/28/2000] Reviewed by: Grant Edwards -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Three piece fiberglass rear deck cover.

The fit and finish of the cover was generally good Assembly of the three pieces is tricky since the front holes for the connectors are so close to the top side of the cover that the connectors hit the radius between the flange and the top of the cover. I had a body shop sand and paint the cover and the fit of the assembled cover is good. The car looks _very_ sharp with the cover installed. I have two complaints about the cover: 1) The leading edge flaps somewhat at highway speeds. Some sort of brace attached to the cross-brace between the seats might solve this problem. 2) The cover rests on painted surfaces of the rear fenders. After only a few days of use, I now have permanent marks worn in my finish. I probably won't use the cover since I can't use it during the winter, and I don't want to wear completely through the paint on the rear fenders.

I recommend the cover only if you figure out a way to brace the leading edge and you plan on using it almost all of the time and don't mine the wear marks on painted surfaces of the rear fenders. I think it would have been a far better product had it rested on the same rail on which the hard-top rests rather than on painted surfaces. Were I to decide to use the cover, I would probably paint or somehow finish all of the fiberglass edges to avoid getting glass fibers in my hands when assembling/dissassembling the cover. In hindsight: it's $1000 I wouldn't spend knowing what I now know.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[7/28/2000] Reviewed by Kirk Collins -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Racing Beat Hard Deck Boot

Excellent experience, I recieved the product on a Tuesday and had it installed by Thursday evening. I spent about 2 hours fitting the product the first day. The second day a local body shop painted the parts. The third day I installed the weather stripping and mounted the deck on the car. Now I just need a few days without rain to test it out. Although it does look great sitting in the garage.

With shipping the deck cost $250.00, the Body shop charged $92.00 to paint it, and about $4.00 for weather stripping adhesive. In my opinion this was a cheap project for the great results I recieved.

Under 5 minutes to remove

Reviewed by: Tyra Piece -

A fiberglass deck cover to replace the factory "soft" boot.

In the previously reported reviews, storage of the hard boot was a concern. This was the main reason that I hesitated for so long to get one. I finally purchased one through Crazy Red's last fall, and just got it painted this spring ($146 using paint that I supplied from a previous paint job). Today the forcasts were for clear and NO RAIN. I went to a rally in Arkansas with the Kansas City Miata Club (FUN PEOPLE) for the first time with the hard boot. At dinner, the dreaded sound of thunder sent me running to the car to remove the boot, take it apart, and put my top up. Another one of the reviewers stated that he left his boot at a store to pick it up later. This wasn't an option; neither was leaving the wife in Arkansas so I could use the other seat for the middle section. I was very pleasently surprised to find that the two end pieces fit nicely in the trunk, and the middle section fit perfectly in the space behind the seats. It's important to note that the top was down when I put the middle piece <review cut off>

If storing the boot in the car is a concern, don't let it keep you from getting the hard boot.

The Racing Beat "Hard Boot" makes the Miata stand out and draws many compliments.

Under 5 minutes to remove

Reviewed by: Bryan Carper -

3 Piece fiberglass hard deck cover. See Perfromance Buyers club review and picture on the

I had previously installed the RB Type II stylebar. Fit and finish from Racing Beat is extremely good.

This hard boot creates a retro speedster look. I had the pieces painted at my local shop for $150. Installation is simple,but the weatherstrip gasket is a chore. The piece is a showstopper. I thought the stylebar itself created alot of comments, but this thing is wild.

HIGHLY recommended to draw attention to one's self. The three piece unit is supposed to disassemble, but the center piece still won't fit in the trunk. Don't wander too far on a cloudy day! The biggest adfvantage is a reduction in wind buffeting to practically Zero.

The Racing Beat "Hard Boot" is a fiberglass speedster deck that mounts easily over the rear shelf area when the top is down. It works extremely well as a windblocker as well.

Turbulence in the cockpit is reduced to nill since airflow over the windshield is not sucked into the loading shelf. The hard cover deflects the airfolw rearward. In addition, the hard boot looks great as a speedster styled deck cover. I bought it for the style, but find that its utility as a windblocker is an unexpected bonus.

Reviewed by: Jim Creer -

Also known as a "Hard Boot Cover" it is a three piece unit that can be disassembled for storage in trunk.

The kit arrived complete. Assembly was quick and easy. The condition of the fiberglass pieces were better than expected. I first filled in the recessed logo and did some very minor sanding on other parts of the unit prior to having the pieces painted at a local shop. The disassembled unit will fit in the trunk providing it is nearly empty and another location is found for the spare tire. The unit fits with a Racing Beat Style Bar, but requires some modifications when using roll bars with rear supports.

In my opinion, this is one of the nicest looking additions that can be added to a Miata. Wind buffing in the cockpit is reduced. Suggest keeping a cockpit cover between the rear bulkhead and hard rear deck cover for light rain when parked. Keep the supplied stubby screw driver stored in the armrest compartment. Once suprised on the interstate with a heavy rain storm, it took only a moment to remove and then raise the soft top. Ended up wrapping the large center section with a blanket, then storing it behind the seats resting on the armrest console. Functional but uncomfortable. After a few years of near continual use, marks are left in areas from the rubber gasket. So far these have all polished out nicely. Keep your eye on the sky, and be prepared for many compliments - Even from other Miata owners!

Responses to questions...

This unit has "bubbles" about 1 1/2 inches high behind both seats. The unit is attached in the rear by removing the hardtop "bobbins" and screwing them back down over a recessed hole in the boot. The front is secured by two elastic type bands that snap onto the (tennex ?) studs forward of the seat belt towers.

During test fitting, and prior to painting I noticed the "bobbin" would not screw down over the rear mounting point. I lightly sanded the bottom of the mounting hole to flatten it a little. Would aslo check carefully any imperfections in the fiber glass and assembly nuts & bolts to ensure they do not rub against the painted surface of the car.

I saw two other Miatas with another type of hard boot that fastened in the front with the cross tipped screws located in the same area. These units had "bubbles" probably at least 6" to 8" tall and I recall a recessed flue on the sides. These were also 3 piece units. I do not recall who made them but it was interesting to note that both of the owners cracked the fiber glass from overtightening the front screws.

Taken apart, the larger center section will fit in the trunk as described earlier. This location would be my last option as it sits at an awkward angle and all the weight and stress is on the very tips of two corners. Another option is to unzip the rear window and let a big chunk hang out.

On one occasion I checked it in at a local Wal-Mart and picked it up later. Once I left it at Dominos Pizza. Once a family noting the situation, stuck it in their Mini Van and followed me home. The uniqueness of the situation and object seems to bring out the best in people.

Guess every one can tell I really like this thing, and use it at every opportunity.

For those bearing thru this here is a little tip for owners with two Miatas. Cut one edge of the double bladed key to fit each Miata. File a notch on one side so you can feel the correct key even in the dark. Get rid of one key.

Back to Product Reviews