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Hot Rods Sun protection and staying cool in a Roadster?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Inked Monkey, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Inked Monkey
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 1,773

    Inked Monkey

    My rpu is my first open car and it is a blast. One thing that is super apparent is the baking from the sun. I took it on a four hour round trip and got super burnt. I've tried a couple different hats and they all seem to flop at highway speeds or try to fly off. The HAMB drags are close approaching and I'll be driving it there.

    So that brings up the question, What are you using to keep yourself cool and protect yourself from the sun? I live in KC and temps are always hovering around 100 degrees in the summer. There's no way to add a top with my size. The heat isn't going to keep me from driving it but I'd like to hear from people with experience on how to stay somewhat comfortable.
    lothiandon1940 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  2. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,506

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Staying comfortable? Drive in the dark :D

    Covering exposed skin and sunblock along with a good hat will help.
    They also make cooling collars and vests that you soak in ice water that help a little too.

    That’s why I was sure to plan for and include a top for my RPU.

    I actually hauled it to Michigan to Rod Tops shop.
  3. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,326


    I'm in a much milder climate than you but we can get some pretty hot days. I put up the top when it is hot like that. Makes all the difference. Sans top and hot, I usually wear a long sleeve cotton T shirt. Saves my arms from burning. I don't like a tight fitting ball cap as I get a headache from it. So, a toque on my head, zinc oxide on my nose and sun screen on the rest of my face, ears and neck. The only thing with the toque, there is no visor to block the sun from your eyes.
  4. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,507

    oldiron 440

    It's got to be easier than not getting sun on a boat.:)
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  5. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,506

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Even in a climate like Alberta we get hot sunny days in the summer.

    When I was younger I got a bad heat stroke and now I’m not real tolerant of the sun or heat anymore although I can take a little.
    Shade is my friend.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,894

    Jalopy Joker

    want to look Cool - tank top, shorts, flip flops or stay Cool with long sleeve white shirt, floppy style hat that has neck protection with draw string to hold down, long pants, wrap around sun glasses/goggles, sun screen and don't open mouth for bugs to fly in
  7. greener200
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 251


    My dad an I drove his 35 Ford Roadster out an back to Louisville, KY for a NATS a few years back . Never put the top up . I got home ,looked like a boiled lobster in a pot ! Of course with white raccoon eyes from the sunglasses. We had the a spray bottle with a fan that made a nice mist .
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,507

    oldiron 440

    I always thought of getting one for my 22 footer but it just seams like an oxymoron to put shade on a boat.:)
  9. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,570

    A Boner

    Top....sorry you need a top with a gypsy panel and a tip out windshield.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  10. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 488


    I have had my roadster 4 years, I am also a member of the flying hat club, get a hat with a chin strap, put a lot of sunscreen on, think of it this way a convection oven circulations hot air in the oven for faster cooking so when you are driving you are cooking faster. Wearing the correct clothes is just common sense, also have cloth seats or sit on a towel.
    I am surprised you didn't bring up rain, I'm fender less also and it sucks driving in a hard rain, you will get just as much rain on the inside window shield as the front wind shield, it helps to drive around 55 mph or faster the front spray will start going over your head and the rear starts to blow back
    I also like driving with the top off but the heat and sometime rain got to me because I enjoy driving my hot rod all seasons., 3 mouths ago I put a top on it and I'm leaving it on for summer because my back window can be taken out makes its a lot cooler driving and I don't have all that greasy sun block and I hate hats, my plans are to use the top summer and winter, winter because I have side windows and take the top off spring and fall.
    I fought for 4 years not to have a top and now I'm glade it did.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    Inked Monkey and chryslerfan55 like this.
  11. I'll tell you it sucks, this is from a long day out


    A week later I was at the bank and the teller said " Did I see you at a stop light dumping a bottle of water on your head in an old car with no roof " ..ha ha ha
    I still had about an hour to go before I was home, man I got burnt up that day, I was soaking my ball cap in the ice water in the cooler, hat would dry and try to fly off. I haven't found a hat that will stay on, but I look above the windshield too so I'm out in the breeze not down low.
    I personally haven't found a solution to the sun or wind noise, of course you could wear a motorcycle helmet, cover up and ear plugs but as was said in American Graffiti...what a waste of a machine.
    Stogy, chryslerfan55 and Bandit Billy like this.
  12. Champscotty58
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 118


    Mike from Cornfield Customs (@cornfieldcustoms )and I on the long trek to Bonneville last year in the roadster. Long sleeve lightweight synthetic breathable shirts are what I packed as well as the stretchy balaclava/bandanas helped keep the wind burn down along with the sun. Along with copious amounts of sunscreen. I'm just the right height that wearing a hat wasn't working out with the chopped windshield. 20180807_165133.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-N950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  13. I have looked like a lobster, I've been half drowned and froze my arse off in a roadster, I have had several melanoma skin cancers removed in the last few years, hand, arm and face, I can't over emphasize the need to use sunblock with the highest rating as possible. SPF 100 is my sun screen of choice now, I never used anything in the past and am paying for it now.

    I used a wide brim straw hat with a draw string when I was ridding around town and on the interstate I had a old aviator cap that I would wet a small washcloth and put it inside the cap, I also learned to keep a couple of towels in the ice chest and wrap one around the back of my neck and hang across my chest when it was super hot and I was traveling.

    Wearing a long sleeve shirt, it will be hot until it gets sopping wet.

    And stay hydrated, you surely don't want to have a heat stroke. HRP
    Steves46, Stogy, Inked Monkey and 2 others like this.
  14. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,512

    Bandit Billy

    Oh man, and it turned all you hair gray! The humanity. I am fortunate to have tops on mine, I find anything above 85 is time to put the top up.
  15. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 460

    from Alabama

    I sailed and raced for many years in coastal Alabama and the long sleeve synthetic shirts made by Columbia, Under Armor and others are great. They have a high SPC rating and also wick moisture away keeping you cool. There are also pull over long sleeve fishing shirts that do the same. These long sleeve shirts give you protection from the sun and are cooler then cotton T Shirts. There are also floppy hats with straps that go under your chin so they won’t come off. Pick light colors like white, light blue, tan etc.
    Inked Monkey and chryslerfan55 like this.
  16. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 941


    I hate wearing caps and when I wear one in my T roadster the bill of the cap flops around, my glasses shake and it ends up literally bluring my vision. I have wondered if a snap bill cap would shake around less? What hot rod character was it who always wore one....Stroker McGurk?

    Inked Monkey likes this.
  17. Inked Monkey
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 1,773

    Inked Monkey

    Since I have to bring a helmet anyways I'll probably just throw it on for the drag trip. I always use a 3/4 with a bubble shield on my bikes. It just feels weird driving a car with one on but it'd be full coverage.

    I think I need a different strap for this straw hat that I have. Maybe it'll do better. Probably take a couple options until I can figure out the right setup
  18. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 11,029

    from Raytown Mo

    Maybe @Malcolm has some advice but I think you’ve got your basses covered. I know I’ve seen him with a full face helmet on before
  19. F the sun. No roadsters or converts for me, I almost solely cruise at night. I'm like a vampire.......a hot rod vampire.
    Inked Monkey, patmanta and Texas Webb like this.
  20. 41 C28
    Joined: Dec 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,770

    41 C28

    My roadster hat. I put a draw string on it like on my cowboy hats when I was a kid. No worries about loosing it. 004.JPG
  21. Just wait until Winter. That way you're all covered up anyway!:D Westminster bound (1).JPG
  22. Seriously, I thought about getting personalized plates for my Roadster saying SPF32 'cause you need at least that slathered on everywhere there is exposed skin. And yes, you can put that stuff on your scalp and let your hair blow in the breeze.:)
  23. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,640

    from New York

    It happened to my first trip to the Nationals in my '32 Roadster. Drove all day about 400 miles with the top down. I didn't realize how sunburned I was until we checked into our motel. I suffered the next three days before I felt better. I have a "Bop-Top" on the car now and I seldom take it off now. 41, I also have a "Roadster Hat", I took two strong clips, one on each end of a cord. I clip one to the hat and one to my shirt. Can't tell you how many times it saved my hat from flying out of the car.
    Inked Monkey and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  24. j3harleys
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 815

    from colorado

    I hate Roadsters:mad:. But God how I Love Roadsterso_O:D
  25. ..........No doubt, it is a love-hate relationship.:)
  26. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 933


    Extensive experience here! (mainly in the US). To deal with the heat issue I've used the stretchy balaclava /bandana things already mentioned - in Europe the main brand is called Buff (available in the US per ebay). It's a longish tube affair so if you can slide down over your head (covering your face initially) then pull the lower edge upward rolling the tube back over itself. You now have a double layered pocket affair as a kind of a headband. Slide a much ice in the pocket as is needed to keep you cool.

    I would find during long hard hot days in my (roadster) saddle my head would get so beaten up by the rays, wind, heat etc that I could go a bit kind of delirious, which is a horrible feeling and manifestly dangerous I'd suggest. This ice trick eliminated those feelings completely as well as reducing body temps. An added bonus is that when very hot there's a cooling dribble down your back which helps.

    Dealing with the rays is another matter and I've generally ignored that and have gotten truly fried as I've been feeling pretty comfortable. I call it roadster face! Should use better sunscreen! The aforementioned Buffs are available with a hat like peak made of neoprene which well, does what a hat peak does!

    Inked Monkey and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  27. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,154


    I built a frame and at first I used a bikini style top made from painters drop cloth, then later I sewed up a real top for my buick 101_0283.JPG IMG_20170829_072647_2CS.jpg
  28. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 797

    from kansas

    Carried over from my motorcycle days, a skull face mask and a wild rag for my old bald head. Works great. Don't forget you've got it on and walk into your bank.
  29. I drove my roadster from 1987-2007 with no top.
    Then I put a top on it. Too late. Numerous skin issues including melanomas.
    Yes I had a cap that would stay on, bandana around my neck, sunscreen on my nose and ears, long sleeve T, wet cloths in the cooler next to me.
    It was hot as hell. 100°+ air off the pavement blasting you at 70 mph for hours is not fun. You pray for rain.
    Get a top, it made all the difference for me.
  30. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,581

    from Nebraska

    The only thing I have to add is trying a light weight stocking cap/beanie. That plus long sleeves, good sun glasses and lots of sunscreen has helped during the 50k+ miles I've spent in my roadster.
    Inked Monkey and lothiandon1940 like this.

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