Thanks for the link, it is apreciated and I did read through it all. It doesnt really answer the kind of questions I was hoping for though. Mostly performance and handling wise, I realize there is probably some sort of discrepancies due to the fact there is no roof in the car. But what those discrepancies are, I do not know.
So I was wondering things like what kind of performance losses am I going to see in terms of handling, and just overall strength. Things that should be or could be upgraded to help even it out with a coupe.
Another thing I was wondering is the lifespan and cost involved in the soft tops, and any maintenance required. How do you clean it? I live under large fir trees, they give off lots of sap once a year around fall when it starts to cool down, I could try and park it elsewhere during that time, but its like a 1 month process.
The convertibles are heavier than the coupes so there's a slight performance penalty there. The biggest convertible issue is body flex. I had a 99 Cobra convertible and we still have the 03 Mach1. On smooth, flat roads there's not much discernible difference but on uneven surfaces the convertible will creak and groan a bit. The weld-in full-length subframe connectors reportedly go a long way in tightening up the vert body. I never got around to doing those on my Cobra so I can't really speak to how well they work but I can tell you 99% of the time the body flex isn't really all that noticeable. I've never had an 05+ convertible but from what I've read they're stiffer than the 99-04 models.
The top on my Cobra was still original until this last summer. The only reason I replaced it was that the rear window was unbonding from the vinyl, other than that it was still in very good shape. For cleaning I just used soap and water with a soft brush sometimes. Replacement cost for the top itself is only in the $300 to $500 range if you do the labor yourself. An experienced installer could probably replace one in about eight hours so if you're paying someone to do it, I'd guess probably $600 to $1,000 in labor.