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mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
4/3/17 6:36 p.m.

the only thing I can add. My Father's G/fs ex bought their daughter a newish audi vert. She has NEVER put the top down.. declaring it "gay"

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
4/3/17 8:06 p.m.

I've had 3.

An 87 Spider Veloce with a manual top and loved the simplicity and ease of going up and down with it. It was also black on black in Atlanta but had amazing A/C. It was 50/50 up/down.

1975 911S Targa. I sold my fiberglass and leather tops for it to funds deep dish wheels. Long story, LOL. So literally top off non stop. Also had amazing A/C.

JK Wrangler. Top tooks forever to unzip and take off with one person so I took it off exactly 1 time. The rest was the back window open.

I long for an E30 vert and make a widebody M3 clone.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
4/3/17 8:16 p.m.

For the record, I can't drive a convertible for any length of time without wishing for some form of hearing protection. Unless it has a hard top, they are VERY loud cars, even the so called high-end models like Mercedes SLs.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/3/17 8:33 p.m.
Woody wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote:
Woody wrote: If only Mazda would make a small, rear wheel drive two seat coupe...
I can sell you one. It's the RF with the power roof delete option. If you want to reenable the power roof, simply install the supplied fuse. If the extra weight bothers you, I also have a ragtop available with the same weight and balance, although the 93 lbs of ballast in the trunk may adversely affect trunk space. It all depends on the kind of car. Performance car - the convertibles are rarely the version of choice, especially when they suffered in the conversion. Luxury cars, I suspect the ragtops are still the more valuable option. Old Cadillacs, for example. I don't pay enough attention to know what luxury ragtops are on the market now
Can you fit a roll bar in there? I'm 6'1"...

Can you wear a helmet with the roof up?

Besides, you said you wanted a small coupe, you can't then complain it's not big enough

SnowMongoose
SnowMongoose SuperDork
4/3/17 8:51 p.m.

It raining nine months out of the year around here put a damper on them from the get go.
Add to that the part where I don't fit into any of the ones worth driving and there ya go.

Hal
Hal UltraDork
4/3/17 8:54 p.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: The top on my TR6 hardly ever goes up--- I just use the tonneau, and unzip the driver-side when I head somewhere. In the year or so I've had the car--- I think I've driven it with the top up twice.

The soft top on my Alfa was never up in the 3 years I owned it. May thru October was a tonneau and a rain suit. November thru April was a fiberglass hardtop. Soft top wasn't even in the car, it was stored in my father's garage 200 miles away.

Claff
Claff Reader
4/3/17 9:28 p.m.

Fun cars should be convertibles, and convertibles should be used as convertibles.

My aunt & uncle bought a 450SL new in 1976, still have it to this day, and to the best of my knowledge have never taken the hardtop off. Ever. I could never wrap my mind around that.

Mitchell
Mitchell UberDork
4/3/17 9:38 p.m.

I was firmly an anti-convertible guy until I test drove a Miata. I like that they don't offer a coupe, simply so that having a convertible means that I don't have a compromised version of the car.

It was a lot of fun during the cooler 9 months of the inland empire CA. July - September were brutal, even with the top up; partially because of the heat from above, the rest because of the heat from the transmission tunnel.

It's great during the winter, though. Heats up quickly and handles the snow just fine. Wish I could put the top down more during colder months, but don't want to risk tearing the top when it's too cold out.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
4/3/17 9:51 p.m.

when I had my fiat spiders on the road. The top was always down unless it was raining or snowing. Yes, even in the winter I drove with the top down, the side windows up, and the heat cranked. I want to mention that I HATE the cold

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
4/3/17 9:57 p.m.

In reply to mad_machine:

Me too. Side windows up, heater on high and a hat and gloves. Loved it!

mr2peak
mr2peak Dork
4/3/17 10:14 p.m.

The most valuable E30's are 'verts. A clean M Technic convertible is ~2x the price of a clean coupe. E30 M3 convertibles are $70k+ if you can find one.

The cheapest E30's are 318 verts. But with only 4k of them produced, they will likely appreciate in the future.

Chadeux
Chadeux Dork
4/4/17 12:18 a.m.

I drove a convertible with the top down on a nice day for the first time yesterday.

I think I kinda want one...

The cowl shake on an SN95 convertible makes my 80s Dodge truck seem solid though.

Klayfish
Klayfish UberDork
4/4/17 6:29 a.m.
Claff wrote: Fun cars should be convertibles, and convertibles should be used as convertibles.

Completely agree. I've owned at least 8 or 9 convertibles over the years. I simply won't drive them unless I know I'm going to put the top down for at least part of the trip. Even if the windows are up and the heater is on, the top is down. I do that with my current NC Miata. I won't bring it to work unless the weather is right for top down driving. I almost never drive top down on the way in...it's 5:45am and I'm just not in the mood for the extra noise. But always, always have it down for the ride home. Brought it to work today...supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
4/4/17 7:16 a.m.

The perceived need for the car to act as a parked vault so that asshats don't steal your E36 M3 has also made a big difference. You cant leave anything of value in the car and you worry that the top is going to get sliced just so that said asshats can find out if there are any valuables.

I loved the top-down Miata drives and topless was the norm when I had that car. When I went looking for a new car, I tried a Mustang convertible. The reality was that putting the top down or up was more effort than I was going willing to do every day on a short commute. I could tell that the top would have stayed up. I also knew that since I keep cars for ten years, it was going to need an expensive roof in that time frame. So I bought an FRS instead.

As far as classic cars go, they are fun to day-drive with the top down when the sun/cloud/temperature/humidity mix is just right, but the reality is that any British roadster with the top up is a E36 M3ty place to be.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/4/17 7:28 a.m.

Is it just me or do convertibles make just about every VAG car look ugly.

Examples I can think of:

Beetle
968.
Rabbit.
Any 911.
TT.

Cactus
Cactus Reader
4/4/17 8:14 a.m.
dean1484 wrote: Is it just me or do convertibles make just about every VAG car look ugly. Examples I can think of: Beetle 968. Rabbit. Any 911. TT.

QFT

I think the only good convertibles are the ones designed from the ground up to be roadsters. The best coupes are frequently roadsters with a roof's worth of reinforcement welded to the chassis.

I've never owned a car with a soft top, but I did own an MGB with a roll bar occupying the space a roof might have taken. I miss that car regularly. It kept me off a motorcycle. Now all the brain-dead road users (calling them drivers is a courtesy they don't merit) keep me off a bike (and cowering in fear).

FlightService
FlightService MegaDork
4/4/17 8:26 a.m.

My Miata rarely had the top up, the same with the Jeep(s).

The problem I find with most newer convertibles is they aren't very good. They shake, ride suffers and noise is an issue, not to mention parked security (blades are so annoying, why can't they just break the glass, it would be so much cheaper.) For sports cars, the before mentioned restrictions come into play. Why buy something that had potential (looking at you 996 turbo cabriolet) that you are restricted on?

You have the few outliers, Elise, Boxster, Miata, but in most situations the hardtop version is just a better car.

MDJeepGuy
MDJeepGuy Reader
4/4/17 9:42 a.m.

I think the 4 door Jeep helped kill them. Instead of a 2 seater convertible, there is a 4 seater option now. That at least makes for a more practical car instead of it just being a toy.

That being said, mine is a 2 door, as they should be

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
4/4/17 9:54 a.m.

Generally, convertibles are a novelty that wears quickly. That said, I've owned them almost exclusively since my reintroduction to motorsports about 15 years ago. I guess that I like novelties.

My favorite use of a convertible was when I lived in the desert. After a brutally hot day, it was incredibly refreshing to cruise with the top down in the cool night air. The fact that the car was a 1st gen Mustang and I was usually with my hot girlfriend didn't hurt

wnick
wnick New Reader
4/4/17 10:58 a.m.

I have had a few over the years and love them. When my wife and I were dating I picked her up in my 1965 Skylark convertible. She asked if I could put the top up because she just did her hair. I gritted my teeth and said yes. Her friends told her she was an idiot for asking me to put it up. Now she asks when we can take the convertible out. I put heated seats in my sn95 and if it is above 50* I put the top down. It makes for a better day of work driving there at sunrise with the top down.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
4/4/17 11:08 a.m.
Kreb wrote: My favorite use of a convertible was when I lived in the desert. After a brutally hot day, it was incredibly refreshing to cruise with the top down in the cool night air.

I was working on a project in Phoenix for 3 weeks back a few years ago and so I rented a Solstice to drive around the desert.

My advice for anyone from the great white north of milky complexion thinking "Great Idea!"... COWBOY HAT!!!

My scalp bled from huge blisters despite a thick quaff of fur coming by that knowledge naturally. Do not drive around in the desert during daylight with out a cover. You will be sorry!

Dave
Dave Reader
4/4/17 11:12 a.m.

I still like convertibles - bought one yesterday!

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 HalfDork
4/4/17 11:20 a.m.

I've been driving a convertible semi-daily since 1990. A hardtop goes on the Miata sometime in November and comes off in late March. It makes the commute a little more bearable to put the top down on a nice day. I've done 6 hour Interstate drives with the top down. But as I get older, sun exposure and desire for comfort are becoming more of a factor, which is why my next Miata will be a fixed-roof coupe or not a Miata. The TR6 will supply plenty of top down fun.

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
4/4/17 11:21 a.m.

Convertibles are great for cruising and in a time when speeds rarely exceeded 50 mph.

With the interstates and cars that cruised easily above 70 mph, a closed car was more comfortable.

Chadeux
Chadeux Dork
4/4/17 11:40 a.m.
iceracer wrote: Convertibles are great for cruising and in a time when speeds rarely exceeded 50 mph. With the interstates and cars that cruised easily above 70 mph, a closed car was more comfortable.

And this is why I think the convertible I want is a giant mid 70s Caprice.

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