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MadScientistMatt PowerDork
6/26/20 10:23 a.m.

Did we have a canoe bump this thread and get deleted?

No matter; I'll answer it with "The second time I had to re-attach the drive motors after using my E36's emergency top release lever."

That said, I wouldn't mind having a convertible with a less Rube Goldberg top mechanism at some point; just can't fit one in my budget or driveway at this time.

lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter)
lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
6/26/20 10:57 a.m.

I'll bite. NEVER.  All of my fun cars have been topless since I was 18(MGB's, TR's, countless Miata's, S2000's, Lotus 7 replicas, Austin Healey's, Boxster and a few Mustangs).  I've never had one, except Boxster, with any sort of top mechanism that would bother me. Simply removing a pin or motor made it mechanical. 

In my opinion a toy = convertible. YMMV. 

SEADave Dork
6/26/20 12:12 p.m.

Ahh, the thread where I asked if anyone else noticed a trend in the used car market and Frenchy told me I had no soul.  What memories!

Aaron_King PowerDork
6/26/20 3:34 p.m.

I still do.  My oldest on the other hand, who turned 17 today, was given an 06 9-3 manual vert by my Dad and my son does not really want it, he would rather have a tin top.  On the plus side that means that I get to drive it.

AaronT New Reader
6/26/20 3:47 p.m.

I can see how a vert would suck for people in the cities. But I live 8 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway so a Miata is really the perfect way to get some air after work.

fatallightning Reader
6/26/20 5:16 p.m.

I love verts/targa/t-tops. Most of my sports car driving brethren don't. Shrug.

z31maniac MegaDork
6/26/20 8:18 p.m.

I know this is an old thread bumped by a canoe, but, don't hate convertibles. Have one in the garage.


Once we can buy a house with a third and/or fourth garage spot, we will probably look to get Ms Z31 her own convertible to use as her DD.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/26/20 9:03 p.m.

I loved my Miata, but after a while there were only three or four months of the year that I wanted to drive with the top down.  Granted, the four seasons in Atlanta are rain, pollen, surface of sun, and pretty great.  Opportunities to drive topless are more limited than I thought at first.

spandak HalfDork
6/26/20 11:17 p.m.

I went from a convertible to a hard top and back again. Convertibles make even the most benign drives more fun. I have good weather around here to be fair

I think too many chase performance numbers instead of fun. I really couldn't care if your car is .2 seconds faster to 60. I'm smiling more

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/27/20 12:14 a.m.

Convertibles are pretty awesome.  Took the Miata down to the lake this evening.  The drive down was fun and breezy as  my buddy let us (in his NC).   A fine evening chatting and socializing followed by a rip back up some twisty roads in the dark.  Tiger Mom beside me looking up at the stars as her hair blew around in the wind.


Would I take it on a 15 hour road trip?  Most likely not.  But a cheap and nippy roadster is very much worth having in the stable.

Cactus HalfDork
6/27/20 5:24 a.m.

I never had a proper convertible, but I did have a car that just didn't have a roof.


It was an MGB, so it had one at some point, but there was a terrible roll bar where the roof would have folded down.

frenchyd PowerDork
6/27/20 6:08 a.m.
AaronT said:

I can see how a vert would suck for people in the cities. But I live 8 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway so a Miata is really the perfect way to get some air after work.

I'm 22 minutes from downtown ( in non rush hour traffic )  yet if I were 5 minutes away there are pleasant quiet winding roads that surround these areas Roads perfect for top down driving.  
Yes the twin Cities has plenty of lakes to drive around. But I suspect most major urban areas do have a few pleasant roads

2/26/22 4:31 p.m.

I absolutely LOVE convertibles and only drive convertibles, but I live in the snow belt so I got a convertible SUV! 

Here's my convertible 


If you love your dog then you must get your best friend a convertible 


Works great in the snow


wawazat SuperDork
2/26/22 10:19 p.m.

I've loved them since my first in the late 80's.   Still love them and am excited for spring for both convertible and motorcycle rides.

frenchyd MegaDork
2/26/22 11:24 p.m.

I fondly remember driving out to California in dads Caddy convertible (age 14)  the ride in my neighbors 1927 hot rod named Wee Weary Will. 
  My first sports car age 14 an MGTD,  Sun Beam Alpine. Jaguar XK 140 MC, XKE, XK 150 ,  ahh too many to remember. 

frenchyd MegaDork
2/26/22 11:42 p.m.
cmcgregor said:

In my personal opinion, it's the track usage - most of the stuff I'm looking for I want for its performance potential, which means the hardtop version, when that's an option. There's also a perception of the convertible being the floppier, heavier version of the performance car.

Race cars need rollcages so flexible is gone.  Tin tops, taxi cabs, all push more air than a properly set up version of a convertible. 
   Eliminate the windshield and install a canvas tonneau  over everything and you've reduced frontal area by 30- 40%  plus reduced the weight of the car by eliminating the roof. Plus the remaining weight is lowered  

  It's even allowed in Champ car LeMons rules. 
      As a race car the down side is you'll get wet in the rain.  And the little face shield puts the wind in your face.  Big deal.  Less frontal area and drag? Lower weight? Sign me up. 

pointofdeparture UltimaDork
2/27/22 12:43 a.m.

Aw man, zombie must have bumped this thread again.

Anyway, here's my NC Miata. Convertibles suck. /s

frenchyd MegaDork
2/27/22 12:51 a.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture :

Had to add mine since 1962. 

frenchyd MegaDork
2/27/22 12:57 a.m.
Woody said:

I think the popularity of convertibles dropped off sharply when air conditioning became standard on just about everything. When someone spent a few summers driving around in a hot sedan with the windows open, the idea of a convertible became appealing. Add air conditioning, and summer becomes much more tolerable in that sedan.

I've owned seven convertibles, but almost never drive with the top down anymore. I can't take the sun. I liked driving my Jeeps with the top on but the doors and side windows off.

If only Mazda would make a small, rear wheel drive two seat coupe...

    Cars started out as convertibles.  Roofs came later. They were going to be outlawed in the mid 1970's until politicians realized they couldn't ride around in parades to get votes without convertibles. So they quietly shut their mouths and convertibles returned to production. 

2/27/22 7:35 a.m.

I loved MGB convertibles because I was young and willing to put up with the noise and weather intrusion even with the top up.  Heck, I was probably willing to have it come up through the floorboards.

Loved the Miata because the weather did not intrude with the top up and the time to go from covered to topless was only bested by a Quebec stripper.

Did not buy a Mustang convertible because putting the top down was a process akin to foreplay and that  took too long to justify for a short drive to work. Geneva convention does, or should, prohibit the torture that is being a passenger in the back seat of a topless Mustang. Also, with crime getting worse all the time, it was going to be more to insure and more likely to give me that headache should it be vandalized. 


Women hate convertibles. Much like going topless themselves, even if they could, they would not, cause it is a feature with no benefits. Direct exposure to sun and road grit does not agree with makeup and lets not even start on the hairdo control.

hybridmomentspass HalfDork
2/27/22 8:17 a.m.

My second car (usually say it's my first as my first was only around for a couple months) was a little convertible.

Was stoked. Thought it was awesome. For the first spring.

After that...not as much. Well, summer nights. But in the winter it seemed colder than other vehicles, it was hot as hell in summer with that big black top sucking up all the sun's energy in the universe. And I found that I dont like getting a serious tan on my forehead just driving to work. And windnoise.

Will I have another one day? Maybe. But likely not.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/27/22 2:00 p.m.

To the original question:

I'll echo the point that A/C becoming standard on just about everything (early 1990s?) made convertibles less appealing. The alternative to a convertible used to be a hardtop with windows down, or a very pricey premium vehicle.

I'll add the point of ever-increasing suburban sprawl that has lead to wider, faster, more dangerous interstates and longer commutes. Both are unfriendly to convertible ownership. 

Third: the waning buying power of average wages compared to inflation. You used to be able to go to college on a pizza delivery wage, buy a house in your early 20s, etc. That leaves a lot of leftover dough for fun stuff like impractical convertibles. You don't see that in the latest generations (including millennials like me). Heck, most of us have huge debt before even graduating college. Home ownership is a lofty goal, and forget a brand new convertible. Yes, accounting for inflation, a Miata is technically as cheap as it's ever been, but wages haven't kept up.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/28/22 8:52 a.m.

I think it all depends on the car.  I'm 100% pro convertible for Miata's.  I doubt I could ever own an RF.  Now take the 4th gen Camaro, I will keep and be happy with my slick top.  

I like convertibles just not everything.....  

If you love convertibles Dodge made a Dakota convertible for a while.  

fatallightning Reader
2/28/22 8:53 a.m.

I love convertibles/targas/ttops. I'm the kind of person that has the top down from 45 to 95 degrees. Trying to remember my ownership list. T-Ttop SW20 MR2, vert NA Miata, targa C5 vette, targa Elise, vert XKR, vert Caterham, vert TVR Chimaera, vert Samurai, vert Solstice. 

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/28/22 9:28 a.m.

For me it was somewhere around 1993. My godfather had a ~1990 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was a really sharp car, black on black performance model. It was his wife's daily. I would drive it a little to wash or it something like that. He traded it in on a new Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible. Red with a black top, nice looking car too. Same thing I would drive it to go wash it or change the oil or something. They were the same platform, similar engine but the driving experience of the vert was trash compared to the hardtop. 

I am sure that opinion is not valid with newer cars or with Miata's but it stuck and I never wanted another convertible.

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