By on October 3, 2008

Those of you keeping up on your podcasts know that Justin and I are not fans of hard top convertibles. We feel they are too much of a compromise. And they make the donor car look funny (Mercedes SL being the exception). To me, hard top convertibles can best be summed up by the Simpsons (and really — what can’t?). Some of you may remember the infamous Poochie episode, where Itchy & Scratchy’s ratings were tanking and the producers decided it was time to add a new character in the form of the “original dog from hell,” Poochie. But before they came up with Poochie, they conducted a little focus group. “Okay, how many of you kids would like Itchy & Scratchy to deal with real-life problems, like the ones you face every day? (the kids all cheer and agree) And who would like to see them do just the opposite — getting into far-out situations involving robots and magic powers? (more cheering) So, you want a realistic, down-to-earth show… that’s completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots? (The kids agree).” This forces Roger Meyers to come out from behind the one way glass and chastise, “You kids don’t know what you want! That’s why you’re still kids: ’cause you’re stupid!” I basically feel that way about hard top convertibles — they’re stupid. Go with one or the other, as the middle of the road is the best place to get hit by a truck. You?

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63 Comments on “Question of the Day: Do You Like Hard Top Convertibles?...”


  • avatar
    Ingvar

    I think they are ok, unless they look like mother Goose, which most of them do. Yes, I understand there have to be a compromise, the metal have to be stored somewhere, and the trade-off is less luggage, unless you increase the luggage compartment a hundred percent. Give me a hard top convertible with beautiful lines, any day before those ugly ducklings…

  • avatar
    MLS

    Save for the Mercedes SL, Cadillac XLR, and Volvo C70, the current hard top convertibles are awkwardly styled. And even those three good-looking cars are seriously overweight.

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    Funny this should be a topic today. I have an 06 Miata. I do wish I waited for the HT. With the Miata you don’;t lose trunk space and it’s only 70lbs

    Looking out my window at the rain – I live in Seattle – I’m looking at Volvo C70′s. I know it’s not a Spots Car, but the rough ride & the noise are getting to be a bit much on my dailing commute.

    I guess I could just buy an 09 HT Miata. Thoughts?

  • avatar
    helius

    Speaking as a soft-top 2-seater driver… yes! I would probably have opted to take the aesthetic hit if I were given the choice.

    Caveats:
    - Must have minimal impact on trunk space.
    - Must be relatively light (see: Miata)
    - Must improve NVH
    - Must lower/raise itself fast

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    I agree with MLS.

    Everything else besides those three cars (SL, XLR and C70) look awkward. I wish the M3 was a soft top.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    TR3GUY:

    Huge gaff on my part. The hard top Miata is exceptional.

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    So Jonny:

    Another Miata or C70? Problem is I love the feel of the Mazda & would think about an RX 8 but only if I could adjust the ride feel. As a daily driver the Mazda feels like I’m driving through the DMZ. My guess is the RX8 would be worse?

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    As one of my 1966 Chryslers is a convertible, I sometimes wish that they had offered a hardtop convertible version. If you take the time to put the convertible top up or down “properly” it takes awhile, between (un)zipping the rear window and snapping the cover in place. I rarely put the car back in the garage with the top down either, for fear that the material may shrink and become nearly impossible to get back up, so I must repeat the procedure every time I take it for a drive.

    BTW, the 1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner was not the first hardtop convertible. The 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt is the oldest one I can think of. They built six, which were technically concept cars, but Chrysler sold them to individuals after they were done with them.

  • avatar

    No, I don’t.

    Give me a old-school fabric top thankyouverymuch.

    By the way, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where rain is the rule, not the exception… AND I STILL WANT A CONVERTIBLE. I own one already (my “fun” car) and I’d even have one on my daily driver if I could buy a Diesel car with a soft top.

    –chuck
    http://chuck.goolsbee.org

  • avatar

    I’ve owned 3 soft-tops (’72 Vette, ’95 Miata, and currently an ’03 S2000), so I’m definitely convertible-biased, but not necessarily hard or soft-top biased. TBH, I think it’s more important/nicer to have an automatic top than a rag-top just because it makes it that much easier to put it down, esp. when doing errands, etc.

    With that said, hard-top is a good option, if it makes the care more viable for year-round comfort, esp. during the cold-weather months. I would hope you get a benefit of a quieter ride, better insulation, and just an overall nicer interior experience. I’ve never been in any of the nicer Mercede’s with the hard top to know if it helps. The VW hard-top is pretty decent, IMO, when I rode in that.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Does anybody remember Homermobile?It tried to be everything for everybody.Thats why I don’t like hardtop converts.I don’t like crossovers for the same reason.

    I like ragtops new ones,old ones,big ones,small ones,even,dare I say it imported ones.You gotta love Colombo’s old 62 Peaugout [I know I butchered the spelling].Point is the rattles sqweeks,clunks,and wind noise.How about the smell of canvas? That what a convertible is all about.

    Having owned a few raggers I,m well aware of the mechanical/electrical headaches with aging cars.
    All those relays and wireing and just scary technolgy with levers,wormgears,seals,it frightens the crap outa me.No,for me a ragtop is a ragtop.

  • avatar

    No. But then, I don’t want a convertible. The only car vaguely in that genre that I ever really liked was the VW Real Beetle with the full roof canvas sunroof. Modern sunroofs are pretty useless. Convertibles, you have the rigidity problems. Hard top convertibles, the compromises. Which, I can’t help thinking, probably include a lot of rattling. But I love the look of the old Fairlane.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    I like hardtop convertibles when:

    Its up and down fast

    It doesn’t eat trunk space.

    So only the miata hardtop.

  • avatar

    If the soft top comes with insulation, headliner and a glass back window, then no.

  • avatar
    arapaima

    I’m not one for convertibles, I have long hair and it does not do well to get whipped about with the wind, plus I find most too noisy for use in anything other than city use. That aside, hard tops do look better than soft tops, but where the soft top is just ugly up, hard tops look “off”. Something about them bothers me, but I can’t really find where.

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    All the buttons, snaps and zippers of a soft top is part of the experience…..like undressing your girlfriend…..anticipating the fun that’s coming next.

    Love the looks of the Miata HT….again they set the inexpensive roadster standard. That said, as a former owner of several Midgets, my 96 Miata soft top is easy to put up and down by hand and way quicker than any motorized version….plus fall is a great time to unzip the plastic window (still clear after 12 yrs with good care). I also have the detachable HT that just turns the whole look of the Miata. When it is on in late fall and early spring, get a lot of looks and questions on what the car is.

    The old Fords are drop dead gorgeous….the G6 HTC is the most butt uggly thing on the road.

  • avatar
    Campisi

    I have a convertible with a soft top right now, and considering that the Seattle weather is going to keep that top up most of the time between now and May or so I’m wishing it was a hard top. I test drove a hard top Miata a few months ago, and it completely won me over versus the soft top.

    So yes, I like them if engineered properly.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    The Miata’s hardtop doesn’t take any trunk space because a) it’s only a two seater, and b) the trunk is already shortened by the space already reserved for the soft top. If the Miata had started out as a coupe and not a convertible, it would lose space somewhere. I love the Miata – I own an ’02 – but let’s not get carried away with how awesome it is that the hard top doesn’t take any additional space.

    I would only buy a hardtop if it had a larger rear window than you get with a soft top. Removable hard tops do that; retractables don’t, including the Miata’s. So unless I had to habitually park my car on an unsafe street, I’m happy with soft tops. And even happier with manual tops (2-seaters only, obviously). When the weather changes, a 2-second top-up or top-down moment is way better than the ponderous slowness of automated tops.

  • avatar
    BobJava

    For cars like the MX-5, the hardtop convertible is just a reminder that I hate convertibles and would rather have a REAL hardtop.

    So I guess that’s a conditional no. But given the choice between the two, I’d probably go for the hardtop convertible so someone isn’t tempted to knife through the roof.

  • avatar
    trlstanc

    When I had a miata with a soft top I bought a removable hard top to use during the winter, and it was defintely nicer to have it for those few months when I had to make long highway trips or something like that.

    I cringed when I heard that Mazda was comming out with a power hardtop, but it looks like they’ve done a good job with it, I’d definitely consider it for my next miata. Other then that I think the SL is the only one I like.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    All the buttons, snaps and zippers of a soft top is part of the experience…..like undressing your girlfriend…..anticipating the fun that’s coming next.

    Girlfriend? And you own a Miata?

  • avatar

    I’d like a convertible that you can see out of when the top’s up. having a rental convertible for a week in maui helped me see what’s nice about convertibles (I’m a coupe and hatchback guy), but I live in seattle and would have the top up a lot of the time, and I hate the lack of visibility. I know that wasn’t the question, but I’m just sayin

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Neither Ford nor Chrysler pioneered the hardtop convertible. Peugeot did, in 1936, with the 206 Eclipse.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Wow, maybe I’m the only one that thinks the Merc SLK is a cool looking hardtop. AND you can get it with row your own transmission.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    I like the Eos. Nice looking car and the tricks it can do are really nice. HOWEVER I worry alot about those cars when late in my ownership they would be having issues and I might not be able to get parts. That’s a problem when a person keeps a car 200K miles.

    Will I be able to get new seals. Would I be able to get plastic parts? etc, etc, etc…

    Instead I have a VW cloth top convertible with a manual top. I CAN get most everything and no mysterious mechanisms to fail. I do have to get out of the car to fold the top down and I do have to fit the boot over the folded top but I’ll live with that know that it won’t get stuck halfway up (or down) and make me drive home like that.

    My father tells a story about one of the popular kids in their high school that had this happen on a school trip to a park 35 miles away. Kid had to drive all the way home with his new 50′s Ford retractable hardtop halfway up or down – however you want to look at it.

    Tough to look cool when this happens.

    FWIW my Cabrio does not require the back window to be folded down, unzipped or anything. Just fold it down. I prefer cloth tops with glass rear windows. My ’84 had the same kind of roof.

    I did the top replacement project on this car myself a couple of years ago. Took a week of evenings and careful work and turned out just fine. Next time I’ll replace the headliner though (showing it’s age). Saved myself $1000.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    a resounding “NO!” from my end here. They are heavy, complicated, failure-prone, make for an ugly shape, and (to me) offer no real benefit over a cloth top except for resistance to being slashed open by a thief. No thank you.

    Can you imagine how expensive it will be to fix a Volvo C70 roof 5 years down the line? 3 folding pieces, really?

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    Girlfriend? And you own a Miata? While driving our Miata my boy friend (partner) and I passed a guy driving one just the other day. But Seattle men are pretty secure.

  • avatar
    hurls

    Having driven (the same old) Miata for close to 19 years, I’m pretty much over ragtops…

    I’d go for a convertible hardtop if it met helius’ criteria to a t.

    Not so sure about these convertible sedans and coupes — I’ve not seen one that I thought really improved on the original non-droptop .

    SL-class Mercs get a pass, of course, as they always have, for any question.

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    Both can be executed well or poorly. I’ve had a convertible of some sort or other continuously since 1973, with the exception of 3 years. That’s nine of my fleet of cars over 35 years so far. Only the most recent, my current XLR-V, has been a hardtop convertible.

    The XLR/XLR-V is one of the few retracting hardtops that looks splendid in this configuration, so there’s no appearance penalty and in fact I think that car’s aesthetic would be seriously compromised if a ragtop instead of hard. I didn’t go out specifically seeking to choose a hardtop as a reaction to having been displeased with soft tops. I just liked the car and didn’t see the hardtop as having any disadvantage other than possibly performance-robbing mass.

    However, the car has sufficient power and brakes to overcome its weight penalty, not all of which derives from the retracting hardtop. Much of its added weight over older brother Corvette owes to its mission as a sporting luxury GT rather than pure sports car. Having had a Corvette in the past, I was ready for a different experience and aesthetic projection. So, Corvette’s soft top would not have in any way deterred me from buying one if that’s the car I had wanted. However, the XLR-V just grabbed me. It was one of only three cars newly produced in the last 30 years that I just wanted viscerally, regardless, on sight — the other two being the former Ferrari Maranello, and the current Maserati GT — and XLR-V was in reach at that moment.

    In this case I do like the retracting hardtop. For one thing, it’s quieter and after driving mostly hot-rodded cars my adult life, I appreciate that now. It’s far from silent, but definitely more tranquil than soft tops at speed. I never had problems with any of my soft tops leaking water, so I wasn’t fleeing to a hard top to escape that. Every convertible compromises trunk space to some degree and no question this problem is exacerbated with a retracting hardtop. So what? I traveled any and everywhere in British sports cars that had flea-sized trunks and it never inhibited my willingness to go. The XLR-V has a huge trunk when the top is up. I can load up to get to my destination at speed top-up, then unload at the hotel and go topless on the local roads for the weekend.

    If you like a Mercedes SL (I don’t), its hardtop is fine. The Lexus 430SC just looks misshapen and tumorous. Most four seat hardtops lose the grace of the base coupe’s lines. The Jeep Wrangler is a fine manual hardtop convertible, isn’t it? The Miata’s hardtop option is masterful packaging. So, on balance, I prefer soft tops for convertibles for reasons of weight and grace, but in the case of the XLR-V, I like *this* top in all its magnesium + aluminum glory.

    Phil

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Good for you, TR3GUY. It really gets tiresome, even for a straight reader, to see the constant, facile categorizing of people according to what car they drive. Me, I drive a Boxster (and a 911 track car), so I guess that makes me a chick. Chicken? Chiclet? Cheech?

    Did anybody trash all the Battle of Britain pilots who drove MG TCs? They probably would today.

    And as far as that goes, the Box is the perfect soft-top roadster: Quickest electric top operation on the market, other than the Miata’s excellent throw-it-over-your-shoulder manual top, and it takes away zero trunk space and has a heated glass rear window. My wife and I put ours up and down half a dozen times a day.

  • avatar
    8rings

    For the most part no. I can see that they have their place on some vehicles, such as the old folks cruiser Sc430. These cars are not even trying to be sporty and their customers may demand less NVH.
    For enthusiast, come on, who wants the extra weight and complexity?
    If you are going to drive a ragtop then you expect some more NVH, it is just a pure driving experience.
    It makes me sick that all of the car companies are jumping on this bandwagen. Even BMW says the next Z4 will have a hardtop option. I guess if you “have” to do it Mazda has the correct answer, offer both.

  • avatar
    John B

    The MX-5 retractable hard top works for me. The first one I saw (unattended in a parking lot) had a shiny new iPod in a dash cradle. Try doing that with a soft top and see what happens.

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    Stephan Wilkinson :
    October 3rd, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Good for you, TR3GUY. It really gets tiresome, even for a straight reader, to see the constant, facile categorizing of people according to what car they drive.Did anybody trash all the Battle of Britain pilots who drove MG TCs? They probably would today

    My dad was a D-Day vet, smoked camels without filters, drove a TR-3 (Called a hairy chested roadster) but was a librarian. My partner has a Subaru Forester (also called a lesbaru) And I had a Mustang GT. — so there you go.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Thank god I live where you can leave your iPod in its cradle with the top down.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    You’ve got to admit, a Jaguar XK hardtop would be SWEEEEEEEEET.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Good for you, TR3GUY. It really gets tiresome, even for a straight reader, to see the constant, facile categorizing of people according to what car they drive.

    Lighten up, Francis.

    Strippo (straight Miata owner and alleged facile categorizer)

  • avatar
    serpico

    Yes I like them. Better security.

  • avatar
    kkt

    Living in Seattle makes it more important to have a convertible or sunroof, not less. Must grab those 15 minutes in between drizzles to get as much fresh air as possible.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Not really. Like all compromises, it is neither chalk nor cheese.
    I can think of none that looks as good as the same car with a folding cloth top. Even the first Ford Skyliner was weird looking, compared to the Sunliner.
    But if you live in an urban area and have to park on the street (even part of the time) steel is gonna be way preferrable to cloth.

  • avatar

    No. I don’t like convertibles, for starters. A convertible with a generally awkward-looking folding metal roof that adds 300-500 pounds to the curb weight, thousands of dollars to the sticker, and the prospect of truly horrifying long-term maintenance and repair issues is even less appealing than a conventional ragtop. It’s nice to not have your radio accessible to anyone one with a pocket knife, so I guess they have that much going for them over ragtops.

    I’d rather have a coupe.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    I remember thinking in 4th grade that the 3000GT Spyder was the coolest car in existence, which I still partially stand by. Back in the 90′s, the hardtop convertible Spyder version cost more than twice as much as the fixed roof version because of some weird legislation/tax (I forget which). Then the SLK came along and made the hardtop convertible attainable, which was still cool, but much less so. Then everyone else came along and played it out.

    And Jonny, while enthusiasts see the added weight, complexity, and cost as the ultimate sacrifice trifecta, the typical buyer sees an all-weather convertible: fun in summer, warm and usable in winter. Weight and rigidity don’t factor into most people’s equations.

  • avatar
    Prado

    I’m still cleaning up the puke after seeing the pictures released yesterday of the IS250 hardtop convertible. So my answer to the question of the day is HELL NO. Even the Miata looks like ass when you compare it to the looks of the removable hard top.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    Thread hijack.

    Paid 11k for 99 miata, 15k on clock, this spring. Wish it had power hardtop that admirably folds into soft top bay. Talk about good engineering. Not worth 16k extra for new miata PHT which is equipped with 4 cupholders, two of which dig into thighs. Would have to find non-cup holder door panels

    OK back to thread.

    Sure, power HT is fun thing, like to borrow each of yours for a week or two. I dont drive fast, I promise.

    Back to thread hijack. A Miata coupe is what I really want, 2 liter rwd Miata coupe for about 21k. A Mazda Miata Cayman.

  • avatar
    cgd

    I’m not a convertible fan. I live in the deep south, where there are approximately 3-4 weeks each spring and fall where the weather is good for them. For 6 or 7 months out of the year, it’s humid and hot and you’ll boil in slow traffic, then for 2-3 months it’s too cold.

  • avatar
    velvet fog

    Another seattle convertible owner here. After 3 soft tops decided I wanted a folding hard top mostly for less road noise. I can live with less trunk space but the trunk does have to hold one set of golf clubs. Sorely disappointed in the 335i on this point and decided to get an SL.

    Agree that most folding tops look awkward as do most soft versions of cars that were originally coupes.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I like a soft top better. VW New Beetle is my favorite.

  • avatar
    Dangerous Dave

    I’ve always driven convertibles and have only owned one hardtop convertible, a SLK 350. It was a nice car and a blast to drive, but the top was a pain in the ass. When you wanted to put something bigger than a bread box in the trunk the top had to go up to make room. My current ride, a Jag XK8, has a classic cloth top and the trunk is always the same size, top up or down. The top cover is easy to put on and take off in less than a minute. I’ll take a ragtop over a hardtop convertible any day.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Yes i do like hardtop cabriolets, because i have one :)
    But some of them can look very strange.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ford_Focus_CC_rear_20080121.jpg

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Yes i like them because i have one :)
    But some looks odd.
    I was going to post a link to Ford Focus CC here but it doesn´t work for some reason???

  • avatar
    Scottie

    I only like Hardtop Convertibles when the hard top is completely removable and there is a Soft top option. FOlding origami roofs aren’t convertibles.

  • avatar
    z9

    I enjoy my Eos much more than previous soft-top convertibles I’ve owned. However, I don’t think the technology is for everyone. I’ve had leaks, which is a widespread problem with many hardtop convertibles, in part due to the use of friction seals that require regular lubrication with an extremely expensive synthetic substance called Krytox. The top rattles a bit at low speeds as well. Do sales of hardtop convertibles justify the expense of perfecting this technology? I hope so, but I’m not optimistic.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I don’t like any sort of convertible. Heck, I don’t like sunroofs. The removable center roof section of the X1/9 is kind of cool though. That style of “targa top” makes far more sense to me that soft tops or origami hard tops.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    It’s just a matter of time before they innovate these tops into something that will change your minds.

    Most convertibles don’t really look that good with the top up anyway. Also, there aren’t that many people who want to have extra vehicles. The ragtop comes with compromises just as the origami tops do. The origami is easier to live with in places like Houston, where the top may come down every month, but it certainly has to stay up parts of everyday as well.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Memo to self – many TTAC readers/posters are from Seattle!!! Next time I visit your fine city (and I do miss that city a lot…), I’ll be asking for what roads in the Cascades are best for breaking in the tires and engine of a rental!
    In these eyes, the best top-up hard-top convertibles are the Miata, SL, SLK, and C70.
    The “Dear Lord, who designed that?” awards go to the G6 (take out back and shoot), 3-series (way too many gaps and awkward angles), the Lexus Palm Springs…er…SC430, and of course, the Sebring.
    I guess everything else is in the middle but the whole bubble-butt trunk required by most PHTs really can kill the style.
    Targas and t-tops made some sense to me, but the whole storage issue, especially away from home, just seemed to be a pain. I like the attitude of the Elise – they know the car is going to be garaged anyway – just unroll a canvas thing with some rods and there you go – instant top! Actually if an owner could do it without getting too soaked during a surprise storm, they’re good.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I like the idea in theory. In real-life it almost never works. Usually you end up with a heavy, rattly hardtop… But my friend had the ultimate hardtop convertible. It was a late 90s Mercedes 300sl. It had a regular soft-top, but it also came with a detachable, 1-piece hardtop. In the winter he would put the hardtop on and in the summer leave it off. As long as you have a garage to store the hardtop, this is the ideal solution. Plus the car actually looked better with the hardtop on, it didn’t look like a removable top, it just looked like regular hardtop sportscar.

    Personally I have a preference to targa and t-tops. It’s kind of a pain to take on and off, but you get the best both worlds otherwise. @ theflyersfan: My t-tops fit in the trunk.

  • avatar
    dancote

    Yes. Just because some manufacturers can’t pull them off doesn’t mean they’re a bad idea.

  • avatar
    oldlt43

    Have been reading TTAC for about a year and have raved about it to the few in my email address book that it is the place to go to find out what’s happening in the automotive world free of vapid advertisement funded ‘enlightenment’ or just plain old bs caused by a refusal to face facts and stop viewing the world through the rose-colored glasses apparently handed out wholesale by GM’s press people. I veered off course a little here but this is the first time I’ve ever commented on a website so please bear with me. The orginal comment that fired me up was Stephen Wilkinson’s comment to the effect he lived where he could leave an iPod in it’s cradle in a rag top with the top down…..Where is this wonderland?….My first car was a ’66 Spitfire that I really enjoyed but even then (Austin, TX)
    bad guys kept cutting my top.I’m a cop in a small AZ mining town and you can’t even leave your windows open around here without miscreants rummaging through your interior for useful goodies.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, officer. It’s a Village where my friends on the job–I’m an EMS volunteer and see them all the time–complain mainly of boredom.

    This is a community that has _twice_ been featured on a rundown of police-blotter reports from across the country, that David Letterman used to do. The one I remember was, “Woman called 911. Said a walnut had fallen from a tree onto her car and left a dent.”

    Austin, Texas? You’re kidding. I’ve been to Austin, and that’s a war zone compared to here. You need to get out more, but I, ah, feel your pain.

  • avatar
    billc83

    I was seriously considering a slightly used XLR – depreciation is hitting those pretty hard. I cannot comment on the structural integrity of any retractable hardtops, since I haven’t spent any major time in them with the top up, but I really think, styling wise, they’re hit or miss (and that, of course, is always subjective).

    I love the XLR. I like the SL and SLK. I like the Eos. I hate the G6 (ironically, I like to coupe). I loath the Sebring.

    My current convertible is a soft-top, but I just put the hardtop on for winter (it won’t see much driving time, and it frees up some space in the garage). The whole summer I put the top up once, during a rainstorm at a car show!

    Oh, and I’m from Seattle, too!

  • avatar

    The only convertible I have spent much time in was a rental T-bird in 2003. I loved driving that car, but it was a heavy drinker. At least gas was still below 2.50 in California in those days. With the top up, it was noisy at highway speeds, which made me think that back home in Boston, if I ever had one (used), I’d get the removable hard top to fit. This is one convertible that looks good with the top up or down, or with the hard top on.

    Not many of the hard top convertibles look as good as the coupes they are based on. And the ones that do, are waay expensive. Caddy, Mercedes, I am looking at you. So the rest, if it looks OK, it probably does not have a coupe version.

    autoclay.blogspot.com

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    SEATTLE The reason so many Seattle folk respond is that with less sunshine we want every day we can have in our top down cars. That’s why after reading all the posts I think it’s another Miata with a HT. The Volvo is a nice car — softer ride but it’s not a sports car. In ten years I can go there but it is like my dad deciding if he wanted a “motor Sailor” boat. No stay with a sail boat (Mason 34) unless you want a motor boat. (Alben) So get a sports car – HT or rag top but get a spots car. Unless you just want a convertible.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    @TR3GUY:

    You said it. That’s why hardtop convertibles do well here in New York and the rest of the northeast.

    What’s the biggest market for hardtop convertibles in Europe? Why it’s London of course!

    Hell, the VW Eos sold out its entire allocation in Canada BEFORE THEY COULD RUN ANY ADS FOR IT.

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    Talked to the Mazda dealer today. If I took the plunge my payments would really go up for an 09 HT. But it was tempting – as its raining today. I can say even with a HT Miata They were going to ell for 1K over invoice. That’s lousy on a GM for for a Miata HT I don’t know.


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