For me convertibles have an aura of self-indulgence.
I’ve driven a few over the years, all rentals in the United States.
The first time I drove a convertible was in Hawaii. It was a 1988 Chrysler LeBaron.
There’s been a 2002 Chrysler Sebring, a wonderful luxo barge, and a couple of 2001-2005 Mustangs.
One Mustang was used for a memorable summer Sunday afternoon drive, with the top down, along two-lane back roads, bordered by corn fields — from Louisville, Kentucky to Bloomington, Indiana — and return.
There are more convertibles I’d like to drive in the next couple of years.
Here’s my top 10 drop-tops:
1 – Fiat 1100TV
Oh so, 1950s. It’s a mini Cadillac Eldorado.
2 – Singer Gazelle
Another from the 1950s that evokes a bygone and slower era. These classics can still be found. It has a Hillman Minx twin.
3 – Renault Floride
Rear engine French chic.
4 – 1964 Ford Thunderbird
This is the car for a Palm Springs winter. Load up the 8-track with some Frank Sinatra tunes and just let the power assistance take the stress out of driving around and looking at some of the stunning architect-designed homes. As ol’ blue eyes sang: “That’s Life!”
5 – 1967 Pontiac Firebird
My all-time favourite Pontiac convertible. And if it came with Pontiac’s OHC six cylinder engine — all the better.
6 – 1963 Ford Falcon Futura
This convertible would fade into the background as soon as the Mustang was released, but for just one year — it was Ford’s cheapest and best-looking drop top.
7 – 1987-90 Chrysler LeBaron
I’d like to recapture the feeling of my first drive of a convertible.