I drove a removable-roof Alfa Romeo 4C a few years ago. I thought I might miss its coupe-ness. Not so. Photo Credits: Raphael Orlove

As a person who likes sports cars with vigorous driving characteristics, I often find myself pointing towards closed vehicles. Hardtops. Fixed-head coupés. But I must admit, gazing deep into the deepest corners of my shadowy heart, that convertibles are good.

Out in the Sacramento Delta back in the drought. Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove

Again, as a sports-driving enthusiast, I tend to point myself towards coupe and sedan designs. These are less flimsy. These are less weighty. These are less expensive and complicated and dangerous in a rollover.

Skinny levee roads are the only good driving outside the mountains and the foothills. The Valley is flat. Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove

But my like of coupes should not extend to a dislike of convertibles. The same should be the case with you as well, if it is the case that you are also a person who has the same viewpoint on fixed/unfixed car roofs as I do.

What a joy it is to have a warm summer’s night air running across your cheeks, stars shedding dim light right down on you! Those are the god beams of the universe. They are ancient radiation waves from the farthest reaches of existence. They are beaming directly into your brain, you convertible driver.


The sound of the leaves rustling on a fall drive above. The pavlovian blip of a well-tuned engine before hitting an on-ramp, shot right into your skull. Windows down. No roof in the way. BRAPP into your ear. BRAPP into your heart. These are convertible joys. These are exclusive. These are not coupe pleasures.

Again, this is not my only preference. There are times a convertible isn’t right or appropriate. It looks odd, for instance, to build a Caterham track day car, as the roll cage must extend high above the windshield looking like your car has crashed into a playground and drove away with the jungle gym. If you had bought a coupe, or even, say, a Lotus Elan with an optional hardtop, then you would not look so foolish.


But the warmth of spring is coming close to us all. Many gearheads will soon be on country drives. The convertible’d among us will have rich fresh smells rushing to their nostrils as they drive through freshly-ripening fields across the heartland. I have been that person before.


This year, I will likely not be one of those people. I will have a little dome-roof Volkswagen to keep me company. I will look at Miatas and Jaguars and Alfas and even purple Mk3 Golfs with a twinge of jealousy.

Why is that? Because convertibles are, no matter how hard it is for me to accept, good.

After a run up and down Mix Canyon Road, the steepest in CA. Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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