It’s late April and the time of year when the great British public drag out their BBQ’s for the summer, and subsequently spend the next 5 months moaning about the lack of sunny weather. For those who own convertibles, it is also the time where most of them should be considering enjoying some wind-in-the-hair motoring and making the most of the most important aspect of their car.
Yet over the last 9 days, when (apart from a few bursts of rain and hail) the UK has had reasonably warm and sunny weather, I have only seen one convertible driver utilising the fact their cars roof retracts. The car in question was a Saab 9-3 and was being driven along Brighton seafront in temperatures exceeding 20°C, so to be honest if the owner had not had the top down I would have had to assume that they were some sort of Death Eater (or ginger). I read an article this week, which I cannot seem to find online, which suggested that around 70% of convertible drivers never even bother to use their convertible for the purpose it was designed and so spent the whole year driving around with the roof closed?! Given the fact I can’t find the actual figures I am inclined to believe I imagined the whole thing as I cannot see how anybody would drive around in a heavier, slower, less economical version of a sleek coupe for absolutely no reason at all.
There are of course some cars which only come in a cabrio model, and with retractable metal roofs being offered on everything from a Micra CC to a Mercedes SL maybe some people are just fussy with what car they get, or more likely have more money than sense. There is also the argument that the British weather is so changeable that drivers wishing to start off their journey exposed to the elements are likely to end up getting soaked, or having to find a space to pull in and raise the top. Usually manufacturers allow roofs to be lowered or raised at speeds up to around 30mph, but on a sprawling A road or windy back route this is unlikely to be popular as you wait a good 30 seconds for the mechanical stage show to complete.
I guess not having owned a convertible myself I cannot guarentee that I would go topless every time that the sun dared show its face, but there have been many many times, even this past week, when I have rolled down all the windows and longed for a chance to look like a bit of a knob. In fact a big chunk of me is very tempted to forgo a SUV and instead get a cheaper (to buy and run) 4-seater convertible in which to enjoy the summer. Unfortunately though, several considerations such as practicality and…well just practicality mainly (boot, rear space and climbing in) mean its not an option I’m going to pursue.
I’ll get round to reviewing some of the convertibles I’ve experienced and want to experience over the next few months 🙂