What are Convertibles?

Vehicles over the ages have transformed a lot. Earlier cars introduced were all open and with the end of the nineteenth century cars with an enclosed body started making their way in the market. Over the years, vehicles have transformed a lot. They went from 2 horse driven to 200-horse power. Station wagons of the 1970s were succeeded by minivans in the ‘80s that gave way to SUVs in the ‘90s. A popular body type is convertible, which is a two-door car with a retractable roof. These vehicles are cool to drive and flaunt.

what-are-convertible

Cars introduced at the beginning were all open. The end of the nineteenth century saw the introduction of cars with an enclosed body. Less expensive cars were generally open. During the 1920s, the production of steel bodies increased and as a result, closed cars became available to the average buyer. Gradually, the fully open cars disappeared from the mainstream market and convertibles entered in the mid ‘20s.

Some people like experiencing the idea of open-top motoring, while other might not like the feel of the wind in their hair. There are seasons where owning a convertible would be wonderful, while there are also many days within a year where having a convertible might be bad idea. So, let’s figure out what convertibles really are and are they the right vehicles for us to purchase.

According to the definition, convertibles are those vehicles that can convert from being open to being completely closed. These vehicles are derived from the earlier phaeton, which was an open vehicle that does not have glass side windows that may have had removable panels of fabric. They are sometimes called cabriolets or roadsters. Cabriolet is a French word used by automakers to sound exclusive.

American automakers such as Chrysler, American Motors Corporation produced a broad range of convertibles during the 1950s-60s. The production of convertibles became low during early 80s in America. However, globally the production continued throughout this era.

When the top of convertibles is folded down they offer limited cargo space, but with the top in place, many convertibles offer much trunk space than their coupé counterparts. During the years, convertibles have gone through many variations; they can be a two-door roadster or a four-seat luxury model. One can buy a convertible either with a hard or soft roof, depending upon their choice. Soft roof is made of canvas or similar, while hard roof is made of plastic and metal. When compared, soft roof are generally lighter and cheaper and generally occupies less space in the trunk. Hard top are generally classified into two types:-

Detachable hardtop:-
Since 1950s, there are rigid removable hardtops, which are generally stored in the car’s trunk. They offer great weatherproofing, soundproofing. Some even have integrated rear window defrosters and windscreens.

Retractable hardtop:-
It breaks into two or three pieces and elegantly lowers into the trunk. It not only gives visually pleasing roof, but also provides greater durability, passenger compartment storage security and sometimes visibility. However, retractable hardtop does reduce luggage capacity. Retractable hardtop can vary from two to five in the number of rigid sections.

One question that arises in people’s mind is whether all convertibles are sports cars or not. Well, most are, but not all. There are four-seater convertibles also from Audi, BMW. Semi-convertibles are also available in the market. These are known as a cabrio coach and has retractable or removable top which retains fully framed windows on its door and side glass.

These are fun to drive vehicles where speed or handling doesn’t matter. However, extra maintenance should be given to these cars as the Sun and other elements such as bird defecate may spoil the car’s interiors. So, buyers should place their vehicles in house garage or covered parking.

Within a convertible, one can experience the thrill of travel. To be fair there isn’t anything better than driving down a country lane with the wind sweeping in hair. However, all doesn’t like their hair blowing in the cool breeze. Thus, it is completely on buyers to decide whether or not to buy a convertible.

One thought on “What are Convertibles?

  1. Pingback: What are Convertibles? | JapaneseCarTrade.com

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