Cabriolets, convertibles, drop-tops, soft-tops, call them what you want. What is it that is so appealing about a car that in reality, let’s face it, is a really bad idea?
Well, for me it’s the thought of a viscerally sensorial driving experience. I mean, there is nothing like being on the open road and enjoying the sounds, smells and tastes of the outdoors, right? Of course, in cities like Joburg the open-air soundtrack will include the dulcet tones of hadeda song and ear-splitting taxi hooting, the aroma of burning clutches and freshly dumped kerbside rubbish, and the flavoursome fumes of that not-so-roadworthy bus that leaves a plume of black smoke in its wake as it chugs along in the fast lane before inevitably breaking down.
Practically speaking, too, a car that is hot in summer, freezing in winter and open in a sudden Highveld downpour is not ideal. Just put the roof up, I hear you say. Sure, then why not just buy myself an elegant hardtop coupé to begin with if I can’t use the car as it was intended for half the year (and more if I live in a place with a horrible climate like the UK, Greenland or – heaven forbid – Cape Town)?