We love our convertibles! And we have stories to tell. Whether it’s your first car, or your 100th, there’s a magic about convertibles that generates enthusiasm, passion, and – dare we say it – love? Sure we can. Of course, the first patented gas-powered automobile was an open-air car – coupes and sedans came later – but now we have roadsters and cabriolets, some fast, some luxurious, some just convertibles, which we lovingly refer to as drop tops or rag tops.

So here’s my favorite convertible love story. It was my first date with Lori, and I didn’t know much about her or her family. We had a nice evening out to dinner at a sports broadcast by the radio station I was working for at the time. (I thought that might impress her.) When I took her home we went to the back porch because at her Italian home, family and friends enter and exit out back. I had only seen the front door up till then. As we were talking and I was contemplating the age-old question of a kiss on the first date (I didn’t by the way), I spotted a beautiful white 1964 Impala SS convertible in the parking area. I asked, “who’s car is that?” And this cute little 18-year-old redhead said, “Mine.” I said, “Really?” And that cemented it. I knew this girl was something special. It was, in fact, her second convertible. The first – a ’67 Mustang (with a 289 I might add) – was a little too needy for her at the time. And her dad had a 1967 Buick Skylark convertible. He’s the one who instilled the passion for these cars in his daughter. Needless to say, we continued dating, often taking the Impala on our outings. Everywhere we went, people wanted to buy that car. It had a red interior with bucket seats and center console, and she just looked dynamite driving it with that red hair and everything. Well, this amazing teenager with the classic car eventually became my wife. Our automotive adventures together started with a car club (The “Street Stalkers.” Does that sound menacing enough?) And it culminated years later with a victory in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA US Nationals. It was a step-by-step process that’s a story in itself. But Lori was the one who encouraged me to leave the radio biz and pursue a racing career, somewhat reminiscent of Adrian’s word to Rocky that set him on the path to stardom, “Win!” Lori now drives (and loves) a 2008 Chrysler Crossfire Limited Roadster.

I should point out that, when I was 17, I too had a convertible. A rumbling 1969 Chevelle SS396. Which brings me to this little topic for discussion since, after all, I was young. What is the coldest temperature at which you drove your convertible with the top down? For me it was February. It was Western New York. It was about 28 degrees and a bunch of friends and I were getting rowdy.

What’s the coldest temperature you’ve driven your convertible with the top down?

Any car show or cruise demonstrates the universal appeal of cars. I think this is especially true of convertibles. Some of them are owned by people who love them just because they’re convertibles. The intricacies of the machine are not as important as they are to other enthusiasts. Another powerful attraction is the social aspect. Amy Shore, a 25-year-old automotive photographer sums up the car culture beautifully. She says, “In all honesty, it’s the collectors, the mechanics, the race drivers that all seem to have a love and a lust for life, and they are the kind of people I want to surround myself with. And if I can surround myself with those people and have great fun in gorgeous cars at the same time, then I’m going to jump at the chance!” Fear not friends, the car culture lives on. And although there have been times when it looked like the convertible would be no more, there’s just too much love out there.

Let’s take a look at some lovable examples. (All of which, by the way, are available at Maxmotive as of this writing!)

1961 Chevrolet Corvette
1961 Chevrolet Corvette

1961 Chevrolet Corvette

1961 Chevrolet Corvette

1915 Maxwell Touring
1915 Maxwell Touring

Drivers have enjoyed open air motoring for more than a century.

Drivers have enjoyed open air motoring for more than a century.

1957 Ford Fairlane
1957 Ford Fairlane

Part of what made the 50’s fabulous were great cars like this ‘57 Fairlane convertible. The big Fords were the #1 seller that year.

Part of what made the 50’s fabulous were great cars like this ‘57 Fairlane convertible. The big Fords were the #1 seller that year.

1955 Ford Thunderbirds
1955 Ford Thunderbirds

1955 was the first year for the fabulous Tbird. It evolved from a Vette fighter to a full-size luxury cruiser. The early ones were convertibles only.

1955 was the first year for the fabulous Tbird. It evolved from a Vette fighter to a full-size luxury cruiser. The early ones were convertibles only.

1967 Ford Mustang
1967 Ford Mustang

After the Thunderbird, Ford’s next big hit was the Mustang. It was just a natural in convertible form. This ’67 is beefed up with 406 cubic inches.

After the Thunderbird, Ford’s next big hit was the Mustang. It was just a natural in convertible form. This ’67 is beefed up with 406 cubic inches.

2015 Ford Mustang Roush
2015 Ford Mustang Roush

The Mustang was and is a great platform for customization and modification. Jack Roush just couldn’t resist. This car is a ball to drive!

The Mustang was and is a great platform for customization and modification. Jack Roush just couldn’t resist. This car is a ball to drive!

1971 Ford Mustang
1971 Ford Mustang

Of course, Mustangs were in the thick of the muscle car movement. This ’71 exemplifies the era’s look and sound.

Of course, Mustangs were in the thick of the muscle car movement. This ’71 exemplifies the era’s look and sound.

2008 Mazda Miata MX5
2008 Mazda Miata MX5

Sporty roadsters like this Mazda MX5 appeal to men and women of all ages. Sports car handling is a bonus.

Sporty roadsters like this Mazda MX5 appeal to men and women of all ages. Sports car handling is a bonus.

1962 Chevrolet Corvette
1962 Chevrolet Corvette

Nothing like a little red Corvette. This ’62 sports its original 340 horse 327.

Nothing like a little red Corvette. This ’62 sports its original 340 horse 327.

1998 Chevrolet Corvette
1998 Chevrolet Corvette

Corvette roadsters and convertibles are always a fun and popular way to cruise regardless of generation. This is a loaded 1998 with Borla exhaust.

Corvette roadsters and convertibles are always a fun and popular way to cruise regardless of generation. This is a loaded 1998 with Borla exhaust.

2004 Ford Mustang
2004 Ford Mustang

Convertibles on a budget? Yes, here’s a neat 2004 Mustang.

Convertibles on a budget? Yes, here’s a neat 2004 Mustang.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS
1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS

In many cases, the convertible version of a classic is even more valuable than its enclosed counterpart. Here’s a Camaro RS convertible that anyone can love!

In many cases, the convertible version of a classic is even more valuable than its enclosed counterpart. Here’s a Camaro RS convertible that anyone can love!

2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond
2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond

Convertibles have always made good movie cars because they showcase their driver. In the case of the James Bond movie “Die Another Day” the driver of the 2002 Thunderbird was the lovely Halle Berry. (The 700 Special Edition ‘Birds available to the public were 2003 models. That’s okay. The ‘03s had more power.)

Convertibles have always made good movie cars because they showcase their driver. In the case of the James Bond movie “Die Another Day” the driver of the 2002 Thunderbird was the lovely Halle Berry. (The 700 Special Edition ‘Birds available to the public were 2003 models. That’s okay. The ‘03s had more power.)