OT: Talking Cars Tuesday - Raindrop DropTop

Submitted by JeepinBen on March 21st, 2017 at 9:54 AM

It's spring, when young folks' fancy turns to top-down cruising.

Unfortunately, convertible sales are tanking, and  have been for a decade. http://www.npr.org/2015/08/20/433010969/sales-of-convertibles-are-decelerating-blame-the-fuel-economy

What's your best convertible experience? Story? Have one? Miss one? Want to buy a new one?

I used to not only go topless, but doorless! (not mine pictured) Being essentially outside was awesome, if somewhat terrifying on the highway. But, I guess the YJ was always terrifying on the highway....

Image result for 91 YJ No doors



March 21st, 2017 at 10:05 AM ^

looks good and may be fun

but no doors means any mva is life and limb threatnening

might be better if off road

on road- keep your doors on




March 21st, 2017 at 11:28 AM ^

Best experince so far is a three jeep father son camping trip in Maine with my cousin and his sons, and a freind and his sons. It's really cool to wake up next to a lake where no one else is.

And that YJ is not muddy enough!


March 21st, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

3 hours later.... yes!

Thanks to the kind gentleman in an older J20 on 5.13 axles and 38" tires.

They say always go wheeling with at least 3 vehicles total. Because if you get stuck, the other 2 can get you out. The one other jeep I was with wasn't going to move me.


March 21st, 2017 at 10:20 AM ^

I guess. I run topless/doorless in my Land Cruiser all summer long. I do have a bikini top I can throw on quick in case of rain though. Drove all the way from Chicago to the Black Hills like that, and it as awesome. It's really no less safe than riding a motorcycle, and nobody is going to fail to see a vehicle that large.


March 21st, 2017 at 10:55 AM ^

I just had a conversation with my agent.

"Do you want to replace your Miata if you're in an accident?"

"I want to make sure my family isn't impoverished and my estate is intact. In an accident I'm not worried about me or the car..."

Powderd Toast

March 21st, 2017 at 10:17 AM ^

Never been a fan of verts. Something about taking away structural rigidity and adding odd weight all while throwing off the center of gravity just makes me say meh.


March 21st, 2017 at 10:29 AM ^

I've posted before that I had a '55 Tbird convertible. Putting the top up and down was a bit of a chore and with the top down I always felt I need to be close to the car to prevent stuff from being pried off.

I also had a Porsche 914 with a Targa top, I thought it was a great compromise. Like a convertible but with a light hard top that stored in the trunk. Was easily taken on and off. Loved that car with the top off.


I like the idea of a HT convertible

I almost purchased one of these used. Won the auction on eBay but the car had some undisclosed issues and  ended up with a HT Mini Cooper. The Mini convertibles do not look good IMHO.


I thought about one of these as well - but could not get past the cost and complete uselessness of the truck.




March 21st, 2017 at 10:41 AM ^

My old boss had one and got it for a decent price.  There was a reason for that.  They are super heavy and can't carry anything.  When he wanted to take a fake plant to his house he asked me if I could take it in my Mazdaspeed 3 because his truck couldn't fit it.  

I love porches (356, 911, 944, cayman, boxter) but could never get into the 914 for some reason.  I've heard they are a blast to drive though.  

I also keep picturing your avatar riding around in al lthese little cars. 


March 21st, 2017 at 12:05 PM ^

He had some awesome designs. The Prowler, however, was always the car that 'coudl have been' to me. 

The 3.5 liter V6 was a good mid tech engine for Chrysler. But having it in the Prowler with 'autostick' was too 'almost' for me.  The engine had nice power for the era. But the Prowler with a mildely hopped up 4.7 and a stick would have been amazing. 


March 21st, 2017 at 10:29 AM ^

Miata Is Always The Answer.

I picked up a '91 a little over a month ago with ~170k on the odo and a service history of "probably not".

Since then, I've spent my weekends getting her ready for track days. New belts, new alternator, new battery, new spark plugs and wires, new wheels and tires, new roof, new mirrors, a quick-release steering wheel, shift lights, and a racing seat. Up next is new brakes and stainless steel lines, and some thermostat work.






March 21st, 2017 at 10:42 AM ^

Wrapping is too expensive for my tastes right now, to get it properly/professionally done.

I do hope to install some go-faster stripes like...within the next 24 hours, though.

She doesn't need to look perfect -- that's what my Mustang is for. She just needs to look fun.


March 21st, 2017 at 11:08 AM ^

You can buy special sheets of vinyl and literally wrap it around your body panels to get a whole new look while preserving the original paint (theoretically).

When you're "done" with it, it just peels off. Or if it's damaged and you need to replace it.

Here's a really cool "rusted" wrap on a Porsche.


Here's a chrome-wrapped Lambo.




March 21st, 2017 at 10:44 AM ^

and it has had pretty much no problems.  I drove it a year or so ago, and forgot how different and fun you should drive them.  My cars have so much more power, so I was not used to keeping the revs up and pedal down as I drove around.  Such a great track car as you get to drive it at the limit.  


March 21st, 2017 at 11:02 AM ^

because not only are they well balanced and fun, they are built ruggedly in their way. 

The mechanicals are simple. The transmission can easily handle the torque and is pretty bullet proof. The engine is off of the 323, IIRC. And I've read on Miata.net that it has internals (connecting rods, crank I think) that were intended for the turbo. It is a very durable motor. 

The two biggest complaints I've read are its a b*tch to improve air intake and the electrical system can get a bit wonky. 

The breathing isn't an issue for me, I'm all stock and happy with it. The electrical system hasn't hit me yet, other than having to replace wires more often. 

If it was just an economy car, it would be a good car that was economical to run and easy to maintain. 


March 21st, 2017 at 11:13 AM ^

Yup, I specifically got the NA because they have a great reputation and who doesn't love pop-up highlights?

I'm not touching the air intake. IMHO the only benefits to a new air intake are if you also tune you car. Not gonna bother with that.

And yeah, I've been dealing with electrical system wonkiness for the last week. Hence, new alternator.


March 21st, 2017 at 10:30 AM ^

I think I've talked about this car here before, but I used to drive an Alfa Romeo Graduate. It was the cheapest version of the Spider, with a vinyl top and seats and no door locks (didn't even realize it until long after I bought the car). It was incredibly awesome. I've gone looking to replace it, and I've found a few used ones for reasonable money, but I can't seem to pull the trigger. I don't know if I can ever really recreate my late 20's driving an Italian sports car. 


March 21st, 2017 at 10:39 AM ^

and gave me his Jeep Wrangler leased car as a high school idiot. It was a hard shell roof, not the cloth alternative, so it was a bitch to take on and off. First nice day of Spring, I popped that bad boy off and drove to school. Within 3 hours, it started to pour. I drove home from school getting soaked and with water up to my knees in the car.

I am an idiot at heart.