Forgive the rather distant photo but I didn’t want the six occupants of that 1958 Ford Fairlane to turn around and see me very obviously photographing them. Yes, six occupants – not a single convertible today has two rows of three abreast seating like this Fairlane. Even the four- and five-passenger, intermediate or full-sized convertible is a rare breed. And isn’t that a shame? Do you wish this body style were more popular?
Heck, try and find a convertible that isn’t a prestige German or a pony car. The Toyota Solara, Pontiac G6 and Chrysler 200 are all gone, much to the chagrin of Floridian rental fleets. The Volkswagen Golf and Buick Cascada remain but they’re a bit on the small side.
Their sales numbers may have paled in comparison to their coupe, sedan and wagon counterparts, but larger convertibles like this Pontiac Grand Ville were truly striking and utterly American cars.
While we’re at it, who would love to see the four-door convertible return? Here was a body style that never really amounted to much in terms of popularity, and yet the most famous four-door convertible, the 1961 Lincoln Continental, is truly an iconic vehicle even if its place in history carries infamy.
Mercedes-Benz tantalized us with the stunning Ocean Drive concept, but the closest we got to that was the regrettable Maybach Landaulet. Sad. The Ocean Drive would have been a very unique niche offering.
Cadillac also had a four-door convertible concept, the brash, retro and unapologetically American Ciel.
Personally, convertibles aren’t my style. I’ve never even owned a car with a sunroof. And, interestingly, the entire world has gone crazy not for convertibles but for crossovers, which as a trend makes a lot more sense. I’ve been tempted in the past but I find that body style generally too practical for my liking. I would never use the space! But what happens if you merge the two? Nissan tried and failed with the overpriced, overweight and overwrought Murano CrossCabriolet, and now Land Rover is trying with the Range Rover Evoque convertible. Is that a niche you want to see take off?
Ok, so I didn’t think many Curbsiders would go for the Evoque convertible (I know I wouldn’t). But, I dare say we will approach more unilateral agreement with the body style pictured above: the four-door hardtop, exemplified by this 1974 Ninety-Eight.
Or is there another body style you fancy, one that was once popular (or perhaps never was at all) but you wish were popular now? Share below!