The R 17 was definitely one of the more exotic cars in the US at the time. And the coupe-convertible version, with its giant sunroof, only enhanced that. This is a rather interesting review, because R&T had tested an R17 two years earlier, and were none too fond of it. But there had been a myriad of improvements since then, and it acquitted itself quite well.
I actually found one of these, but a coupe version, in Eugene sitting in a driveway a few years back. My write-up on it is here, for a bit more background on it and the r15.