Driving on the long highways that flank the city with your hair in the wind and sunglasses, heading towards who knows what crowded and sunny beach with a background of healthy 70s rock music … Here is the dream of many, the thrill of driving a sports car feeling the wings on your feet and the warm wind against your face. We are not talking about holidays, about liberation from work, but we are talking about a car, a very special car model that for years and years has been a symbol of wealth and fashion: the convertible.
Let’s face it, who hasn’t ever wanted to drive a car like the ones in American movies with the sunroof? Even better if equipped with a stereo and all the comforts of a normal coupe! Yes, this has been and still is the desire of many. Convertible cars, in fact, since their birth have been the idol of many generations, the dream of all young people, more or less young but equally sporty and dynamic. The sporty shapes of the bodywork, the roar of the engine and the performance were probably, in themselves, more than enough to make these cars the ladies of the road, yet the manufacturers wanted to do much more, they wanted to exaggerate by making the appearance of these cars even more captivating by inventing the hood that can be opened.
The hood itself and the possibility of opening it therefore represent the distinctive element of convertible cars at the basis of their success. Apparently they could in fact appear as very similar to normal coupé or sedan cars, but to make a simple car a convertible a profound revolution of the original design is necessary with the addition of a reinterpretation of the bodywork that becomes more tapered and captivating, sporty in every part of it is very trendy. How could all this not affect the cost of convertible cars? In short, it is useless to ask why convertibles were and still are one of the most loved models by motorists all over the world!
The Cabriolet in detail
The famous convertible could basically be described as a type of sedan car with a sunroof. Because of this particularity, therefore, the cabriolet is also known as a convertible, convertible or simply “cabrio”. The distinctive element of these cars is therefore the hood which can be foldable and, therefore, made of canvas (known as soft-top, literally “soft roof”), or can be retracted. In this second case, the roof of the car can be made of metal or plastic (it is called hard-top, literally “hard roof”) and it could be said that it represents a worthy replacement for the targa cars of the 60s and 70s.
But the roof isn’t the only distinguishing part of these cars; the sporty line is in fact another element that distinguishes these cars from the many others in circulation. Much silimi to the coupè (3-door cars with fixed roof), the convertibles also differ in the price which is, in their case, much higher. A similar cost difference is dictated by the redesign of the entire car structure which obviously must be prepared for opening the hood. In addition, convertible cars must also be prepared for good weight distribution and to withstand any bumps and collisions. In this regard, many convertibles are reinforced with structures called roll-bars, which have the purpose of protecting passengers in the event of an accidental and violent overturning of the vehicle.
A second very important distinction to be made is that between convertible cars and spyder (or spider) cars. The second is in fact the derivative of sports models and provides for the presence of only one other seat besides that of the driver. Unlike the spider, then, the convertible cars are equipped with front and rear side windows with uprights; this makes the convertible car literally convertible into a closed sedan car.
Cabriolet Cars: Advantages, Defects and Curiosities
In convertible cars, as we already know, the sunroof can be made of canvas, plastic or metal. Each of these materials obviously has advantages and disadvantages that determine different characteristics of the car and its entire system. Whether it is a soft-top or a hart-top, however, some general indications could already be provided that are valid for approximately all convertible models. Let’s start by saying that the hood, once opened, is housed in a different position according to the model and the manufacturing car manufacturer; in general, however, the most common housings are the car boot or a special compartment located between the seats and the boot of the car itself. Like the housing of the hood, also the opening and closing times of the roof can then vary according to the same par. You still can see another more cars for sports car enthusiast.