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Sajeev
Community Manager

Community Question: What car deserves to be a convertible?

300 C Convertible - Mecum Auctions300 C Convertible - Mecum Auctions

I hope I am not the only person to consider this notion, as some cars look pretty cool without a roof, and kinda deserve to have a convertible variant. This is a bigger problem after the 1980s, but there are plenty of older vehicles that deserved the freedom of topless motoring, don't you think? 

 

So what car do you wish could have come as a convertible? 

 

My favorite of the modern era is the roofless Chrysler 300, but I have a huge soft spot for the ASC Mark VIII Convertible that never made production. (another company made one, but it wasn't as cool)

 

Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.Lincoln Mark VIII Convertible Concept - American Sunroof Corp.

 

37 REPLIES 37
Snailish
Gearhead

2nd Generation Dodge Dakota... the first had a convertible version from the factory.

 

Or any 2-door truck made after Gen 1 Dakota. Nissan should have been daring enough to do this.

CitationMan
Gearhead

Since pickups are lifestyle vehicles and not working trucks for many people these days, I’m surprised a convertible pickup has not been tried again as a halo vehicle.

MustangJim
Technician

I am not creative enough to say what should have been a convertible but what definately should not have was that Nissan Murano that they made... it looked like a boat to me. I do like that rendition of the Chrysler 300. 

CitationMan
Gearhead

That Mark VIII looks great. I like the Chrysler 300 convertible, but the “What If?” column rendering by Abimelec of a 2 door version would have been perfect. I still don’t know why Dodge never did a Challenger convertible, especially since the aftermarket versions looked so good.

NITRO450EXP
Technician

Dodge Dakota, Oh Wait someone did that already !!!! Any SUV ( Murano, Evoque, T Roc Convertible) or CUV ( PT Cruiser),  Makes me scratch my head. The G-Wagen gets a pass because it is in the category of capable off roader like Wrangler Jeeps, and Landy's and Sammy's. 

Nitro

Joose
New Driver

Gotta be the Challenger. It's strange, to me, that they haven'r capitalized on that market.

ScaryLarryPants
Instructor

Concerning the Lincoln Mark VIII, after having owned two of the beasts (the second one is currently being cannibalized for a much-lighter-weight, similar-year-and-chassis-platform Thunderbird), I can see that car being scrapped as a convertible contender due to at least four factors:
1. It was already becoming obnoxiously heavy
2. The half-ass-engineered engine (the B-series cylinder heads are garbage) is actually horrid for this chassis platform (it really and truly needed a 5.4), adding another couple of hundred pounds was only going to make it worse
3. This car had undersized brakes on it as it was, adding more weight is obviously not a great idea
4. These cars (along with the Thunderbird/Cougar) were put out to pasture in large part due to more stringent side-impact standards coming online around that time (1997-1998-ish), cutting the roof off an already-flimsy car wasn't going to assist with side-impact crashes.

What cars would I love to have seen or see as convertibles?
1. The Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, or better yet, the Lincoln Towncard in both a drop-top and a 2-door coupe option (1998-2011). Yes, there were some prototypes, but they would have been perfect.
2. The current Toyota Supra. Yes, I know you can simply buy a BMW Z4 and pretty much knock out that idea, I would still love to see a convertible version anyway.
3. A 1974-1978 Mustang II convertible. Extra bonus points for a 1978 King Cobra drop top, and yes...do the same thing to a Pinto: Just think, a Pinto droptop almost a decade before the Miata.
4. The AMC Pacer. Okay, now I'm just being weird.

DUB6
Specialist

Nah, ya went past weird with #3 - with #4 you justified your online persona name!  😁

rushgator2112
Intermediate Driver

Classic: 70-72 Monte Carlo

Late model: Dodge Challenger

mphollis
New Driver

The Volvo P1800 for sure. That car begged to be a drop top. I believe there were a few dealer conversions done, but it’s a shame Volvo themselves never chose to offer a factory option.

DUB6
Specialist

In the days of the P1800, Volvo was really hyping their "safest cars on the planet" image.  Could be that they just didn't want to risk that image by putting out a sporty car with a soft top?  Just a guess...

Ggeo
Intermediate Driver

Jaguar xe (coupe and convertible) and Citroen c6. The c6 might be a work in progress for me 😉

Sajeev
Community Manager

The decklid/roofline of the C6 really lends itself to being a convertible. You must absolutely make this happen! 

2ndeagle
Pit Crew

'63-65 Riviera and 70-72 Monte Carlo, '84-88 BMW 6-series. '67-70 ElDorado.

 

Tim
Technician

I know why they didn't do it, but if the Shelby GT350 had been offered in a convertible, I'd be an owner. 

TG
Technician

Anything meant to go fast is a hard sell for a convertible in my book because it takes all of the rigidity out of the body

Motorpsycho
Intermediate Driver

I vote for a more contemporary pair... the Scion FRS (nee Toyota 86) and the Subaru BRZ.

 

Snappy handling and sprightly performance at a pricepoint many could afford.  I saw the prototype drawings and they would have trounced the Miata.

 

We can dream....

Jimboriffic
Intermediate Driver

The late 70s and 1980 Chevy Monza town coupes. Not the Monza hatchbacks, of course, but the little version with a trunk would’ve looked very nice as a convertible.

Rick2
Instructor

240Z 'nough said

BAJA68
Pit Crew

80’s G Bodies. They had a natural roofline for it and GM was working with ASC on multiple amazing conversions already including Regal and Eldorado. Monte Carlo and Cutlass would have been beautiful. Makes me wonder if a custom could be done on a Regal or Eldo frame.

OnScout
Intermediate Driver

‘70s Nova!

Wayne
Pit Crew

I would have loved a Crown Vic convertible.  However just bought a cherry 2002 Saab Convertible.

Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

That Mark VIII convertible makes the VIII look more like a Buick Riviera convertible to me.  Not the best car for that.

 

I'm not really a convertible person anyway.

RedRyder_SFZ
Detailer

Late model Challengers. I’ve always wondered why mopar didn’t hack the roof off those cars…but then I’ve also wondered why the Charger wasn’t a two-door like the cars of old…General Lee. Mopar has me scratching my head sometimes. 

Although I think a rag top somewhat ruins a beautiful roofline, a drop top Challenger would have been nice.

sixtieskid
Intermediate Driver

Let's talk about the latest pony car wars: ( in no particular order ) Mustang, Camaro, Challlenger. I fail to understand why Dodge did not offer a factory "drop top" with the very popular Challenger. They offered the convertible in the 70's - Why not now? I have seen many "verts" done by custom companies and one company did a less than stellar conversion. It seems as if Dodge could have lost a significant piece of the pie by not offering the convertible option on the new gen Challengers. Just an opinion......

 

DUB6
Specialist

You know, this is a really good topic - why indeed not the latest Challenger?  I have a friend who has a newer droptop Camaro, and it looks great.  What's up, Dodge?

Tinkerah
Engineer

I imagine they did plenty of market analysis and decided they wouldn't be selling enough to make them profitable. A convertible car isn't made by just lopping the roof off, it's a very different structure requiring additional engineering, parts and manufacturing. It's why convertibles usually outweigh their coupe versions.

DUB6
Specialist

"A convertible car isn't made by just lopping the roof"

Sure it is - or it can be - I've seen plenty of people do it.  DD Speed **bleep** into a 2-door convertible. 

 

Just kidding, I know that those guys don't have to put up with regulations for safety and such...  And you're probably right @Tinkerah - their analytics people likely pooh-poohed the droptop idea.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Sorry about the bleeps, we are working on a bleeping fix for this bleep, @DUB6

Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

There were company-built prototypes. In fact, if you search "scrapped challenger covertible spotted" you'll find one.... being towed to its death by a friend of mine. My guess (not knowledge) is simply this: They already run that L-car factory at full capacity. Challenger sale momentum has increased as the car aged. So it probably came down to cost-benefit and someone decided it wasn't justified. 

Snailish
Gearhead

Fair points on the Challenger convert.

 

They stopped making the Magnum which existed in tooling and people still wish that would come back. It could also be 300-ized but they don't see the money in it.

 

A convertible 300 Magnum wagon (like the old phaeton class) ah... that would be fun.

Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

I suspect that if the company had North American-centric top management, there would have been a second source for L-platform cars, thus the capacity for convertibles and wagons. 

tjchizek
New Driver

  • In the early 2000’s I attended the NY International Auto **bleep** was beautiful!
Scruff13
New Driver

Dodge challenger 

MikeMiller
New Driver

78-79 Dodge Magnum would make for a mean convertible. 

TG
Technician

Anything with the long straight lines to support a convertible. Your two examples above are good examples of do and don't

The 300 has the right lines and is spot-on as a convertible. The Lincoln on the other hand has lines that were meant to flow with the roof and door openings. It looks like some back-woods redneck cut the roof off the car, then someone finished it out with a half decent convertible install, but it still looks like the roof is missing

Snailish
Gearhead

The smoothy Lincoln needs a "carson top".

 

Would still have the bathroom sink look when the top is off though, as your eye (well mine) does want to see an actual roof with those rear lines especially.