Hooniverse Asks – Which Car Most Needs a Convertible Version?

There used to be this guy – Richard Straman – who cut the roofs off of cars for a living. He didn’t just Henry the VIII them, he turned them into proper convertibles, and by this act, he rectified a deficiency the original manufacturer had not seen fit to.
Straman brought forth more 365 GTS4s than Ferrari itself thought there should be. He also turned Honda’s two-seater CRX into an open topped sportster, in an attempt to recapture the magic of the original Austin Healey Sprite. Others have also stepped up to the plate where makers have let their better judgement lapse. That has meant convertible versions of such greats as the Chrysler 300C and even the Subaru Impreza STi.
These days, convertibles ooze out of factory assembly lines just like their hard-capped brethren, and Mustangs, M3s and Mercedes AMGs can all be had with both wind in the hair, and bugs in the teeth. But what of the cars that presently don’t offer a topless option? What of the Challengers, Scion tCs and Tata Nanos, cars that are trapped within their confining shells? Which of these, or any other car yearning to burst form and drop its top would you think most deserves to do so?
Image source: [Cortina80]

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  1. Maymar Avatar

    It's probably too late for it, but I'd love to see a Panther-based convertible. A giant droptop land yacht, something we haven't had for years.
    In addition, the Toyota Prius – since it's not about driving enjoyment, the loss of rigidity isn't much of an issue.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Mercury showed a Marauder two-door convertible in 2003 – too bad it never got anywhere past the show floor.
      <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/4/330/4501/38324750031_large.jpg&quot; width=500>

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        That car was sold at auction a couple of years ago. Unfortunately it wasn't street legal (no VIN), and didn't include things like side windows, wiring, etc. Whomever bought it would be in for a huge job making it functional. In other words, something cool to put in your living room (you could play drive-in movie).

        1. tonyola Avatar

          That's typical of showcars – most of the time they're cobbled-up affairs meant to look pretty on the show floor but not intended or engineered for any driving on the street. I'd wonder what the body flex would be like on this convertible.

          1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Since the panther platform wasn't unibody, but rather had a full frame under it, it was actually an excellent candidate for a convertible. Flex would have probably been no worse than most older, full-size convertibles, or a pickup truck.

          2. tonyola Avatar

            But even the old body-on-frame convertibles had special reinforcements such as underbody braces. That's why they were rather heavier than their coupe counterparts. Just as an example, a 1966 Galaxie 500 convertible weighed 200 pounds more than an otherwise identical Galaxie hardtop. And the droptop was still pretty flexy.

      2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi


      3. muthalovin Avatar

        Wow. That is damn impressive.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          It's like the M30/Leopard's bigger, meaner brother.
          <img src="http://www.nwadventures.us/images/RubyConvertible.jpg&quot; width="500">

      4. Dillon Valesko Avatar
        Dillon Valesko

        That is gorgeous!!! Mercury Maurader?

    2. engineerd Avatar

      Well, the Prius is all about rubbing it in your neighbors' face that you are "green". It's a status symbol. Therefore, a droptop Prius makes all the sense in the world.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        My marketing courses lead me to spin it that you get to better enjoy the air you've helped make cleaner, but you're not wrong.

  2. Alff Avatar

    Dodge Caravan. It would be the quickest way to get rid of the fast food wrappers, empty juice boxes and used coloring book pages.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Especially at 80mph.

    2. ptschett Avatar

      When my sister and I were small, my folks could use the '63 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk. II as a family car. My dad & mom sat in front of course, and in those pre-child-seat-mandate days me and my sister could sit in the little space behind the seats, on mom's lap, wherever. I'm told that my sister was drinking a bottle just as we got into town, and when she finished she hurled it out of the car as hard as she could instead of giving it back to mom.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    Cadillac CTS two-door would make a nice convertible.

    1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

      That's what I came to say.

  4. muthalovin Avatar

    I simply do not care for convertibles, so I would say that every car needs a T-Top option.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I'd especially love to see t-tops make a comeback on compact pickups.

      1. muthalovin Avatar

        I wholeheartedly approve this idea. Someone, get on this.

          1. muthalovin Avatar

            Those 5-point harnesses are very necessary.
            Also, the door handle looks to be a fake-y. I like that too.

          2. OA5599 Avatar

            That's a Marlboro Syclone. Technically, the roof was called a targa, because it came off in one piece, rather than separate T-tops, though there was a center support.
            <img src="http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/uploads/cars/general_motors/1765407.jpg"&gt;

      2. OA5599 Avatar

        Whay not a convertible truck?
        <img src="http://file.vintageadbrowser.com/j4yd4h1f8dlq60.jpg"&gt;
        It's kind of a shame there are no more full-size convertible SUVs. The world was a better place when you could get a tan while you were bringing plywood back from the hardware store.
        <img src="http://www.rockauto.com/Newsletter/images/91009car.jpg"&gt;

      3. facelvega Avatar

        I'd like to see compact pickups make a comeback in general.

    2. Seth_L Avatar

      Indeed. T-tops for everyone!

  5. west_coaster Avatar

    I know one car that SHOULDN'T be made into a convertible: Nissan Murano.
    Wait, what's that? Uh…never mind.

    1. Seth_L Avatar

      I find that abomination compelling. Really compelling. It's making me question long-held values, and I'm scared.

    2. facelvega Avatar

      I actually like that car, it's just so nuts that it becomes charming in a way. Wouldn't be caught dead in one, though.

  6. P161911 Avatar

    Ford Raptor. Sort of a modern MUCH more powerful Kaiser M715.
    <img src="http://www.cincyoffroad.com/gallery/files/9/7/P1030391.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

      Folding windshield FTW.

    2. facelvega Avatar

      The Raptor may be much more powerful than an M715, but its' about 50 percent less manly and 93 percent less awesome.

  7. dukeisduke Avatar

    Yeah, Richard Straman was definitely an artist. His convertibles were top-notch.

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I'm liable to get flamed for this, but Mazda2. It would serve nicely to differentiate it from the Ford Fiesta.
    Sort of a non-sucky, modern Geo Metro convertible…even though it would still probably end up with the same rep as a hairstylists' car.
    <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/mazda2_cabrio.jpg"&gt;

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Anyone else think that looks like a rabbit, the critter, from this angle? I think it's a good idea.

    2. Seth_L Avatar

      The US has needed a Geo Metro convertible replacement for a while now.

  9. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I would also like to see a soft-top version of the Kia Forte Koup R concept.
    <img src="http://www.carshowp.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/2010-kia-forte-koup-type-r-concept-front-side-top-view.jpg&quot; width="500">

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Yeah, the Koup would be a natural for a softtop,

      1. James Avatar

        yes but would they then call it a Konvertibl?

  10. engineerd Avatar

    I'm a bit surprised that the Genesis Coupe has not been offered as a drophead coupe. Though, it is more preformance-focused than it's American pony brethren.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I think the T-top option could be applied here, too.

      1. PowerTryp Avatar

        "I think the T-top option should be applied here, too."
        There fixed that for ya.

  11. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I remember a time when every land barge Lincoln and Caddilac could be had in a convertible.

  12. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Not sure how I can illustrate this, but a Ford Transit Connect would be killer with T-Tops.
    Also, are you deliberately baiting me with the Carbodies Cortina ^ ?!

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      With the Transit Connect's stubby front doors, tall roofline, and wide expanse of sheetmetal up top, I would rather see it with a massive rollback canvas sunroof, á la Liberty SkySlider.
      <img src="http://www.jeep.co.za/11cherokee/img/features/exterior/Cherokee_Features_INTL_SkySlider.jpg&quot; width="500">

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Attention Ford Marketing Department.
        Pay heed to Tanshanomi. He speaks the truth.
        (Jeep Liberty crossed with 2CV. Who'da thunkit?)

      2. AlexiusG55 Avatar

        Citroen did something similar with the Berlingo.

  13. Seth_L Avatar

    Dodge Challenger.

  14. PowerTryp Avatar

    I always thought that the Kia Forte Coupe looks like the love child of the Civic and Cobalt.

  15. PowerTryp Avatar

    Just cause I'd love to see the mechanism involved with the folding roof I'd want to see a Ford Flex turned into a Convertable.

  16. Lotte Avatar

    Going with the "hybrids aren't sporty and thus would make a good candidate for a soft, twisty 'vert", how about a ragtop CR-Z?
    <img src="http://img263.imageshack.us/i/2009hondacrzragtop.jpg/&gt; width="400">
    Quick chop; I imagine this top would be manually operated a la Miata. If it's sunny, plop! Two seconds flat. And keep the rear side pillars, too. I don't know what to call this contraption…

  17. Andrew Avatar

    Nissan GT-R. Because nothing improves a stupidly fast but slightly soulless car like 150mph with no roof on.

  18. Beater_DeLuxe Avatar

    BMW 5 series. The F10 wouldn't look bad as a convertible… certainly no worse than the current 6 series. But while we're in fantasy land, I'll take the E34 M5 prototype.
    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_FoXyvaPSnVk/Supj4uQQNOI/AAAAAAACNFc/vuQjD0xyiUY/s800/BMW-E34-M5-0012.jpg&quot; width="500">

  19. Alff Avatar

    I'm stumped for a serious answer to this question because I prefer boxy 4-place convertibles with relatively low belt lines, like the pictured Cortina. I can't think of any current cars that meet that criteria.

  20. Tomsk Avatar

    -Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
    -Honda Accord
    -Ferrari 599
    Any of those would be pretty slick.

  21. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    I can't imagine being in a convertible that didn't leak oil and randomly leave you driving in the dark.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Me, neither. Does such a thing exist?

  22. OA5599 Avatar

    There probably wasn't another really clean way to work a removable hard roof and a door with window frames, particularly when quantity=10 and the trucks were intended for owners getting them for free.

  23. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

    A late-nineties Fiat Multipla?

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      That would be awesome.

  24. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    "Infiniti has a convertible, but not Lexus."

  25. James Avatar

    Ironic Joking Answer: Nissan Murano
    Real Answer: Dodge Challenger, Ford Flex.

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