The Perfect Convertible?

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The Perfect Convertible?

Postby JimVonBaden » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:25 am

Over the last 8 years I have owned 3 different convertibles, and many years ago I owned a couple others. Each was good in its own way, some practical, some not at all.

1981:
1968 VW Beatle, with a Myers Manx knock of fiberglass tub and a home made convertible top. I had this at 18 years old, and lived in Oregon. It was not practical, but I was a kid: Lots of fun to drive, loud and slow. This lasted a year and maybe 1500 miles.
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1985:
1964 Buick LeSabre.
It was a giant boat, held six full sized adults, plus 3-4 in the trunk and got 10 miles per gallon. I owned this 2 years and 6K miles.
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1988:
1981 Fiat X-19 Targa.
Sort of a convertible, it was fun to drive, but slow, prone to dying in traffic, and completely impractical. I had it about a year and 2K miles.
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Big gap in years as I got married, had a kid, divorced, retook up bikes, etc.

2009:
2008 Saturn Sky Redline.
I had this for six years. It was fast, handled great and a blast to drive. It had a manual top that required you to get out of the car to deploy or put up, a trunk the size of one GS pannier, and was not a great distance car. I put just 20K miles on it in 6 years, with the first year seeing 12K miles.
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2016
2005 Mercedes CLK 500.
I got this for practicality. It was 4 seats, had a usable trunk, automatic top, great power, and pretty luxurious. It also was a lot like a boat to drive, especially after the Saturn. It wallowed and floated. A great distance car, and very comfortable. But a little uninspiring to drive. I had it 2 years and around 5000 miles.
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2018
2011 BMW 128i Convertible.
I picked this up a few weeks ago. It has a 3.0 6 cylinder naturally aspirated motor, 7 speed trans, 230hp and is pretty quick, but not particularly fast. It has a 2 plus two kind of seating. I can ride in the back, but it is tight. Not great for anyone tall, but perfect for my wife and I, and to take a friend or two short distances. It rides and drive between the Sky and Mercedes. It handles very well without being overly stiff, so a good tourer and can handle the curves, especially in sport mode. It has a reasonable trunk and automatic top, plus all modern features. Likely the perfect blend of cars for me.
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So, what is/was your perfect convertible?
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Re: The Perfect Convertible?

Postby philspace » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:47 am

I've had a couple in the past, but I'm digging this one the most. The top retracts more quickly than the Z4 and doesn't use any of the trunk space to store the top when it is down. A hoot to drive and enough of a trunk to fit my suitcase and stuff for trips to the hills.

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Not a hack, but at least I can take my pup out, and they love to ride with the top down.

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it's a hoot in the twisties, most of it is opensource and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to maintain

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Re: The Perfect Convertible?

Postby JimVonBaden » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:27 pm

I saw an ad for that car the other day. Really outstanding design, and quite exotic looking. How is the power?


Jim :cool:
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Re: The Perfect Convertible?

Postby philspace » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:15 pm

Enough to pass bikes on 211 and 33 and to get a performance award at the gap. :heavysigh

Edelbrock came out with a cool blower for it, toying with either that or maybe a turbo, but the AMG 500 couldn't keep up with my on Henderson road, I could see him nail it every time we hit a straight stretch of road.
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Re: The Perfect Convertible?

Postby mlytle » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:27 pm

i'll take that fiat x1/9. i had one for several years. i was my daily driver...wife got the 75 bmw 530i. fiat was awesome. was very reliable, a hoot to drive and was pretty practical. ton of storage space. wife and i drove it to key west in it for a weekend (we lived in miami). two 80cu scuba tanks, all our dive gear, and the roof fit in the front trunk. our clothes bags fit in the rear trunk. try that in a miata.

had a quad pipe abarth exhaust on it. maybe it wasn't the fastest thing in the world, but it sure sounded sweet when at full song!
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Re: The Perfect Convertible?

Postby JimVonBaden » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:08 am

philspace wrote:Enough to pass bikes on 211 and 33 and to get a performance award at the gap. :heavysigh

Edelbrock came out with a cool blower for it, toying with either that or maybe a turbo, but the AMG 500 couldn't keep up with my on Henderson road, I could see him nail it every time we hit a straight stretch of road.

Nice! They have come a long way! =D>

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Re: The Perfect Convertible?

Postby thanatos1224 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:17 pm

The Buick is cool and your old license plate about hating to a cage is awesome too.
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Re: The Perfect Convertible?

Postby JimVonBaden » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:19 pm

thanatos1224 wrote:The Buick is cool and your old license plate about hating to a cage is awesome too.

Thanks David!

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