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Convertible vs. Hardtop Coupe - which is better for a collector car?
I'll kick it off. Nothing beats the feeling of an open air driving experience. And, is there anything more enjoyable than driving a convertible on a warm summer's night? Sounds like this will be a slam-dunk debate, right? Not so fast.
How about when it's 85+ degrees with a blazing sun unmercifly beating down on one's forehead - especially if you're stuck in traffic and can't get any wind in your face? (can you say heat stroke?) Wearing a hat is great solution, until it blows off your head. Speaking of wind, ever try listening to the radio (assuming you're over 35 and didn't spend $10K on a brain-numbing, woofer thumping, window rattling sound system) or carry on an intelligible conversation with the passenger to your right (forget about anyone seating in the back seat) while at speed? OK, putting up the top on intense ozone action days would eliminate 3rd degree burns on your head, so the convertible wins that battle for its versatility. Then again, the hydraulics/mechanism of a convertible is just one more thing to worry about breaking down (and expensive to fix) - just ask the owner of a 1960's convertible Continental.
Then, there's the issue of the effects of time. While manufacturers usually built in more structural reinforcement, convertibles are prone to body twisting, aren't they? Wouldn't that add up over the course of 40 years resulting in some squeaks and rattles that could never be eliminated no matter how hard you tried?
Needless to say, a convertible is more susceptible to vandalism by even the lowliest of pocket knives. And, the price (ie., the entry into the hobby) of a hardtop is appreciably less than the price of admission for a convertible (assuming both cars are comparable in condition). On the other hand, there is a die-hard contingent that would say "anything OTHER than a convertible is merely a PARTS CAR!
Let's hear what you all have to say. Are convertibles over-rated, OR are they the only way to go?