Never Trust a Convertible with the Top Up

Terry L Anderson

When you are out driving in your convertible, haven't you noticed how friendly other convertible drivers are? They smile or flash their lights or put their arm up where other drivers have roofs and wave.

You're just sure that they must be just like you. Of course they like the wind in their hair and bugs in their teeth, that's obvious, but they are must be just like you in other ways. They undoubtedly hate freeways and love winding roads through the mountains or over rolling hills across the plains. They probably have at least one bicycle at home that they are riding whenever they are not in their convertible. You're sure that they spend every Sunday washing and waxing their convertible just like you. And when driving alone through the country side they surely sing along with the radio.

You're just sure that if you met them somewhere and got to talking you'd find that you were just alike. They probably like the same movies and even voted they same as you in the last election.

They just seem like the kind of people you could trust completely. If they saw you at the side of the road with your convertible broken down, they'd offer you a ride to town and they certainly would never cut you off in traffic. They must be "your kind of people".

And of course they always have the top down. You, of course, would never drive your convertible with the top up. I mean why did you buy a convertible? Certainly not to drive it around with the top up.

I had to drive a rusty old pickup for ten years before saving enough to buy my red Miata and I certainly didn't do that just to drive it around with the top up. The top has to come down to go to work in the morning and again to come home after work. Even for that short trip to the corner grocery, it's worth taking the top down, even if it double the time for the trip. Heavy rain may be a valid excuse for driving with the top up for some, but cold weather is not really an acceptable reason. It may be ten below, but isn't that why they put heaters in convertibles these days?

After all there are so many benefits to driving a convertible with the top down. There's the vitamin A or D (which is it?) that you get from the sunshine. Never mind that you need to carry that sunblock in the glovebox to avoid that annoying skin cancer. And there's the benefit of all that fresh air (maybe not quite as fresh here in New Jersey as in Arizona or Montana, but ...). And with some convertibles like the Miata, there's the muscle tone in the arms that comes from putting the top up and down. Did you ever try that maneuver in a Miata where you reach over your head while sitting in the seat grab the top behind you and just pull it over your head and close it? Somebody must have planned that. Why else is there that little handle in the middle of the front edge. That one will really build up those shoulders.

But you have to be suspicious of any convertible you see with the top up. They can't trust them. They can't be your kind of people. They probably vote Republican.

Now of course it possible that they have a good excuse. Perhaps, latch for the top just jammed; they can't get the top down and they are on their way to the dealer to get it fixed. Or, they are bringing their mother-in-law home from the beauty parlor with her new $40 hairdo.

Or, perhaps the driver just heard the weather report on the radio (they do put radios in convertibles these days even though with the top down they are only good for getting short excerpts of songs when stopped at street lights -- maybe he heard the weather report at the last light) and even though the sky is blue the report predicted heavy rain in the next five minutes and being the conservative type and having new leather upholstery he pulled over just a half mile back and put the top up.

But isn't it more likely that the explanation is more sinister. It's probably not even their car. They probably drive around normally in a four-wheel drive pickup with a gun rack or in a big luxury sedan. It's probably their spouse's convertible, who just reluctantly lent them the keys after noticing the new dent in the family station wagon.

Or, the driver just received the convertible as a prize for being the top Amway salesman in south Duluth. He doesn't even like convertibles and was hoping for the Plymouth Voyager Van that last year's winner received.

Or, maybe the convertible was just stolen from that office parking lot a few blocks back by a professional who's driving it to the next state to sell it to some unsuspecting convertible buyer.

In any case, it's very likely that whoever is driving that convertible with the top up is not your kind of person and cannot be trusted. You had better give that car a wide berth.

(c)Copyright 1995 by Terry L Anderson (Terry L Anderson)