Though this car is technically a ragtop, Rolls-Royce chose a name to leave customers breathless (after eight long, elegant syllables). Interestingly, “Coupé” rhymes with “hey,” which is how people who don’t own a Drophead Coupé say, “Salutations, old boy!”
Die-hards refer to the GTO as a “goat,” which is preposterous: The 1966 Pontiac GTO is an automobile. A very sexy automobile, one largely credited with launching the muscle car movement, whose torquey fruits we’re still enjoying very much.
There is a legend among sports-car fans. Of British spirit, Japanese build and American pluck, the Miata is an immediate shortcut to motoring joy.
A Gullwing without gullwing doors? Preposterous! What would that be? Why, a spectacularly beautiful convertible, and the progenitor of the illustrious SL line. Pictured here is a roadster with its removable hardtop installed.
This a car for people who would rather have wind dancing a delicate dance beyond the reaches of their hair—not in it. The Azure is quiet, smooth and cleaves the air like a Hunton yacht off the coast of Nice.
At least in the pricey kingdom of air-cooled 911s, the Targa is somewhat maligned. This custom-built Targa—with hand-formed aluminum fenders and a 390-horsepower, 4-liter engine—deserves nothing less than ridiculous praise.Singer Vehicle Design
Things that the Porsche 356 has very fairly been compared to include a bathtub, a Volkswagen Beetle and a jellybean. We’ll go on record that the 356 is more fun than a Bug towing a bathtub full of jellybeans.
Objectively, the D-Type was one of the winningest racing cars of the Fifties Subjectively, it was one of the most beautiful. Ralph Lauren has one, and that man knows style.
If the Land Rover Defender is the perfect truck for safari, then the Land Rover Defender convertible is the perfect truck for safaris taken by people who would prefer the giraffes to nibble their ears.
A fixture of American campsites, mud bogs and high school parking lots, the cheap and cheerful Wrangler might just be, depending on your definition, the ultimate American sports car.
The DB6 Volante may be inferior to Bond’s DB5 for stopping Spectre’s bullets, but as a Riviera cruiser, there are few better sunshine sleds.
Though named for its engine’s tax code (deux chevaux, or two horses), the original 2CV had a raging nine Gallic horsepower. The canvas roof rolls back like the top of an anchovy tin, and the skinny tires and long-travel suspension were made to ace French farm fields. It’s the best picnicking car the world has ever known.
Mike Nichols chose to include an Alfa Duetto in The Graduate. To Alfa’s delight, the movie used real Alfa twin-cam sounds; to its chagrin, Nichols alluded to the car’s famously faulty manufacture with a (narratively significant) broken fuel gauge.
Today’s kids know the Eldo’ as a parade float: No beauty queen worth her AquaNet would ride perched atop the back seat of anything else.
Available only for one year, the Skylark was a grand, chrome-faced convertible whose astronomical price (50 percent more than a standard Roadmaster) was its downfall. As is often the case, though, this commercial failure is now considered an artistic triumph and valued accordingly.
The 1959 is a cartoon: 20 feet long, orca-caliber fins and a penchant for bubblegum pink. Its exuberance, and rocketship dimensions, are unmistakable.
Though difficult, try to untether the car from the American tragedy that played out in its back seat in November 1963. It is gorgeous and comfortable. We'll forgive its chassis flex, which, when both suicide doors are swung wide, approximates that of a young willow.
An ur-Miata, the Elan is famous for its ideal driving dynamics and controls. As McLaren’s Gordon Murray, has said, his only disappointment with the world-beating F1 supercar was that he couldn’t imbue it with the lowly Lotus’s perfect steering feel.
American cars of the Sixties may not have had the handling prowess of their Continental counterparts, but the Corvette Stingray overdelivered on style and speed.
A single luscious sweep of a car, the XK120 was the first in a line of fast, beautiful Jaguar convertibles, the ancestor of today’s stunning, stonking F-Type R.
Only 10 of these super convertibles were ever produced, available only through one American dealer. Today, when one of the few extant models comes up for sale, it’s a $20 million transaction. Suitable for dreams, then?
The original Maserati Ghibli was a powerful cross-continental cruiser with an American-sounding V-8. The convertible was just as fast, and allowed you to hear the delicious petroleum cacophony in surround sound.
The S2000 tails only the NSX in terms of legitimately sporting Honda products. Why? When it debuted in 1999, the S2000’s four-cylinder boasted a higher redline (8,800rpm) than even the contemporary Ferrari 360.
There is a special class of cars, almost exclusively British, including the Ariel Atom, Caterham 7 and Lotus Elise, that sacrifices cushiness for corners, springiness for speed. The latest Alfa Spider, whose ancestors were pure lifestyle machines, also deserves to be counted in that group of truly hardcore convertibles.
We miss Saab. Deeply. But instead of mourning its death, we would much rather be celebrating its life by cruising down a New England two-lane in a Jade Green 900 with Robyn cooing in our ears.Erin Combs/Getty Images