FEBRUARY 21, 2014: THE TRICKY PART–HOW TO OWN A CONVERTIBLE AND STILL BE A MAN

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We have touched on this subject before about convertibles and manhood.

 

What constitutes acceptable standards for convertibles and still retains the ability to hang onto your masculinity?

 

We call it the Miata Factor because no guy on the planet would drive one of these cars unless there was no other choice in their lives, or they were Stacey David and planted a crazy-fast small block Ford 302 under the hood.

 

 

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Stacey called his car a Banshee and his simple goal was to change his Miata into an insane road machine where it was mission accomplished for him.

 

We have a guy in our area who took Morris Minor convertibles and did the same thing with Chevy power when he morphed his Morris ‘verts into street monsters. More on his cars in a future MSCC story.

 

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A Morris Minor convertible is so terminally cute that puppies cannot steal their thunder. They had “chick car” written all over them the day they left the factory in England and nothing changed over the many years since they were new because they are still cute as a bug’s ear.

 

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Hypothetically, if the bug in question was a Volkswagen Beetle convertible and actually had ears, they would be even cuter and still primarily owned by women.

 

You would have to be the toughest guy in the room to own a VW Beetle convertible in that Johnny Cash ‘Boy Named Sue’ kind of way. Small cars with drop tops are a tough sell for guys unless the cars have an actual German sports car heritage. Nobody questions a guy with a Porsche, Bimmer or Audi drop top because they look tough and go fast.

 

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So what can a car guy own when it comes to vintage convertibles and still retain his manhood?

 

The simple answer is any full-size car from Detroit’s golden past because size matters when it comes to convertibles for guys. The bigger the car the smaller the opportunity for ridicule when it comes to the drop top mathematical formula for dudes.

 

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Naturally, a lot of pre-war cars qualify for convertibles suitable for men, even as far back as the brass cars from over a century in the past, possibly because they are not easy to drive for anybody.

 

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Any vehicle with crank start, very primitive brakes, crazy manual shift procedures and a need to understand spark advance while driving the car automatically qualifies the owner as a real guy.

 

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Pretty much any full size American convertible from 1930 onward until the last of the big factory Caddy convertibles in the 70s will be viewed favorably by car guys. The big cars look very cool when the top goes down and they will actually be viewed very favorably by other car guys at shows and on the street.

 

There was always something stylish about a full-sized Detroit sedan with its roof removed for summer fun in the past. The kind of guy who owned one was likely not quite ready to settle down in life and he drove a convertible to emphasize life in the fast lane, both literally and figuratively in his case.

 

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The fastest cats on the road were often behind the wheel of a big American convertible in a bygone era and we both admired and envied them because most of the time they had attractive female company in the car.

 

They had a pretty convertible game plan for guys and we will never question the reasons behind their drop top choices.

 

Jim Sutherland

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