Depending on where you are in the country, spring might be in bloom, or it might be in hiding. We expect Earth's fickle climate will have to set Persephone and her sunny bounty free at some point, hence this week's challenge: convertibles for under $30,000.
Our Window Shop panelists almost never make the obvious choice, and this week's challenge resulted in the expected tossed salad of picks. Road & Track senior editor John Pearley Huffman reached back to 1985 for a maximally expensive, minimally sporty, not-quite-factory droptop. The cohort thought he might have channeled Hall & Oates' biggest hit of that same year: "Out of Touch."
There's nothing obvious about deputy editor Carlos Lago's ragtop choice. He admits to skipping right over the the Mazda Miata because it would be too easy and instead wanders deep into Chrysler's left field. His find meets the challenge, but while everyone wanted to talk about its unique design and engineering, no one wanted to drive or own it. Not even Lago.
Kentucky resident and contributor Jonathon Ramsey selected a two-seat convertible made in the Bluegrass State, but it's not the fiberglass Chevy you're thinking of. The last time Ramsey drove a car like the Cadillac he chose, a bartender who surveyed declared it hot enough to shed undergarments for. The crew points out that each taillight costs $3000, but the real takeaway here is getting to hear Pearley say "Drop trou" twice.
Deputy testing director K.C. Colwell preferred the springtime sun in southern Germany in his also-not-exactly-factory ragtop. He landed on derExplosionsfußpunkt, which is German Ground Zero for one of the 1990's best convertibles for a mid-life crisis.
Finally, editor-in-chief Tony Quiroga went to England for drophead that comes with a sweet engine, horrible infotainment, gorgeous lines, and free a colonoscopy. Insert joke about sunshine and where the sun don't shine.
Voting is compulsory in Window Shop, so someone had to win. Like all but one of the choices, victory wasn't pretty, but this episode was all about the bad takes and the surprise tangents we made along the way.
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