Is There A Name For These Kinds Of Convertibles?: Cold Start

Cs Opelrekord Vert

You know how there are many kinds of things? As in, there’s a thing, and there are other kinds of that thing? You know, like how there’s Sopressata salami and Felino salami? Well, that concept applies to things other than salami, if you can believe it. Like cars, which you can think of as a sort of salami of transportation. Well, among cars are convertibles, and among convertibles are a peculiar subset that look like that Opel one up there. Does this sort of convertible have a name? I’m not so sure it does. Maybe we should give it one, right now. Or at least after you finish your salami.

Cs Framedconvertibleexamples

Here’s a few other examples of these sorts of convertibles, raging from Morris Minors to the fairly recent Fiat 500c, Crosleys, and interestingly, the Citroën Pluriel, which has removable side arches that can be removed, making it perhaps the only convertible that can transition from the “normal” type to the type I’m talking about, almost like a Genoa salami that can transform, via dark magik, into pepperoni.

The difference in this type of convertible is the existence of either window frames on the doors or roof rails at each side. In these convertibles, when the top is down, there is still upper structure on the sides of the car, above the beltline. With all windows down, the effect is pretty close to a full convertible, but not quite; it’s a bit less open, and there’s still some sense of being “inside” even though it’s mostly open. Kind of like a roofless sukkah, perhaps made of cotto salami.

I think maybe we could call these framed convertibles, or perhaps fenced convertibles. I’m open to other ideas, though! Playpen convertibles? Rolltops? Bordered convertibles?

I’d love to hear your ideas!

Also, salami.

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65 Responses

  1. So how do Jeep Wranglers fit? Does the roll bar count as the window frames? The new JL PowerTop definitely qualifies, as do those older Liberties, but what’s the rollbar if it’s not the window frame? Does that get classified as rollover hoops like on a TT convertible?

  2. Yes, it’s called a cabriocoach (or maybe it’s in two words, but sounds the same…)

    My Figaro is one of these. So were my 2 Citroën 2CVs.

    I quite like them compared to the many open cars, I’ve owned (Spitfire, Fiat Spider, Alfa Spider, etc.) as the wind blows over your head and not su much around your head. You still get plenty of air and nature smells in.
    If you really need the air blowing all around you, just roll down the windows as well.

    The Figaro has a really great heater, so unless it rains or snows or hails, I drive it open all year.

      1. Yes, I agree the borders between this and that definition are a bit floaty…

        The 2CV had that round roofline, so the rolled down fabric was quite a bit lower than the top of the roofline, so it felt cabrio-coachy to drive it open.

        The Dyane had a flat roof, with the same system, and the rear window was in the hatch and not the roof fabric, so it was more of a ragtop, like on the VW Beetle.

  3. The original Lotus Elan was a roadster with a top that folded all the way down and frameless side windows. Later, the Series 3 version had non-retractable metal window frames which spoiled the look considerably. Still, I would love an Elan of any vintage.

  4. So we aren’t using the old distinctions here?

    Convertible: comes with a removable or retractable hard-top (with or without a soft-top as well);
    Drop-top: retractable or folding hard- or soft-top;
    Rag-top: fabric, either drop-top (Miata) or partially retractable/rollable/foldable (2CV, Fiat 550c);
    Roadster: wear a hat.

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