Do you know what an open car and hardtop in one is? A convertible, which is sometimes referred to as a “cabriolet”!
It’s so great to be able to put the top down on a car on a summer day and feel the breeze rushing past you as you drive. What about the sense of freedom such cars provide?
Want to learn more about convertibles? Read on if that’s the case!
The Convertible’s Early Days
1896: All cars were convertibles
The first manufactured cars did not have side glass, windshields, doors or even roofs. They were based on the carriage designs of the day and tons of them had buggy-like designs.
1905: Hardtops Make Their Way In
Henry Leland introduced the first totally enclosed vehicle with the 1905 Osceola Couple Concept. With drivers now spending more time on the roads than in previous years and requiring protection from the weather, his invention came at a great time.
Convertibles evolved even more from what was commonly known as “phaeton,” an open vehicle lacking glass side windows. These phaetons were basically open, lightweight carriages or automobiles that traveled fast on the road. Many car buyers bought their Ford Model T as phaetons because they were cheaper than the enclosed versions.
1939: The Power-Operated Convertible
When Plymouth introduced a power-operated convertible, instead of having to manually raise and lower the top, such as was mandatory on early convertible cars, it made the process automatic! The 1939 Plymouth convertible only needed the driver to press a switch. The vehicle was also quite affordable; many people on budgets had no issue with its cost.
Present Day Convertibles
It’s took over one hundred years for convertibles to get to where they are at today. Even though the segment is only a fraction of the broader car market, there’s no doubt that convertibles will continue to be around for decades more to come because of the distinct airy driving experience they provide. There might even be some new innovations.
According to , one thing that has recently occurred is the invention of large sliding-glass-panel roofs that run from the rear of the windshield’s header to the backlight’s top and from side rail to side rail. We suspect that retractable hardtops will become popular soon enough!
Convertibles , anytime soon.
Convertibles are so wonderful because, in addition to providing an airy ride, they provide more outward visibility than their hardtop counterparts. With convertibles, you will not have to worry about air ventilation being an issue. Depending where you are, you could be getting fresh air in the cabin at all time.