The coolness of a convertible

When it’s summertime in Montreal I try my best to book as many drop-tops as I can. I don’t care what the make or model, as long as the top comes off I’m good. Lucky for me, I’ve had some pretty cool convertibles this season — and it got me thinking.

Why is the convertible so cool?

And why do I get such different reactions from the drop-tops I’ve been driving?

A few weeks ago I was zipping around in a black BMW Z4 sDrive35is (and, oh faithful reader, you can watch my video review here). This is a fantastic automobile on so many levels. Not only does it drive like a dream, but it’s probably one of the prettiest convertibles on the road today. With a hard top and a look that’ll make you weak in the knees, the Z4 is pure perfection without a roof (in my opinion). A two-seater, this is hardly a practical car, but when it looks that good, it doesn’t really matter how impractical or practical it is. In the Z4 I get a number of different looks: envy, jealousy, hatred and awe. People are usually more interested in looking at the car instead of who’s driving it. The exhaust note grabs their attention and when they see what it is, they’re usually impressed that such a little car could sound so phenomenal. But, it’s a BMW and I always get some backlash from people when I drive BMWs.

I’m not sure if Clarkson really is on to something here, but it seems even if I’m not a dick, when I drive a BMW I instantly become one and everyone on the street knows it too. Now, oh faithful reader, you know how much I love BMWs so I mean no offense to them or their cars, but somehow BMW drivers morph into pricks the moment they step behind the wheel. Maybe because the cars drive so well and so smoothly we pool ballsier moves on the road or carry our heads higher behind the steering wheel; I haven’t quite figured it out yet. But I see the change in how people react to me when I drive a BMW as opposed to other luxury vehicles, and especially when it’s a BMW convertible.

This past week I hopped into a Nissan 370Z convertible. Like something straight off the screen in a Need for Speed game, the 370Z is modern and edgy in every sense of the word. It is an absolutely fantastic car to drive thanks to it’s auto-revving feature and new 3.7-litre engine. Driving the 370Z convertible meant the general public no longer hated me. I even got a few “Cool car!” calls as I was cruising along our scenic lakeshore road with the dop town and the sun shone. It was refreshing to be congratulated for my choice of vehicle instead of hated for it.

Right after the 370Z I moved back into a white BMW 135i cabriolet. Yup, another BMW and another convertible — bring on the envious stares. With a bright red interior and an exhaust note that garnered attention once again, it was hard to stay inconspicuous in the 135i. And I absolutely love this vehicle, so I drove it as much as I could, top down, music blaring. Hey, it’s probably going to be the last nice week/weekend we’ll have for awhile here in Eastern Canada so I had to take full advantage of it. But, again, I was met with sneers and unhappy looks when they spotted my car and who was behind the wheel. No matter how friendly I was or how carefully I drove I got “the look” on more than one occassion driving in my neighbourhood. Like I was doing 200 mph when really I was doing 15 km/hr by a woman walking her dog. She whipped her head around and gave me the ultimate “stop speeding in my area when I’m walking my dog you bitch psycho” look. And I just want to understand it.

I never feel animosity or hatred for someone in a sweet car. I feel happy that they get to drive the car they’re driving! Unless they’re being unsually careless or stupid behind the wheel then I wish them all the happiness and enjoyment from their car because they obviously chose that car for a reason and they love to drive or love cars, so good for them. I love convertibles: the freedom, the fresh air, the connection with the car (because they are usually so small) and just the general experience of it all. However, for our climate it’s not the smartest choice, which is a shame. If I ever move to Cali, you can bet I’ll be heading straight to my nearest MINI dealer to snatch up a MINI Cooper S JCW convertible in pepper white with black racing stripes (because they’ll make me go faster) and grey scale Union Jacks on the mirrors.

Keep your eyes peeled for it and give me smile instead of a scowl, deal?

Drive on,
– M.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on September 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “The coolness of a convertible”

  1. Nicely stated case for the drop top.
    I for one am a huge fan of the genre, had a Miata within days of them hitting the market (yes, I’m that old) and in fact as we speak I have a shiny new 2011 5.0 GT convertible in the hotel garage to get me around Vancouver for the next few days. AWESOME car for the money.
    The point you make about the Bimmer crowd getting a bad rap is of course well acknowledged, and it does perplex me somewhat. I have to say I’ve never noticed the Roundel folks driving significantly worse than anyone else. If I was to recall the last ten arrogant road moves observed, the vehicles involved would be anything from a rusted out old Accord to a supercharged range Range Rover – which could arguably be heaped in the Bimmer family tree – but otherwise not a true Bavarian among them. Even back in my days of automotive accessory retailing the BMW folks weren’t the worst customers I had either. A little pickier perhaps, but nothing like what you’d expect.
    Maybe they know they have to overcome the stigma?
    Or maybe we just resent them on principle…

  2. i see what you did there

  3. […] Recently, a road near my house upped its limit from 40 km/hr to 50 km/hr. It’s a residential street with runners and bikers often lining the sides. One of my tickets was on said road and was quite severe because I was doing 65 in the 40. However, had I been doing 65 in the now 50 zone, I may not have been stopped at all (come to think of it, yes, I would have because I was in a white Z4 and everyone hates me in a BMW). […]

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