Everything You Need To Know About Convertibles

A convertible — today this type of car body means a vehicle equipped with a convertible top (soft or hard type), as well as having two or more doors.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

The beginning

Originally, horse-drawn carriages with an open top were called convertibles. Then cars began to be developed, a prominent place among which took convertibles. They became extremely popular in the 30s. Nevertheless, it was in the 1930s that many thought this type of body had outlived its usefulness, as cars with all-metal bodies appeared on the roads.


They manifested themselves in the fact that it was impossible to simply remove the roof from the sedan, replacing it with a folding awning, as the lack of a roof and struts dramatically reduced the rigidity of the body, which in this case deformed even from driving into a large pit. They tried to reinforce the models with crossbars and other elements, but it led to the inadmissible growth of the vehicle weight.

Then it was done by creating a hatch in the roof, but such measures did not solve the problem completely. It ended with the original idea of creating cars with doors, uprights, and a roof frame, but without the panel.

The 1960s and 1970s

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In the USA, the production of convertibles was much wider, which was explained by the presence of a milder and warmer climate. Nevertheless, the switch in the late ’60s to a body type instead of a spar frame severely curtailed convertible production. And the increased interest in car safety almost completely undermined production.

In Europe, the situation was a bit different. The thing is that the European models traditionally had smaller dimensions, which guaranteed a greater rigidity of the cabriolet bodies. In addition, they were specially equipped with a safety bar.

Present time

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In today’s world, convertibles have reached a technical peak — you can choose from cars of literally any size, with hard or soft roofs, manually or electrically operated folding. Moreover, with the growing popularity of car rental services, people often rent convertible car Dubai. On some cars there is even no need to stop to raise or lower the top — it can be done in motion, but only at speeds up to 40 km/h.

Types of Convertibles

Actually, the term “convertible” is somewhat generalizing, as there are several narrower categories:

  • Phaeton is an open body equipped with a convertible soft top;
  • Roadster is a 2-seat convertible;
  • Speedster is a car with a convertible top, but without side windows, and characterized by an exclusively sporty appearance. Today, large batches of speedsters are no longer produced, as this type of body is very impractical. However, in the first half of the last century such cars were produced in large quantities.
  • Targa is a variant of the roadster. It is distinguished by the presence of rigidly fixed windows (windshield and rear), removable roof and safety bars. This solution noticeably increases the chances of passengers in an accident when the car rolls over.

In addition, convertibles can be one of two types:

  • Coupe convertible;
  • A sedan convertible.

What is popular today?

Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash

The most popular and widespread are instances of convertibles designed on the basis of golf-segment models — Volkswagen Golf IV Cabrio and others. More expensive cars are created on the basis of mass-produced coupes, but there are also convertibles made on the basis of executive cars.

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