Hagerty.com

Question of the Week: Do you want your sports car as a coupe or convertible?

For sports car purists, the roof needs to come off. However, the benefits of having a quieter and leak-free cabin are not to be dismissed when it comes to selecting a sports car. It all comes down to personal preference, but we want to know which is your favorite—going topless or keeping the roof fixed?

The classic sports car was set up with the driving experience at the center. The minds at Hagerty quickly think of MG TDs or Lotus Sevens, which lack concessions for comfort such as wind up windows or a permanent roof. On the other end of the spectrum are sports cars like the Miata or mid-year Corvette, convertible tops or coupe models ensure the passengers are as comfortable as can be while still providing a driver-centric experience.

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Photo: Brandan Gillogly

So where do you fall on this debate? Hardcore folks will declare no sportscar would have a roof, while the other side will say it is about the driving experience and not the design. Sound off and let us know your feelings below.

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I think, the hardtop convertible model here offers the best of both worlds…

But, that’s just me.

Unfortunately for me, most of the classic convertibles I would be interested in or able to afford never had the hardtop convertible option.

Kyle

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I was lucky enough to have the best of both worlds with a 1971 LS6 Corvette.I ordered it as a convertible with a detachable black vinyl hardtop.A little difficult to take the top on and off(and where to store it for the summer) but DEFINITELY WORTH IT for the experience.

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A convertible gives you the best of both worlds! Traded my motorcycle for a convertible so that I could have the same “open” experience that I got with my bike. As an added bonus you can ditch the leathers/helmet and you get air conditioning and cup holders…LOL

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Just bought my first convertible sports car, a 61 Triumph TR3 and am having a ball driving it without a top. Do not intend to make it my daily driver but if it isn’t going to rain Im definitely using it instead of my truck. I look at a sports car as a second driver so a convertible is my choice.

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Living most of my life in Seattle, I have always had a convertible. Taking advantage of that rare sunny day while driving with the top down was an experience few were able to enjoy. Now I live in Palm Springs where the average temp is !!8 during the summer. I still have my convertible, a Jaguar XKR. It’s black with a black top and stays garaged during the summer. But during the fall, winter, and spring I can take it out on the back roads and enjoy the sun and wind. Especially love driving it a night with the stars as my roof.

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I am in the Midwest and made a decision a long time (and a few convertibles) ago, that, because we only have a 4-month window in which to drive our classic cars, it should have a top that goes down.

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For me, the only way to go is the convertible way, as the majority of the fun involved with any kind of sports car is “feeling” the environment more completely. The only experience that beats it is riding a motorcycle.
That comes from growing up on the west coast, with that fresh Pacific Ocean air and moderate temperatures. I live in the South now, and with that change of location comes a more moderate approach to driving with the top down-don’t do it in the Summer, because it is like driving in an oven.

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Going back to my youth and having to write definitions from the dictionary (a many paged book since replaced by Google and Wikipedia) a sports car was defined as a small, typically 2 seat car. In those days that was a convertible unless it was German and a Mercedes.

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Ha ! I have you all Beat. I have a 56 Thunderbird with the removable, port hole, Top. It also has a permanent Rag top built in. I mostly leave the hardtop home and the Rag Top down so I can get in and out of it. Did I mention I am OLD ! Good Old American Iron and so is the Car.

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I never thought I would be interested in a convertible, always closed muscle car guy, bought a 1987 MB 560SL and the experience of top down driving especially on the Blue Ridge Parkway and such roads is fantastic. I have put the hardtop on once or twice but just to make sure it went on/off okay.
Now, not sure I could live with it as daily driver if I was working (retired) but as a car that I run around with I really enjoy it. I too, owned motorcycles so that feeling of openness is really invigorating especially in the cooler months. Now the 560SL is really not a sports car, so not sure I would feel the same, although new vehicles platforms are so much more rigid than the classics that not sure if handling is as compromised…

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For me, it’s a convertible, soft top! No retractable hardtops, ruins the look when you occasionally have to raise it!

I’m fortunate in that I have the best of both worlds. My coupe is a 1979 Mazda RX7 that is in the first 1% of RX7 ever built. My convertible is a 2005 Ford Thunderbird that is in the last 1% of Thunderbirds ever built. The Third has the hard top to go along with the soft top.

Fortunately, both cars survived the flooding last week in Houston.

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I have a 1998 SL500 Mercedes and don’t have to make the choice. The removable hardtop is just that - a REAL hard top. The power soft top is always there in case of surprise rain, as is the power and luxury. I love this car!

It MUST be a convertible! I’ve had a few, and driven more than I’ve actually owned. A slant 6 Dart convertible in high school was my start. I went on to a '66 442 convertible, and then a Jensen Healy. These were all owned along with my primary transportation, a motorcycle. The Jensen was the most fun on any roads with curves, but I still pine for the 442.
I’m no longer living on the Central Coast of Can’taffordya, but I will be looking for a convertible once again, even if I can’t drive it but 6 months out of the year.

I always have a convertible sport car in the garage and in my case it’s a 1994 Jaguar XJS. However, when I decided on another sports car I chose a Aston Martin Vantage coup. The lines of the coup are superior to the roaster and is fun to drive at high speed and not be buffed by the wind and noise.

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The 1994 Supra TT / sport roof is a great solution to the question asked.
A 2D COUPE with the 10 lb top in place without losing a great deal of “rigidity” with the sport roof stowed. I have enjoyed mine in both forms for 25 years.

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Recently had this discussion with my wife as I’m looking at replacing my 2006 NC MX5 with a viper. I’m very torn on whether I want an SRT10 convertible, coupe, or GTS coupe. I asked her straight up for her honest opinion and she said that she loves the top down and that she associates that more with fun (which is what we’re after) than a hardtop. She thinks the hardtop is more race-car ish, and she’s not wrong. But I do miss the more solid feel of my previous coupes sometimes

I don’t really like convertibles, so naturally I own one, a 1971 Convertible Super Beetle. Not only is it a Super Vert, when we had it repainted, we liked the look so much with the top off, that we left it that way. Heaters in VWs don’t work for squat anyway, plus the top sits so high on the deck that you can’t see out the back and it weighs 50 lbs or more.

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