A large number of classic British cars on the road today are open cars. Call them roadsters, drophead coupes, tourers or convertibles, open cars offer joys behind the wheel that closed cars simply cannot.
While there isn’t a thing wrong with closed British classics (I do own a tintop Mini, after all), the open cars are the ones that Americans remember most from the so-called golden age of the British motor industry. Heck, America took more British car exports than any nation on earth and a large number of them were ragtops.
Here on the central Gulf Coast of the USA, we can drive our classics year-round without too much inconvenience from the weather, but the prime driving times of year are March through early May and mid-September through mid-November. We get a lot of sunny days in the summer, but temperatures in the ninety-degree Fahrenheit range and humidity percentages to match make a top down drive a sweaty experience.
Next time you drive your open top car, spare a thought for those around you in their sealed cocoons. They’ve probably never noticed that roadside flowers add a distinctive fragrance to the air or that crossing a bridge over a creek or river brings a noticeable drop in temperature. The distinctive sound of a tuned British four or six cylinder engine is enjoyed all the more when the exhaust note is played for your pleasure with no windows or roof to stifle it.
I need to drive the MGB now.