Posts from ‘Convertibles’
About ten years ago, the United States FDA raised its recommended daily adult dosage of vitamin D to 1000 International Units (IU). Seems that Americans are just a little too good about avoiding the sun—nature’s best source of vitamin D. Apparently we’ve taken to heart the warnings about the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun—so now we take our vitamin D orally.
Ever since Fiat introduced the prototype 124 Spider at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, critics have derided it as little more than a “badge-engineered” Mazda Miata. But although the 124 is indeed based on the Miata’s platform – and built at the same Japanese factory – that’s a vast oversimplification of the truth.
For most American motorists, convertibles are vehicles that other people own. Maybe that lawyer down the street has a convertible as a third car, or your mom’s crazy unmarried brother drives one. But for most of us, convertible ownership has never been a reality.
Mazda rolled out a “retractable-fastback” version of its popular two-seat sports car in conjunction with the 2016 New York Auto Show. The 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF (for Retractable Fastback) has a retractable hardtop roof with a targa-top configuration, meaning the rear roof pillars stay upright when the center roof panel is retracted. This diminishes the open-air feel somewhat, but allows for a bit more security and styling flair.
When it goes on sale in February, the Cascada will be the first convertible to grace Buick showrooms in nearly a quarter of a century. So why would the company return to a market it had long since abandoned? There are a couple of reasons.
I’m pretty good at remembering the cars and trucks made available for sale in the U.S. over the past four decades. I remember well the short-lived (Stateside) Rover 3500, and even spent time in an International Scout Diesel, but what I often forget are the convertible versions of certain vehicles.
Maybe it was the day …
Maybe it was the road …
Maybe it was the scenery …
But the sunny preview romp along the twisting ribbons of asphalt that wrap through the high-desert mountains of Southern California made me fall for the Mazda Miata all over again.
by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Conventional collector-car wisdom says that convertibles are preferred over closed body styles, and “firsts” or “lasts” of a line have some added cachet. There’s a Pontiac G6 that is all of those things rolled into one.
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C and 4C Spider
Dates tested: 6/29/2015 – 7/9/2015
Miles Driven: 330
Fuel Used: 12.6 gallons
The first generation of “America’s Sports Car,” known casually as C1, was rolled out for the 1953 model year. Here we track the year-by-year changes to the C1 ’Vette, and pass along a few fun facts along the way.