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The AutoWeek list: Top all-time convertibles for driving fun

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 00:00:00 -0700

With the first few days of summer behind us, we got to thinking about our favorite summer pastimes. Clearly they include barbecue grilling, eating ice cream and taking long drives with the top down (the cars', not ours). It's time to contemplate the top convertible rides of all time might be. These are our choices:

Cadillac Eldorado

1976 Cadillac Eldorado: Dubbed "the Last American Convertible," this two-door behemoth begs you (and a dozen of your closest friends) to cruise between Los Angeles and Vegas on a warm summer's evening, foot to the floor and good times ahead.

Chevrolet Corvette

1965 Chevrolet Corvette: Buzz and Todd never had it so good, and this ride begs to be hammered across Route 66, or any other long, flat stretch of asphalt. As Lightning McQueen will tell you, it is, after all, about the journey.

Mazda Miata, any year: The MX-5 Miata is the best British sports car of the Twiggy era that the Brits never built. It is fun to fling at low speeds, and even more of a gas to autocross.

Bentley Continental GTC Speed

2009 Bentley Continental GTC Speed: We drove one of these about a month before summer's official arrival. It didn't matter that it was less than warm; the glow of the car, and the eyes of adoring fans, warmed us completely.

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler: It is one thing to take in the open air on a two-lane highway; it's quite another when you get above the tree in your favorite mountain fire road. If you're going to do it right, you're going to do it in a Jeep.

BMW 3-Series

2009 BMW 3-series: A first-rate canyon carver, the 3-series is a great runner that feels at home on any kind of twisties you throw at it.

Porsche Boxster

2001 Porsche Boxster S: We got a call recently from a friend who wanted us to talk him out of buying a low-mile, gently used Boxster S. We asked: Do you have the money? Yes. Do you have a summer ahead of you? Yes. Buy it, we said. He did.

Jaguar XKE

1966 Jaguar XKE: Is our editor's bias showing? The car that personifies sexiness and helped fire the emotional urges of all current car designers, the E-Type would be on anyone's list. It is a classic car among classics art.

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