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Convertible weather almost here!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
The all too brief bit of warm, sunny weather we had in Atlanta earlier this week has reminded me
that spring is not too far away. And, as everyone knows, in spring a young man's fancy turns
to thoughts of love.

For those of us closer to middle age however, our fancy turns to thoughts of a shiny red
convertible. And baseball. Oh, and yes.... love. After all, I did promise the G/F I'd
help her plant azaleas in her yard this year.

I got bitten by the convertible bug early; when I was about 3 or 4 my grandfather had big ol'
mid-60s Chrysler or Dodge droptop - I'm not sure exactly what year or model it was, and
apparently neither does anyone else in the family.

I just remember loving to go for rides in "Grandpa's big red car" with the top down. I had
to sit in the back, with a seatbelt on and blanket on my lap, and promise not to put my feet on
the upholstery (no feet on the seats!)

Years later, my grandmother confessed that she HATED driving that car and made my
grandfather get rid of it, because at 5'2" she was too short to reach the pedals!!

My dad had a dark green '53 Mercury convertible for a little while, he used to let me sit on his
lap and 'steer' when we went for drives down to the Jersey shore – what a thrill for a six year
old! For some reason, it wasn't quite the same after dad traded the Mercury in for a Rambler.

My first convertible was a '69 Karmann Ghia which I bought for $500 back in April 1985.
However, it was far too small (I'm 6'3") too slow (50 hp) and too unheated to be practical, so as
soon as the weather turned cold, I traded the Ghia for a guitar and amp, a box of albums, a
bong shaped like a skull and $250.00 cash, which I used as partial down payment on a 1983
Ford Escort. (The cash, I mean. Not the other stuff..... )

Once the Escort died (it was the absolute worst piece o' crap car I ever owned) I bought
an '84 Mustang with T-tops - not quite a convertible but, hey anything was better than that
Escort!! As great as the T-tops were when the weather was nice, they had their downside -
they leaked! And the car creaked and groaned going around every corner. Eventually I decided
I needed a 'grown-up' car (I think about the time I turned 30) and bought a 1988 Olds Cutlass
Supreme - albeit with a sunroof.

When I moved to Atlanta in 1995, the convertible bug bit me again and I managed to find a
beautiful 1966 Pontiac Catalina convertible for sale in Jacksonville for $2500.00. I had to tow
the car home, but after a few months and few hundred dollars worth of work under the hood, I
was able get her to move under her own power.

Man, what a car!! My very own "big red car", just like grandpa had! And yes, I kept my feet off
the seats! She was a real head turner too, I had more than one offer to sell her on the spot
for more than I had invested in her.

My plan was to eventually do a full restoration on the Cat, but fate intervened when my landlord
got into financial trouble and the house I was renting got foreclosed on. So, I was forced to sell
the Catalina to come up with a down payment on a house.
Later, when I measured the garage of my new house, I realized the Catalina wouldn’t have fit
anyway – it was about 6 inches longer than the garage!

I miss my "big red car" and over the years have toyed with the idea of finding a replacement,
but something that will actually fit in the garage. Last year, I saw a big ol’ Chrysler convertible
at a car show that reminded me of the one my grandfather had, although it was blue, not red.

The nice weather we had earlier this week has re-ignited the desire for a convertible (although
it is snowing in Atlanta at the moment.) so I have spent most of Sunday morning looking
through the paper and surfing the 'net for one. There's a '72 Malibu for sale not to far away
from me, I think that's my first stop.

Interestingly enough, my G/F has NEVER ridden in a convertible!
Her parents were/are too cheap, er... I mean frugal, to ever think about owning something so...
frivolous. (Imagine what they think of me! ) So that has just strengthened my
resolve! The thought of pulling up to the front of their house in some flashy, completely
irreverent piece of late 60s Detroit iron, with their daughter AND granddaughter, and parking
next to their 10yr old Buick (beige, of course) brings a big smile to my face!
I can already feel their disapproving stares burning holes in me.
post #2 of 21
LOL I know the feeling about loving the convertible! I had ridden in my aunts Lebaron when I was a kid but that was about it and then last October my boyfriend bought a 1979 MGB! That car is so much fun to ride in! Not the quickest car ever but its great to cruise in!
You totally need to get a new one! And make sure to get a picture of their faces when you park it next to the buick!
post #3 of 21
Here, we have the sun for it, but unless you have a climate controlled garage, they are not practicle out here, the sun will ruin canvas and vinyl tops in record time.

Most of the convertibles you see here are sand rails and dune buggies along with topless jeeps and hard top convertibles.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_jordi View Post
And make sure to get a picture of their faces when you park it next to the buick!

I'll probably be very similar to the look I got when they realized their daughter
was dating a half-Italian 'Damn Yankee' from New Jersey. Or when they saw
the picture of me in my younger days with a full beard and pony tail.

The best one though was when I showed them the picture of my brother and
his wife - who is from India BTW. Her mom practically turned plaid, I thought
she was going to faint!

I do have some stories about them I'll share one day.
post #5 of 21
My BF and i rented a yellow mustang convertible on a Florida vacation for 2 weeks we cruised the sunshine state We had soooooo much fun
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
A week ago it was snowing here. Today it's 75 degrees out. Amazing!

I just got back from looking at a '71 Buick convertible that was 'an easy
restoration' according to the ad. The thing was a total rust bucket!
And the guy wanted $5000 for something I wouldn't pay a hundred bucks for!

What a waste of a morning.

Saw an old Alfa Spider for sale the other day (anyone ever see The Graduate
with Dustin Hoffman?) but I'm sure if I'm willing to invest any kind of money
into a 40yr old Italian car. They are a load of fun to drive though, when
everything works.

Anyway, my GF can't drive a stick and I don't want her getting any ideas
that she was going to learn in MY car.

Found some pics of the old Chrysler convertible I mentioned earlier.



Aint she something?

If anyone out there has an old convertible they want to unload, PM me!
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Möbius View Post
Found some pics of the old Chrysler convertible I mentioned earlier.



Aint she something?

If anyone out there has an old convertible they want to unload, PM me!
My gawd, what a gorgeous car! I would love a cruise in that.

I've gotten to ride in several convertibles, including a Ghia (similar vintage to the one you mentioned), the one my aunt and uncle had (Ford Falcon?), and the modified 50s era car my sister's friend had - named "Wild Thing".
post #8 of 21
Not in Minnesota! Only 20-30's this week and Tuesday they are calling for a few more inches of snow. Thank God he provided 45 degree weather for us to ship Jack here last Thursday!
post #9 of 21
Back in Seattle, my ex and I had a Lancia Zagato (Beta Spider for you folks across the pond), 1981, limited, black, gold trim, targa, which is as close to convertible as you can get without going topless.
Loved that car, wasn't difficult to work on, but it was a nightmare to find parts for.
We named her Giovanna after Lancia Heiress Giovanna Lancia (Miss Lancia's story is pretty tragic).
We used to belong to a Fiat club and we did ralleys with her
I have no pics, but she looked exactly like this.
1981 Lancia Zagato
post #10 of 21
You bring back memories. My very first car was a Pontiac Parisienne convertible. I paid $300 for it (yes, it was used). I loved driving it. My friend had a Salmon Pink Ford Galaxy 500 (I think it was a Galaxy) with white interior. It was awesome.

Now that I'm old, my big excitement is golf and I got an e-mail informing me one of the courses I golf at opened last Friday (March 6). It's still a bit cool for me but I'm looking forward to golfing in a few weeks.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Möbius View Post
A week ago it was snowing here. Today it's 75 degrees out. Amazing!

I just got back from looking at a '71 Buick convertible that was 'an easy
restoration' according to the ad. The thing was a total rust bucket!
And the guy wanted $5000 for something I wouldn't pay a hundred bucks for!

What a waste of a morning.

Saw an old Alfa Spider for sale the other day (anyone ever see The Graduate
with Dustin Hoffman?) but I'm sure if I'm willing to invest any kind of money
into a 40yr old Italian car. They are a load of fun to drive though, when
everything works.

Anyway, my GF can't drive a stick and I don't want her getting any ideas
that she was going to learn in MY car.

Found some pics of the old Chrysler convertible I mentioned earlier.



Aint she something?

If anyone out there has an old convertible they want to unload, PM me!
OMG.. My BF used to have a white 1956 chevy truck just like the yellow one behind that covertable in the pic.. Too bad he wrecked it and all he has left is the tailgate
post #12 of 21
Weeeeeeeeeee! I can't wait for Spring!
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms cat love
OMG.. My BF used to have a white 1956 chevy truck just like the yellow one behind that covertable in the pic.. Too bad he wrecked it and all he has left is the tailgate
Hmmm... no good pics of the yellow '56.

How's about a white and red '55 instead?





BTW - Dragonfire Digital Imaging is my little side business (very little at the moment ) so these are pics I took.
post #14 of 21
Oh you are making me all nostalgic! The first car I ever owned was a '64 Rambler American convertible. Hey it wasn't fast but it did the job, not much better than driving around with the top down.

I do have a pet peeve. If you own a convertable and drive with the top down....roll down the back windows. IMO it looks so stupid to see the back windows up. Really takes something away from the beauty of the car. SRSLY!
post #15 of 21
here you all are getting ready for spring, where as im getting my winter clothes out
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
here you all are getting ready for spring, where as im getting my winter clothes out

Australia? New Zealand? South Africa?

BTW, it was 80 degrees here in Atlanta today!!!

I wonder if what would happen if I took a saw to the roof of my 4-door sedan?
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Möbius View Post
Australia? New Zealand? South Africa?

BTW, it was 80 degrees here in Atlanta today!!!

I wonder if what would happen if I took a saw to the roof of my 4-door sedan?
Australia

talking about cars, i'm on my learners (should have my full license in two months) so I'm already looking at cars some of these are so cute!
post #18 of 21
Dottie's folks had a Rambler convertible (something about a 1962, or so) at one time. I saw the car (or its rusting hulk) in the woods behind their house.

I have an MGB, about a 1973 (chrome bumpers). I keep thinking about bringing it down here to restore it; it's not likely to ever run again. I got it for paying a bad debt for Dottie's cousin.

But I SORT OF have a convertible.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Nice car mrblanche!

I spotted this one this evening, it's a Mercedes Benz 280SL:



I figured it would be out of my price range but I decided to call anyway.

And yes, it was....

The search continues.
post #20 of 21
We're having a cold snap today, so a convertible had better have a good top!

However...Jimmy Buffett has a song called "Top Down Day." I couldn't find a video of it, unfortunately.
post #21 of 21
Man it was in the 70s today for the first time since Gary brought the MG to Knoxville (He moved up here in February) and we went to go cruise in it for a few, but there was a flat! We were so mad! Dont know what happened... guess he picked up something on the drive up... And then we went to the tool store to look into a compressor or a new air tank (his old one is leaking) and they closed 10 minutes before we got there...
Something was against us!
But since we are missing it heres a couple of pics to drool over!
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