Tops Worth Dropping
1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
High summer means it's high time for a convertible. Here are some of the best on the road this summer.
BMW i8 Roadster
The roof of this beautiful BMW hybrid folds away into a rear compartment, in a space set aside for the rear seats in other models. Drop the top, and the i8 also raises the rear window automatically by just over an inch, which creates a kind of draught stop, preventing unwanted in-cabin air turbulence, and allowing you to enjoy all 369 hp of BMW's eDrive technology.
Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT
Half a century on from its starring role in Bullitt, the Mustang remains a well-loved, fun little US convertible. The 2018 model drops its power-operated soft-top in less than ten seconds and can even retract when moving at low speeds. What's more, the multilayer fabric insulation means that, when the roof is up, the car's interior is remarkably quiet.
Mercedes-Maybach S 650
Just because you're dropping the top doesn't mean you're dropping your standards. Mercedes are keeping the Maybach brand alive with this beautifully finished, open-top version of the S-Class. The silhouette is distinct from the Merc version, with sloping sidewalls, and the interior is pretty luxe, with the Maybach emblem and "1 of 300" lettering – indicating the limits of this model's edition - as well as a certificate signed by Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The Challenger may be the fastest US muscle car, but that speed doesn't bring with it a whole lot of variation. While some of the 20th century versions of the Challenger were convertibles, only after-market variations of the Challenger - such as those produced by Florida's Droptop Customs - enable today's drivers to put the roof down. These custom jobs bump the price up to close to $100,000, but they certainly let you stand out on the road.
Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder by Touring
The Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera celebrated its 90th anniversary back in 2016 with this, a hardtop, convertible version of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, - though the looks of this Italian masterpiece also draw more heavily on the Italian marque's venerable mid-20th century heritage. Alas, only seven of these were made. Talk about rare air.
1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Anyone who thinks soft-tops looked better back in the 1960s should get along to Sotheby's sale next month in Monterrey. Timed to coincide with the Pebble Beach classic car event, the auction – 24th-25th August – will feature an incredibly well-kept soft-top version of this beautiful roadster, once one of the fastest production cars on the road.
Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
If we were to pick one open-top supercar we'd go for this. The Aventador's two carbon-fibre roof panels stow away in a front compartment, allowing you to truly feel the power of this Lambo's V12 6.5-litre engine, and get a better look at pedestrians gawping at this beautiful piece of Italian craftsmanship.
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