Put That Top Down!


I own a convertible for just one reason. I like to drive with the top down.

2006 Mustang Convertible
When the Sun Goes Down, So Does the Top

When the weather is nice. I drive with the top down. When it’s cold, I crank up the heater and put the top down. When it’s hot, I turn the A/C to max and put the top down. Living in Arizona I feel there is some part of every day that is perfect convertible weather. That’s when I put the top down.

I’m not bragging about the fact that I own a convertible. It’s a 2006 Mustang so it’s nothing fancy. It’s definitely not expensive. I’m not trying to claim that I can handle all types of weather (in fact my friends will tell you I’m a true weather wimp when it comes to cold temperatures).

Driving With the Top Down
Driving With the Top Down

I mention this because I’m amazed how often I see people driving around with the top up. I can understand when it’s 112 degrees out (like it was in Phoenix this week). But there are plenty of nice days when I see people trapped inside their convertible roofs.

Could it be that they heard about the researcher in England who claims that people with convertible tops are more likely to suffer hearing loss? Are they concerned about the traffic or road noise that can top 100 decibels?

Does it have something to do with the fact that 40% of convertibles are supposedly owned by women? I know my wife is quick to point out what the turbulent air does to her hair.

Maybe they liked the idea of a convertible before they discovered how it would affect their allergies.

Mustang Convertible
Will This Help You Smile?

I have a feeling that it’s something more basic. Putting the top down requires a conscious act. They need to stop for a moment and make a decision instead of mindlessly starting the car and driving away. It truly is stopping to smell the flowers. Keeping the top up isn’t laziness so much as indifference. It’s the same plague that ruins marriages and ends careers.

I’m not going to claim that putting the top down will save your marriage or your job. And owning a convertible isn’t for everyone. But getting beyond the concept of transportation and back into the joy of driving might just put a smile on your face. And who knows what else that might lead to.

By the way you can read about my favorite convertible this year, the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle. It definitely provides lots of smiles per gallon.


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