A cabrio is not just for summer…

When I bought my current cabriolet, it came with the optional hardtop, which I love, and in theory it’s great for “winter use”, however this winter, I decided to run without it.


The pros are it gives the car a second look, you can run “frameless coupe” mode, which you can’t in the actual coupe, and unlike the cabrio roof, it has a glass & heated rear screen. However, I have neither a garage, nor the space at home to keep it, which runs a few compounded issues. Before the fabric roof is stored for any period of time, it has to be dry, the roof is a two person’d job, and again you want it dry before you take it off to stash it in the house. As I don’t really have room to stash it at home, this means dads, which means this also has to be planned. This means last year it went on mid September 2011, just as we witnessed a lovely heatwave at the start of October, and didn’t come off till near the end of March, so that was nearly 6 months with a convertible I couldn’t use.

So this winter I decided to run without the hard top, after the crazy wet summer we’d had, it sounded an even crazier idea, and for much of the winter it’s remained steadfastly up. But then you get a crisp February lunch time, you’ve an errand to run, you drop the roof, go the back route, and let her rip, and it’s all suddenly worth it again, turning a boring run into something a lot more fun. And then there’s snow..


Of course, like the photographer of this shot, who put this on flickr with the caption “look at this bozo, 12″ of snow & driving with the roof down” must be a frozen idiot [1]. Well we’re not. You see, the common misconception is that it’s bloody freezing roof down, but, with that wind deflector in place, even with heaters off, it’s warmer in the cabin, than it is stood outside, if it is windy, it’s a LOT warmer in the car.


The secondary fact is it’s these trips you remember, trundle round the peaks in the sunshine, they’re all fun but they blend together in the memory. Snake Pass in the rain, yep, that’s a sticker


Cat n Fiddle in the snow, oh yes, I’m going to remember that too. I’ve put as many miles on the clock these last few snowy days having some fun runs in the peaks, as I would mid summer, and loved every second of it.

Right, chuck me the keys, I’ll be the grinning bozo, I’m off to get the car dirrrty…


[1] Strange, and scary powers of the internets, I didn’t know Sam, but within 1/2 hour of him posting the image, someone he knew said “I know who that bozo is”…


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  1. Mark

    Just stumbled across your site whilst considering a possible swap from an e36 318i saloon to a similar convertible (probably due to an impending mid-life crisis). Hope you don’t mind the question, but whereabouts in the UK was this? (Also – nice to see another BM in “canyon red”!)

    • Jon Bradbury

      Ha, yes when I bought my Audi Cab everyone said it was “mid life crisis”, well if it means driving round in a nice car, then here’s to them. There’s more on the BMW under “running reports” if you want more info on last two years with it (another update due soon as just about to hit two years), though it is actually the very similar Calypso Red. Think BMW do quite a few difference shades of nice metallic red.

      The shots are all in the Derbyshire Peaks, shot two is between Winnats Pass & Sparrowpit, the last two shots are up on the top of the Cat n Fiddle.

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