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 . 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…
 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”…