I Need Air.

I want a convertible FR-S.

Actually, it can be a Scion, a Subaru, a Toyota, or even a BMW (too soon?). I DON’T CARE, either way.  As an FR-S owner, there is something about driving my car that makes me think about how much I’d want a roadster version of it. I want a fairly small roadster that isn’t a Miata. Yes, I’m sure Miatas are great cars, but I don’t like the way the new ones look and there is no back seat. No, I don’t want an old one that will need work. No, I don’t want a used Z4 either. I’m not a hair-stylist.

I’m subscribed to the GT-86/FR-S/BRZ fan-boy Facebook page and its the most frustrating thing to read. One post asks whether people would rather have the STI version of the BRZ or a FR-S drop top. Obviously most of the comments are pretty lop sided.  OKAY, I admit, the STI would be pretty cool, but how many of those cars would suffer Type-R Syndrome? That is when you take a car that is downright excellent from the factory and  ruin it with modifications.  Then the cars get abused, stolen, stripped. “No Billy, you’re not in the JGTC Championship. You don’t need your car one inch off the damn ground.”  A drop-top would probably be less likely to suffer that fate, and even possibly have a higher resale value than something that has potentially been run hard and put away wet.

convertible FR-S
Image credit: Motortrend

There just aren’t any other light, RWD convertibles that you can get brand new under $30K.

Convertibles, more specifically, roadsters are a rare breed. First off, people younger than me (I’m 33) are deep in college debt and don’t want a car payment. There goes that group. Then you have the amount of people who want something practical, there go those people too. People who can only have one car and live where it snows?  Well they probably won’t buy one either. The portion of people who are interested in buying a drop-top are not the mass-marketing type (unless they already have a Chevrolet Malibu or Toyota Camry and want a second car). So you are left with a smaller pool of people up for buying a convertible and that’s why there are less and less for sale these days. The big car companies don’t see the payout from all the R&D that goes not only into making them, but making them successful. Mazda has a good run, solely due to the Miata’s following.  Competitors for the ’86 convertible?  None.  There just aren’t any other light, RWD convertibles that you can get brand new under $30K.  The MX-5 is a 2-seater, the Mustang is quite a bit heavier and not quite as nimble, the rest of your options are luxury cars and sports cars that are quite a bit more expensive.

I’m also pretty sure, they’re borrowing other people’s opinions from over 15 years ago when so-and-so’s mom had a Chrysler LeBaron with a chassis as rigid as a slice of bread.

Then we have the nerds. “But the chassis will be sloppy and the weight will be tremendous.” For *&@# sake! Shut-up! Most of these people will never attend an autocross or HPDE where it would (in theory) matter. I’m also pretty sure, they’re borrowing other people’s opinions from over 15 years ago when so-and-so’s mom had a Chrysler LeBaron with a chassis as rigid as a slice of bread. Newer convertibles for the most part, are pretty well designed so they don’t feel like a potato roll that weighs of iron. They are now only marginally different and in some cases (forgive my black-hearted sin of not being able to remember which cars) are more rigid than their solid-roof brethren.

1983 Chrysler Le Baron

Pictured: John Voight’s 1983 Le-Baron convertible
Image Credit – cargurus.com

It’s something about the sun on my face, the wind in what little hair I have left, and the unlimited view that make me love the convertible experience. It’s really a great feeling and I can say that I’ve never felt sad, angry, or generally upset when I’ve driven a convertible with the top down. It’ll always bring a smile to my face. I do though feel sad that less people want to experience or enjoy it, but that’s on them. All I know is that if I am going to get skin cancer in my life, I supposed I’d rather get it from driving my FR-S convertible too much with the top down. I’d better have some sunscreen in the glove box.


Header Image credit – FRStuner.com