Spring is officially here, and the forecast calls for sunny skies with a high chance of the open road. Temperatures are on the rise, and now's the perfect time to take the top down and get fired up for convertible season. So, grab your shades and buckle in - our experts at Caliber are taking a trip down memory lane to recap some of history's coolest convertibles.
The Lincoln Continental is just as much a vehicle as it is a pop-culture icon. Rolling onto the scene in 1961, the fourth-generation Continental signaled a shift in the overall aesthetic of the American automobiles by shedding more than a foot of length for a more practical, parkable ride. This chrome-clad convertible was such a milestone, even the secret service adopted the design for Presidential state cars from 1961-77, cheuffering the Kennedy's and Richard Nixon during their times in office. Equal parts Americana and automobile, the Continental simultaneously lowered its roof while raising the bar on industry standards across the world.
A perfect blend of American muscle and British finesse, the Shelby Cobra took sports car racing to new heights - and speeds. Carroll Shelby was an accomplished racer-turned-builder who, in 1961, set his sights on dethroning Ferrari as the rulers of the racetrack. He installed a powerful Ford V8 engine into a British-made, two-seat roadster, taking the best of both worlds to create the word's first Cobra. In just four years, the Shelby Cobra fulfilled its destiny and brought the championship trophy home to America for the first time, creating a legacy that gets car collectors revved up to this day.
The VW Beetle's unlikely success story is as amazing as they come. Originally known as the Volskwagen Type 1, the car's curves and round exterior led to its charming "Beetle" moniker, which was later shortened to the more affectionate "Bug." Sold in the U.S. under the famous "Think Small" campaign, the Beetle became the biggest-selling foreign-made vehicle in America during the 60s. In German, Volkswagen literally translates to "people's car," and this two-door, five-passenger, rear-engine economy vehicle became just that to countless folks, all across the world. A convertible model finally hit the streets in 2003, sharing the bug with a whole new generation of drivers.
Alpha Romeo Spider Duetto
Speaking of bugs, the Alpha Romeo Spider Duetto was an equally unique addition to the auto industry back in the 60s - for much more impressive reasons. Italy's beloved boat-tail roadster was the perfect combination of chic and sleek, sporting a 1570cc twin cam engine that caught the eyes, and ears, of the world. As much of a style icon as it is a sports car, this car's iconic body forgoes American bulk for sleek lines and an aerodynamic frame that all but blows your hair back just looking at it. An Italian-crafted artwork on wheels, the Spider Duetto is proof that being a bug really isn't all that bad.
After considering these classics, it's easy to see why convertibles still appeal to car enthusiasts around the world. And, for those of us at Caliber Collision, there's only one feeling better than the wind through your hair, and that's knowing you have a partner you can trust when it comes to collision repair. If the unexpected happens while you're out driving with the top down, keep our experts top-of-mind and we'll get you back on the road in no time.