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The wind in your hair, the sun on your face, a good companion alongside... This is the very essence of open top motoring, maximum fun motoring taking advantage of the best of our fickle British weather.

Seems idealised and impractical? Not in the current crop of convertibles whose hoods are so much more sophisticated than the wet and windy rag tops of old that a convertible car can seriously be considered as an all year round vehicle.

You can't take the roof off your humdrum saloon when the sun shines and a sun roof is a poor substitute for real top-down motoring.

The convertible has enjoyed a quiet renaissance during the last few years, most European mainstream car makers now offering a soft top variant of at least one model in their ranges with prices to suit all pockets.

Take a look at a convertible this summer, driving one is a truly liberating experience, the sort of real fun that is all too rare these days! Ownership of a soft top is really not as impractical as you might think.

Go on, live a little.

Article © Graham Benge 2007

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