According to you: 10 cars that deserved to be convertibles


It’s pretty amazing that most, if not all, of the earliest cars were open-top wonders of modern transportation. Horseless, true, but also roofless. As the decades progressed, advancements like fully enclosed cabins, affordable HVAC systems, and chassis designs that were both stable and safe at high cruising speeds ensured that convertibles would be relegated to limited production and/or the creative aftermarket. The world isn’t fair, but could we have done better by having a few more roofless wonders? According to Hagerty readers, yes.

Thanks to technological advancements for OEM engineers and local fabricators alike, just about any vehicle could be a droptop rockstar with very few downsides. I previously covered one such vehicle that proves the point and was made by an Orlando-based Kia dealership. So I asked everyone in the Hagerty Community about their dream convertible conversions. The feedback was impressive, both in volume and variety. You can see every comment here, but we curated the standouts here.

Chrysler LX platform

Aftermarket designs for all variations of the Chrysler LX platform cars (i.e. LX sedan, LC and LA coupe) have been around for at least a decade, and the Challenger coupe looks good enough to be a production vehicle. Multiple members of the Hagerty Community are surprised that the LX platform hasn’t lost its top with the blessings of DaimlerChrysler, Chrysler, or Stellantis. Perhaps Chrysler wouldn’t have needed so many different corporate overlords if it had simply sawed the roof off its flagship and raked in the profits.

2019+ Toyota Supra

Toyota Supra convertible
Facebook | X-Tomi Design

The current Toyota Supra represents a bit of an identity crisis. Perhaps making it even closer kin to the topless BMW Z4 whence it came wouldn’t help its case with Toyota purists; on the other hand, considering how badge-engineered the A90 Supra is under its unique skin, why not bring the two vehicles even closer with a shared disdain for the enclosed body?

Ford Panther platforms

2003 Lincoln Town Car convertible
Major General Murat Bektanov of Kazakhstan in a military parade, with a Panther chassis underneath him. Wikipedia | kalabaha1969

Just about everything said about the Chrysler LX applies to Ford’s famous Panther chassis. The aftermarket fashioned alternatives, while some even retained the B-pillars for extra safety. Ford itself seriously considered making a Panther with only two doors and one roof, as manifested in the 2002 Mercury Marauder concept car pictured at the top of this article. What a shame the Blue Oval didn’t make that concept a reality … but it remains another example of Ford stealing victory from the defeat that met this platform in 2011.

Chevy Monza Towne Coupe

Hagerty Community user Jimboriffic postulated the need for a roofless version of the two-door sedan available in the Chevy Monza family. Called the Towne Coupe, this little Chevy sported the formal lines present in so many American vehicles of the personal-luxury persuasion. The upright roof and conventional trunk lid would make for a perfect convertible conversion, don’t you think? 

Citroen C6

No, not that C6. The Citroen C6 is an executive sedan from the famous French automaker known for its pillowy ride and spacious interior. While the original concept car sported coach doors worthy of a 1961 Lincoln Continental, even the production model would make for a wonderfully French interpretation of the classic Conti. At least one person sees the forest despite the trees, as Hagerty Community member Ggeo suggests he is working on such a conversion. We can’t wait to see the end result! 

BMW 6 Series (E24)

1986 BMW M 635 CSi

The shark-nosed BMW sports coupe had excellent performance for its era, putting two-seat sports coupes on notice in the process. But the E24 was indeed a larger touring coupe with room for four people, thus making it a legitimate candidate for an even broader appeal if it ditched the fixed roof. Possibly a superior alternative to the E30 convertible, but a roofless E24 would certainly be a more expensive proposition. Just imagine that iconic nose with fewer vertical lines distracting from its presence. The E24 convertible coulda been a contender.

2015+ Shelby GT350

2019 Shelby GT350 front three-quarter action
2019 GT350 Ford

Considering the Mustang is available as a convertible, why aren’t the higher-performance models available en plein air? Chevrolet accommodated sans roof motorists with the C7 Corvette ZR1, ditto the Camaro ZL1.  It seems like a slam-dunk sales victory when executed in a very limited run. Hagerty Community user Tim suggests that “if the Shelby GT350 had been offered in a convertible, I’d be an owner.”

Datsun 240Z

1971 Datsun 240Z front three-quarter

The original Z-car opened new doors in America to the diverse brands/product offerings available from Japan Inc., but removing its roof could have made those proverbial doors swing just a little wider. It could have been a secondary halo atop the halo-effect present in the 240Z, and it clearly had the body lines worthy of becoming a convertible. At least one such creation came to life, and it proves just how worthy the 240Z was to the convertible treatment.

1970–72 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

There are plenty of personal luxury coupes, but there’s only one Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The affordable entryway to mass-market luxury sported a deliciously long hood, flowing hardtop roofline, and an understated decklid—all perfect for a natural transition to a convertible body style. While Chevrolet sported a bumper crop of roofless alternatives in the 1960s and 1970s (Impala, 1st gen Camaro, and C2-C3 Corvette), something about the personal-luxury Monte Carlo made it feel worthy of the same treatment.

Volvo P1800

1966 Volvo 1800 S Volvoville convertible
Where are thou, Volvoville? Volvo

Unlike the Monte Carlo, the Volvo P1800 wouldn’t compete in the crowded parking lot of a local car dealership. It would stand head and shoulders above everything else—and Volvoville in Long Island, New York, agreed. The Volvo dealership took matters into its own hands, named its creation the “Volvoville convertible,” and charged an extra $1000 for the privilege. Volvoville supposedly sold 30 units before Volvo in Sweden got wind of the open-air motorcar, whereupon the corporate mothership leveraged another grievance to end production: The dealership could keep its contested name but had to stop making the P1800 drop-top. (It remains in business today as Volvo Cars of Huntington, with barely a trace of the original name in its digital footprint). Ah, the things we do to make money while simultaneously keeping our bosses happy!

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    Hi I was going though old emails and came across the 10 cars that deserved to be convertibles. I have a original 1970 brochure for the Monte Carlo a canadian one on the back cover talks about. That you can order a convertible to bad they did not build them. Thanks Ken H. From Canada.

    In 1972 Chevrolet has assigned VIN ID for Monte Carlo Convertibles, none were ever produced, but it was a thought. Many years ago I converted a Pontiac Gran Prix form a coupe to a convertible as all Gran Prix had a full boxed frame as all G Body convertibles had at that time.

    Absolutely the Montecarlo! It had great lines, and I have made a couple of convertibles, but that would’ve been one of my favourites

    At least the Mustang was available as a GT premium with California Special trim and interior. That was good for about 460HP. I bet the additional HP of the flat plane engine in the 350 would have created additional chassis challenges.

    I’ve owned a few converts’, last was LeBaron, which more resembled a remodeled bathtub, which all these modern cars seem to resemble, the real thing left sometime in the ’70’s, those before that were the real thing and looked like it, big and long with real lines, cars that made everybody look… and look… Today, who cares.

    I care…big time! I stopped purchasing US built automobiles in 1976 when all convertibles ceased being made in the US. I switched to Europen vehicles and have driven only Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Porsche since. Why? Because I could still get full sized or sports car sized convertibles. I have never returned to US built vehicles.

    That’s true because I saw the brochure (online) showing it. It must have been part of an initial first printing where they had indeed planned to produce it, then had an about face and cancelled it. It’s a shame because the tooling was already in place for the Chevelle on which it was based. The ’74 & 5 Monte would have been fantastic too. Very much like a sleek, “everyman’s” Rolls Royce. Unfortunately the stacked headlights on the ’76 & ’77 were ugly. The Chevelles were otherwise in that era. The ’73-’77 Grand Prix would have made for beautiful convertibles too, actually.

    Your brochure was an early printing in which they had decided to go ahead and produce it, but then decided to cancel it at the last minute. I imagine the American ones as well did too initially, with nearly all of the subsequent ones without. Your brochure is scarce. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, the picture is art, not photography.

    Dodge dealers can now take orders for aftermarket Challenger convertible conversions. Of all the cars in this article, IMO the Volvo 1800 has the lines that most complement a retracted convertible top.

    I have a 1971 LTD convertible. While a 1971 Ford LTD hardtop is no big deal. My LTD looks so different with the top down that people don’t recognize what it is. Plus a lot of car people didn’t know that Ford even made a LTD convertible.

    I had a 1971 LTD convertible, too. It was jade green with a white top, had a 429, the deluxe bumper treatment, and cornering lights. People thought it was a custom job. Wish I still had it. My grandparents had a brown 1971 LTD 4-door brougham. It got t-boned by a semi in 1973, and my grandfather drove it home. Shortly thereafter, they bought a 1973 Galaxie. They were built like tanks!

    Let me ask you something, Bradley. I know the ’72 was the last year of the LTD convertible (and indeed the full-size Ford convertibles permanently), but the ’73 and ’74 LTD’s otherwise looked kind of ‘hulky-bulky’ compared to the ’70-’72 models; not the sleek and slim cars through ’72. Do you think I’m right? Ford was coming out with a new-gen of LTD’s for ’75, so a two-year gen doesn’t make sense. Please review and advise.

    My dad had light blue 1966 Galaxie 500 XL convertible. White convertible top, white interior, speaker between the read seats. Utterly beautiful. My dad owned many cars in his life, many convertibles, but he said that was the one he wished he still had.

    The full-size Fords were gorgeous throughout the Sixties, very sporty and sexy; especially through 1968. The ’69-’72’s were still beautiful, but a lot more conservative. ’65-’66 Fords were stunning across the board; in every model group, but especially the LTD XL’s, Mustangs and Thunderbirds.

    Toyota 86/ Scion FRS / Subaru BRZ – there were photos of a rumored droptop and it was amazing looking
    It would have made a nice competitor for the Mazda Miata

    There was a coach company that built a batch of P-1800 convertibles. Somehow the lines weren’t as appealing though.

    It’s too bad that Ford did not build the newer GT 350’s and 500’s in a convertible version to harken back to the Mustang GT’s of the late 60’s. It would have been a real plus for the Mustang

    My P1800 was from Volvoville, while in college in 1969 – 71, The idea of making it a convertible was all one could think about during the summer. The heat from the gearbox and engine and relatively large window area meant you could bake to death on a 90º day. The lines lent itself to a convertible configuration.
    I understand why manufacturers shy away from convertibles though as the loss of structural stiffness is enormous. I added additional bracing to my Saab 900 to minimize the flex, but it’s still there.
    The takeaway though on convertibles – If you have never owned one and experienced a drive down a twisty country road you have not fulfilled one of life’s great experiences – and having a beautiful young thing in the passenger seat doesn’t hurt ( old sexist guy from another time 🙂 )

    Couple things…..I agree with the 1st generation Monte Carlo, there have been a number of them “created” using donor parts from a Malibu convertible and they look amazing.

    I would like to have seen the 1981 to 83 Imperial coupe’s to have been offered as a convertible…..that would have been a great looking and very limited production vehicle.

    The other one that would have been a potential winner would have been the Hudson Jet……if only it was done with a lower profile greenhouse and convertible top……the fact that the roof was raised to allow for the Hudson Executive’s hat to fit under it ruined what would have been a pretty classy “entry level” car.

    As good as the 1969-1971 Lincoln Mark III looks, a I always thought a convertible model would have looked dynamite!

    Of all the drop top possibilities; I’m most infatuated with the Lincoln that Major General Murat Bektanov is in.

    Stretch the frame by a few inches and add suicide doors. Too much a reminder of JFK in Dallas? Maybe. But that look is timeless.

    If the Monza is a good candidate then the Mustang II would be as well. They are rather similar in styling. (This may anger some Chevrolet enthusiasts.)
    In fact, a coach builder in Florida customized about 40 Mustang II convertibles back in the day and they look amazing. I think Ford dropped the ball there.

    Mustang IIs with the V6 or 302 would have been cool but I understand Ford wouldn’t have sold enough to justify costs to manufacture so few. Everyone was into personal luxury, A/C, velour etc. Chrysler/Iacocca single handedly reversed that trend with the K ragtops.

    Chevy Monza? You have got to be kidding! I’ve seen conversions to make ’70 Monte Carlo into a convert. Not too bad looking. Making the 240Z into a convertible would RUIN the perfect lines.

    When they were at throwaway prices, I brainstormed converting a 2 door XJ Cherokee into a sweet anti-Bronco.

    Their shape would look perfect with the roof after the B pillar hacked off.

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