When it comes to sports cars, Hagerty readers say droptop is the way to go

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1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III RM Sotheby's

A sports car is all about the driving experience, practicality be damned—or at least that’s how Hagerty readers feel. We asked if a sports car should have a roof, and the community answered with a resounding “No!” Still, there was a surprising amount of dissent among the replies.

1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III
1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III RM Sotheby's

The crux of the conversation seemed to hang on the definition of a sports car, and many folks fell on the classical side of the argument, citing models like MG TD and Austin Healey 3000. Even those on the late-model end of the spectrum had the venerable Mazda Miata as their example. Open air motoring is just different—but remember the sunblock.

1956 Porsche 356A
1956 Porsche 356A Barrett-Jackson

While the vote shook out to a 78–35 majority for open air cars, those who were for coupes had two solid reasons and one highly subjective reason to explain their feelings. The first centered around comfort. With a top overhead, a driver can go forth and enjoy their car regardless of weather. Rain, intense sun, or even snow (if you drive your fun car in that type of stuff) are no problem. Leaks will not bring a drive down, nor will sunburn bring a drive to an uncomfortable end.

The second point of emphasis was that coupes are safer. Pushing the limits of a sporting car is a thrill unmatched by most experiences, but to truly find the limits of most vehicles you need to head to the track. Modern road course facilities and even some autocross events require some rollover protection for open vehicles. If you want to go and play, it might make it easier if you simply have the roof.

1965 Chevrolet Corvette driving through a field
Mark Davidson – Drive Toward a Cure

Of course, that brings up the last point—highly subjective, and that’s what makes it great. It simply comes down to what you like best. We were curious what the community preferred, but that should never influence anyone to buy something they aren’t in love with. 

Bottom line: Buy what you like and drive it!

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