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Car Corner
Driving A Convertible

July 1, 2007
By Scott Lewis

This month I am going to have some fun and go over 1 year's worth of driving a convertible. I drove 61% of the time with the top down. But like all statistics... numbers can lie. Let's see how we can jumble the numbers and see exactly how much I drive with the top down. Is it worth it to have a convertible for a daily driver. Let's find out.

Month Days Driving
Days
Days
Top Down
Days
Top Up
% Days
in a Row
June 06 19 13 12 1 92% 8
July 06 31 23 15 8 74% 11
August 06 31 19 15 4 79% 7
September 06 30 24 17 7 71% 16
October 06 31 25 21 4 84% 6
November 06 30 23 15 8 65% 6
December 06 31 19 6 13 32% 2
January 07 31 21 1 20 5% 1
February 07 28 22 8 14 37% 3
March 07 31 22 7 15 32% 4
April 07 30 23 13 10 57% 6
May 07 31 25 25 0 100% 25
June 07 11 7 7 0 100% 7
Total 365 266 162 104 61% n/a

There you have it... 61% of the days I drove the car I did so with top down. Now, if we want to get technical, we could say I only made use of the convertible 44% of the days n the year. It comes down to whether you count days where the car just sat in the garage.

At 44% we are using the convertible as a convertible less than half the time. But if we only count the days the car was used then I used it quite a bit more than half the time. Which number would you use?

Notice that I put June on the list twice. That's because I bought the car on June 12th, 2006. So June 06 has the days from the 12th through the 30th. June 07 covers the days from June 1st to the 11th.

Another thing to note... the far right column lists the number of "driving" days in a row that I had the top down. Since I drove with the top down for every driving day in May and June my longest stretch of time with the top down would be 32 driving days in a row. Yet, that is incomplete, because I have still managed to use the car with the top down for all of June as this goes to press. So my record is still growing.

Is it worth it to have a daily driver be a convertible. I think I am using it enough to justify the compromises. What are the compromises in a convertible? Increased cost, decreased performance, increased weight, decreased structural rigidity, increase noise. The list goes on.

So why don't others drive there convertible with their tops down more?

Conclusion

Well, that's about as much as I can milk this topic for. I am relinquishing this subject matter to Coop, my 2006 Mini Cooper Convertible. You can read his daily journal of top down motoring in Coop's Drop Top Report.

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