Convertibles are cars in which the top can be opened and folded back. The collapsible roof is usually made of cloth or vinyl and there is usually an electric or hydraulic system inside the car for raising or lowering the roof.
Some of the carious types of roofs in convertible cars are:
- Tonneau covers. These are made of a folding textile that often does not cover the folding mechanism or the underside of the material, leaving it vulnerable to the sun and elements of the weather. There are covers one can buy that snap in place over the cover to hide the mechanisms and protect the material.
- Detachable hardtop roofs. These are fully rigid and have to be manually taken off or installed. Some models do have heated rear windows. They do provide sound insulation, but are very cumbersome to handle requiring two people when you want to take off the top or put it back on.
- Retractable Hardtops. This type of roof is made from steel, aluminum or plastic with two to five sections that fold. You do not have to manually take the roof off the car because there is a device on the dash that lets you lower the roof from inside the car. This also eliminates the need for storage, as you don’t actually remove the roof entirely. Thus you can decide to fold the roof as you are driving along and raise it again when it starts to rain or get colder.
Even though drivers and passengers love the feel of the wind blowing on them as they drive along, there are disadvantages in having this type of car. They include:
- Poor protection from the force of the wind or any objects that might be blowing around.
- These cars are usually easier to break into.
- The interior fabric will shrink or fade when exposed to the sun for extended periods of time.
- The rear window is usually smaller offering poor visibility through the rear view mirror.