- Convertible can also refer to a convertible (security)
A convertible is an automobile with a folding, retracting, or removable roof. The collapsible roof section is typically made from flexible canvas or vinyl, although plastic, aluminium and steel have occasionally been used in elaborate folding designs.
Unlike a roadster, which may also have a folding top, a convertible has roll-up glass windows in the sides, and so the entire vehicle is "convertible" to an enclosed coupé. (See coupé convertible).
In Europe this car body style is frequently called cabriolet or cabrio.
In the vintage car era, the convertible was the default body style. It was not until 1910 that Cadillac introduced the first closed-body car. A combination of weak engines and public expectation that a car was analogous to a wagon meant that steel roofs were not in demand until then. Later convertibles were made less often, and by the 1970s they had almost disappeared. It wasnt until the 1980s and cars like the Chrysler 600 and Saab 900 convertibles that the body style made a comeback. In the 1990s, the Mazda MX-5 again cemented the convertible as the sports car body style of choice. Today, there are scores of convertible cars offered by nearly every manufacturer.
roadster, spyder, drophead coupé
Last updated: 08-17-2005 05:41:43