Going Topless

The kids have left home, and, hey, life is short. Americans want convertibles--and there are plenty to choose from

Ford loves customers like Gail Reed. Last April, a few months before 0% financing wiped out profit margins on such standard models as Windstars and Tauruses, Reed, an Atlanta accountant, saw a picture of a pearl-white Thunderbird convertible and fell in love. She agreed to pay the full $39,000 sticker price and willingly waited nearly a year for delivery, driving off with her baby a few weeks ago. "I've always owned sensible cars," says Reed, 43 and single. "Then I started thinking, this T-Bird is a great-looking, fun car. If I'm ever going to have one, why not now?"

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