AUTOS: Last Ride for a Status Symbol

The buyer of a convertible car used to type himself as a free-spending sport. Today he types himself as a nostalgic eccentric. Once a symbol of status and romance, the convertible is well on its way to joining tail fins on the scrap heap. They account for only 1.5% of 1971-model sales, down from 1.6% in the 1970 model year and a peak 6.7% in 1963. The trend is toward an even lower percentage; American Motors stopped making cars with roll-down tops in 1968, and Ford may do the same in the next...

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