Autos: A Tear for the Convertible

In the beginning, all cars were roofless carriages that exposed their hardy riders to billowing dust, scorching sunshine and drenching rain. Soon pioneers of the automobile spread a canvas canopy over their heads, and the convertible was born. The Peerless Motor Car Corp. of Cleveland introduced its Cape Folding Top in 1905; the "California top"—a removable steel roof with glazed windows—came along in the '20s to decorate the touring car. For the young at heart, whizzing down a highway in an open convertible became the epitome of driving fun. Plymouth made a big hit with prewar youth by bringing...

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