Showcase with car and driver

Depending on where you are in the country, spring can be in bloom or in hiding. We expect Earth’s unstable climate to unleash Persephone and its sunny bounty at some point, hence this week’s challenge: convertibles under $30,000.

Our Window Shop panelists almost never make the obvious choice, and this week’s challenge resulted in the expected choice salad. Road & Track Editor John Pearley Huffman dated back to 1985 for a maximum-expensive, minimum-sporty, and not-quite-factory droptop. The cohort thought he might have channeled Hall & Oates’ biggest hit of the same year: “Out of Touch.”

There’s nothing obvious about Associate Editor Carlos Lago’s ragtop choice. He admits jumping on the Mazda Miata because it would be too easy and wanders rather deep into Chrysler’s left field. His find rises to the challenge, but while everyone wanted to talk about its unique design and engineering, no one wanted to drive or own it. Not even Lago.

Kentucky resident and contributor Jonathon Ramsey picked out a two-seat convertible made in the Bluegrass State, but it’s not the fiberglass Chevy you’re thinking of. The last time Ramsey drove a car like his chosen Cadillac, a bartender who interviewed him said it was warm enough to get out of his underwear. The crew points out that each taillight costs $3000, but the real takeaway here is hearing Pearley say “Drop hole” twice.

Deputy Test Manager KC Colwell preferred the southern German spring sun in his not exactly factory ragtop. He landed on lastExplosionsfußpunktwhich is German Ground Zero for one of the best convertibles of the 1990s for a midlife crisis.

Finally, editor Tony Quiroga went to England for a drop head that comes with a smooth engine, horrible infotainment, gorgeous lines and a free colonoscopy. Insert a joke about the sun and where the sun doesn’t shine.

Voting is mandatory in Window Shop, so someone had to win. Like all but one pick, the win wasn’t pretty, but this episode was all about the bad takes and surprise tangents we made along the way.

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