As an avid “soft-top” enthusiast I would like to reply to Mr. D. J. Dee’s letter. The answer is surely not the cold, or the girl friend’s hair-do (most people with convertible cars go out with pleasant rosy-cheeked girls who delight in the wind blowing through their hair!) but the appalling design of hoods.
My experience has been gained with a Triumph TR3 and a Sunbeam Alpine. On the TR3 the hood removes completely and is stowed in the boot. A good idea. But if the car is fully loaded (holidays?), hard luck—and I never did succeed in removing and replacing the sidescreens in less than two hours.
Stowage of the hood on the Alpine is neat but necessitates removal of any objects on the rear seat (holidays again) and even moving the front seats forward. It is also a sad fact that constant erection and dismantling (good words when applied to hoods) promote rapid deterioration of hood and transparency materials.
D. J. Dee’s letter would have reflected my own opinion up to the time that I purchased my MG-C last year. Every sports car or convertible that I had owned until then had a hood which collapsed easily into its own compartment.
Now I have to be quite cautious in regard to fresh-air driving. In the event of a sudden change in the weather whilst driving with the hood down I have to find a convenient parking space to enable me to go through the somewhat lengthy procedure in erecting the hood. Also if on a business call I have to consider, when having to park in the street, the time it will take to erect the hood (as a deterrent to radio thieves!) and just how dirty my hands will get in the process.
There is no doubt that as far as I am concerned the design of the hood precludes my enjoyment of much fresh-air driving.
A. H. Sheriff.