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Discussion Starter #1
After a much drawn-out wait, the BMW dealer called last night to let me know I can get into October's production on a 325i Convertible. I've wanted a drop-top for a while now, and quite honestly, it's the only thing that has kept me out of an is300.

I'd like to ask those of you who own convertibles if it's worth having one as a PRIMARY vehicle (comfort, road noise, etc.)

Please refrain from all "Lexus is better/BMW is better" neener-neener crap. They both kick arse, and this is not about brand, rather function...

Thanks...palabra a su madre...paz fuera.

P.S.- If you live in a city, your opinion is VERY valuable.
 

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BMW is known for their meticulous attention to the materials used in their convertible tops. I drove one (took over my ex girlfriend's 325 convertible in college) for about a year. That was two generations ago from the new convertible and it impressed me at how it kept noise and elements on the outside. I say you can't go wrong other than typical BMW maintenance issues that have nothing to do with the top.
 

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In my experience, convertibles with plastic rear windows are a pain to drive because of the poor visibility. However, I think the 325iC has a glass rear window so it's visibility should be comparable to the fixed roof version. The only downside is that the 325iC weighs about 400 pounds more than the coupe and so it's slower.

The 325iC also has rollover protection, therefore, you don't need to worry about getting your head smashed into the pavement if your car flips over. I once drove past a car accident where there was a rolled-over MB 450SL. Lying next to it was a body bag with a corpse inside.


Originally posted by jb:
After a much drawn-out wait, the BMW dealer called last night to let me know I can get into October's production on a 325i Convertible. I've wanted a drop-top for a while now, and quite honestly, it's the only thing that has kept me out of an is300.

I'd like to ask those of you who own convertibles if it's worth having one as a PRIMARY vehicle (comfort, road noise, etc.)

Please refrain from all "Lexus is better/BMW is better" neener-neener crap. They both kick arse, and this is not about brand, rather function...

Thanks...palabra a su madre...paz fuera.

P.S.- If you live in a city, your opinion is VERY valuable.
 

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Depends - in the past, I've had two ragtops as my primary convertible: a Triumph TR3 and an MGB. Great fun - but there are drawbacks.
I had both of them in Atlanta.

Consider
- They seem to be magnets for people to break into, so be careful what you leave inside the car. Much easier target that a hardtop. After my MGB was slashed, I tried to leave the top down, where possible, so would-be-thieves wouldn't ruin the car.
- They are noiser than hardtops .... and get noiser with time, as the seals beging to harden and weaken.
- The top is inevitably going to crack. Looks great on the showroom floor. But, if you regularly exercise the top on a regular basis, it IS going to crack and exhibit wear and tear.
- It is almost certainly going to exhibit leaks over time, if you exercise the top regularly.
- You mentioned the 325 model with the back seat. Got kids, or going to have one soon? Forget the convertible for the primary car.

If I was single, or married with no kids, didn't have to worry about vandals or thieves, and lived in a moderate climate (I see you're posting from S.F), didn't plan on keeping the car for more than a few years before the top begins to have problems .... then a quality ragtop is great buy.

Originally posted by jb:
After a much drawn-out wait, the BMW dealer called last night to let me know I can get into October's production on a 325i Convertible. I've wanted a drop-top for a while now, and quite honestly, it's the only thing that has kept me out of an is300.

I'd like to ask those of you who own convertibles if it's worth having one as a PRIMARY vehicle (comfort, road noise, etc.)

Please refrain from all "Lexus is better/BMW is better" neener-neener crap. They both kick arse, and this is not about brand, rather function...

Thanks...palabra a su madre...paz fuera.

P.S.- If you live in a city, your opinion is VERY valuable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the posts thus far. Did any of you find that you stopped putting the top down on the car as years went by? In other words, did it become "a hassle," or did you enjoy it the whole time?

Thanks again...jb
 

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Never stopped putting the top down till the day I finally parted with the car. Too much fun.

Originally posted by jb:
Thanks for the posts thus far. Did any of you find that you stopped putting the top down on the car as years went by? In other words, did it become "a hassle," or did you enjoy it the whole time?

Thanks again...jb
 

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Never. And that goes for the 66 Mustang convertible I owned as well.

Originally posted by jb:
Thanks for the posts thus far. Did any of you find that you stopped putting the top down on the car as years went by? In other words, did it become "a hassle," or did you enjoy it the whole time?

Thanks again...jb
 

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My Uncle has a C4 Corvette convertible and he hardly ever puts the top down. The primary reason he never puts the top down is that it is manually operated and is a bit of a pain to do by yourself. I assume the BMW would have an easy to operate power top.

The other thing that is bad about convertibles is that they tend to have quite large blind spots. You have to be really careful in traffic before changing lanes and such with the top up. I personally find it to be a real pain to drive in traffic. Of course with the top down, visibility is excellent
.

I guess you have to also consider how much time you will be spending with the top down. I gather you are from the Bay area which has fairly moderate weather, so you could probably use it quite a bit.

Here in St. Louis, it seems like there are only a couple months (in the spring and fall) that I would consider driving around with the top down. The summers just get too darn hot and humid and the winters are too cold most of the time. So for me, having a convertible for a daily driver woudn't make sense. My Uncle's Vette is his "toy" car, so he doesn't have to worry about driving it year round. Plus, you pretty much have to wash it by hand rather than taking it through a car wash which can be a pain sometimes.

I don't think I would ever own a convertible as my only car. When the weather is nice, though, there is no beating a convertible for driving enjoyment.

I'd make sure to take it out on the highway with the top down and up to see how loud the BMW is. I would suppose that BMWs should be fairly quiet, though.

Good luck!


[This message has been edited by Jeff Taylor (edited September 27, 2000).]
 

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Something else nobody mentioned so far - some convertibles flex a lot. However, if you are not a driving enthusiast, you probably don't understand how significant that is with regard to handling.

That's why the convertible I chose is a purpose-built roadster and not a conversion of a 4-seat car.
 
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