Sunday, 22 July 2012

Summer is here...

....after what feels like an eternity of showers, grey skies and drizzle. Naturally, with this being Britain the best way to measure this meteorological high is from the number of convertibles out on our roads at the moment.

Regular readers will probably already know I like to fly the ragtop flag whenever the sun comes down, regardless of the time of year, but the combination of proper sunshine, warm weather and the uniquely British need to 'get the old girl' out of the garage means more and more of my fellow motorists, I've noticed, are getting the roof down.

Obviously there's the inevitable stream of BMW-era MINIs, new Beetles, Vauxhall Tigras and - dare I say it - Mazda MX-5s now on the roads in al fresco mode, but far more refreshing are the rarer beasts which have emerged from automotive hibernation in the past week or two. Stuff like MGBs, Lotus Elans, Merc SLs of the slimline Sixties vintage, Triumph Spitifires, TVR Griffiths and Chimaeras, and, if you're among the more minted petrolhead variety, Aston DB7 Volantes.

But I just had to share a picture of what I reckon is probably the coolest convertible effort I've seen so far lately - an E-Type V12 roadster parked up roof down, on a busy Saturday morning on Lord Street, Southport's busiest thoroughfare. While I usually prefer my E-Types to come in the sleeker, straight six powered variety, it would take someone with a heart of stone to say this car doesn't cut the mustard. It's just got a certain rightness about it.

Then again, you don't have to be an automotive twitcher to take in all these gorgeous old convertibles - a lot of them will be at the Woodvale Rally next weekend. Can't wait!

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