Winter in Melbourne is a hideous thing, far too cold. Even so, I braved the weather and drove an hour down the coast with the roof off to see my buddy’s new-to-him 3-series ‘vert.

I love targa tops. I’ve owned many cars with t-tops. But never a convertible and they are not the same.

This one is a fancy BMW with fancy heated seats. And the wind coming through the center of the car from behind was crap, even with the 4 windows up. And the body creaked like you wouldn’t believe. And the windows shook over every bump with the roof off. And it’ll never look as good as a targa or t-bar, it’s heavy and the boot is compromised, the b-pillar visibility is shit and the roof will one day cease to function then rot into oblivion sending the car to an early grave. And screw the fake woodgrain and the ageing dash display.

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The MR2 may be twice its age and made with more plebeian materials. But it’s not pretending to be fancy. Between that and the chassis flop, you could make a case for the little Toyota feeling more premium.

I’m not usually against convertibles - it’s not a racecar after all. But it was so noticeable. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great. And someone in 2002 paid a lot of money for not great. T-tops for me thanks.

Somebody somewhere paid a pretty penny to option this thing
Bonus: he tells me the Crown is running a little rich