Options: Cassette Player
Exterior Color: Forest Green
Drive Type: Not Sure
Interior Color: Goldish
Chandler, Arizona, United States
Whether fitted with soft or hard folding lids, today's droptops are better than ever for year-round motoring. Advancements in power top mechanisms, sealing, aerodynamics, structural rigidity, rollover safety and creature comforts like heated and cooled seats mean that modern convertibles are more versatile and better to drive than ever before. Yet the segment's sales took a dive during the recession and haven't come back, Automotive News reports.
Part of that is because automakers are looking at today's more sensible buyers and simply not developing as many new models, and that lack of fresh iron is curbing sales. AN cites R.L. Polk data which notes that only about one percent of new vehicles registered in the US last year had tops that folded. Back in 2009, it was 1.4 percent, and it was 2 percent in 2006. All-in, some 151,636 convertibles were registered in 2012. That's more units more than were registered in each of the past three years, but the market has also grown as the economy has picked up speed, and as a percentage of new vehicles purchased, convertible sales are lagging.
Thus far in 2013, the Ford Mustang is America's top-selling convertible, with 6,421 units registered through the end of April, followed by its rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, at 4,751 units. The Volkswagen Beetle isn't far behind, with 4,305, but from that point, it's a steep drop off to the fourth-place Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and its 2,380 sales.
If you're going to build your own hot rod, you'll want to start with a '32 Ford 5-Window Coupe. Favored by American servicemen returning from World War II, the '32 Ford remains the very icon of the hot rod to this day. The trouble is there were only so many of them made in the first place, and finding one today can be a challenge. That's where reproduction models come in.
The aftermarket is replete with companies that will sell you a fiberglass body in the form of a '32 Ford coupe, but quality can be hit or miss. So to help meet demand among hot rod builders and enthusiasts, Ford has teamed up with United Pacific Industries to offer officially licensed body shells.
Announced at the SEMA show in November, the '32 Ford 5-Window Coupe body is made from stamped steel according to original specifications from original machinery where possible or reproduced machinery built to the same original specifications where necessary. The bodies are ready to accept vintage powertrains or crate motors from the Ford Racing catalog, and join the 9,000 other parts offered in the Ford Component Sales catalog - including similar reproduction bodies available for the 1965-70 Mustang and 1940 Ford Coupe. From there, the proverbial sky's the limit.
Autocar has some sour news for fans of go-fast Ford products. According to Roelant de Waard, Ford's president of marketing in Europe, the automaker will probably never offer more than one RS performance model for sale at the same time. That statement runs contrary earlier rumblings that suggested Ford would launch its next-generation Focus RS in 2015 and follow the hatch with a spate of other vehicles with an RS badge. But de Waard has made it clear that Ford of Europe is now focused on squarely on the next Mustang, even though there may be more RS models on the way eventually.
"What is clear is that the RS shouldn't be a series, or a car badge that we have in our portfolio all the time. It is an extreme car - something more than ST," he said.
That philosophy makes plenty of sense. We loved the old Focus RS - shown above in RS500 trim - because it was generally bonkers and plenty exclusive. Diluting either aspect is sure to end in disappointment for everyone involved.