Thursday, March 31, 2016

The 5 Most Scenic Highways for Convertible Drivers

From New England and the deep South to the Northeast and the California coast, there are countless scenic highways that make driving a convertible an exceptionally enjoyable experience. Spring and fall are the best times to take scenic cross-country drives, and we’ve gathered some of the best routes for viewing some of the amazing scenery the United States has to offer.

  1. Pacific Coast Highway (California) - The Pacific Coast Highway stretches along the California coast from San Diego all the way to the Oregon border. The entire PCH links together several interstates and highways including Interstate 5, South Coast Highway, Highway 101 and others. This route passes through the famous cities of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, to name a few. You’ll go from the sandy beaches of Southern California to the tall trees of the redwood forest on this drive, so bring both flip-flops and hiking boots!
  2. Going-to-the-Sun Road (Montana) - Going-to-the-Sun Road winds around Going-to-the-Sun Mountain and Glacier National Park as well as Saint Mary Lake and Lake McDonald. With many sections carved out of the mountain, this road is an engineering marvel that provides some of the most amazing sunsets and mountain views in the country. This drive only takes a couple hours to complete without stopping, but points along the way provide perfect views of glaciers at Jackson Glacier Overlook.
  3. Skyline Drive (Virginia) – Skyline Drive is a 109-mile public scenic highway that runs through Shenandoah National Park. This drive boasts waterfalls as high as 93 feet, lush mountainous views and plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery, including views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the spring, the park boasts wildflowers and lush greenery, while in the fall, the foliage displays virtually every color imaginable.
  4. San Juan Skyway (Colorado) - San Juan Skyway offers a 236-mile drive through the San Juan Mountains and Gunnison and Grand Mesa National Parks, where you will find yourself surrounded by sprawling mountain ranges, countless waterfalls and lush forest. This route passes by many historic landmarks including the Ancestral Puebloan homes carved out of the cliffs of Grande Mesa.
  5. Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia/North Carolina) - The Blue Ridge Parkway passes through the Blue Ridge Mountains and Virginia, North Carolina and parts of Tennessee. This route contains some of the most beautiful fall foliage of all and numerous places to stay with plenty of activities along the way. There are hundreds of places on this route to stop for pictures, recreation and food, as well as lodging in case you never want to leave.
These are just a few of our favorite cross-country drives for convertible owners. Many of these routes are seasonal, so it’s important to check into whether or not they are open before heading out. After you’ve given them a try, leave a comment and tell us your favorite spots!

Friday, March 18, 2016

When Should I Replace My Convertible Top?

While convertible cars today are built to be safer and more practical than ever before, their primary emotional and visual appeal comes from the convertible top itself. Despite this, many owners hesitate to replace their convertible tops until they absolutely have to. There are many reasons why this is not a good idea, and we’ve put together a list to help you understand when and why a convertible top replacement is necessary.
  •  It’s important to make sure the top is properly working in order to preserve not just the convertible top, but the interior of the car as well. If any seals become compromised, moisture can seep in, causing damage to the entire car’s interior. This can sometimes be a slow process that may not be noticeable until the problem has infected the cushions, carpet and anything that can hold moisture (meaning mildew & mold).
  • As vinyl and other materials used to make convertible tops age, they can deteriorate and lose their color as well as their elasticity. Raising and lowering the convertible top can cause the cracks to become holes, which – you guessed it – will cause water & moisture to damage the interior.
  • The convertible straps and ties may become compromised due to cracking, binding or aging, which can cause issues when raising or lowering the convertible top. This can eventually put strain on the motor system that operates the convertible top, causing it to prematurely wear out. If you are noticing tension on the motor when in operation, your convertible top raises or lowers unevenly, or you notice any other problems operating the convertible top, it may be best to replace the top to avoid damaging the motor or the car’s interior.
  • If your convertible roof is unsightly, it can drag down the value of the car. Anyone buying a convertible will likely factor in the price of replacing the top when negotiating a sale price. Your convertible may sell much faster with a new convertible top, due to the monetary and perceived psychological value of seeing a new, clean top.

A new convertible top installation can provide added safety, protection and increased value for a vehicle. The convertible top is not just a fun feature that provides freedom on the open road; it protects the car from the elements. So if you are hesitant to replace or upgrade your convertible top, consider the possible damage you could be doing to your convertible by neglecting wear and tear and everyday use. The benefits of convertible top replacement should provide all the incentive you need to make the right decision. When you’re ready, check out our online store to enjoy our everyday low prices and fast shipping on all orders.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

5 Safest Convertibles on the Road

Convertibles provide a unique sense of freedom and give owners the ability to enjoy the world in style. But some drivers are hesitant to invest in a convertible, citing their concerns for safety. Many convertible manufacturers are well aware of these concerns and have implemented incredible safety features to keep drivers protected. We’ve compiled a list of the safest convertibles on the market, including both soft and hardtop convertibles. The safety features that all of these highest-rated convertibles share are traction control, stability control, pre-collision safety systems and side/curtain airbags, but each car is unique in its own way.
  1.  The Ford Mustang:
    The Ford Mustang is a classic car, and the Mustang convertible is one of the most iconic of them all. The NHTSA usually focuses on high-volume vehicles, so it does not rate many convertibles. However, it has given the Mustang convertible a 5-Star rating for rollover resistance as well as for front and side collisions. This makes the Mustang convertible a favorite choice for convertible buyers most concerned about safety.
  2. The 2016 BMW 6 Series:
    This beautiful eight-speed convertible comes with dusk-sensing headlamps, pre- and post-collision safety systems, a four-wheel anti-lock brake system and more. This convertible comfortably seats four, each seat has a headrest, and front seats have pre-tensioning seatbelts.
  3. The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class:
    This Mercedes is a nine-speed shiftable automatic with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. J.D. Power has given the SLK convertible a 4.5-Star rating for Overall Initial Quality, and the SLK gets a combined 24 MPG, which is impressive for such a powerful convertible.
  4. The Audi A3:
    The Audi A3 is one of our most conservatively priced convertibles at around $40K. The Audi A3 comes equipped with a powerful fuel-efficient engine and receives high scores on top crash tests when reviewed. The Audi A3 expertly combines luxury, safety and affordability to create one of the safest
    ¾and one of our favorite¾convertibles on the list.
  5. The Jaguar XK:
    Our list would not be complete without mentioning one of our favorite brands: Jaguar. The Jaguar XK comes loaded with a passenger
    head-restraint whiplash-protection system, which passengers will want to help them deal with the XK’s powerful V8 engine.

As convertibles become more mainstream, there will be more data from the NHTSA and other major testing organizations on how these vehicles rate for the more conventional tests, including all front, back and side-impact crashes. Convertible makers have prepared for these changes by incorporating the same safety features as the most popular, highly tested vehicles on the market. You can rest assured knowing that when you buy your next convertible, you’re investing in safety and reliability as well as in style and freedom.

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