Monday, 28 June 2010

Irish drivers won't go topless - no matter what the weather

“I am a poseur and I don’t care, I like to make people stare”

Poly Styrene and original punk band X-Ray Spex (see below).

Let me say it first, I drive a convertible. You can call me a poseur and all that, but there it is. You could say it’s deeply irrational and impractical to own such a vehicle on our soggy, miserable isle – and you might even have a point.

Thing is, if you’ve ever been interested in two-wheeled forms of motor transport – and I had a (proper) Vespa scooter and a Kawasaki GT750 as my first two vehicles – you will love them.  Even when the sun is at its meekest, you can drop the top, dial the heater up to 11, and enjoy the troposphere rushing past your ears and the distant canopy of sky above your head. So it’s not about posing. Well not completely, anyway.

Then why, why, oh why, do so many Irish convertible drivers keep their lids shut as tightly as Bertie's money box, even as we bask in sunny, dry weather with temperatures  into the 20s?

I went out for a spin to the Devil's Glen last week, and spent a bit of time driving around Dublin at the weekend, and could not believe the number of convertible drivers skulking about like shy clams, shutting out the world around them.

Consider this. If you own a ragtop, you have to fret like an over-anxious mother every time you park the thing, for fear some skanger will slice it open with a knife.  If you own one of the folding steel top variety, you have to accept you can never carry more than a toothbrush and one change of jocks/knickers if you go away for a week in it.  Then – biggest killer of all – you have to pay a massive premium on your insurance for the privilege.   So how good does the weather have to get for these people?   Why do they buy them?

I seem to remember a few years back, when BMW was thinking of replacing the 3-Series' cabriolet fabric roof with a steel one, its marketing department carried out some research on the issue.  Among the negative feedback it received with regard to tin-tops was that some people feared their car might not be recognizable as a convertible when the roof was up. I kid you not.   Maybe that explains all the above? 

Now that’s the most pathetic type of posing I’ve ever heard of.

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Ella said...

Hi GM, so your wheels have not been NAMAd away then! You are of course quite correct, it's truly amazing the amount of convertibles that go around with the roof up permanently, regardless of the weather.

Anonymous said...

I could never figure that out either GM. IMO its an Irish thing. Not wanting to show your having a good time and all that.


The Gombeen Man said...

No Ella, I'm using my lawyers, Tom Parlon and the Constitution to avoid Nama's clutches. ;-)

That's a stong possibility, Dakota. There's some very strange mentality at work alright.

Bernd said...

I think you are reading too much into it ... guess many simply don't know how to operate the top properly, having forgotten how due to non-use over years and years.

In Germany, as soon as the sun is out, off goes the top (and not only on the convertible, I hasten to add with a lecherous grin). Then again this also happens at freezing temperatures, so frostbite is the poseur's risk there. Equally idiotic.

ponyboy in distress said...

Oh this is just wonderful isn't it -there I was, tucked up in me leaba last night reading GM's latest blog with you guys waxing on about sports cars and summer and toplessness and fun times back in the old country. It sounded like a brand of happiness and content hitherto unobserved amongst this group of like minded travellers I thought, hopping out quickly to say my prayers, with a special mention for Saint Deirdre of course. Drifting off to Tir Na Nod I still couldn't fathom why youse all seemed so happy and unconcerned about the usual issues over there in Ireland. I woke up at 6.00 this morning and by 6.07 I'd figured it out. The Celtic Women were on the Breakfast Show, being interviewed about their tour of Australia. Jesus I came here to get as far from that kind of (there isn't any polite word for it) shite as possible but if I had stayed on i'd be as thrilled as you lot that they're out of the country too. Well you'll be happy to hear they're going to be away till November or so - so go on, indulge yourselves in levity while I channel surf to avoid their awful prattle on every friggin radio and tv station here. It's like Barbie's cloned herself four time using genes from an amphetamine crazed rattlesnake and Mairead managed to insert the phrase"YOU KNOW" 600 times in a single sentence. Maybe I could check out flights to Ireland for some respite.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes Bernd, simple lack of practise could be the reason... a bit like Irish skin taking on a deep lobster complexion on five minutes exposure to those seldom-seen rays!

Haven't had the misfortune of hearing the Celtic Women, PB, but I see they are described as a "Riverdance for the ears" on Wiki.

That's enough for me, thanks! Well you can't have it every way, mate - you've got all that lovely weather over there all the time. Maybe this is paypack?? ;-)