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Tuesday 7th December 2010


OPEN SEASON: TOO SHY TO GO ALL THE WAY?

A random selection of 'half-way house' cabrios. Now there's no excuse...

Not that we're wimping out, you understand. Nope, the PH team remains totally committed to Open Season motoring, and if anyone says we're not we'll fight 'em! (With snowballs, obviously.)

Judging by the original Open Season thread our need to stand up (out?) and be counted is shared by many fellow PHers. But open-air winter motoring in its most elemental form is not for everyone, we admit.

You're not off the hook yet, though. Public-spirited as ever, we've wasted half an hour rooting around in the PH classifieds and unearthed a bevy of halfway-house cabrios that (to varying degrees) we wouldn't mind being seen in.

Heroic choices for open winter motoring? Perhaps not quite, but at least you'd be trying...

Jaguar XJ-SC
The XJ-S must be a car that every enthusiast worth their rock salt wonders about owning from time to time. Most coming to the conclusion it may be more trouble than it's worth, which is presumably why they often seem such great value in the classifieds.

My personal favourite has always been the XJ-SC. Not sure exactly why, although I did see it being launched at a motorshow in my youth in the '80s, so perhaps it indelibly printed itself in my mental 'wanted list' back then.

This one has a terrific colour combo of blue with biscuit leather, and what sounds like a convincing paper trail. Surely any PHer could find £4k's worth of fun behind the wheel of this?


BMW 2002
Ah, the Bauer Convertible Top. Unlike the Jag, the demi-cabrio BMWs never quite satisfied me as a youth, but looking back now a BMW 2002 thus-configured looks the business.

We're illustrating the concept with this 1973 example, which although quite well known from its magazine history - and delightful in the extreme to look at - is not entirely factory original.

It's not cheap either, but it does appear to come with a helicopter, which could make it the bargain of the century...


Reliant Scimitar GTC
We've had our eye on Scimitars for a while now - they go for peanuts on eBay, which we must admit suggests the wider population doesn't always see perfection in Ford V6-powered plastic.

Yet lest we forget, Princess Anne loved them, and so did we as kiddies - the estate version appealing greatly to that childish desire to ride facing backwards and looking out of the rear window, if nothing else.

The GTC is a harder thing to desire perhaps, but some do as proven by this apparently minty example up for £10,500.

The owner's spent a lot of money, we're told, if possibly not on his phone-cam...


Bentley Continental Sedanca
So how often do you see one of these? Not very, which is not surprising as our advertiser reckons only 73 examples were ever produced.

Not quite the thing for a wintry hoon round your local lanes perhaps, but for sporting PHers contemplating a high speed winter waft to St Moritz, this could be just the ticket.

It's even left-hand drive, but your batman will need to be fit to lift off the removable glass roof in the mornings while you're enjoying breakfast at the lodge.

In spite of the grand title 'Sedanca', this Bentley is verging into T-Top/Targa territory. But as far as PH Open Season goes, that's probably another story.


Author: Chris-R