Falling In Love With Convertibles
The wind blowing through my hair, sun caressing my face; I was enthralled by the glamour of it all. Looking back, I started loving convertibles the very first time I sat in my cousin’s and we cruised down the famous route 66. At only 15, I knew this was going to be a life-long passion. 13 years down the line, I was right! Of course, the fact that my first romantic kiss occurred two years later in a rented BMW Cabrio the night of my senior prom, strongly contributed to my attachment. And though it did not work out with my date of the time, the flame between convertibles and I still hasn’t dwindled.
Top Down And Hands Up, My Future Looks Bright!
While other girls had posters of male pop-stars, actors or even models in their rooms, mine was adorned with my many dream cars. From the ostentatious Lamborghini's to the sleek Audi's, my dream collection consisted of every roadster my pile of car magazine had comprised. Eventually my parents caught on to my near-obsession and voila! My first very own convertible – a gift from my parents when I graduated college. It was an Infinity G7, used but only slightly, with a sleek grey finish and a suede interior. Driving the car made me feel like a star, gathering enough composure to smile at on-lookers and making every drive to work feel like a holiday. It felt as though I was driving through on the coast across the south of France, Los Angeles or the Caribbean. I was the 'friend with the cool car’ and I lived for the beautiful days when the envious stares would come as my girlfriends and I bobbed along to music we knew everyone could hear, caught in our own pure enjoyment.
Of course there were rainy days and the retractable hardtop had to come up. This was a bit of a shame. It would usually last much longer than I would have desired. The next day however the sun would usually be back and it was worth it all over again. But as with all used cars, problems started arising and it felt to me as if my baby was sick. My poor baby!
Now a sturdy 24, I was a bonafide adult and could no longer run to mommy and daddy to 'fix’ things or finance what was starting to be a costly mode of transportation– the gas was draining my modest revenue. Convertible 4-seaters, particularly heavy cars like the Infinity I had or even Mercedes’ larger models consume like crazy. They tend to have a greater engine power than usual sedans – as they are sports cars after all – but this comes at a cost. For me, this only deepened my desire to remain in the somewhat exclusive convertible club, and I sought additional income to financially sustain my passion.
About 3 years ago I sold the car (a very disheartening experience), moved cities and started my own business, an events’ company that enabled me to do all things shiny, glossy and glamorous which I so loved. Some of my high-profile clients had cars that made me salivate, Audi A5s, Ferrari Spiders, even Lamborghini Gallardos. A couple once gave me a ride, flattered as they were by my admiration for the beautiful machines. My most striking experience of the kind was driving a Ferrari Spider 458, with a leather interior and a softly purring V8 engine with an impressive 80% torque. As an automatic only car, it did not require me to fight with the gear stick in the grotesque manner most BMW sports cars I had window-shopped did, and the sensitivity of the accelerator was incredibly exhilarating. This specific dream-car-owner was Cuban and spent most of his time on coastal cities and early last year, after two years as my client, he left me the Ferrari for a full week as he was away on business! A full week of parading the heavenly car, during which business boomed as people asked what I did, where I did it, how successful I must be. The attention was almost as amazing as the exciting, smooth purr-to-roar of the convertible as I pressed the accelerator, or the speed and efficiency with which the top retracted, or the impressive balance of the relatively heavy car even in the tightest of turns and sharpest braking.
I used the air of wealth it provided me to visit other dealerships, often implying I was on the verge buying a new cabriolet to add to my 'extensive collection’. While the lie was shameful, all is fair in love and war, right? And as my love had reached new summits, I did not feel too guilty. Mercedes, expectedly, was my first stop. I felt their convertibles had the class of Mercedes sedans, the prestige of sports cars and the glitz and glam of most cabriolets. The Mercedes S-class roaster was a vision. A brand new model at the time, this 4-seater even smelt like the lifestyle I aspired to! As a supposed wealthy Ferrari owner, I swallowed my gasp of admiration as I test drove this glorious creation with a whopping 449 horsepower. With its incredibly sleek leather interior, this convertible is a collector item, only available to Mercedes’ most exclusive clients….which I didn’t qualify as. I walked out of the car dealership with my heart heavy with longing, face comically sad and hands slightly shaking. This wasn’t the car for a young business woman with my budget. I was back to boring car reality.
Hard Work And Dedication Pays Off
I shouldn’t have been fantasizing so much about McLaren’s and Audi's when rent was due, marketing had to be financed and expansion paid for. My Cuban client and friend was to return soon, and unless I wanted to become a fugitive, I had to return the car. When I did so however, things took a surprising turn. He thanked me for taking care of his baby and promised he’d put in a good word for my services to his many (powerful) friends. And as I dreamt of XLR's, Audi A3s, Range Rover Convertibles and Jaguar F-types the work started pouring in. Last year I scored my first televised event, and have been doing quite well since. This Valentine’s day came and went and I decided it was time to get myself a present. After long consideration I've determined to shop for it at Mercedes-Benz. Dreams do come true!
Guest post by Stephanie Barnett