Now that summer is well upon us, we've been graced by people driving their open-air vehicles. Unfortunately, I find most people who drive them complete tools. The Camry Solara used to be the best recommendation for someone who didn't fit the convertible stereotype. But Toyota inexplicably doesn't make it anymore. Therefore, here's a list of cars on sale now in which you won't come off as a tool.
It's easy to forget this convertible exists. That's probably because not very many people buy it after driving the 328i cab, which is an excellent car. But the tools are almost always driving the 3-Series cabs. You know the Eos driver bought the car because they consider themselves more refined than the Beetle Convertible drivers, and they are. And I know the person driving the Eos has actually bought the car rather than leased it. Which most 3-Series drivers do.
This is personally one of my favorite open-air cars, especially the Abarth. Somehow, everyone just smiles at you whenever you're driving in an open-top 500, much more than in a Mini convertible. And I don't think they're tools. They just wanted a cute car that also was a convertible, which made a endearingly loud exhaust note (if it's an Abarth). Lapo Elkann owning one of these may be a detriment, but I'm willing to overlook it as most other people driving it are not people I would think lowly of, at first sight.
People who want a Volvo but want a convertible buy this retractable hardtop car. There's no other reason why they bought it. As it's Swedish and a fairly old design (it's been built since 2006), it doesn't appeal to the tools. It's because whoever drives this car will remain perpetually anonymous on the road, even with the top down. All we'll think is: "Here's another person going somewhere." And it's the only Swedish convertible left thanks to Saab dying. And name a time a tool drove a Swedish convertible in a movie or real-life.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
This is a classy car, much more than the Continental GT Convertible, the Toyota Camry of six-figure cars. Anyone driving it is for the most part enjoying the fruits of his or her labor and we have to smile at them rather than wishing ill upon them like some Continental GT drivers. The caveat is that the Drophead Coupe shouldn't have any aftermarket parts. Anything else added afterwards demonstrates that the customer believed that he or she (or most probably their preferred customization shop) were better than the Rolls-Royce factory.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Let me qualify this one. No one who drives the current MX-5 is someone I could say is a tool. Tools will want the NA and NB MX-5 for autocross days two or three times a year. They won't even touch the new one. Why? Because it's too heavy, too big, and too expensive. But it's what a proper sports car should be. And it's why the people who buy them new aren't tools who felt the need to show off to others. If they wanted to do that, they would have bought a new Z4, SLK, TT, or Boxster for double the price.
I look forward to any cars currently on sale that I might have missed in the comments. (Unfortunately, no classics, since anything made before 1980 is next to impossible to look like a tool in.) I'll have an opportunity to come up with reasons to shoot them down. Playfully, of course.
Satish Kondapavulur runs Clunkerture, named because "Clunker.com" was $82 at auction and would've taken 30% out of the balance of his Eagle Vision for LeMons fund. In between contemplating cross-country runs, he spends much of his time attempting to convince others that his MkV Jetta 2.0T Wolfsburg is indeed a sports sedan.
All images courtesy the manufacturers.
EDIT: In the interest of getting help at any future autocross events, I apologize to anyone who may have been offended my comments about NA/NB Miata drivers. They are among the most helpful people at autocross days. It's just that some of these Miata owners think of themselves as all-out racers and expect to be treated as such. I'll respect that if you won your class at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill but not if you got tenth or lower on the autocross course (even though I still may end up asking you for advice).