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File:365 Cal b.jpg
Ferrari 365 California Spider (Italian branded name for Convertible)

A convertible is a car body style with a folding or retracting roof. The collapsible roof section is typically made from flexible canvas or vinyl, although plastic, aluminium and steel have occasionally been used in elaborate folding designs.

Unlike a roadster, which may also have a soft folding top, a convertible has roll-up glass windows in the sides, and so the entire vehicle is "convertible" to an enclosed coupé.

Convertibles are usually 2 door models, only a few 4 door models exist e.g. the 1960s Lincoln Continental

In Europe this body style is frequently called cabriolet or cabrio.

When the model has a rigid folding top, the body style is called Coupé Cabriolet ("CC") or coupé convertible.

In the vintage car era, the convertible was the default body style. It was not until 1910 that Cadillac introduced the first closed-body car. A combination of weak engines and public expectation that a car was analogous to a wagon meant that steel roofs were not in demand until then. Later convertibles were made less often, and by the 1970s they had almost disappeared. It was not until the 1980s and cars like the Chrysler LeBaron and Saab 900 convertibles that the body style made a comeback. In the 1990s, the Mazda MX-5 again cemented the convertible as the sports car body style of choice. Today, there are scores of convertible cars offered by nearly every manufacturer.

See also