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I’m having a hard time articulating why I hold so much reverence for the 1990s Bentley Azure, a behemoth of a luxury convertible that spat out vibes of preppiness as aggressively as it guzzled gasoline. I simply thought that car was frickin’ magnificent when I was a kid, and you know what? I would still feel like a monarch driving one today. Yacht club commodore coming through, folks.

  • Car: 2003 Bentley Azure Final Series
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Photog: Unknown (Bentley promotional material)
  • Camera: Unknown

I actually found my way to this photo somewhat randomly, just ping-ponging around the internet looking at images of convertibles with their tops down in snowy settings. This is the first winter in a while that I’ve lived in a Northeastern climate and it jogged a memory loose, like a piece of rust off an old exhaust. Ha! I really am thinking on east-coast vibes a bit.

When I was a kid, my dad would take me out in his ’79 Fiat Spider year-round. The man was fearless of road salt or a lack of traction (props, pops), and despite the Italian car’s reputation for reliability, it was always up for a ride, below freezing Fahrenheit be damned. Sometimes we would crank the heat, when it worked, and roll up the windows. Today, I call this “speedboat mode.”

There’s something about the coziness of the temperature contrast that’s just delightful — like when you’re in a hot tub outside in winter or under blankets in a cool bedroom.

So if you’re thinking about getting a drop-top, but you’re like Dwight in that one scene of The Office when he tells Michael a convertible is, “a ridiculous choice for the [Pennsylvania] climate,” maybe it’s time to rethink and try speedboat mode for yourself!

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