Sunday, October 3, 2010 the instructions jerk.

I love convertibles, but I only owned two, and crazily enough I owned them in England.
It always seemed to be raining and I remember always having the tops down.

We lived in countries that called out for convertibles, Spain, Italy, Mexico, South Africa and now Greece, nevertheless always closed cars, I wonder why?

Whenever I traveled I always rented a convertible, LA without a convertible is like a garden without flowers.

Must have one.

I was in Nice once going to the Cannes festival. I rent this great big French convertible at the airport.
It was delivered to me with the top down and the rental agent starts to tell me how to put the top up,
I brush him aside; give me a break, I know how to do that.

By the way, I also never read instructions, so you know what is coming.

I am zipping along the highway and it starts to pour, how the hell do you put the top up on this weird French car.
I pull up under an overpass and try to put the top up, impossible, no way to do it, I am in France so nobody is going to stop and help me, at least not a Frenchman. Thirty minutes later, the rain stops, I make it to the hotel in Cannes, slightly damp but with the top down, after all it is the south of France. Never figured out how to put the top up, fortunately it didn’t rain again. I smugly turned it in at the airport, top down.

The Car in the photo was one of my favorite cars, an Alvis from the sixties. Our other convertible was a MGB, when we first went to England, nice, but too small for us.

When we moved to Madrid, the Alvis stayed in London in a friend’s garage.
Lew drove it down a couple of months later, top down, same story, could not get the top up, fortunately no rain.

He did get a terrible sunburn on his baldhead.

Lew arrived with a newspaper hat on his head.

We have to learn how to put tops up, read the instructions, jerk.

We really enjoyed that car in Spain, finally a convertible, in a place that needed one.
Didn’t drive it much, it was in the country illegally, when we did though it was marvelous.

The last open car story did not happen to me. A good friend told it to me.

I am not sure I believe it, but I would love to think it really happened.

There was this guy, a Greek in West Africa; he drove a small Fiat 500, the real old tinny ones.

He has a date, and tonight is the night, he is going to get lucky, it is a done deal. This girl is ready for him.
They drive to a secluded spot by the sea, she insists nothing is going to happen unless he opens the sunroof, no view of the sky no hanky panky, zip, nada.

He gets out to open the car up. Two hours later, the roof is open.

She asks what took so long and he holds up an old fashioned can opener, the car had no sunroof nor was it a convertible, but now it is.

I doubt this, but I would love to believe it. You probably could open a 500 with a can opener.


  1. I loved all our cars. We had such fun and you enjoyed them so much....The Alvis was special and the color, sorta cherry maroon was elegant with a tawny, beige top.
    When we snuck it into Spain we loved to drive it around on the weekends that is until one afternoon, it began to make a dreadful, loud siren like sound, not the attention one wants especially when driving down the Grand Via. After it happened several times we used it less frequently until we could replace the necessary part, which by the way had to be made by hand in Madrid as they hadn't ever heard of an Alvis.

  2. Very funny story and a beautiful car. I always try to figure mechanical things out without the instructions and invariably never can. That's when I look for the instructions and hope I can find them. Must be a male thing.

  3. The male thing is never look at instructions. In the Bentley I owned, there was a manual for the owner and one for the driver. Never read them.