Their allure and romance never died.
Following the unhappy 1930s, and the deprivation of the Second World War, people were ready to celebrate the good times and optimism of the 1950s and '60s.
Convertibles flourished. Who can forget those beautiful 1955-'56-'57 Chevy convertibles, so popular then and still sought after today. Or low two-seater Thunderbirds, early Corvettes and little English sports cars. Or the huge, tailfinned, chrome-laden 1959 Cadillac Eldorado convertible that wags called the epitome of Wretched Excess, but is now one of the most popular collectibles.
Or those sporty little 1960s Mustangs.
But then the 1970s brought oil crises, emission controls and fuel economy concerns. Motoring fun died, and the American convertible with it. The 1976 Cadillac Eldorado was called "The Last Convertible in America."
Better times brought them back, led by the 1982 Chrysler LeBaron convertible, followed by Buick, Ford and Chevrolet.
Convertibles are now flourishing, and better than ever, some with metal retractible power roofs like the Pontiac G6 that offer alfresco motoring as well as snug closed car comfort.
Led by General Motors with six convertibles, including the exciting new Saturn Sky, it's once more a golden age for the open car.