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Are You Allowed to Live in California if You Don't Have a Ford Mustang Convertible?

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author photo by Eric Brandt November 2018

I recently paid a visit to beautiful Santa Barbara, California. This was my first time in Santa Barbara, and one of the most noticeable things about it wasn't the unceasing sunshine, the ocean or any of the scenery. It was the fact that seemingly every other car on the road was a Ford Mustang convertible. These things were more prevalent than pickup trucks are in Wisconsin.

These Ford convertibles weren't just all over Santa Barbara. I drove from Santa Barbara almost to Los Angeles and then back up the coast. The overwhelming presence of Mustang convertibles never went away in the couple hundred miles I drove in California.

To make things even more interesting, the vast majority of the Mustang convertibles I saw while I was in California were brand-new 2018 models that must have just been purchased pretty recently. Does that mean Californians are trading in their old Mustang convertibles every year? Are they just rentals? Perhaps they just replace their Mustangs with every face-lift, and everyone who drove an ancient, outdated 2017 Mustang just had to have that ugly new face that Ford slapped on the Mustang for 2019.

It's not hard to see why the Mustang convertible -- or convertibles in general -- are popular in Southern California. It's sunny all the time, and there's never any snow. Basically, there's no reason to drive a car with a top if you live in SoCal. It's truly the perfect climate for convertibles.

But why is the Mustang the overwhelming favorite? There are plenty of other convertibles out there like the Chevy Camaro, the Mazda Miata, several German luxury cars and less conventional convertibles like the VW Beetle, the Mini Cooper and the Buick Cascada. I guess the Mustang name still has the iconic status that has made it a hit since the day it first came out.

Seeing so many Mustang convertibles made me wonder if it's even legal to live in California and not own one. There were so many that it made me a little worried that I was going to get pulled over for driving a car that is not a Mustang convertible. California has a lot of nutty laws, so I don't think this sort of legislation would be too out of the ordinary for the Golden State.

If you somehow both live in California and also don't own a Mustang convertible, please comment below with how you're getting away with it.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Are You Allowed to Live in California if You Don't Have a Ford Mustang Convertible? - Autotrader