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What Color Should Convertible Tops Be?

I was recently discussing convertible soft-top colors with some friends, and we all came to the following conclusion: the convertible top color you choose can absolutely ruin your car. If you get a certain exterior color, and a certain top color, it can look truly awful — even if those colors look nice separately.

Allow to me explain what I mean. One of the people involved in this discussion noted that he believes all convertible soft-tops should be black — regardless of the car’s color. This is certainly the safe bet, as a black convertible top virtually always looks good; even on a dark blue car. So, if your answer to this question is "black," that’s definitely understandable, reasonable and acceptable.

But …

Deviating from a black convertible top is a risk — there’s no question about it. Black always looks good. But some cars look really, really, really good with convertible tops in colors other than black. For example: I will always love the "launch color" of the 2013 Porsche Boxster, pictured above, which was a gorgeous silver with a red top and a red interior — a color combination that truly looked perfect together. Others will suggest a gray top is best with a dark blue car, or a tan top looks good with white — and that may be true. It really just depends on the car. So, my personal opinion on this topic is: go with black, usually. But sometimes, it’s good to deviate.

But here’s something else I think: a tan top just doesn’t belong on a sports car. A tan top looks nice on a four-seater Jaguar convertible, a Toyota Solara or a Chrysler Sebring. But there should be no Porsche 911 Turbo or Mercedes SLS Roadster made with a tan top. A tan top belongs on a car someone would take to the golf course, not the race track — and, in my opinion, regardless of what your car’s exterior color is, you shouldn’t be going with a tan top if you have a high-performance sports car.

What say you, on this controversial issue of top color? Find a convertible for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. I have a VW Beetle, red with tan top and interior.  Still looks like new, and it softens the red.  Everybody stops me asking about the car and everybody says the same thing, looks great with the tan…yes, it does. 

  2. We can all probably agree to disagree. I think it comes down to who is plunking down the cash. S/he should get what they like.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a multitude of magazine publications and websites, including here at Autotrader — where he launched the Oversteer enthusiast blog — along with Jalopnik, GQ, and The Week. His YouTube channel has hundreds of published videos and has racked up hundreds of millions of views. Today, Doug lives in San Diego, California, with his 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 NAS, 2005 Ford GT, and 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon.

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