Summer’s here and convertibles are everywhere – CARtoday.com columnist Jasmine explores this holiday phenomenon and ponders why so many blokes feel obliged to moan about “hairdresser cars”.

School's out and the annual holiday exodus begins as swarms of holidaymakers prepare to descend on Cape Town. The good thing about the Mother City's summer is that the days are virtually endless and merge into balmy, sundowner-quaffing evenings. As the sun stays up late, this usually gives the girls and me (with some guys thrown in for good measure) the perfect excuse to stake out the Atlantic seaboard for post-brainfreeze drinks overlooking the ocean.

Of course, being perched along the evergreen summer strip (Victoria Road, anywhere from Clifton to Camps Bay), does give greater insight into what can be considered hot summer cruise mobiles. Smug okes with perfect tans and teeth, with pre-pubescent chicks with designer wind-blown locks at their sides, are everywhere in their BMW 3 Series convertibles.

This sight usually has the girls wondering how long we would have to subsidise our incomes by staking out Kenilworth Main Road or Green Point's Somerset Road to be able to afford one of those beauties. (By the way, I'm referring to the cars and not the girls...)

So many (envious???) guys, normally the ones who have pet names for their double cabs and tricked-out Sierras (or anything dodgy from the 80s, for that matter), ramble on about how they don't understand how a female could ever be attracted to a guy driving a "hairdresser car" and that a sensible hot hatch or racy saloon would suit them any day.


I honestly don't get it – it's like owning 302 pairs of court shoes and then refusing to buy the most gorgeous pair of electric blue stilettos simply because they cost R2 600 and you'd probably only be able to wear them for one summer! That's extremely daft; everyone knows you can't attach a price to good taste!

Usually, the only people I ever hear calling convertibles that dreadful "hairdresser" name are males anyway. Females, on the other hand, really couldn't care less as long as the roof is able to drop in one form or another.

And though these summer playthings are tailor-made for blazing summer days with the sun beating down on your head, there's no denying the cool appeal. Skin cancer and the widening hole in the ozone layer are not really of immediate importance to people who have perfected the art of maintaining "that smile" while the back of their necks and shoulders slowly sear beneath several layers of sunscreen.

And as far as most ladies are concerned, that could be one of the best summer feelings ever, if only their moaning partners would get over their "you won't catch me dead in those things" stage. When push comes to shove, partners and their sensible cars may just find themselves being shoved out the back door instead. –