There's something about driving with the wind flowing over you that makes you feel more in touch with the road and landscape. A convertible car captures this open feeling, while maintaining most of the practicality of conventional hard-top cars by using roofs that are easily raised and lowered.

In this article, we'll see how the convertible top works and check out a really neat retractable hardtop. But first, let's take a look at some of the challenges faced by designers of convertible cars.