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Southern Californians have always embraced the rakish looks and sporting dash of convertibles, which are ideally suited to the area’s mild climate and vast network of roads. The Petersen Automotive Museum exhibition Going Topless in Style: The American Convertible celebrates our fascination with convertibles by presenting a wide variety of domestically produced rag tops that illustrate the development of the body type. It explains why convertible production was temporarily halted during the mid-1970s and reveals how relentless consumer demand for an open air driving experience prompted American manufacturers to reintroduce the body type in the early 1980s. From the popularly priced Ford Model T and 1939 Plymouth to the majestic 1930 Packard and exotic 1958 Dual-Ghia, the vehicles on display offer a glimpse into how top down motoring has enhanced the mystique surrounding the Southern California lifestyle and its culture of mobility.

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