Take It Off! Topless Is the New Trend
Ah, springtime! There’s no better way to enjoy the warm weather than cruising with the top down, sun on your face and wind in your hair.
Jeep Wrangler owners around the world celebrate the return of spring with Worldwide Go Topless Day. The 10th Annual Go Topless Day is May 20, 2017, and you can join in the festivities by finding an official event near you at All Things Jeep.
I’m willing to bet that more people buy a Wrangler because it has a removable top than buy one for the off-road prowess, especially in places like California and Florida where we can go topless almost year round. Riding in a topless Jeep is so much fun that you can't help but smile. It can even make a trip to the dentist for a root canal somewhat bearable. It's impossible not to be happy in a topless Jeep.
The Jeep Wrangler has been the only trail-worthy SUV sold with a removable top for more than two decades. Besides the fun factor, going topless on the trail has some practical advantages too. It makes it easier to see obstacles and check your tire placement.
Going Old School
But Jeeps aren’t for everyone. If you want a capable trail rig with a removable top but you don’t want a Wrangler, you’ll have to find and restore a classic, like this vintage Jeepster Commando.
The Ford Bronco has always been a favorite in the off-roading crowd.
The Toyota FJ-40 is another popular project vehicle.
Or if you have the budget for it, you could always remove the fiberglass shell from a vintage 4Runner and enjoy the open air feeling, minus the sun in your face and wind in your hair. We made a case for the Droptop 4Runner in an earlier article, read it here.
Restoring and maintaining a 30-plus-year-old vehicle isn’t for everyone, and we're seeing signs that SUVs with removable tops are trying to make a cautious return to the market after a long absence.
Although I've had a hard time thinking of a soccer-mom crossover as an SUV — especially when limited storage space makes some of them anything but “utility” — but they are marketed as Sport Utility Vehicles. Most of today's SUVs remind me more of my mom's station wagon, and the rest have hardly enough room to be practical for much of anything. Nissan tried and failed to do a drop-top SUV with the Murano CrossCabriolet ('11-'16).
Photo courtesy of Nissan.
Now Land Rover is trying with the Range Rover Evoque. Still, despite the legendary Range Rover reputation in the overland community, the Evoque doesn’t seem like something anyone would seriously consider taking on the trails, and there's barely enough room for a cooler and tool bag.
Photo courtesy of Land Rover.
The biggest excitement may be coming from Ford. Now that a 2020 Bronco has been confirmed, everyone is hoping that it will be available with a removable top like the original. If so, it would be the only true competitor to the Jeep Wrangler.
Until then, one of the reasons we Wrangler owners have that big grin on our faces is because we know that everyone else is...