As part of our Business of Design special report, we asked leading car designers to give us their all-time favorite convertibles. Here are the picks from Walter de Silva, head of group design for Volkswagen AG:
Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider
It's the car from "The Graduate" … very romantic! With its "cuttlefish bone" shape, it is pure Pininfarina elegance.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
Not many words required: simply Pininfarina's masterpiece for Alfa!
Audi A5 Cabriolet
I consider the Audi A5 the most beautiful car I've ever drawn. So what to say about its convertible version? The same: my most beautiful cabriolet. (Ed. note: De Silva worked on the design of this car.)
Audi TT Roadster
It is super-compact but has everything that a pure spider should have. One of the most attractive small spiders I can remember. (Ed. note: De Silva worked on the second-generation design of this car.)
Fiat 124 Sport Spider
With this car that became quite popular, Pininfarina took to a higher level the image of the Italian spiders. On top it was very sporty. I can't remember another spider that was so successful in the World Rally.
A very innovative concept from Bertone! The midmounted engine helped proportions and its avant-garde looks. It was a pity that the name never expressed the model's elegance.
Fantastic for its style, with that long, never-ending bonnet. … very British!
It became a classic despite being very compact, which is not easy. I liked the first generation, but what impresses me more is how the concept has evolved so well.
A pure spider! Two seats and all the essentials: compact, powerful and elegant. I have a first-generation model and decided to keep it for my children. It is a timeless car.
The American sports car by excellence—a spider that is all muscle!
Walter de Silva is head of group design for Volkswagen AG, overseeing design for brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini and Porsche.
Want to find out the cars others top designers picked as their favorite convertibles of all time? Click below!
Ralph Gilles - President and CEO of SRT brand and motorsports and senior vice president of product design for Chrysler Group
J Mays - Group vice president, design and chief creative pfficer at Ford Motor
Adrian van Hooydonk - Head of design at BMW Group
Ed Welburn - Vice president of global design at General Motors