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 Ed Welburn, GM vice president for global design.
The list of my top 10 favorite convertibles is fun to sift through. Obviously there are the great convertibles of the 1930s, such as the 1930 Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood Roadster and Sedanette Cabriolet. There were also wonderful Buicks, Packards, Cords and Lincolns. But for me the finest example of American grace and elegance was the 1934 Cadillac V-16 Victoria 5-passenger convertible.
There were glamorous post-World War II convertibles like the 1948 Cadillac and 1953 Cadillac Eldorado, but my favorite convertible from the 1950s was the 1953 Buick Skylark. It was perfect! Although many people like the 1958/1959 Cadillac Eldorado convertibles, in 1961 Cadillac introduced a magnificent contemporary convertible which was slim, sleek and far more modern than its predecessor.
Chevrolet Impalas from the 1960s were fantastic and continue to be popular today. My favorite was the 1963 Chevy Impala Super Sport.
Obviously, Corvette has to be on the list. The 1957 Corvette was a very pure design statement for the brand. The 1963 Stingray made a significant statement of design and the spirit of "Route 66." I'm always looking towards the future, and the all-new 'C7' 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray makes my list.
Here's my full list of all-time favorite convertible designs:
• 1934 Cadillac V-16 Victoria 5 Passenger Convertible
• 1948 Cadillac
• 1953 Cadillac Eldorado
• 1953 Buick Skylark
• 1957 Corvette
• 1961 Cadillac Eldorado
• 1963 Corvette Sting Ray
• 1963 Chevy Impala Super Sport
• 2014 Corvette Stingray (Editor's Note: Welburn approved the design for this car)
• We can always dream of that next convertible design
Want to find out the cars others top designers picked as their favorite convertibles of all-time? Click below!
Walter de Silva—head of group design, Volkswagen AG
Ralph Gilles—president and CEO, SRT brand and motorsports and senior vice president for product design, Chrysler Group LLC
J Mays—group vice president for design, and chief creative officer, Ford Motor
Adrian van Hooydonk—head of design, BMW Group