Can somebody explain to me why anybody would want a convertible Noble?
Clearly Steve Rubie-Todd could, as he founded Salica – a Bristol company that has just started offering a conversion kit for M12s, and he has "long wanted a convertible Noble".
What's the point? There's a point to a 911 Cabriolet because people like to pose in them, but surely the only reason you buy a Noble is because it's a brilliant, high performance sports car. Sure, they look dramatic, but no fashionista would buy one because they look good outside the Dorchester.
Don't get me wrong - I like convertibles. I love the Aston V8 Roadster, and I would recommend the Mazda MX-5 to anyone wanting a fun, affordable two-seater. I also think folding hard tops are a brilliant idea - I would even consider buying one. Unless they're hindering an otherwise great sports car from being great, what's not to like?
But none of it makes sense if you're basically chopping the roof off a racer.
I've always felt that a used Noble M12 would be top of my '£25k plaything' shopping list. This is mainly because it's one of the most affordable high performance cars on the road, but also because I'm amazed by what one man in a Norfolk warehouse can achieve. It doesn't get more British than that, and I'm a patriot at heart.
You can take the roof off more hard-core stuff – a Mercedes SLR, a Murcielago, or even a Ford GT. That's fine, and understandable. If Noble ever finally produces the more expenisve, more road-biased M15 sports car that has been in the works for years, that would likely make sense as a convertible.
But taking the roof off an M12 is the equivalent to giving Professor Steven Hawkings a lobotomy. After that, there is no point.