Great Rides of Summer Week: Ice Cream Run
Detroit stopped making traditional full-sized six passenger RWD American convertibles a long time ago, and in fact they've just about given up on the traditional full-sized six passenger RWD American car, period. There are reasons for that. Modern performance-luxury type cars match the traditional land yacht in comfort and far outperform it in driving dynamics. Minivans and crossovers equal or exceed it in seating and cargo capacity. Just about anything short of a Class 8 tractor-trailer gets better gas mileage.
There is, however, one purpose for which the traditional full-sized six passenger RWD American convertible has no equal: summer evening ice cream runs!
The only proper way to do an ice cream run is in a convertible with the top down. Targas and t-tops and open sunroofs certainly have their merits, but the full experience requires a fully open car. If you have to, you can make do with a big station wagon with all the windows down, including the one on the tailgate, but it's just not quite the same.
It needs to be a big convertible. One could make a persuasive case for making an ice cream run in a Karmann Ghia or an Elan or a Miata or even a Lancia Beta Zagato if there are only two of you, but we're bringing along the whole family. While a "shoebox" Chevy or other old-school ragtop might suffice, it really should be a little more modern than that--anything from a '57-'58 "Forward Look" Mopar up through a 1976 Eldosaurus will do.
A big old Yankee large-barge like that has the sprightly acceleration and nimble cornering ability of your typical predreadnought coast defense battleship. Normally, that would be a point against it, but we're sticking to city streets and there's no hurry; the ice cream stand doesn't close until well after sundown. We can take our time and enjoy the smooth, floaty ride.
After we get our cones, we'll head back home, a journey of cold vanilla and cool night air. Maybe we'll take the long way back, get out of the city and away from the light pollution. Pull over to the side of the road, shut the engine off, and watch the stars.
--Cookie the Dog's Owner
The '57 Belvedere comes from Mopar Muscle Magazine.