In the first decade of the 21st century there was a brief fad for what were known as coupe-convertibles. These were more or less the same as ordinary convertibles but a lot more complex. Instead of fabric roofs, they had metal ones made up of several sections which could be folded or unfolded at the press of a button, usually in somewhere between 20 and 30 seconds.

The main advantage of these cars over regular convertibles was that they were a lot stiffer with the roof up, which prevented the dreaded ‘scuttle shake’ and helped with the ride and handling. Another plus point was that they let in far less road noise.

It wasn’t a particularly new idea, and you can still buy coupe-convertibles today. The Mazda MX-5 RF is a popular example, the Vauxhall Cascada perhaps less so.

The cars we’re going to look at here weren’t quite like that. They weren’t sports cars, and they weren’t premium models either. Instead, they were generally based on quite ordinary hatchbacks and aimed at a mainstream customer base. They didn’t exactly flood the market, but potential buyers had a lot to choose from.

Unfortunately, they were not very successful. They didn’t sell in great numbers, possibly because their complicated roof mechanisms made them quite expensive, and on the whole the manufacturers abandoned the idea.

They’re part of motoring history, though, and that’s all the reason we need to remember a selection of the better-known ones.