Maybe you had your automotive coming-out on either side of 1980, when the automakers were just figuring out ways around the new federal rollover-protection standards that enabled things like the Colonnade styling era at General Motors and the temporary demise of the conventional convertible. People who bought Corvettes, Trans Ams, Camaros, Nissan Z-cars, and even the Mustang II Cobra could be had with removable glass roof panels. If you can remember back that far, you likely also recall that dealers loved them, because buyers grabbed them the minute they were rolled off the truck. That means the concept was fundamentally sound. It still is. Toyota is demonstrating that right now.
Originally created for display at the pandemic-cancelled SEMA show, Toyota commissioned this prototype for a 2021 GR Supra Sport Top. It’s not a pony car, the Supra having two seats, but it stands as a suggestion that the Seventies thing just might work again after a hiatus of some 40 years. The Sport Top’s body structure is extensively reinforced to compensate for the removal of the roof. The removable roof panels are formed from composites that fit nicely into the Supra trunk. We intentionally left the original Supra, with its delicious M-family straight-six, off that disco decade list, because we wanted to emphasize that previous generations of the Supra have offered removable roof panels, too. This car needs to reach the showrooms. Toyota can, and should, make that happen.