Lou Bachrodt Jeep encourages drivers to drop their tops—convertible tops, that is—as temperatures rise

As temperatures heat up in Rockford, many residents are working to get their “soft” bodies back in shape. Between lunges, crunches and sit-ups, Lou Bachrodt Jeep discovered consumers want to firm up more than just their legs, arms and stomachs this summer. They also want to firm up their tops—their convertible tops. In fact, a recent Chrysler brand survey revealed 62 percent of Americans want hard convertible tops.

While a majority of consumers prefer “hard” bodies and hard convertible tops, the survey also revealed a softer side of America. Here’s the hard truth about the softer side:

Get the Ice Cream Scoop: More Americans prefer the soft-serve version of the perfect summer treat—ice cream—compared to the hard, hand-packed option (50 percent to 43 percent).

Paperback Preference: Nearly seven out of 10 consumers (69 percent) would rather have a soft, paperback book over a hard-cover novel when they’re reading at the beach or on a summer road trip.

Soft Rock Soothes: The Beach Boys, Steppenwolf, Lynard Skynard and other classic soft rock artists were identified by Americans for making some of the best convertible driving songs.

Raise the “Soft Top” Roof: Even with the hard top option, one in three Americans (33 percent) still prefer soft convertible tops. With a top for everyone, the all-new 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible is the first convertible to offer three automatically latching top options: vinyl, cloth and a body-color painted steel retractable hard top.

“No matter where you live, there’s just something special about driving a convertible. It’s exhilarating—windows down, hair blowing in the wind,” said Louis Bachrodt Jr. of Lou Bachrodt Jeep. “Regardless of whether you prefer the hard or soft top option on the all-new Chrysler Sebring Convertible, this summer is the perfect time to have fun cruising around town in the open air.”

No matter if you are a first-time convertible driver, planning to buy a new convertible or thinking about renting one, all convertible drivers and passengers should be familiar with a few universal driving tips that apply to all convertibles:

Lock your valuables: Don’t leave important documents or valuables in plain sight when parking any vehicle; if you’re in a convertible and parking with the top down, put valuable items in a locking glove box to keep them safe.

Sing, sing, sing: Top-down fun and good music go hand in hand—but think about what you’re blasting since everyone around you can hear your music choices.

Protect your pet: Allow pets time to adjust to the convertible ride if they’re not used to riding with the top down; help acclimate your canine companions by taking them on short trips, at low speeds and eventually work your way up to cruising full speed once your pet has had time to adjust.

Hair-raising experience: Driving with the top down can add extra volume to your usual hair style. Take a quick peek in the mirror after arriving at your destination to make sure the extra volume is enhancing—not detracting—from your appearance.

Soak up the sun: Top-down driving is a great way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, but don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you plan on being in the sun for an extended period of time. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends wearing sunscreen every day if you plan on being in the sun for more than 20 minutes.

For more about the Chrysler Sebring Convertible, visit www.chrysler.com/sebringconvertible/, or visit Lou Bachrodt Jeep at 7070 CherryVale North Blvd.

from the July 18-24, 2007, issue

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