CARS.COM — Convertibles hold a special place in classic movie fans’ hearts. The Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu in “Pulp Fiction.” The Ford Thunderbird in “Thelma & Louise.” The Audi R8 Spyder from “Iron Man 2.” OK, maybe not that last one. Nevertheless, those convertibles — and many others — feature so prominently in films that they’re practically a main character.
It makes sense that a convertible, for so many, is the dream car of choice. Besides their iconic position in pop culture, convertibles have all the qualities of an aspirational car: They’re often sportier than a family sedan, less practical than an SUV and more expensive than a hardtop version of the same car.
We looked at some of our own data to see where shoppers are searching for convertibles listed on Cars.com, and also where convertibles are being sold. The results highlight the hopeful nature of shopping for convertibles. Convertibles listed for sale on Cars.com were three times as likely to be viewed as minivans, for example, but half as likely to be sold.
The state most likely to be home to a shopper looking at a convertible? Nebraska. That’s right: Shoppers in the Cornhusker State looked at more convertible listings than shoppers in any other state. The four states rounding out the top five are:
- New Mexico
- New York
All five states are also in the top five for the largest disparity between percentage of convertible listings viewed and percentage of convertibles sold.
The results weren’t entirely surprising, however. Convertibles were most likely to be sold in:
- New Jersey
Four of those five states are among the top 10 in median household income according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and Florida, while ranking 38th, more than makes up for it with a convertible-friendly climate. Income versus practicality likely explains Connecticut being on both lists.
Conversely, the states where shoppers were least likely to view convertible listings on Cars.com and where the fewest convertibles were sold included:
- North Dakota
Vermonters were also among the bottom five in convertible shopping, and Kansans rounded out the bottom five in convertible sales. Things like, ya know … winter and the need for vehicles designed for rougher terrain or more utilitarian purposes likely keep shoppers from even considering a convertible in these states.
A caveat about these statistics: They only compare the location of shoppers viewing convertible listings on Cars.com and the number of convertibles sold within a given state. There’s nothing that prevents a consumer from traveling elsewhere to purchase a car; in fact, even accounting for a plane ticket and the road trip home, or shipping fees, it might be more affordable in some instances.
In other words: Everyone in Nebraska could be driving a convertible right now, but if they are it’s likely they were purchased from other states.