The sun is shining brightly and the breezes are blowing gently as we pull the Mustang convertible into the parking lot to begin another day. An innervoice whispers, ``Put the top down and head for Lake Shore Drive, dummy.``

The 1989 Mustang LX ragtop offers the fun and excitement of top-downmotoring, provided you have a little patience.

Getting the top down is relatively simply, as long as you devote extracare to lowering the rear window. The window is glass to combat the oldconvertible bugaboo-ring around the plastic.

Putting the top back up is trickier when it comes to that window, whichnow weighs a ton while trying to juggle it and the zipper.

There`s one other hangup: Getting into the back seat when you want toundo the window and getting out again once the work is done. The Mustang LXseat belts are secured to the rear compartment and serve as a barrier ingetting into or out of the back seat.

The top aside, the LX offers one of those rarities today, a good, old-fashioned 5-liter, high-output, 225 h.p. V-8 engine that snarls a bit whenyou punch the pedal.

The 5-liter V-8 was teamed with optional ($515) automatic, a quiet matethat didn`t seem to rob any power.

The EPA rating is 17 m.p.g. city/25 m.p.g. highway, a government mileageestimate that seemed generous considering the 5-liter was drawn like a magnet to the fuel pump. Of course, lead foot demands lead free.

Base price: $17,001.