[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he fifth edition of the Southern Automotive Media Association’s (SAMA) annual Topless In Miami event — a showcase event for the world’s convertible automobiles — has drawn entries from almost every auto manufacturer selling cars in the U.S., and SAMA recently announced that the world’s leading supplier of convertible topping material, Haartz Corporation, has signed on as title sponsor.
The event, headquartered at the Key Biscayne Ritz Carlton Resort, is slated for June 4 and has been given an official new name — SAMA’s Topless In Miami Presented by Haartz. GM, Infiniti and BMW also have signed on as participating sponsors.
“We had never considered a title sponsor for Topless before, but with its reputation as the world’s leading manufacturer of convertible tops we felt Haartz was the perfect partner,” said SAMA president Bill Adam. “They have been very supportive of the event in the past and we look forward to working with them as Topless continues to grow.”
Haartz director of business development Matt Williams said the decision to sponsor the SAMA event was a smart move for the company.
“Each year this event showcases some of the best convertibles and convertible topping technology,” Williams said. “We are happy to have found a mutually beneficial relationship with the SAMA group and look forward to supporting them in the future.”
The entry list for the 2015 version of Topless In Miami is still open and manufacturers continue to add convertibles to the competition, which will be judged on criteria such as fit, finish, function, design, acoustics and trunk space. Awards are presented across several segments — exotic, luxury, full-size, performance and small convertibles, as well as convertible of the year.
This year’s entry list of convertibles includes the Maserati GranTurismo, the new Fiat 500 Cabrio, the Infiniti Q60 IPL, the new Jeep Renegade and the 2016 Mazda MX5 Convertible, the only one in the country. Mercedes Benz has two entries in Topless — the SL400 Roadster and the E400 Cabriolet; Nissan will have the 370Z Roadster Tour; Porsche will bring a $98,885 Boxster GTS; Volkswagen also will have two entries — the Beetle Convertible 1.8T and the EOS Final Edition.
BMW will use Topless this year to showcase the beautiful M4 Convertible and 228i Convertible, and possibly the new 6 series convertible. Lexus will bring the IS350 Convertible; Ford will send the Mustang; GM will have the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and the all-new 2016 Buick Cascada ragtop will be there, too, but only for display. And, finally, Rolls Royce will participate in the SAMA Topless In Miami competition for the first time with the ultra luxury Phantom Drophead Coupe.
Last year’s Convertible of the Year was the Audi RS5. Other winners were the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S in 2013, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster in 2012, and the Audi R8 Spyder in 2011, the inaugural Topless In Miami event.
SAMA was founded in 2007 to provide a platform for the South Florida automotive media community for the development and growth of its members and affiliates to strengthen their voice and representation in the industry.