Key Biscayne will come alive with the top convertibles in today’s automotive market when the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) hosts its fourth annual “Topless in Miami” convertible competition on Thursday, June 12.
SAMA members will select five class winners from a field of 17 droptops entered by 15 manufacturers with one joining past winners Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (2013), Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (2012), and Audio R8 Spyder (2011) as South Florida’s “Convertible of the Year.”
SAMA president Bill Adam says “Topless In Miami” has grown in scope and prestige with each successive year and that it has become a favorite event for auto manufacturers to showcase the latest designs and technology for convertible automobiles. He added that it has become a signature event for participation by the SAMA membership.
“When people think of enjoying the scenery and spectacular weather of South Florida, they usually picture themselves in a convertible,” Adam said. “The members of SAMA are no different and set out to recognize the best of the convertibles for a number of different markets, using their expertise to carefully study and reward the best. It’s a day that we all enjoy and learn from.”
The event is headquartered at the Ritz- Carlton Key Biscayne and begins in the morning with SAMA members scoring the various vehicles in design, performance, and overall appeal in five different classes (Exotic/Super Luxury, Luxury, Full-Size, Performance/Roadster, and Small).
After a day of judging, the event is capped by a semi-formal awards dinner at the Ritz- Carlton Resort that evening when the class winners and the Convertible of the Year will be awarded crystal trophies. Nissan North America will sponsor the dinner as part of its participation in this year’s event, and Mercedes-Benz is sponsoring the reception.
For a second consecutive year, the Haartz Corporation, a world leader in highly engineered and uniquely designed convertible toppings and interior surface materials, also is serving as a sponsor. Headquartered in Acton, MA, Haartz provides the tops for many of the vehicles in the competition.
Participating manufacturers this year are Audi, Bentley, BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes- Benz, Nissan, Porsche and Volkswagen.
The field of vehicles includes a new Corvette Stingray and a Camaro SS from Chevrolet and a new Mustang GT Convertible from Ford. Mercedes Benz has registered a sleek SL65 AMG and its E550, and Bentley has entered a stunning Continental GT V8S.
Also entered are the Jaguar F-Type S, Audi RS5, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Mazda’s Miata MX-5 Anniversary Edition, Infiniti Q60, Nissan’s new 370Z, the rugged Jeep Wrangler, a sporty Lexus IS 350C and the popular Volkswagen Beetle R-Type.
Fiat will be going for a fourth straight win in the Small Convertible Class with the GQ Limited Edition model of its popular Fiat Cabriolet.
“With such an outstanding field of vehicles, our members are going to have to make some difficult decisions to determine vwhich ones will bring home trophies this year,” said SAMA vice president Paul Borden, who serves as chair of Topless In Miami.
In addition to earning honors in the Topless in Miami competition, participating manufacturers will have the opportunity to exhibit their vehicles in a special Topless in Miami display during the annual Miami International Auto Show, Nov. 7-16, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
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.”
Based in Miami, the SAMA membership extends around the state and country and is comprised of more than 100 automotive journalists, media organizations, corporate communications specialists, marketing and advertising representatives, and auto manufacturers.
For information, call Ron Beasley at 305- 229-4980 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.