But for many, the best convertibles may feel out of reach, and out of budget. Fortunately, there are many popular classic cars that still offer that amazing experience without breaking the bank.
Let’s look at some classic convertibles that come with a more affordable price tag.
If you want to feel like a certain British spy, nothing does the trick like a Triumph Spitfire. Manufactured in the UK from the early 1960s until 1980, these little classic convertibles truly have that certain je ne sais quoi like almost any other car. This vintage roadster is both lightweight and low-cost; in most cases, a Spitfire will come in under $20,000.
This may be in part because they were designed to be inexpensive. In this case, that means underpowered; early models “boast” a 4-cylinder engine and 63 horsepower. However, you’ll find plenty of parts, making the Spitfire relatively easy to fix and upgrade.
For many people, the term “classic convertibles:” instantly calls the Ford Mustang to mind. Manufactured since 1965 (and still going strong), first-generation Mustang convertibles in excellent condition can go for tens of thousands of dollars.
But certain newer models, built after 1983, can be found for much less. The fourth-generation GT, from 1987, offered a powerful V-8 and slick styling. Though prices are on the rise, you can often find a used Mustang convertible for under $10,000.
BMW first started producing this boxy-looking model in the 1970s, and the convertible 325i was introduced in 1985. These preppy, peppy cars have only gotten bigger, with more powerful engines, in the decades since.
A reliable luxury vehicle, today you can find convertible 325i models for well under $15,000. With their 6-cylinder engines, the cars are known to be relatively reliable, as well as comfortable. Repairs can be costly, however.
They were cute then, and they’re iconic now: The VW Beetle stands the test of time as one of the most popular classic cars out there. Created in the 1930s by the original Porsche designer, more than 22 million of these rounded cars were sold until production stopped (momentarily, anyway) in the early 2000s.
Today, Beetles are still a popular choice, and that means plenty of parts and repair know-how is floating around out there. Making them easy to maintain, repair and even make some upgrades. We recommend models built from 1970 and 1979, which had more interior space, bigger engines and higher-quality brakes and suspension than earlier models. Expect to pay from $3,000 to $20,000 for a vintage Beetle convertible.
Mercedes Benz SL
You may be surprised to see a Mercedes included on a list of the best convertibles at an affordable price — but a Mercedes Benz SL convertible can be had for under $20,000. Manufactured from 1954 through today, these cars have always been known as luxurious.
Some of the car’s “boxier” model years — 1972 through 1989 — tend to offer the lowest prices. They’ve still got a powerful V-8 engine and that iconic 80’s movie star look (think Bobby Ewing on Dallas). However, many newer models from the 1990s and early 2000s can also be found at bargain prices. All models offer heavy construction and both a soft- and hard-top.
Taking a spring ride in a vintage car is an amazing experience. Taking a ride in one of these classic convertibles takes it a step further. Which classic car do you dream about?