10 affordable classic convertibles for summerJune 21, 2020
10 affordable classic convertibles for summer
Summer has come and buying a classic convertible to drive around in the sunshine isn’t as expensive as you might think. There are many fun and affordable convertibles available for less than $20,000.
The list includes dream machines from all over the world, including two-seat sports cars, classic American SUV, and muscle cars. Each of them is at least 20 years old and can be purchased in very good condition on a tight budget. Some can even be bought for less than $10,000!
If you are in for it to feel the sun on your face and warm breeze in your hair, make this summer unforgettable with your favorite convertible.
1986 – 1993 Ford Mustang GT
With the 1980s models, when the 5.0-liter and V8-powered Mustang GT ruled the road. These third-generation Mustangs are becoming classics. Well-preserved, low mileage models are getting popular.
They were quick, lightweight machines with over 200 horsepower. In 1986, Ford added fuel injection to the Mustang’s famous eight-cylinder engine, and the next year the GT model was redesigned with aggressive ground effects, large fog lights, and distinctive taillights. Airbags were added for additional safety in 1990. A five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions were presented.
Based on Hagerty Valuation Tool, the average price for a good model is between $7,300 and $8,900.
1973 – 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL
No other car represents wealth like a Mercedes-Benz 450 SL from the 1970s. These two-seat, V8-powered convertibles were all over Beverly Hills back then. They were known for their strong construction. The Mercedes 450 SL was heavy for its small size and featured both a folding soft top and a removable hardtop. With a fuel-injected, 4.5-liter, overhead-cam V8 mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. Models after 1973 have larger, less attractive bumpers to meet new federal regulations.
The average price of a good condition models is between $12,800 and $18,100 according to the Hagerty Valuation Tool.
1974 – 1975 Chevy Corvette
Most classic Corvette convertibles more than $20,000, but there are still a few that don’t. Some of the most affordable models were built in 1974 and 1975. Chevy stopped producing the convertible Corvette after 1975 and wouldn’t reintroduce it until 1986, and the demand for these models is on the rise.
They offer classic Corvette styling and cool retro interiors with air conditioning. Equipped with carbureted, 350-cubic-inch, small-block V8 engine that Chevy used for decades. It isn’t identified as powerful by today’s standards, but it’s reliable, simple to repair, with cheap and easy to find parts. They were offered with either a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission.
According to the Hagerty Valuation Tool, the average price of good condition models is about $16,000.
1966 – 1993 Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfas are known as unique cars. Alfa Romeo Spider sold in the United States from 1966 to 1993, is its best-known model. Designed by Pininfarina, all Alfa Spiders were two-seat roadsters powered by the brand’s famous double-overhead cam, four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission. Horsepower ranged from 110 to 210.
The roadster appeared as the Duetto, which lasted until 1968, and was sold in many trim levels over the decades including Veloce and Quadrifoglio. There was even a Graduate model. Meant to bring back some nostalgia from the 1960s, it was sold from 1985 to 1990. Although the earliest cars go beyond our $20,000 budget, models built from 1970 to 1993 are extremely affordable.
According to the Hagerty Valuation Tool, the average price of Good condition examples is between $10,600 and $18,100 depending on the year and model.
1971 – 1980 International Harvester Scout II
Classic SUVs are extremely expensive in the collector car market and the values of vintage Ford Broncos, Chevy Blazers, and Jeep Grand Wagoneers are over the roof. It goes without saying that as a result, the values of second-generation International Harvester Scouts are also rising. But these two-door SUVs, which offer removable hardtops, remain way more affordable than the others.
This is good news for classic convertible buyers on a budget, since Scouts deliver as much old-school, rugged SUV vibe as the others at a fraction of the price. These trucks were presented with six-cylinder or the popularV8 engines and with two- or four-wheel drive. In 1976, International Harvester also introduced diesel power, but the V8, four-wheel drive models are the most popular and they cost a bit more.
Based on the Hagerty Valuation Tool, the average price of “Good” condition, V8-powered, four-wheel drive models is between $18,400 and $21,400.
1990 – 1998 Mazda Miata
The original first generation of the Mazda Miata caused an excitement when it hit the streets in 1990. Everyone had to have one and the small, affordable, two-seat convertible became.
These cars are robust, but still buy the lowest mileage model you can find. Also look for a Miata with air conditioning—it was an option in the early days, just like power windows and locks. Mazda’s soft top operates manually and can be lowered or raised from the driver’s seat. Cars with the optional hardtop demand a premium. Models built after 1994 have a larger 1.8-liter engine with a little more power.
Based on the Hagerty Valuation Tool, the average price of good and running models is about $6,000.
1968 – 1971 MGB Mk II
If want the true British roadster experience, try the MG B Mk II sold from 1968 to 1971. These little roadsters are more refined than the Mk I series.
MG stands for Miller Garages, and they sold a lot of these little two-seat drop-tops in the United States. However, many rusted to dust, so always check for rot and walk away from cars impaired. Under the hood is a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with two one-barrel carburetors and a bit over 90 horsepower, so don’t expect much speed. Essentially all were equipped with manual transmissions.
The average price of good condition examples is about $9,000, according to the Hagerty Valuation Tool.
1967 – 1969 Pontiac Firebird
Early Chevy Camaro convertibles are too expensive for this list, but you can get the very same experience for less money with a Pontiac Firebird. The Camaro and the Firebird are the same car. Both used the same suspension, chassis, and brakes, and they’re the same size. Both cars even used interchangeable doors, decklids, and roofs.
Just like the Camaro, the first generation of the Pontiac Firebird was built from 1967 to 1969 and was presented as a convertible all three years. The 1969 model looks slightly different, but remains the same. Under the hood of a base Firebird convertible was Pontiac’s 326-cubic-inch V8 making either 250 or 285 horsepower, depending on the size of its carburetor. in 1969, Pontiac enlarged the engine to 350 cubic inches manual and automatic transmissions were offered.
According to the Hagerty Valuation Tool, the average price of good condition models ranges from $15,600 to $18,500.
1973 – 1979 Volkswagen Beetle
Designed by Ferdinand Porsche in the late 1930s, the Volkswagen Beetle remained in production until 2003, with its rear-engine, air-cooled four-seater would become one of the best-selling cars ever with nearly 22 million produced. Throughout most of its time was sold in the U.S., which ended in 1979, the Beetle was offered in coupe and convertible body styles.
We recommend models sold between 1970 and 1979, because they benefit from betterments made to the car over the years including larger engines, more comfortable interiors, and better suspension and brakes. Just bear in mind that these icons have 50 horsepower or less, so don’t expect much performance.
The average price of a good condition models is between $10,700 and $15,800 based on the Hagerty Valuation Tool.
1989 – 1990 Jaguar XJ-S
Successor to the legendary Jaguar E-Type, the XJ-S was sold between 1976 and 1996 and became Jaguar’s longest-running model ever. In 1989, Jaguar finally offered a full convertible version of the XJ-S and today car collectors are starting to notice these V12-powered drop-tops.
Although the XJ-S coupe has a small back seat, the convertibles are two-seaters. These cars are powered by Jaguar’s famous 5.3-liter, fuel-injected V12, rated at 262 horsepower. It was one of the sexiest and most powerful engines of the time. The XJ-S convertible remained available through 1996, however, the model received an unattractive facelift in 1991 and many prefer the simpler original design.
According to the Hagerty Valuation Tool, the average price of good condition models is $16,500.