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Hagerty Names Top 10 Classic Convertibles for Summer

Automobile logo Automobile 2015-06-23 The Manufacturer, Automobile Staff, Joseph Capparella

1964 Mustang Convertible© Provided by Automobile 1964 Mustang Convertible

We already showed you the least expensive new convertibles on the market, but what if something a bit more nostalgic strikes your fancy? Classic car insurance company Hagerty came up with a list of 10 great classic convertibles that are sure to bring back fond memories. Hagerty says that each pick has a suggested market value of under $35,000, readily available replacement parts, and represents a sound investment in the classic car world. See the full list below.

1967 Alfa Romeo Spider front three quarter© Provided by Automobile 1967 Alfa Romeo Spider front three quarter

1. 1966-1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Duetto Spider

The Alfa Romeo Spider, which had a long production run from 1966 all the way until 1994, is one of the Italian marque’s most iconic models. Hagerty’s pick is the first-ever Alfa Romeo Giulia Duetto Spider built in 1966 and 1967, though it says that other generations of the Alfa Spider are good choices as well because the car’s basic mission changed very little over the years. Read our own Collectible Classic story on the 1966-1994 Alfa Romeo Spider to see photos of a 1974 example and find out more about the ownership experience. Hagerty quotes a market price of $25,700 for a 1966 Giulia Duetto Spider, though later examples in less than pristine condition can be found for under $10,000.

1986 BMW 325i convertible© Provided by Automobile 1986 BMW 325i convertible

2. 1987-1993 BMW 325i Convertible

Though the E30-generation BMW M3 may get all the attention these days, the standard 3 Series lineup from the same era was equally important in putting BMW’s compact sports sedan on the map. Among the most iconic bodystyles was the convertible, which can be found at much more accessible price points than the E30 M3, which has skyrocketed in value recently. Hagerty’s pick is the six-cylinder 325i, which we named an AUTOMOBILE All-Star in 1992 and 1993. Market value for a 1987 BMW 325i droptop starts around $8,500, though it may be harder to locate one in the U.S. with the rare five-speed manual transmission.

chevrolet corvette© Provided by Automobile chevrolet corvette

3. 1968-1975 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

A convertible was part of the Chevrolet Corvette formula from the beginning, and continued throughout the C2 and C3 generations of the American sports car. Though Chevrolet stopped production of the convertible C3 in 1975 even as the coupe continued on until 1982, Hagerty says that the 1968-1975 Corvette convertible was produced in high numbers, meaning that it isn’t too hard to find well-kept examples of the Stingray convertible. Hagerty quotes a market value of $23,700 for a 1971 Corvette convertible with a small-block V-8 in good condition, though even more affordable examples are plentiful too.

1964 Ford Mustang Convertible Front Three Quarters View© Provided by Automobile 1964 Ford Mustang Convertible Front Three Quarters View

4. 1965-1967 Ford Mustang Convertible

Millions of first-generation Ford Mustang convertibles were made in the 1960s and 1970s, making this legendary pony car an easy find on the classic car market. Hagerty cites the 1965-1967 models as the best picks, and quotes a market price of $28,100 for a 1965 V-8 convertible. A wide availablility of different six- and eight-cylinder engines means that there’s a wide range of models and budgets to choose from.

MotorTend Image© Provided by Automobile MotorTend Image

5. 1966-71 International Scout

Though the International Scout may not have withstood the test of time, it was a worthy competitor for the Jeep CJ in its heyday. Built as an off-road, body-on-frame SUV, an available softtop made it an ideal beach cruiser. Hagerty’s pick is the 1966-1971 Scout 800, which is accessible with starting market values well under $10,000. These models came with four-cylinder, inline-six, and V-8 engine options, and values have been rising over the past few years.

1961-1963-lincoln-continental© Provided by Automobile 1961-1963-lincoln-continental

6. 1961-1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible

The fourth-generation Lincoln Continental is a prime example of the Lincoln brand’s glory days with its elegant styling and luxurious interior. This four-door droptop made from 1961 to 1967 is still relatively accessible, with Hagerty quoting a market price of $33,600 for a 1961 example. All versions came with V-8 engines, and a rigorous quality-assurance program meant that the cars were built to a high standard. See our collectible classic story on a turquoise 1962 example for more information on the ownership experience.

1990 Mazda MX 5 Miata Front Three Quarters View On Road© Provided by Automobile 1990 Mazda MX 5 Miata Front Three Quarters View On Road

7. 1989-1997 Mazda Miata

It’s no secret that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is synonymous with AUTOMOBILE ’s “No Boring Cars” manifesto, and we’ve expressed our love for this Japanese roadster endlessly over the years. Voted Automobile of the Year in 1990, and an All-Star from 1991-1997, the first-generation NA Miata made a big impression on us. These nimble, fun two-seaters are plentiful and affordable, with Hagerty quoting a market price of $4,500 for a 1995 example. Read our recent story on the MX-5 Miata to see our experience driving the NA with its successor, the new ND MX-5 Miata, on a Miata pilgrimage through northern Michigan.

1985-mercedes-benz-560sl-front-side-view© Provided by Automobile 1985-mercedes-benz-560sl-front-side-view

8. 1986-1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

In the great tradition of big, luxurious Mercedes-Benz convertibles, the third-generation SL was a two-seat droptop with stylish looks and plenty of presence. Hagerty recommends looking for the 1986-1989 560SL model with the top-dog 5.6-liter V-8, though that model has started to appreciate as of late. A market price of $19,400 for a 1986 560SL makes it relatively accessible, while earlier 450SL and 380SL models can be found for significantly less.

1970 1976 Porsche 914 Rear Three Quarter© Provided by Automobile 1970 1976 Porsche 914 Rear Three Quarter

9. 1972-1976 Porsche 914

Though some criticize the Porsche 914 roadster for being more Volkswagen than Porsche, Hagerty calls out this car as being immune to the stratospheric rise among other Porsches on the classic car market. A six-cylinder engine from the 911 helped avoid the Volkswagen stigma in the more powerful 914/6 models, but four-cylinder examples can be found for less, with a market value for a 1972 four-pot sitting below $10,000. Read our Collectible Classic story on a 1974 Porsche 914 for more information on this car.

1985-1989 Toyota MR2© Provided by Automobile 1985-1989 Toyota MR2

10. 1987-1989 Toyota MR-2 T-Bar

The good old days of affordable mid-engine sports cars are long gone, but Toyota was at the forefront of the market with the MR2. Though the distinctive, angular first-generation MR2 wasn’t exactly a roadster, its available T-Bar top makes for a wind-in-your-hair experience. 1987 examples can be found for as low as $6,200, and it’s a reliable choice with plenty of aftermarket support. We named the MR2 to our first-ever All-Star list in 1986, and the MR2 was even on the cover of the first-ever issue of AUTOMOBILE, next to a Ferrari 308, of all things. Read our Collectible Classic story on the MR2 for more information.


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