If you’re driving a car that doesn’t have a fold-away top during the summer, you’re clearly missing the point. That’s why last week I asked you hair-in-the-wind freethinkers to find the best convertibles on eBay for under a $10,000 budget. Donald Trumps need not apply.
The Porsche 914 is a vintage Porsche that never really made it into the desirability bracket of the 911 or 912, but as time advances, more enthusiasts are realizing that this little drop-top is the nimble and peppy car that they always wanted, for a price that almost anyone with some disposable income could afford. It’s not the 914/6, but at this price, do you really care?
(Suggested by gmporschenut)
American. Powerful. Manual. RWD. Here is a 1993 Corvette, in the special 40th Anniversary Ruby Red. 89,000 miles, looks good (not perfect), except for one spot near the license plate and the interior needs cleaned well and new leather on the wheel. A great price at $8788. The LT1 puts out 300 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque. And it isn’t hard to get 400 hp out it. Reliable with power and great handling. That shit head unit has to go, though. I would rock this one.
(Suggested by DougHarlow)
This Honda City is the rarest Honda you can buy today by a fair margin, especially at this low of a price point. Not only does the 1.3-liter engine resemble something that you’d get in a Fit, it’s infinitely more quirky, collectible, and practical since the top folds into itself so you could potentially use it as an itty-bitty pickup truck. It’ll make you giggle just thinking about it.
(Suggested by The Crazie Kanuck)
Technically, this Jeep Wrangler is only a convertible because the convertible portion can bolt on and off, in the same way that it can also be a doorless cruiser because with the right socket set (of persuasive enough hammer), the doors can be removed for all the fun of a barn explosion with all of the inherent danger. Yes, it’s worth it. All cars should have no doors and no top.
(Suggested by ezeolla)
The last generation of the MR2 Spyder is iconic, if not a little controversial. It employed more feminine features and a more streamlined body, all the while retaining the trademark tenacity and its almost limitless ability to accept upgrades that made its predecessor so popular with the bass-loving demographic. It can be seriously fast with not much cash and the looks will grow on you, I promise.
(Suggested by Miles Teg)
In the ‘90s, Japanese halo cars like this Nissan 300ZX were packed with features to entice their yuppie demographic, but no other car manufacturer made one with a usable convertible top (no, I’m not counting the 3000GT Spyder). This 300ZX takes what’s already a great looking body and chops off the roof, producing one of the most memorable driving experiences ever. This car isn’t the turbo model, but with more than 200 naturally aspirated horsepower, it’s more than you’ll need to cruise to the beach.
(Suggested by JayHova)
The answer seems to always be Miata, especially when the question is “what’s the best four-figure convertible?” This Mazda Miata is enough for you to go blasting through canyons or mountains or whatever twisting roads near breathtaking natural features you have in your neighborhood. It’s the right size, the right price, an although it could use a little more power, it’s more than capable to handle you at 10/10ths.
(Suggested by AntiLag)
The Porsche 996 wasn’t well received because it used the runny-egg headlights from this car, but was that really a bad thing? This Porsche Boxster S is one of the best handling and oddly-styled cars to ever come out of Germany, and it’s only a matter of time before people realize how awesome these entry-level performers truly are - if they can get over the polarizing looks. It’s the automotive equivalent of going outside in your pajamas.
(Suggested by g101010101)
This Ford Galaxie is the antithesis of the Miata - it’s a huge, lumbering hulk that has a huge engine and a body made out of Titanic-grade iron. It can’t go around corners particularly well, but fear not - it has the structural rigidity to go through the house you’re about to hit. This one has some of the shabby-chic patina look that’s become so popular in recent years, but something tells me that it would be an amazing looker if it was restored to its original glory. Jay Leno, I know you’re reading this - what the hell are you waiting for?
(Suggested by CALUSA)
This Honda S2000 is the VTEC-happy, stratospheric-RPM-redline-having successor to Honda’s vintage roadsters. No, this one doesn’t have a roller-bearing crank, but it is a car that can run forever thanks to its insane 240 horsepower naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four cylinder engine. It’s the best convertible you can buy, and I wouldn’t hesitate to put it on a list of best all-around cars for the budget. Get one. NOW.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world’s cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he’s the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn’t feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.