1992 BMW 325i Convertible
1987–93 BMW 325i Convertible – BMW launched its "Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan in the 1970s, but the 1980s E30 helped make it a household expression. The M3 is well past "affordable" by now, but the 6-cylinder 325i convertible can still be bought with a credit card. Most in the US were equipped with automatic, but savvy searchers will be able to locate one with 5-speed to help deliver on the old ad tagline. 1987 BMW 325i Convertibles start at $8,500.
1972 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
1968–75 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible – An American stalwart, the C3 Corvette had a short run as a convertible (the model was built for 7 years as a coupe only), but high production numbers and low upkeep costs guarantee an affordable example resides nearby. 1971 Corvette Convertibles start at $23,700.
1965 Ford Mustang Convertible
1965–67 Ford Mustang Convertible – The Mustang is instantly recognizable by anyone who cares about cars and has endured shifting preferences among buyers to maintain relevance. From high-performance V8s to 6-cylinders, and with millions made, there is a first-generation Mustang to suit everyone's budget.1965 Mustang Convertibles start at $28,100.
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1966–71 International Scout – Summer convertibles need not be limited to sports and luxury cars, and the Scouts are equally at home on the beach, in the forest or at the cruise-in. Values have risen steadily, but not past the point of accessibility. 1966 Scouts start at $9,000.
1962 Lincoln Continental Convertible
1961–67 Lincoln Continental Convertible – Values have climbed for these stylish convertibles over the past 5 years, but they are still surprisingly affordable. Room for friends, great 1960s lines, and being a modern pop culture reference ("Entourage," anyone?) should all keep this purchase essentially free through the summer months. 1961 Continental Convertibles start at $33,600.
- Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz
1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL
1986–89 Mercedes-Benz 560SL – The Mercedes-Benz 560SL has seen swift appreciation over the past 6 months, but driver examples are still affordable. The earlier 450SL and 380SL models have not been swept up in the craze to the same degree, which means they are easier to get into today and have decent future prospects. 1986 560SL Convertibles start at $19,400.
1975 Porsche 914
1972–1976 Porsche 914 – With Porsche prices rising above what can be described as "affordable" by most folks looking for a fun summer car, 914 values remain relatively unfazed. And with the recent run-up of Volkswagen convertible prices, the VW-Porsche stigma the 914 carried with it since new has less of an impact. 1972 914s start at $9,700.
1987 Toyota MR2
1987–89 Toyota MR-2 T-Bar – The MR-2's exotic mid-engine chassis makes it something of a novelty, but it also provides for a driving experience that is hard to find in sub-$10,000 collector cars. Being a Toyota, reliability is great and aftermarket support is, too. These weren't as high on the list for tuners as other cars, either, so stock choices still abound. 1987 MR-2 T-Bar start at $6,200.