1997 Audi Cabriolet

1997 Audi Cabriolet

For enthusiasts, the removal of the Coupe Quattro – even if it was a bit slower and softer than it could have been – and replacement with a front-drive, automatic-only convertible was a bit of a sad commentary. But it looked pretty nice, keeping the Coupe’s profile and opening the top on Audi’s foray into convertibles. Audi sold a little over 1,000 per a year for the end of the B4 run, extending the life of the model to an impressive 13 years into 1998. End of the run Cabriolet models also offered some sport options including rarely seen seats and more often sported 16″ Votex/Ronal wheels, such as this ’97 wears:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Audi Cabriolet on eBay

1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

It’s been hot. But as we slip past the mid-point of August cooler temperatures are on the way and some of the best days for open-top motoring are on the horizon. So why not begin investigating those options? Cars like the 911, with their strong sporting pedigree, aren’t always the most likely choices for convertibles, but that open-top experience has been a part of the Porsche lineup since nearly the beginning. And why feel like you have to drive something boring just because you want the wind in your hair and sun on your face? The first 911 Cabriolet was released in 1983 and they’ve been a consistent presence in the lineup ever since. The one we see here also combined some new technology in the guise of Porsche’s all-wheel drive system. This certainly wouldn’t be your most sporting 911 available, but its 911 DNA will insure in makes for a captivating drive. Here we have a Black 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, located in California, with Grey leather interior and 71,610 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet on eBay

1993 BMW 318i Baur TC4

1993 BMW 318i Baur TC4

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We’ve reached a point where the BMW E36 has probably dipped about as low as it will go in terms of value, with exception of some mint M3s on the upward tick and the exclusive M3 Lightweight. Most of us are familiar with all the different models of this range, including some of those which did not make it to US shores, like the Touring. This 318i Baur TC4, however, is a different proposition altogether. The relationship between BMW and Baur goes back a ways. Baur is a coachbuilder based in Stuttgart, Germany that has been collaborating on BMW convertibles since the 1930s. Their targa variants of the E21 and E30 3 series helped them gain notoriety, but they didn’t stop there. When the E36 3 series debuted in the early 1990s, Baur decided to try something different.

What you see here is a rarity amongst modern day automobiles, the four-door cabriolet. From the side profile, you’d be hard pressed to figure out this was a convertible of some sort, with fixed door frames and a canvas roof which would fold discreetly behind the rear seats. This 318i Baur TC4 is claimed to be the first on US shores. While it wouldn’t be an easy claim to verify, it is probably valid, as a little over 300 of these unique open-roofed sedans were made.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW 318i Baur TC4 on eBay

1988 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

1988 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

Contrasts: they don’t always work, but when they do they create something that is much more interesting than the norm. I think we see this a lot with modified cars where contrasts in style become much more prevalent. With factory cars these contrasts usually come about through color combinations between the interior and exterior, but even more so when those colors appear to contrast with the ethos of the car itself. That is what we have here. The 930 needs little introduction. As Porsche’s turbocharged rear-engine Goliath it provided rewards to those able to master its dynamics and treachery to those who could not. Subtle is probably the last adjective that might be used about it. In neither appearance nor performance is it anything approaching subtle. Cassis Red Metallic seems a near opposite. A color that is both vibrant and also soft that may even suggest playfulness. It’s beautiful in a way that belies the nature of the 930. When combined we get a stark contrast, one that has been found on many Porsches before and after it and which remains one of my favorite hallmarks of the brand. Does it work? That will be up to individual buyers. But it’s about as far from triple black – the über aggressive alternative – that we can get.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 930 Cabriolet on eBay

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet

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In the last few years, the Mercedes-Benz lineup has grown substantially. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any bigger, along comes the S-class Cabriolet. While the myriad of SUVs that Mercedes sells are responses to growing trends in the marketplace, the S-class Cabriolet is a revival of an old theme, the car you see here: the 280SE Cabriolet. The 280SE Coupe and Cabriolet were the swan song of the W111 chassis, with production of the 3.5 V8 variant lasting through the summer of 1971. This restored 1970 280SE Cabriolet for sale in Chicago is fitted with a 4-speed manual gearbox, an option not often seen on these grand tourers.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet on eBay

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I don’t usually go out of my way to feature a 911 with Tiptronic, but for whatever reason this 993 really got my attention and more or less seems like just the sort of air-cooled 911 one might look for if a Tiptronic actually was desired. The 993 itself has always struck me as a particularly elegant design within the air cooled world. Some of the more aggressive edges of earlier 911s have been smoothed and the curves accentuated. The color combination of this particular 993 further enhances that elegant look. Add to that the very fact that this is a Cabriolet and I think you have the recipe for a 911 cruiser where an automatic might be preferred. Here we have a Forest Green Metallic 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Nashville, with Red leather interior and 58,279 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Transporting the ’70s into the late-80s sometimes results in something a little disjointed. Even only a decade on items that were once loved now no longer are seen in that same light. The 911 we see here may fit into just such a category. Here we have a Cognac Brown Metallic 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Oregon, with Cashmere leather interior and 68,400 miles on it. Porsche has offered a variety of shades of brown for their cars throughout most of the marque’s existence, but we tend to see them most frequently in the late-70s to early-80s. Those seem to be the years when such natural tones predominated. In recent years, I’ve begun to notice some of these colors making a resurgence, especially among the darker shades, but still a lighter metallic brown like the one we see here remains pretty uncommon on the roads these days. To be honest these aren’t the most dynamic of colors but in the right light they do look good. And, of course, for those that are a fan the lack of love usually results in a lower cost of entry.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

This is a first: I have never seen this color on any Porsche let alone a 911. Here we have an Apricot Beige 1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet, located in Cleveland, with Mahogany leather interior and just 21,575 miles on it. Apricot Beige was only offered for two years and this is the only year it would have been available on the 930. So we have a final-year 930, meaning it has the 5-speed transmission rather than the 4-speed the 930 had borne for its entire existence, and a rare exterior color only available during that final year. While the color isn’t likely to garner the widest appeal since its fairly obscure and doesn’t fit into most people’s typical preferences, the combination of these details should draw attention. I think that this is a Cabriolet actually helps this color as the contrast with the interior stands out more and on a Coupe I don’t know if it would look quite as good. It certainly would fit the personality of the 930 even less so than it does here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Slantnose Cabriolet

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Slantnose Cabriolet

There are days when I look at my Audi Coupe GT and think I did it all wrong. I stripped it out, made it hot and uncomfortable; too loud, too stiff, too track biased. It’s fun to drive in short bursts when it’s not hot, or cold, or raining, but there’s a bit of regret that I’m not able to drive and enjoy it more regularly. And it’s too black – it looks fantastic when it’s briefly clean, but every single scratch, nick, and scuff stand out like pimples on a teenager’s face before prom. But, you’d say, it’s a lowly Audi Coupe. Most people don’t even know what they are, and even 95% of those who do wouldn’t care if I made it however I wanted it to be. But what if I had a bigger budget? And, what if I was even more crazy?

I might have made something like this 911. It started life as a ’87 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Maybe. But then someone had an idea, a lot of drugs, and even more money. The result is an absolutely crazy 935-inspired 911 Turbo Slantnose Cabriolet that is so wildly awesome and horrible at the same time you’ll never unsee it:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet on eBay

2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet

2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet

RS4Cab1In 2008, if you had a lot of money to spend and wanted a powerful convertible with seats for four, chances are you bought an M3. But if you wanted to stand out a bit, the RS4 Cabriolet offered an interesting alternative, with ownership of one of these cars putting you in a very exclusive club. Available only for the 2008 model year, Audi imported a mere 300 examples to the US and they were priced accordingly: an astounding $85,000 when new. For your money you got loud and aggressive, wide-boy styling, grippy all wheel drive, a six speed manual gearbox and a power soft-top to fold away so that you could hear the burble produced by the wonderful 420 hp 4.2 liter V-8. True, they were not as composed as the extraordinary RS4 sedan, but if you were in the market for a convertible you probably didn’t mind, since all convertibles are by nature compromised versions of their solid-roof counterparts.

These days, there are usually one or two RS4 cabriolets on the market at any given time and, owing to the god of depreciation, they can be had for around half their original asking price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet on eBay

1939 Mercedes-Benz 170V Cabriolet

1939 Mercedes-Benz 170V Cabriolet

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We don’t see a ton of pre-war Mercedes featured on this site, but when you do it’s something you might find on the 18th green of Pebble Beach. Not today with this 1939 Mercedes-Benz 170V Cabriolet located in North Carolina. About a year ago Paul featured the brother of this car, a 1935 V170 from the same seller. This W136 cabrio can still give you pre-war Mercedes lure without the seven-figure price tag.

1981 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

1981 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

For a decade the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL held a monopoly on topless motoring in Germany. Granted, the Beetle Convertible ran alongside the R107, but honestly they were no where near the same product and certainly didn’t appeal to the same clientele. The company narrowed the gap in 1980 though; Beetle Convertible production ended and a new topless VW came onto the market in the Golf Cabriolet. Modern engines and driving dynamics made the Cabriolet a much more appealing affordable option to those who wished to have some fun in the sun, and though Porsche and BMW would join the topless crew a few years later it still seems that the R107 and the Cabriolet personified the ends of the market and both were extremely popular in their own right. While the Mercedes-Benz has been gaining traction as a collector-status car, the Cabriolet has been slower to be appreciated by enthusiasts but a mint condition original model in European trim is certain to raise some eyebrows as it drops its top:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet on eBay

1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Following upon the heels of Tuesday’s Grand Prix White 930, here we have another 911 showing really nicely in that same color. This time that exterior is combined with a very nice Burgundy interior, a combination that always works well and the situation is no different here. The 911 Cabriolet had only been around for four years when this one was produced and this would be the first year one was produced with the G50 5-speed transmission. Of course, that sort of first-year status isn’t going to elevate its price relative to examples from the following two model years, but for fans of an open-top 911 there really weren’t a lot built in the classic design. With its nice color combination and what sounds like a pretty thorough history, though not completely documented history, this 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Scottsdale, shows a lot of promise. The price is high, as we’ve come to expect from these Carreras, so we’ll have to see where this one goes.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

I spend a decent percentage of my 911 perusing looking specifically at the years of 964 production. Mostly that’s to be on the lookout for interesting examples of the 964 itself, but also for interesting examples of the ’89 3.2 Carrera. The latter are plentiful, while the former certainly are not. To be clear, I see plenty of 964s out there, but they tend to all be more or less the same: either black, red, or white in reasonable, not great, condition and consisting mostly of Targas and Cabriolets. Given the wide variety of interesting colors Porsche had available during the 964’s life it almost seems strange that we don’t see more of them, but rare colors are just that. When we add to that the difficultly Porsche had in selling these in the first place, then we probably shouldn’t be surprised that those that did sell were of a more typical variety. Well, I’ve found a couple that stood out to me more so than the rest. The one we see here isn’t of the rare vibrant sort, but I really like a 964 in Grey (for whatever reason the color suits the model’s lines well) so it caught my attention. We’re short on information, but the condition looks pretty good and if the price can be brought down some I think Cabriolet fans could be quite pleased. Here we have a Stone Grey (Steingrau) Metallic 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, located in San Francisco, with a Taupe leather interior and 86,176 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet on eBay

One-Off: 1987 Porsche 959 Cabriolet

One-Off: 1987 Porsche 959 Cabriolet

For fear of having three Porsche features in a row today, I’m going to go ahead with this post regardless. I typically avoid featuring air-cooled Porsches. The market seems saturated with them and values appear to be leveling off for run of the mill variants. In addition, as enthusiasts discover other Porsches that are more rare, such as the 944 Turbo, 968 and 928GTS, values increase for these cars and sometimes surpass their rear-engined counterparts. Those points considered, even though it isn’t fully air-cooled, you don’t see a 959 come up for sale every day. You especially don’t see the only example of a Porsche 959 Cabriolet come up for sale every day. When I first saw this car, it was like seeing a mirage. The transformation from coupe to convertible suits the lines of this 959 fairly well but I admit I did a double take upon seeing it. I knew this wasn’t an officially sanctioned Porsche. Perhaps growing up in the 1980s and seeing 959 bodykits on convertible Porsches reduced the wow factor a bit for me. Blame it on the crystal that aftermarket tuners were smoking back in that decade.

In any case, this one-off for sale in Italy came to be via an unfortunate accident back in 1998, when owner and Porsche racing driver Jürgen Lässig owned it. According to Top Gear, a company called Auto Becker in Germany purchased the wreck and went to work. What resulted is the work you see before you and comes replete with two windscreens (a Speedster version comes with the car which can be swapped in) as well as a hardtop made from the original roof. A US based collector once paid over three million Deutschmarks for this car after setting eyes on it at the Frankfurt Motor Show.…