All posts tagged Convertible

1999 BMW M3 Convertible

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The E36 M3 has a curious reputation. Not quite a legendary track machine like its predecessor, the E30, and not quite a sublimely complete driver’s car like its successor, the E46, the E36 is the awkward middle child of the M family. Even BMW themselves seemed only half-heartedly committed to the car in America, choosing to offer it here with a less powerful engine than its European cousin. The resulting antipathy felt toward the car by some M-purists, who regard it as little more than a 328i with M-badging, has kept values low on these for quite some time. As a result, many of the used examples you find on Craigslist have been bought cheaply and thrashed, crashed or otherwise abused.

Still, they are very good cars – torquey, well-balanced and offering a dynamic driving experience. It’s always nice to come across a low mileage example in mint condition that has been kept in stock form. This convertible in stunning Techno Violet is such a car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M3 Convertible on Hemmings

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1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

If it was sheer class you were after in the 1980s, there were few better options than the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL. This car lasted in production over an amazing 19 year span and aged rather gracefully, save for perhaps the requisite crash bumpers that appeared in the early 1970s on US models. The close of the 1980s would be the curtain call for this timeless roadster, with the final example, a Signal Red 500SL roadster, rolling off the line in early August of 1989. This 1989 560SL is painted in one of my favorite hues, Bordeaux Red over Parchment leather. With less than 20,000 miles from new, this is a strong candidate for the collector.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay

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1991 BMW M3 Convertible

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In these dark days, E30 M3s even well above 100k miles can crest $50k, a baffling amount of money. The craziest thing is that the E30 M3 isn’t even that rare. Nearly 17k were produced, some three times more than were required for homologation and three times more than the E28 M5. There are certainly rarities within the M3 family, from the Evolution I and II models to Cecotto, Ravaglia, and Europa Meister editions. And then there were these convertibles, of which about 800 were released over three editions from 1988 to 1991. This car comes from the final and most-produced batch, whose S14 now produced 215hp instead of 195hp. You’re going to need that extra power to move the incredible 400 extra pounds the convertible is saddled with. We talk about severe driving penalties associated with convertibles, but I have to imagine this is one of the most egregious examples. With just 21k miles covered and rare to spare, the seller is hoping for $130k to pass this M3 to the next climate-controlled secure location.

Click for details: 1991 BMW M3 Convertible

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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. Now it is up for sale again at an equally eye-watering price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 959 Cabriolet on Classic Trader

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1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet

I can remember vividly when the Porsche 944 Cabriolet first debuted. As a young child, I would eagerly await those car magazines arriving by post each month, giving me the opportunity to set eyes on concepts, spy shots, prototypes and all the newest models. When the first images of the 944 Cabriolet appeared, I felt like something was missing. The proportions somehow didn’t seem right, as I had been used to seeing this transaxle Porsche design in fixed roof form for years. The folding roof and rounded off rear end seemed a world apart. However, I think time has been kind to this design and it’s a very unique model that appeared at the dawn of a decade that would bring about some of the most drastic changes in Porsche history. This 944 Cabriolet for sale in California has a mere 12,000 miles on the clock and while the Linen Gray Metallic isn’t necessarily suited to this sports car, it doesn’t offend either, looking sharp sitting on those Gullideckel alloys.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet on eBay

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