1990 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Well, this is something different. Almost every time you see a modified Porsche, more specifically an air-cooled example, those modifications are for performance. Outside of the crazy 1980s coach builders that made some truly horrific stuff, if you were messing around wit a Porsche, it was to go faster around a race track. It makes sense, because that is what these cars are all about. There is no fun driving a Porsche slow because…well, they are’t good at that. So when today’s car popped up for sale, a 1990 C2 Cabriolet in Florida, it caught me off guard. You can probably see why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

As counter-intuitive as it might seem, Porsche made a bunch of automatic 911 Turbos. Specifically automatic 911 Turbo Cabriolets. Why? Well, that is what their buyers want. I know we are all dyed in the wool enthusiasts obsessed with heel toeing and nailing the perfect shift, but there are a lot middle-aged dentists out there who want a convertible Porsche to drive to the Daily Queen on Sunday evenings with their midsize dog in the back seat. Thus, we have a glut of 911 Turbo Cabriolets.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet

To say the the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen Cabriolet is a unique vehicle is an understatement. How many other hand-made two-door SUV with four-wheel drive, three locking differentials, and a power-operated top are there? They are extremely rare given their quirkiness, and as you might have guessed, extremely expensive. With the addition of the power top in 1997, this suddenly became an ultra-luxury vehicle despite it’s farm truck-like ride and dated technology. Given they were never officially offered by Mercedes-Benz for the US market, the demand far outweighs the supply. Even in markets they were offered, production was very limited. The result is a six-figure price tag and the wealthy willing to pay. This 2000 G500 Cabriolet up for sale in Chicago follows that trend, but I’m afraid this one is a little out of line.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet

Like the Volkswagen Cabrio, the 944S2 Cabriolet isn’t a car that gets a lot of press on these pages. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the makings of a classic. Like the Cabrio, it sold in small numbers in the tight times of the early 1990s; Porsche claims it sold only 2,386 in the United States. And it has a potent power plant in the revised 3.0 16V inline-4; pushing 207 horsepower and 208 lb.ft of torque, it was nearly as potent as the first generation Turbo without the inherent lag or accompanying bills. Yet it shared the same perfect weight balance with the rear-mounted transaxle, Turbo brakes and larger roll bars along with the integrated Turbo-look nose and tail. The S2 also received the new “Design 90” wheels that helped to bring it in line with late 928S4 and 964 models.

However, the 944S2 Cabriolet has always been overshadowed. First, for the sporting drivers out there, most will be seeking the clean lines of the S2 Coupe. Then there is always the more popular 911 Cabriolet, but it’s real competition is the later 968 Cabriolet. With more power, revised looks and a 6-speed manual, those late 968s are by most accounts the ones to get. But to me, that means that a clean 944S2 is a better value while offering you most of the experience of the VarioCam. Let’s consider this beautiful Cyclamen Red Metallic example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

2003 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

I know this is tough to reconcile at the moment, but spring is here. Warm temperatures have returned or nearly returned, and convertible season is upon us. Sure, most trips in said convertibles will be point A to point A, but we’ll get there sooner or later. Of all the convertibles offered by the German marques, and there are many, the Porsche 911 always seems to be near the top of the discussion when it comes which one might be the best. From the G Body all the way up to the new 992, you can have a topless 911 in nearly every variant. In terms of the least expensive, we always come back to old friend 996 to see where the bottom is. Can you get any lower than a base 911 with the 5-speed automatic transmission?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Porsche 911 Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

1979 BMW 320i Baur TC1

When enthusiasts think of custom coachwork and Germany, one name usually springs to mind: Karmann. Most identifiable for their combination with Ghia’s designs for Volkswagen, Karmann produced not only their eponymous creation Karmann-Ghia in both Type 14 and Type 34 configuration, but also the Beetle convertible. Volkswagen’s association didn’t end there, though, as the first Rabbit Cabriolets, both versions of the original Scirocco and the later Corrado were all built by the firm. So, too, were some of the first Porsche 356, 911 and 912 models, along with the 914. BMW, too, turned to the firm for ‘Big Coupe’ production, from the 2000CS to the E24 6-series. But when it came time to take the top off of their small cars, BMW looked elsewhere.

From Osnabrück, BMW headed into the heart of the enemy’s home in Stuttgart, where Karosserie Baur was located. Baur was the company that BMW turned to when plans with Lamborghini to produce the supercar M1 fell through. Baur would later be the home that the infamous Group B Sport Quattro and Porsche 959 were produced in. In short, Baur was responsible for some of the most significant designs in German motoring and has plenty of expertise in factory-quality experience. It should come as no surprise, then, that they were the company that BMW selected to produce the first 3-series convertibles.

Taking the roof off the car seems simple enough; just grab a saw and say ‘How hard could it be?’ Well, not so fast, as structural rigidity rears its ugly head. Beyond that, in the 1970s government nannies were indicating that the idea of a topless car was going to be outlawed, leading many manufacturers – including all of the major U.S. brands – to abandon the idea. Baur’s solution to the problem was to create a roll hoop ‘Targa’ model, which as we know from Porsche models offered multiple roof positions while simultaneously solving the issue of structural rigidity and occupant safety. But Baur wasn’t able to utilize the ‘Targa’ nameplate, as Porsche owned the copywrite of the title. Baur instead called the new partially topless 3-series the Top Cabriolet, shortened to TC. BMW offered these as a full-factory option and maintained the warranty, as these cars were expensive in period – a 320i like this one hit the market at the equivalent of $14,000 in 1979 (about $50,000 today) and selecting the Baur TC1 option added some $6,000 (about $21,000 today) to the price. Just for reference, that’ll buy you TWO brand new 230is today.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW 320i Baur TC1 on eBay

Continue reading

1959 BMW Isetta 300 Cabriolet

Following up on the hugely popular Fuldamobile, it seems appropriate to talk about the more successful and instantly recognizable Isetta. Like the Fuldamobile, BMW’s quirky bubble car was a licensed production. The original design was the Iso Autoveicoli company’s property in Italy, and its owner – Renzo Rivolta, who would go on to support the production of some beautiful Italian-American V8 GT cars – started production in 1954 after showing the car at the ’53 Turin Automobile Show. Rivolta was happy to license production and did so with VELAM in France, De Carlo in Argentina, and Romi in Brazil. But, of course, the most famous and numerous version was the BMW variant.

Produced first as a 250, then upgraded to 300 (and finally 600, where the stretched chassis would go on to foster BMW’s 700 model), some 160,000-odd Isettas were produced by BMW in their cash-strapped post-War years. But among the most rare variations of production was the Cabriolet model:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 BMW Isetta 300 Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

I hate to be clich, but the facelift W124 Cabriolets are aging very well. It is safe to call them classics now, honestly modern classics, but still old enough to rent a car at the airport. The square handsome lines will never be offensive or jarring, and the quality is nearly unmatched. Even compare it to the same model year Rolls-Royce Corniche, and you’d be crazy not to pick the Mercedes. That has been keeping prices stable for as long as I can remember and it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere. This 1995 up for sale in Arizona is nothing but blue over blue on blue. I think I like it that way.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

1995 Audi Cabriolet

Looking for a performance car? This isnt it. Its also about as far from a classic Audi as you could get in the U.S. market; there was no turbo, no inline-5, no manual and no quattro drivetrain. But the B4 Audi Cabriolet was ironically the last 1980s holdover for the company, and it survived until somewhat amazingly 1998 here, with the basic chassis construction from 1985. To the end, it remained a competent and handsome convertible, a conservative alternative to the more expensive Mercedes-Benz drop-tops and the flashier BMWs. The Cabriolet really only came in one configuration here, with the 2.8 liter V6 linked to the 4-speed automatic driving the front wheels. On the fly, this was a fine setup and certainly potent enough to rustle your hair, though it was far from lighting it on fire. Pricing at the end of the run was surprisingly high at $34,600 base price. Added to that were the packages many came with for the 1998 model year; Premium Package added a power roof, burled walnut wood trim; Kodiac leather seat upholstery, remote locking and alarm. To make it more palatable to most of the country, the All Weather Package added heated front seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, and heated door locks. Also optional for the end of the run were the Votex Speedline Competition 16″ 6-spoke alloy wheels and even high backed sport seats; both (especially the latter) are very rare. Of course, the Cabriolet is rare full stop, with only 5,439 sold here between 1994 and 1998, or roughly 1,000 per a model year. This ’95 is one of 1,087 and might be one of the best left:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi Cabriolet on eBay

Continue reading

2014 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet Final Edition 200

To commemorate the end of the G-Class Cabriolet production, Mercedes-Benz decided to make a special version called the ”Final Edition 200” that was slated to be ultimate G cabriolet. They grabbed the wheels from the G63/G65, put some fancy leather work inside, added a some badges, and pitched it to all their best buyers. All 200 sold out before production even started, and those buyers probably weren’t too happy to hear a few years later that this wasn’t the end of the G cabriolet run thanks to the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet. Granted, this was the last two-door G Cabrio, but still. Today, one of the 200 is up for sale Miami thanks to some federalization help from Europa International. However, this price on this G probably isn’t what you would guess. Are you sitting down?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet Final Edition 200 on eBay

Continue reading