2007 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

Just to wash the bad taste out of our mouth from the paint-to-sample 993 Turbo earlier this week, I thought I’d look at a shade that is a lot more pleasant. This is a 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet finished in paint-to-sample … something purple. The seller says it is “Lavender,” however I don’t recall that being an option for the paint-to-sample cars. This looks much more like Vesuvio Metallic or a shade very close to that. It doesn’t scream purple like an Ultraviolet, but rather has a little bit of a grey tint in it. Personally, I like it. But maybe not on this exact example.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet on eBay

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1995 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

Another day, another cool Porsche color I didn’t even know existed. This is Kiln Red Metallic that was available on the 1983 and 1984 911s and 928s, and supposedly kept in the Porsche library based on us seeing it on a 1995 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. It is a very deep red and cooper tone that certainly isn’t obnoxiously loud, but will catch your eye for sure. Interesting that this one is selection on a C4 Cabriolet, as most didn’t go for the loud colors on the cab given they were already pretty noticeable. This example up for sale in San Francisco comes in at just 55,000 miles, but the price might be a little high.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet on San Francisco Craigslist

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2010 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

Oh boy. Today’s car might be a nice refresher on how not the sell a car. In general, the modifications you make to a car do not appeal to other people when it comes time to sell. If they do, they very rarely add any value. Let me repeat that. They do not appeal or add any value to said car. Unless the modifications fix a problem factory, i.e., an aftermarket charge pipe on a BMW 1M after the OEM one explodes, you are better off selling the car as stock. This only increases as the value of the car goes up. $7,000 Honda Civic with wheels, coilovers, and an intake? Someone on Craigslist might bite. Lime green wheels and accents on a 997.2 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet? Grab a heat gun and start pulling.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet on eBay

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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