I currently drive a 2005 MINI Cooper S convertible. I’ve been swapping winter/summer tires for the past few years but I was thinking that this year I might get a beater car for the harsher weather months. The combination of FWD and wear and tear on the fabric roof are my main reasons for these considerations.
I live in NJ, so most of my driving is on the highway but as part of my job as a systems admin in a datacenter, I’m occasionally called into work at times when even the highways haven’t been plowed.
Do you think it’s possible to find a cheap (around $1000), preferably AWD car that would work well for winters in the northeast? Craigslist searches so far have turned up a handful of Subarus, Volvos, and Audis Quattro.
One of the worst things about the Malaise Era (other than the ascendance of Captain and Tennile) was the lack of cars with convertible tops during the period. The last convertible Cadillac Eldorado rolled off the assembly line in 1976, but the decline of the convertible had started a few years earlier. The top-down drought held until the last of the Malaise years, when machines such as Rabbit Cabriolets and LeBaron convertibles became available. Chrysler kept making the K-based LeBaron convertible until 1995, but you don’t see many of them these days. Here’s a pair of early-90s examples I found side-by-side in a Denver wrecking yard. (Read More…)
Even though the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is gone forever, performance-minded 1-Series customers must have a high-end performance model, even if a lot of them don’t even know if the car is front-drive or rear-drive.
What’s the difference between the Range Rover Evoque and the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet? About $545, and the fact that people will actually buy the proposed convertible version of the Evoque, solely due to the “Range Rover” lettering on the front end.
Dentists and divorcees, rejoice! The BMW M6 will debut as a convertible first, with deliveries starting in June. The hardtop will go on sale later this summer – both will get all the same mechanical bits as an M5, but with only two-doors, you can shed the family image in favor of someone who pays (or receives) alimony.
Luxury roadsters have always been niche vehicles. With the economic implosion over the last decade, that niche has become even smaller. Last year the Mercedes SLK and BMW Z4 each sold less than 3,500 units on our shores, down from over 10,000 each back in 2006 and Canadian sales are roughly a tenth of that. While Mercedes is likely crying in their delicious geflügelsuppe, roadster shoppers benefit by being able to drive one of the most exclusive Mercedes models available on our shores. While the last model awkwardly aped the unholy union of a Mercdes F1 car and a bottlenose dolphin, the new model sells itself with sexy new sheet metal, 29 MPG on the highway and a $54,800 base price.
I must admit I’ve lost track of the variations on the DeVille name used by Cadillac over the decades; according to the 1970 sales brochure, this car— which I found at the same Denver yard that gave us the ’82 AM General Postal Jeep yesterday— was a “de Ville” (two words, first starting with lower-case letter). It’s pretty well used up, but you can still see the genuine pre-malaise luxury. (Read More…)
What you see before you will be the best-selling Porsche 911. It is sad but true: in the watercooled era, the convertible has generally outsold the coupe. For that reason alone, Porsche was eager to introduce a droptop 991. Add all-wheel-drive and a PDK transmission, and you have
a sickening parody of Butzi Porsche’s original 901 concept a great way for high-net-worth people to get to their yoga lessons.
Full-size high-end luxury convertibles that don’t have budget origins are not as common as you might think (or like). E-Class Cabrio? Too cheap. A5 Cabrio? Same problem. So if you’ve $90,000+ burning a hole in your pocket for a topless two-door what should you get? Obviously Astons and Bentleys are out of your price range in this down economy (we all must economize after all), and you have trouble justifying the stretch to the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible’s $132,000 base price, that leaves BMW and Jaguar to battle in this broom-closet sized market. Whatever is the almost-wealthy shopper to do? Let’s find out
Thirteen years after the Mercedes-Benz SLK reintroduced the hard top convertible, the novelty has once again begun to wear off in the face of concerns about cost, complexity, and curb weight. Even high-end manufacturers like Audi, BMW, and Jaguar have fit their latest convertibles with soft tops (albeit multi-layered ones to retain heat and keep out noise). In other words, the retractable hard top has not rendered ye olde ragtop obsolete. This isn’t to say that the retractable hard top is pointless, at least not when innovatively executed. The recently updated Volkswagen Eos remains the best. But would you want one?
After seeing the sad little yellow Fiat convertible in a Denver junkyard, let’s admire a happy little yellow Fiat convertible that’s still managing to evade the cruel jaws of The Crusher. (Read More…)
Imagine, this tiny Italian sports car hanging on long enough to evade the junkyard until the second decade of the 21st century! We have no way of knowing how many of its 40 years were spent as a “get to it someday” project car, under a tarp in a side yard, but it doesn’t have the weeds-and-mouse-poop look of a car that spent many years outdoors. I found this little jewel in the same Denver self-serve yard that gave us this ’79 Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan. (Read More…)
Many of the older cars you find in the junkyard clearly spent a decade or three moldering in a side yard or driveway before taking that final ride behind the tow truck. The project that never gets started, or the once-reliable car that needs a new transmission, or sometimes just Grandpa’s forgotten daily driver. We don’t know that this Rambler ran when parked, but we can tell when it was parked: 1986. (Read More…)
While in California to check out Billetproof Nor-Cal last weekend, I had the chance to visit The Island That Rust Forgot. It didn’t take long to find this ’67 Barracuda convertible and today’s find. (Read More…)
Back when I lived in Alameda, California (also known as “The Island That Rust Forgot”), I photographed and posted nearly 600 interesting street-parked cars and trucks on Jalopnik. The first one was this Cadillac Cimarron d’Oro, back in May of ’07; the next 499 may be found here. I moved to Denver last year… which means the ITRF has had ample time to add many new DOTS candidates. I was on the island for a very brief time over the weekend and managed to shoot a couple of them. (Read More…)