QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part VIII: Convertibles)

qotd can you build an ideal crapwagon garage part viii convertibles

Over the past seven weeks, we’ve spent time filling the various sections of our Crapwagon Garage with the sort of vehicles only a true connoisseur of cheap can appreciate. This eighth edition in the series is the last we have planned, unless one of you enterprising members of the commentary can think of some style of vehicle the series missed.

Otherwise, we wrap up the series with some convertibles. Many of you have been holding onto your convertible selections for about three weeks, as when we covered coupes all drop-tops were specifically off-limits. Now’s your chance to let loose and [s]take off your top[/s] talk about convertibles.

But first, the Forgettable Favorite from last week’s full-on van party.

Tonyola wins the award for a second time in this series. He likes the Nissan Van (Vanette elsewhere), and I agree. Nissan modified the Vanette for U.S. customers, giving in to their larger engine demands. Said larger engines didn’t fit too well into their allotted space under the floor, creating quite a lot of heat. Fires ensued. All vans were subject to a buyback and destroy effort by Nissan after four different standard recalls did not eliminate the engine fire issue. Time to cool off a bit, with convertibles.

Here are the ever-present rules:

  1. A crapwagon must be a vehicle which is relatively easy to find and purchase using an internet.
  2. All vehicles in the crapwagon garage must have been sold as new, in the North American market.
  3. Said vehicles must be obtainable to the casual crapwagon collector (CCC). This means in clean, running condition each one asks $7,000 or less on a normal day.
  4. Your suggestions must fit into the vehicle category of the week. If you don’t like the category, that’s tough. We’ll get to a category you like eventually.
  5. There are five rules to this garage game, and that’s the maximum number of vehicles you may submit for each section.

Here’s a convertible — an Infiniti M30. Available from the inception of the Infiniti brand, the M30 coupe and convertible occupied the space between the entry-level G20 and the flagship no-grille Q45. Typically, the M30 is found only in white, this red, or silver. Underneath the ruched leather and wood paneling resides a Nissan Leopard with the engine from a 300ZX. I’d rather have a coupe, but that’s not what we’re about today. I’ll live.

Since I don’t have to drive it every day, it doesn’t need to be extra-reliable. My second convertible Crapwagon is the angular Saab 900. Fun paint colors and an upscale Euro image distract from the cowl shake and somewhat sketchy build quality. An attainable and unique ride within budget. This press image is simultaneously dated and excellent.

Let’s hear which convertible Crapwagons you’d select.

[Images: FCA, Youtube, seller, Saab]

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2 of 102 comments
  • Flipper Flipper on Jul 06, 2018

    Dakota pickup?

  • Jhefner Jhefner on Jul 07, 2018

    101 responses and not one mention of the last generation Ford Thunderbird? There are a couple of those still around in my community. 1. Chrysler TC by Maserati -- loved these since they first came out, in the light tan color 2. 2002 Ford Thunderbird 3. Fox body Mustang convertible. When to a car show last week that had a couple of them 4. First generation LaBaron convertible

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.