Sebring, Solara, S2000?
Now that summer is in full swing, you probably drive around with the windows down trying to soak as much of the warm rays as you can. But there is a better way to cruise around while enjoying the sun: a convertible.
However, you can't go to the nearest supercar dealership and trade-in your reliable commuter for a Ferrari 488 Spyder or a Lamborghini Huracán drop top. You need to keep your practical car, so what about finding a cheap second vehicle?
There are a couple of different ways to do this; yes, you can probably go and buy that basket-case Alfa Romeo Spider and spend an untold amount of dollars and time to make it driveable, but we will be focusing on vehicles that are ready to enjoy right now.
On the used market, you can surprisingly find running convertibles for as low as $1,000. Yes, you will probably end up in a Chrysler Sebring or a Toyota Solara, but if all you care about is driving with the top down, it doesn't matter what you drive, right?
If you want something with a little more personality, there are great options for less than $5,000. For example, you can find first-generation Mazda Miata (or MX-5)—the one with pop-up headlights, known among enthusiasts as the NA Miata—between $3,000 and $5,000. These have proven to be reliable, supremely fun to drive and easy to work on.
Between $5,000 and $10,000, you can find the quintessential Pony Car, the Ford Mustang. For this price, you are likely to end up in a 2005+ V6 Pony Car. Spend a little more, or be willing to go a little older, like a ''New Edge'', which denotes the 1999-2004 models, and you will be able to get your hands on a V8.
If you are prepared to go up to $20,000, there are many great options. Among those, we could easily mention quite a few unique machines like the Porsche Boxster and the BMW M3. However, since we are on the subject of cheap convertibles, here is a tip: for that price, get something that will hold its value or even better, become an investment. Cars like the Honda S2000 have been hovering around $17,000 for a while now, but they are poised to climb as they get rarer.... So this could be a great way to actually make money while driving a great vehicle with the top down.