thepope540 New Reader
9/2/14 5:58 a.m.

Here are the criteria:

Engaging to drive, Convertible, Back seat for 2 kids, Rear or all wheel drive, FUN, Great engine sound. I'd love to do it on a challenge budget, but $5000 is about the top of the scale. Unique

I feel like an F-body or mustang make the most sense, but I'm not really worried about the car being sensible and I really want something more special. I see a dozen mustangs and half a dozen F-bodies on my 15 mile commute everyday... I want a boosted miata, but need a back seat. I was leaning toward a 3 series but I'm also thinking a GSX convertible or ST185 convertible would be super cool.

What should I look for?

Grtechguy UltimaDork
9/2/14 6:06 a.m.

isn't the answer E30?

slow Reader
9/2/14 6:28 a.m.

From the left field: How about Jag XJ, Infinity M30 (Leopard)?

DaewooOfDeath Dork
9/2/14 6:50 a.m.

Mercedes SL600 with "minor electronic problems."

mblommel Reader
9/2/14 8:26 a.m.

Is 5 grand enough to buy a Triumph Stag?

Dodge 600 convertible with a built turbo 2.2? Edit: sorry not RWD.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
9/2/14 8:30 a.m.

Do not touch a 5k Stag.

I think E30 is the sensible option, hitting all the criteria.

But I think I'd be tempted by something like a 60s Dart or Falcon convertible. If I could find one for that kinda money.

Klayfish SuperDork
9/2/14 8:35 a.m.

I'd agree E30 is a good choice if you don't want the gold chain twins (I kid...I kid...I've had a few 'stang 'verts). The RWD 4 seater limits options. One other possibility

szeis4cookie HalfDork
9/2/14 9:17 a.m.

Watching this thread with interest. Have been thinking a while about a MINI or S197 Mustang for a similar purpose.

thepope540 New Reader
9/2/14 8:21 p.m.

I guess I need to find an E30 to test drive and see how it suits me. The little bimmer makes sense on paper, but I've never been behind the wheel of one and don't love the look of them unless they're in really nice shape and lowered a bit.

The Jag and Merc are interesting options - but they're hard to find with a manual trans. I thought about a 240, but I'm not a drift fanboy and don't want to pay drift tax for a car I'm not really excited about, plus it would be an automatic unless swapped.

JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
9/2/14 9:13 p.m.

For awd drive convertible, if not Jeep CJ/Wrangler then the answer will have to be AMC Eagle Sundancer

Vigo PowerDork
9/2/14 9:18 p.m.

There was no GSX Spyder that i'm aware of. GST fwd or non turbo fwd only.

I feel like a 4th gen Fbody is a good idea in this case, and a 4th gen fbody is certainly not DOOMED to sensibility.

Theres a part of me that really wants to build a 93-97 camaro convertible in the 30th anniversary colors with a turbo 3.8/5spd. I cant remotely justify it considering everything else i own, but it sounds like you could.

thepope540 New Reader
9/2/14 10:09 p.m.

In reply to Vigo:

I'd have to convert the gst convertible to a gsx - some assembly required. I had a '95 Trans Am about 2 years ago and really enjoyed some aspects of it. If I go back to an F-body, it will be hard to pass the v8/t56 combo.

SkinnyG Dork
9/2/14 10:11 p.m.

You didn't specifically mention two or four door.

The 2CV has everything you want, and includes a bottle of Chateau Quirky nestled inside a wicker basket.

dcteague New Reader
9/2/14 10:23 p.m.

If you could find a good quality example - this might be an option that's definitely unique these days - 2nd gen Celica. I've owned 2 e30's and tracked them - great cars so that'd be my first choice. But if I had to find a 4 seater and wanted something unique, I might go find one of these.

Celica GT Convertible

amg_rx7 Dork
9/2/14 11:43 p.m.

Saab 900 or 9-3 convertible
Mercedes CLK convertible
e36 convertible - probably cheaper than the e30...
Audi A4 or 90 convertible

EvanR Dork
9/3/14 12:27 a.m.
Klayfish wrote: I'd agree E30 is a good choice if you don't want the gold chain twins (I kid...I kid...I've had a few 'stang 'verts). The RWD 4 seater limits options. One other possibility

So close! Look at the white thing in the background instead. Remove roof, add V-8, et voila!

sanman HalfDork
9/3/14 1:37 a.m.

Early xk8 may be in your price range, it is a terrible idea since anything in your price range will have a nikasil engine issue. Classic saab 900 turbo is my choice for that price.

ls1fiero Reader
9/3/14 5:38 a.m.

You may like the others but you would love the C900 Saab. I had an awesome to.p down starry night cruise in mine last night

thepope540 New Reader
9/3/14 5:38 a.m.

The 2CV actually looks like a load of fun, but it doesn't look like it would be fun at the occasional autocross.

A Celica GT could be really cool, but they're nearly impossible to find in decent shape and while I don't mind maintenance or light rust repair, I'm not looking for a two year restoration.

tr8todd HalfDork
9/3/14 6:17 a.m.

There was a beautiful red with tan leather 89 E30 vert at the BMW show in Mass a few weeks ago. It was for sale for an asking price of $6K and only had 55,000 miles. Had a few scratches on the fender lips from the old guy that owned it backing in and out of the garage. Can't see how you can do much better than that car for the money, so I'd compare any purchase against that one. I'm pretty sure Teamevil grabbed the guys info. The car was owned by an old man since new. He passed 8 years or so ago and the lawyer handling the estate bought the car. In 8 years he only put 7,000 miles on it and decided to bring it to the show to try and sell it. It was lost in a sea of 100K newer BMWs and high end modified M3s.

jstand Reader
9/3/14 6:22 a.m.

Convertible - check

RWD - check (although the fwd version is also in the photo)

Seats four - check

Aftermarket support - Huge

Fun- depends on your use

Engaging to drive - yes, for better or worse

Great sounds - depends on the ear and rpm


More extreme with aftermarket sounds:

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