Ask any car enthusiast what their greatest driving pleasure is and most of them will say it is driving a small two-seater open-top sports car on a coastal road in the summer. Although it is a mainstream driving experience, you can’t beat the smell of the sea and the warm wind in your hair. Add the excitement of driving a compact and nimble convertible to the equation and it is an unforgettable experience.
For those who don’t know, roadsters are a class of small sporty convertibles with two seats, compact bodies, rear wheel drive and sharp handling. They are not brutally fast, although most of them deliver a satisfying performance, but they drive perfectly and provide the ultimate enjoyment. British manufacturers from the 50’s and 60’s were best known for classic roadsters, all of which are popular in America. And, even today, America is one of the biggest roadster markets in the world.
This interesting list showcases the best classic roadsters that also happen to be surprisingly affordable for summer cruising. In most cases, a perfectly restored, classic British or Italian roadster can cost you the same as a new compact SUV which is a bargain. This list also includes some of the newer open top alternatives from the 90’s that are slowly reaching classic car status. Keep reading to find your dream roadster and let your hair fly in the wind.
One of the most popular and typical British roadsters from the 60’s is the MG B. They introduced it in 1962 as was successor of the MG A, which helped establish the roadster class in the U.S. For the standards of the day, the MG B was a fairly modern car with unibody construction, a roomy interior, and decent suspension and steering.
Some contemporary tests said the MG B was underpowered. In fact, 95 HP from 1.8-liter engine certainly isn’t much, but since the car weighs only 2,200 lbs, it can keep up with modern traffic. For those who want more power, MG introduced their model C with a 3.0-liter six cylinder and 145 HP. They also offer the MG B GT with a 3.5-liter V8 engine, available only in coupe form.
The best thing about the MG B is that this is a simple car to maintain and all relevant parts are available today. MG produced over 400,000 MG Bs, with most of the cars sold in America, so finding one isn’t a problem. Expect to pay from $7,000 for decent MG Bs, and up to $25,000 for show quality examples.