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Summer is Around the Corner: 20 Inexpensive Classic Roadsters

Vukasin Herbez March 6, 2019

  1. Mercedes SL R107

You may think the R107 doesn’t belong on this list since the Mercedes SL isn’t exactly a small convertible. However, if you look at it carefully, you will see that this generation fits the bill perfectly. The first reason is that it is strictly a two-seater convertible. Secondly, it is an old school model they built with the highest standards of quality.

Thirdly, it offers a lot of enjoyment, power, and comfort for the money. And the fourth and final reason is that it’s a great summer cruiser. In fact, the SL R107 is a good investment since the prices of classic SL models are constantly on the rise. Better yet, this generation was in production from 1971 to 1989, so it is quite common.

The engine choices include one six-cylinder engine and several V8s, including the range-topping 560 V8. You should find a 450 or 500 V8 engine since they are the most popular. Also, they offer the best combination of power and efficiency.

Mercedes sold over 237,000 of those elegant convertibles during the 18-year old run. And believe or not, almost two-thirds of them were U.S.-spec cars. That is why you won’t have any problem finding the right example for you. However, be ready to pay around $25,000 for decent examples of this Teutonic power roadster.

  1. Sunbeam Alpine/Tiger

One of the most interesting yet forgotten models in the classic roadster class is the Sunbeam Alpine. It was an English two-seater convertible Sunbeam built from 1959 to 1968. Sunbeam is a classic English brand, long gone from the market, so only a handful of enthusiasts remember them. However, the Alpine is an attractive car with dependable, conventional mechanicals and a small 1.5 or 1.7-liter four-cylinder.

Over the years, Sunbeam built over 60,000 of Alpine roadsters, so finding one shouldn’t be a problem. So, for under $20,000, you can find a nice example of this interesting car. However, if you are looking for a more serious machine, look for the Sunbeam Tiger. This model looks identical to the Alpine but packs a 260 or 289 Ford V8 engine under the hood.

And all that power gives it a much better performance and soundtrack. Before he worked for Ford, the legendary Carroll Shelby designed this model. Even though the Tiger is significantly more expensive and rarer since they build only 7,000, it has a cool history. Also, the stellar performance is well worth the investment.

  1. Honda Beat

The spiritual successor to the classic Honda S600 roadster is the ‘90s Honda Beat. Honda introduced it in 1991, selling it until 1996. The Beat was a small, nimble roadster with just 660 CCM of displacement and producing 63 HP.

In the typical Honda fashion, they naturally aspirated and equipped the car with a five-speed manual transmission. At just 1,656 pounds, it was immensely fun to drive. Honda built over 33,000 Beats in its five-year production run.

Summer is around the corner, so these are the 20 best classic roadsters you can buy today. Did you choose your favorite? They come in a range of prices that are sure to rise, so get out there and start shopping for one now while they are still affordable.

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