The roofs come off and the price is right, what more do you need?
We're right in the middle of the summer, and perhaps your current car isn't giving you the fun-in-the-sun enjoyment that you want. When the weather is right, a convertible is a great way to make your daily commute a lot more fun, but new convertibles are kind of expensive. That is why we have compiled our list of awesome budget convertibles cars to make your summer memorable. All of our picks are currently for sale for $10,000 or less. Who said you had to break the bank to get an awesome open-top cruiser?
The Jeep Wrangler isn't technically a convertible, but you can take the roof and doors off making it the perfect car for the summer. For less than $10,000 you will probably be looking at an older model, because these things hold their value extremely well. We found a 1999 manual soft-top model, and a 2004 automatic hard-top model that both fit the $10,000 budget. Both examples do have over 100,000 miles, but the Jeep Wrangler is known for being one of the most reliable cars every built. You really can't go wrong. Just imagine how fun a family beach trip would be with this awesome roof-less off-roader.
If you like the idea of a convertible driving experience, but aren't ready to give up your luxury features, you should check out the Mercedes CLK. We found a 2004 CLK500 model with 78,000 miles on it for just under $10,000. Mercedes also built the CLK320 which came with a V6 engine, but we found the higher spec V8 version. The CLK500 came with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 302 horsepower. If you do grow tired of being outside, you can call upon the electric roof which will cocoon you in a world of German leather. The CLK is a great long distance cruiser that can even take three of your friends. Although, you should make sure those friends in the back seat aren't too tall.
Simplicity was the name of the game with the Honda S2000. This legendary sports car doesn't rely on a fancy AWD-system, dual clutch transmission, or even a turbocharger. Honda made the S2000 great with good, old-fashioned Japanese engineering. The 2.0-liter VTEC engine produces 240 horsepower. This was the most horsepower per liter until the Ferrari 458 came out. Curb weight is only 2,800 pounds, and on the inside you are treated to a simplistic, driver-focused cabin. The S200 doesn't even have cup holders. You do get an electric roof, which is nice for convenience, but the S2000 is one of the purest sports cars around. This yellow 2001 example is for sale by a private owner, and we love it.
The Audi TT used to get flack from enthusiasts because it was based on the Volkswagen Golf. We think that these complaints were undeserved, and a used Audi TT is actually a really nice purchase. When looking at a used TT, find one with Quattro AWD and a manual transmission, like this 2002 model. It's located in Illinois, and comes in one of our favorite Audi colors, Nimbus Grey Pearl. Quattro models came with a higher tuned version of the 1.8-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine. In this spec, the TT produced 225 horsepower mated to a five-speed manual. This Audi is perfect for the summer, but can conquer snowy conditions when the weather gets cold.
We must admit that this choice is a bit unusual, but we couldn't resist putting it on this list. What you're looking at is a 1923 Ford Model T. Obviously, this is no ordinary Model T. We don't know much about this particular car, but we do know that it packs a V8 engine that only has 3,700 miles on the clock. The owner has this hotrod listed for $10,000, which seems like a small amount for such a beautiful custom creation. You may be able to build one of these yourself, but this Model T hotrod looks like a great way to begin a car hobby without breaking the bank.