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Used cars

Here are 10 used Nineties convertibles for up to £10k you should consider this summer

A range of sub-10 grand options to take a punt on

Lotus Elan S100
  • Mercedes-Benz SL

    Mercedes-Benz SL

    Let’s get this one out of the way early, since the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz SL is the perfect choice. It’s usable, it’s fast enough and it has aged like the finest of red wines. They’re also going up in price, as such vintage metal does, so investing in an example like this SL320 may be as safe a bet as property right now.

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  • Alfa Romeo Spider

    Alfa Romeo Spider

    The fact this 1990 example has covered 102,000 miles should tell you it likely strays far from the usual spate of cardiac arrests associated with Alfa Romeo ownership. Finished in a gorgeous shade of red (that’s still intact) and housing a busy little 2.0-litre inline-four, there are few better ways to enjoy a Nineties-inspired jaunt across the coast than with this 120bhp Italian drop top.

  • BMW 328i

    BMW 328i

    Come on now, it has just over 33,000 miles to its name despite leaving the factory nearly thirty years ago.  Aside from remaining in tip-top mechanical condition as per the ad, this 328i convertible has been garage stored and used sparingly, likely resulting in many smiles. Long may they continue… under your ownership, perhaps?

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  • Jeep Wrangler

    Jeep Wrangler

    Nestled between two German favourites is this angry-faced Jeep Wrangler. For just nine grand you can become the proud owner of a six-cylinder off-road gem whose removable roof can unlock all that sky above within moments. Or, if you live in Britain, open up a pathway for birds to choose that one specific tiny gap to… you know.

  • Porsche Boxster 986

    Porsche Boxster 986

    Perhaps another slightly obvious choice, but the fact you can get a genuine high-revving convertible Porsche for under £10,000 still amazes us. You can snatch one for as low as two or three grand with ease, but stretch your search parameters to the bigger 3.2-litre engine and you’ll find something like this. Yes, we know its a 2000 reg, but don’t be that person.

  • Fiat Barchetta

    Fiat Barchetta

    The leftfield alternative to the Mazda MX-5 is the Fiat Barchetta. And if you’re going to take a punt, make sure it’s bright yellow and has around 53,000 miles on the odometer. Oh, how funny is it that we managed to find just such a thing? You’ll need to compromise a tad, since it’s left-hand drive, but surely that’s worth it for gaining such a clean example of this much-loved, 16-valved Italian.

  • Lotus Elan

    Lotus Elan

    A Lotus Elan. In (fading) white. With a manual gearbox. A used car purchase doesn’t get much better than that. If not purely for its low-weight construction and mechanical acumen, the M100 Elan’s gorgeous design should be plenty to tempt your coffers open. It’s also got a stainless steel exhaust and retrimmed upholstery, in case you needed further encouragement. 

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  • Jaguar XK8

    Jaguar XK8

    When placed alongside the Elan, the Jaguar XK8 really does show the depth of Britain’s classic roadster lineup. Finished in a double serving of deep blue atop a cream leather and wooden dash combo, this example has a wafty 4.0-litre V8 lump to haul you across the countryside. And all that for under eight grand. Bargain.

  • Volkswagen Golf

    Volkswagen Golf

    Perhaps a little short on the sportiness offered by some of the above alternatives, but one thing you’ll almost always get with a Golf is reliability. And though it’s ‘just’ a Golf, the styling of these late second generation models have really grown on us over time. The fact it’s not the first cabriolet that springs to mind when you think back to the Nineties only makes it that much more appealing.

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  • Wildcard: Westfield SE

    Westfield SE

    What if you want a permanently open-top car that weighs about as much as a pint of milk? You’re instantly thinking of a Caterham, right? You’ll struggle to find one that actually works (or still needs to be assembled) for this amount. Happily, you can get a 1996 Westfield SE in Gulf racing livery. Result.

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