The best British convertibles through £6000 – used car buying guide
Hardy British enthusiasts can’t get enough of drop-tops as well as also all the better if they’re home made
In Britain we love convertibles, so the chance to buy an open-top car as well as also be patriotic at the same time can be too not bad to miss. Here are some of the best home-grown convertibles.
1 – Vauxhall VX220 (2000-2005)
In mainland Europe they called This particular roadster the Opel Speedster as well as also This particular sold by the bucket load. within the UK This particular was called a Vauxhall as well as also most badge-obsessed Brits walked on by.
More fool them. This particular lightweight two-seater packs a 147bhp 2.2-litre in-line four amidships, enough to propel the auto to 136mph as well as also through zero to 60mph in 5.6sec. Track down the hotter VX220T, with its 200bhp 2.0-litre turbo, as well as also you can dispatch 60mph in under 5.0sec.
This particular’s fun within the bends, too: agile, chuckable as well as also easily recoverable, with go-kart steering as well as also great balance. The driving position can be superb, brakes are not bad as well as also This particular even comes with airbags as well as also ABS.
This particular’s arguably a more rounded package than a Lotus Elise, with which This particular shares its basic chassis. You can pick one up currently through just £8k. Watch out for signs of hard track-day use as well as also beware of accident-damaged cars.
2 – BAC Mono (2011-onwards)
If This particular looks like a grounded fighter plane, This particular central, single-seat open supercar actually goes like a rocket.
Beneath which F-22 Raptor-inspired carbonfibre bodywork lies a mid-mounted 280bhp 2.3-litre Cosworth four. Drive goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed F3-style sequential Hewland gearbox. Dry weight can be just 580kg, 0-62mph takes 2.8sec as well as also top speed can be a very blustery 170mph. This particular’s beautifully balanced within the bends, grips well as well as also brakes powerfully. There’s no pitch, no roll – as well as also no weather protection, either.
brand-new, This particular’ll set you back £125,500. There are 40 of them so far, so if you’re lucky, you might find a second-hand one for around the same cost.
3 – TVR 420/450SE V8 Wedges (1980-1991)
‘Hairy-chested’ can be the phrase most often used to describe TVRs, however the original Oliver Winterbottom-designed Tasmins currently look rather dainty.
This particular was initially based on lowly Ford underpinnings, however a 190bhp 3.5-litre Rover V8 arrived in 1983 as well as also things began to improve. In 1985 This particular was enlarged to 3.9 litres, before eventually reaching 4.4 litres as well as also a brutish 325bhp within the 450 SE. Think 0-60mph in 5.2sec as well as also 150mph. SEACs are faster still.
These V8s are meaty, mighty as well as also a bit of a handful, however they grip as well as also handle well. If you can put up with the sheer loutishness, then old-fashioned open-top fun doesn’t come much better.Prices start at £20k for a not bad V8.
4 – Panther Lima (1976-1982)
Fancy a drop-top British roadster of classic style however think a Morgan too common? Then hunt down a Panther.
Under the Lima’s glassfibre Centeng can be the running gear through a Vauxhall Magnum: an easily tuned 108bhp 2.3-litre four driving the rear wheels through a 5-speed gearbox. Performance may be modest however This particular can be wind-in-the-hair fun. The Lima covers 0-60mph in 7.6sec as well as also purrs up to a top speed of 112mph. This particular was replaced by the equally retro Kallista, which has Ford running gear.
You can buy a Lima through £6k, or consider different equally rare Panthers: the Deville was massive as well as also looked like a Bugatti, the Rio was a tarted-up Dolomite as well as also the 6 had six wheels. Way to go.
5 – Triumph Stag (1970-1977)
The Stag should have been a huge success. This particular had a not bad-looking Centeng penned by the Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti as well as also a novel T-bar roof which let within the sun however kept the auto strong.
This particular was not bad to drive, too. Its 145bhp 3.0-litre V8 had enough urge to propel the auto to 130mph as well as also to reach 60mph through rest in 9.0sec. This particular had light steering, a comfortable ride as well as also a sporty Inner surface.
This particular was also extremely quiet, especially so when This particular had broken down by the side of the road. Alas, which engine was prone to overheating as well as also general misbehaviour as well as also This particular soon earned a reputation for unreliability which This particular could never buck: the Stag was caught in a rut as well as also This particular might cost Triumph dear.
This particular cost a lot of dough brand-new however you can snap one up currently for around £5k.
Get the latest car news, reviews as well as also galleries through Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:
by via Autocar RSS Feed