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jetwet1
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2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:04 pm

My wife's birthday is coming up, she has been talking about little 2 seat convertibles, but not new, maybe a 1st gen Miata or back something even older.

I am giving serious thought to finding an MGB over here and restoring it, or maybe even dropping the running gear from a Miata into one.

Anyone done something like that or have another car they think would be better ?
 
Kiwirob
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:29 pm

These guys rebuild MGB’s using MX5 components, they aren’t cheap but they are awesome.

http://www.frontlinedevelopments.com/vehicle/mg-le50/
 
JJJ
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:46 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
My wife's birthday is coming up, she has been talking about little 2 seat convertibles, but not new, maybe a 1st gen Miata or back something even older.

I am giving serious thought to finding an MGB over here and restoring it, or maybe even dropping the running gear from a Miata into one.

Anyone done something like that or have another car they think would be better ?


You can't go wrong with an MX5.

The MX5 based Fiat Spider is also a nice option, though it's still to soon to find a good deal 2nd hand.
 
Flighty
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:13 pm

convertibles can be a good value.

I like saabs so I suggest a Saab 9-3 from 2006-2008. Many of these have been garaged since new, being convertibles. They are cheap, $5000. Not to rain on your parade at all, but a vintage Miata or MGB is not terribly safe.

An original Porsche boxter is also a thought.
 
KBOS
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:36 pm

I went from a TR-7 to a second generation Miata, drove the Miata for 20 years without a single problem. I changed the engine in the TR-7 almost as often as I changed the oil. Both were a blast to drive but the Mazda was far more dependable.
I don't care if the sun don't shine, I do my drinkin in the evening time when I'm in Rhode Island
 
FatCat
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:38 pm

If you want to go full vintage go get a pre - 1990 Alfa Spider. I owned a 1987 one, 2 lt injection "america" version.
post - 1990 cars have the power steering but they're poorly made.
always check for rust.
if you want to stay on the modern side, agree on the SAAB 900, just be sure to avoid the ecoPower versions.
MX5 is always a safe bet but many had terrible ownerships and accidents.
I'll be glad to help you having been in the car business for more than ten years.
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TSS
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:57 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
My wife's birthday is coming up, she has been talking about little 2 seat convertibles, but not new, maybe a 1st gen Miata or back something even older.

You can't find a more painless 2 seat convertible than a Miata: Rock-solid reliable, relatively cheap and easy-to-find parts if something does break or wear out, modern amenities like windshield wipers, lights, and a heater that work consistently and well, plus they're an absolute blast to drive.

jetwet1 wrote:
I am giving serious thought to finding an MGB over here and restoring it, or maybe even dropping the running gear from a Miata into one.

While MGBs are classics and were a huge step forward from the MGAs they replaced, they still weren't exactly "state of the art" when they were introduced in 1963 and had only incorporated the improvements that were required by law when production ended in 1981. For what you'd pay for an MGB that isn't comprised entirely of rust, patch panels, Bondo, and desperate prayers all the way up to the door handles you could get a cream puff Miata.

jetwet1 wrote:
Anyone done something like that or have another car they think would be better?

Restoring any car that's almost 40 years old is a massive, expensive, and time-consuming undertaking, even if it's one that's as relatively simple mechanically as a British sports car. Restoring a car is like playing the guitar: The people who do it often and well and who possess a natural talent for that sort of thing make it look easy, but for most people it is anything but. If you're the sort of person who would enjoy repairing a grandfather clock without an instruction manual and could do so successfully AND you possess a multi-car garage big enough to allow full disassembly and storage of a car plus all it's parts long-term AND you feel like devoting literally hundreds of hours to this project, then you've got a fighting chance. If not, then just go with a nice, used Miata.
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Redd
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:30 pm

You can get a very nice 1st generation Porsche Boxter for about the same price as a good 1st gen MX5. Have driven both. From a drivers perspective the Porsche is a much better handling and more powerful car.

If you want something more vintage, look into a Mercedes SL from pre-1988. Great cars, none of the Italian & British problems.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:41 pm

Nice to drive a little two-seater. A question I have is where are you located? I am guessing somewhere in the States, because you speak of a Miata instead of a MX-5.

Like others have said, with a first of the second generation Miata you can't go wrong. Reliable engineering combined with a classic Brittish sportscar outline, front engine and rear wheels driveshaft (do you call it like that?). Although I like Saab very much, but, especially older once, cabrio's are quite floppy and of course, Saab has gone bankrupt, so I don't know what the supply situation is like. It does share a lot of components with Opel/GM, but one of the reasons Saab went bankrupt is that they modified quite extensively.

May I offer you my personal favorite: BMW Z1! Reliable BMW's technology from the early 1990's, in a futuristic body. Lot's of fun 8-) , but hard to get one in the States, they never sold them there.

Porsche Boxter is also excellent and not too expensive until it breaks down I guess.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
cpd
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:20 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Nice to drive a little two-seater. A question I have is where are you located? I am guessing somewhere in the States, because you speak of a Miata instead of a MX-5.

Like others have said, with a first of the second generation Miata you can't go wrong. Reliable engineering combined with a classic Brittish sportscar outline, front engine and rear wheels driveshaft (do you call it like that?). Although I like Saab very much, but, especially older once, cabrio's are quite floppy and of course, Saab has gone bankrupt, so I don't know what the supply situation is like. It does share a lot of components with Opel/GM, but one of the reasons Saab went bankrupt is that they modified quite extensively.

May I offer you my personal favorite: BMW Z1! Reliable BMW's technology from the early 1990's, in a futuristic body. Lot's of fun 8-) , but hard to get one in the States, they never sold them there.

Porsche Boxter is also excellent and not too expensive until it breaks down I guess.


Not a first generation Boxster. Don't go those.

I'd suggest actually an R129 Mercedes SL if you can find a good one. They should be reliable. Not so fun to drive, but a great open top cruiser. The V12 would be effortless and is supposed to be super reliable.

A later Boxster is also a good option. Drives well, put together nicely and extremely practical.
 
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Aesma
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:47 pm

From the MX-5 to the SL600 ah ah !

My propositions are the BMW Z3 and the Lotus Elise.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
cpd
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:20 pm

Aesma wrote:
From the MX-5 to the SL600 ah ah !

My propositions are the BMW Z3 and the Lotus Elise.


They are pretty cheap here. A lower engined one even less.
 
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T18
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:25 pm

There is an acronym used on many automotive sites that I find apt here.
M iata
I s
A lways
T he
A nswer
;)
“Racing's important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.” ― Steve McQueen (Le Mans) 1971
 
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Aesma
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:24 pm

cpd wrote:
Aesma wrote:
From the MX-5 to the SL600 ah ah !

My propositions are the BMW Z3 and the Lotus Elise.


They are pretty cheap here. A lower engined one even less.


Yeah but it's a boat not a fun little car.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
jetwet1
Topic Author
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:25 am

Located in Las Vegas.

The wife drives a couple of thousand miles a year tops, so plenty of time to repair anything, on that note I am giving serious thought to retiring in the next year so even more time lol

The SL is to much of a cruiser, nice cars but wrong type.

The Boxster isn't something I had thought off, but that may be the winner, thank you everyone for your replies.
 
TSS
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:11 am

jetwet1 wrote:
Located in Las Vegas.

The wife drives a couple of thousand miles a year tops, so plenty of time to repair anything, on that note I am giving serious thought to retiring in the next year so even more time lol

Gotcha. If you really do want to restore a car, and there's a huge difference between "restore" and "repair", in your soon-to-be ample spare time, then I'd say get something reliable with instant gratification for the Missus like a nice used Miata or Boxter then look for a project vehicle of your own. If said project vehicle must be British, then an MGB would probably be your best bet as they were the most popular when new. Personally I prefer Spitfires because they're lower and sleeker while still reasonably comfy inside, but with any British sports car rust (less of a problem in Las Vegas but I have full faith in the ability of the British automobile manufacturers to find a way to get a car to rust in the total absence of water. As the saying goes, "The Italians invented rust but the British perfected it"), numerous and violently aggressive electrical gremlins (there's a good reason why Joseph Lucas, founder of the company that supplied electrical components to British car manufacturers, is known as "The Prince Of Darkness"… Why do Brits drink their beer warm? Because Lucas makes refrigerators, too.), and engineering that will be sheer brilliance in one spot and abject buffoonery in another on the same car mixed with an occasional dogged devotion to specific designs that were hopelessly obsolete ten years before the car was even on the drawing board are all going to be part of the experience.

jetwet1 wrote:
The Boxster isn't something I had thought off, but that may be the winner, thank you everyone for your replies.

The Boxster wouldn't have been on my radar either, but the people who have them do seem to like them, even the ones who aren't dyed-in-the-wool Porsche disciples. If you do go for the Porsche, make sure it has been scrupulously maintained and that documentation of it's maintenance comes in hard copy form at the time of purchase. Few things in this world get shockingly expensive faster and usually when least expected or convenient than a poorly-maintained high-end German car.
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stl07
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:20 am

Lotus elise

Very nice cars

kind of pricey - used are from 25,000 to 30,000 usd but they don't depreciate surprisingly
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Kiwirob
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:37 am

KBOS wrote:
I went from a TR-7 to a second generation Miata, drove the Miata for 20 years without a single problem. I changed the engine in the TR-7 almost as often as I changed the oil. Both were a blast to drive but the Mazda was far more dependable.


You should have turned your TR-7 into a TR-8, then all your engine problems would have disappeared.
 
B777LRF
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:26 am

I had a Porsche Boxster until some bastard nicked it. Drove it all year, including winter, except when it was snowing. Never did it put a foot wrong, but did regularly put massive smiles on my face. Mine was silver with red leather interior, fitted with 18 inch rims. Never had so much fun on winding back roads, it really does handle like a dream. Insurance was kind of pricy, and it did like a drink or two. Apart from that, it wasn't any more expensive to run than the family wagon.

Guess you know what I'd recommend.
Signature. You just read one.
 
WIederling
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:55 am

What about a Messerschmidt Tiger :
Image
see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FMR_Tg500 for the gory details.
Murphy is an optimist
 
cpd
Posts: 6378
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:02 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
Located in Las Vegas.

The wife drives a couple of thousand miles a year tops, so plenty of time to repair anything, on that note I am giving serious thought to retiring in the next year so even more time lol

The SL is to much of a cruiser, nice cars but wrong type.

The Boxster isn't something I had thought off, but that may be the winner, thank you everyone for your replies.


I'd be wary of early Boxsters. And cars with questionable service history. I also like them. A Z3 or SLK is certainly not a better overall car.
 
AA747123
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:56 am

BMW Z4!
 
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Channex757
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:36 am

If you want something to go and investigate, what about a Toyota MR2...?

Toyota are even rumoured to be secretly relaunching this as demand is still out there. Plenty of ponies under the hood, light and Toyota reliability.
 
TSS
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:10 pm

Channex757 wrote:
If you want something to go and investigate, what about a Toyota MR2...?

Toyota are even rumoured to be secretly relaunching this as demand is still out there. Plenty of ponies under the hood, light and Toyota reliability.

If Toyota does relaunch the MR2, then that would definitely be a viable option. Let us pray it looks better than the first and latest generations.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
slider
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Re: 2 seat convertible advice

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:23 pm

Ditto what has been said about older Boxsters--do your homework here because they notoriously had problems with the IMS, Intermediate Shaft Bearing.

And although it's not a two-seater per se, there are some solid deals on used M-B CLK-350s too.

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