Classic Car Watch
Classic Convertibles

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

June 1, 2018
By Scott Lewis

Last month I outlined the modern cars I am looking at as a possible convertible to buy in Spring 2019. What about classic convertibles?

This month I am going to take a look around and see what kind of options there are for a classic convertible. It is important to set a budget. I don't have the space or resources for a full on project car. I want something that is presentable and drivable. It's fine to add things to the car over time (like I am doing with my Camaro... LINK to Project Camaro). Ideally I want to spend around $15K. However that tends to be a little limiting for some classics. I am going to limit my search for this article from $10,000 to $25,000. In reality, I won't go over $20K when the time comes.

Keep in mind that I purchased a 1968 Camaro. That was an important decision for my first classic. 1st Gen Mustangs and 1st Gen Camaros are very common. If you are looking for your first classic I believe you should stick to cars that can be sold reasonably easily if finances demand it. Also, if you are looking for your first classic make sure it is a make & model that has good catalog support. If NPD or Year One does not have a catalog for it I would pass. It could cost too much to get parts for (assuming you can) and it could take a while to find a buyer. Not a lot of people searching for that 1961 Olds Starfire.

Having said all that... this would be my second classic and I am willing to break those rules. I love nice, big, traditional American convertibles. So what if parts are hard to find for a 1965 Chrysler Imperial Convertible. They look cool. If the condition is good enough to enjoy at purchase time, hopefully I just have to worry about mechanical maintenance. That's usually a lot easer that trying to find missing trim or a fender that is long out of production.

Finally, I purchased my Camaro from a private party. The car inspected great and it was an extremely pleasant experience. Let's assume for a moment that you can inspect the car yourself and/or get a qualified inspection. I like the idea of eliminating the middleman of a dealer. Consignment shops have to make a profit. I recognize this. But some of these shops are pushing the price of cars up. It is harder and harder to find a bargain. For this article I am going to look at private sellers only. My web site - my rules.

I tried to keep my search criteria to 1960-1976. I am also looking for more of a cruiser. I did let a Mustang or two slip in here, but MGBs, VWs, Triumphs... they are too small for what I want right now. Maybe another article for an affordable small sports car convertible will come later.

Let's see what we can find.

1967 Pontiac Grand Prix - $20,000 (link)

1967 Pontiac Grand Prix Convertible

Description: White on Blue, 400 #'s match, power windows, TX.

Notes: I really like big huge convertibles that you can take 6 adult to the beach in. Too bad this doesn't have the 8 lug wheels. 

1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme - $20,000 (link)

1970 Olds Cutlass Supreme Convertible

Description: Cream on Parchment, 350 #'s match, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: This is more mainstream than the 67 GP, but with A/C, buckets and console I really think it would make a great cruiser with the top down.

1975 Cadillac Eldorado - $12,900 (link)

1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

Description: White on Red, 500, Auto.

Notes: No mention of A/C. For a car like this that would be a deal breaker. Love teh price, though this is really not a great car. As long as we can sell it without taking a loss in a couple of years I find it very interesting.

1967 Plymouth Satellite - $25,000 (link)

1967 Plymouth Satellite Convertible

Description: Bronze on Black, 440, Auto.

Notes: This is really close to the color of my Camaro. Sweet. That would be awesome to park them side by side. I don't know that I need a 440 for a cruiser convertible, but at least I can do lots of burnouts.

1969 Plymouth Sport Satellite - $17,000 (link)

1969 Plymouth Sport Satellite Convertible

Description: Red on Black, 318 #'s Match, Auto, A/C.

Notes: This is more my body style for a Mopar. But the A/C sold me. I hope I can find something like this next year. Oh... and I hope it fits in my garage.

1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass - $19,900 (link)

1967 Olds 442 Convertible

Description: Red on Black, 455, Auto.

Notes: I like this body style on the Cutlass... I think more than any of the other GM cars for this year. Unfortunately, this is in Canada. Oops. I don't know if that is an issue or not.

1972 Pontiac Grand Ville - $17,000 (link)

Description: Green on Black, 455, Auto, A/C, 49K miles.

Notes: Now we're talking. An unusual car in super original condition with low miles. I like it. I goes nice with my 73K mile mostly original Camaro. Now we have to worry about fitting it into my garage. Siri, how long is a 72 Pontiac Grand Ville Convertible?

1967 Pontiac Catalina - $18,900 (link)

Description: Red on Black, 400, Auto, 8 Lug Wheels.

Notes: Another Oddball. I like it. Again... I need a tape measure. How big are some of these cars?

1975 Chevrolet Corvette - $23,950 (link)

1975 Corvette Roadster

Description: Red on Red, 383 Crate, 4 speed, A/C.

Notes: I am not really looking for a sports car, but the crate motor and 4 speed and A/C have me very interested.

1968 Plymouth Barracuda, Green on White - $19,500 (link)

1968 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible

Description: Green on White.

Notes: What a cute little convertible. They don't mention the engine so I want to assume... a slant 6!! That would be perfect for a cruiser convertible. This is the year the Barracuda became attractive (though still not as good looking as a Mustang or Camaro).