RAC Cars News


Wind In Your Hair Summer Fun

By raccars Published

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Sleek and sexy convertibles are not the only way to enjoy the wind in your hair this summer. If your small budget is matched by a huge sense of fun, the following will bring a smile to your face on and off road.

Citroen Mehari

From 1968 to 1988, the Mehari followed the example of the 2CV, providing the ultimate in simplistic motor engineering and plenty of laughs. It, too, has become something of a cult classic, following a career which saw it join the Irish Defence Forces in the Seventies. Front wheel drive was the standard format but a four wheel drive model was made in 1979. Expect to pay from £5,000 for a well restored model, but be aware of potential chassis rot.

Suzuki Vitara Cabriolet

The Vitara was always an interesting little SUV. Its popularity with Essex hairdressers in the Nineties dented its image somewhat but it was also a very robust and competent off roader. The Vitara wasn't powerful but it was agile and the soft top version is great fun. A decent model will cost from £1,500 now - you can find them for as low as £700 but they've been worked hard.

Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler is a genuinely rough and tough off roader but does allow for some posing too. Soft top versions from 1987-1995 got half height doors, with the option of full doors and a hard top. Avoid modified versions, check thoroughly for rust and expect to pay £6,000 for a low mileage example in good condition.

Land Rover Series 2A

The 1960s Series 2A was the most prominent off roader of its day, found in sticky situations all over the world. They can be picked up for £2,000 but it's worth going to £4,000 for a better example. The bodywork is robust but the electrics can be a bit dodgy.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Cabriolet

This was designed as a more serious, luxury purchase, on the market from 1997-2013 and far from cheap. However, early versions are veritable bargains now and, as they are built to be bomb proof, can make a sensible and reliable, albeit rather thirsty purchase. The soft top roof is electrically powered so check it works before laying down any cash. You'll be looking at about £14,000, if you can find an early model in good condition, but get the fine tooth comb out because they are few and far between.

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