The sun is out, the birds are singing – yup, time to pop the hood down and go for a drive. What, you don’t have a convertible? That’s easily fixed. Here are five ragtops that have caught our eye, all coming up for auction on May 13th at Silverstone Circuit. We’ve tried to avoid the predictable choices… what would be your selection for summer fun?
APR 28th 2017
Five fabulous rag‑tops to get your tan in this summer
1991 Porsche 944 Turbo Cabriolet, guide price £25-30,000
Four-cylinder transaxle Porsches are on the way up, aren’t they? So the experts say. Why wouldn’t they be? It’s not as if a car like this 944 Turbo cabriolet from the final year of 944 production was in any way a duffer. Sublime steering, great chassis, 250bhp from the Turbo S engine, 0-62mph in under 6 seconds – and it’s not a 911! Any 944 Turbo cab is relatively rare – only 625 were made – but this Guards Red/black leather example has the bonus of being one of only 100 right-hookers, of which only 32 are in the UK, according to Silverstone Auctions. The AFN supplied car has covered 50,000 miles – under 10,000 in the past 17 years – has recently been serviced, including cambelt, and comes with all the right bits: handbook, two keys, inflation kit and Porsche certificate of authenticity.
1966 Volkswagen Beach Buggy GP MkI. No reserve
What could be more summery than a Beach Buggy? And this one’s a beauty. It’s one of the earliest complete GP models in the UK, say the experts, and after sitting unused and unloved in an overgrown garden for years is said to be remarkably original, without the chopped-about body of some. Fully restored in the 1990s, the VW Beetle-based machine comes complete with the essential 1960s gold metal flake paintwork and is said to be a complete hoot to drive. Which we believe. The car has had only five owners, the current one being the MD of Silverstone Auctions – so you know who to take it back to if you don’t like it!
1954 Chevrolet Corvette C1, guide price: £50-60,000
It’s not one of the first ’53 ‘Vettes – that would be worth a great deal more – but with its Polo White body and Sportsman Red interior, Blue Flame six-cylinder engine and Powerglide transmission, it could easily be. Which makes it, in our book at least, a super-desirable example of America’s first sportscar. The car was found in Arizona six years ago, in used but unspoilt condition with 44,000 miles showing and one owner for the previous 35 years. It was brought to the UK where its recommissioning included £18k worth of repainting, retrimming and replating of the brightwork, plus a mechanical overhaul. America’s “dream car made real” now drives as well as it looks, says the auction house.
1989 BMW Z1, guide price: £25-30,000
The one thing everyone knows about the BMW Z1 is that its doors don’t so much open as glide down into the sills at the touch of a button. It’s always been the car’s main talking point. But there’s a lot more that’s special about the sometimes-forgotten (and undervalued?) Z1, such as its incredibly stiff construction (plastic panels over a zinc-welded steel frame), innovative Z-axle rear suspension and clever aerodynamics. All it needed was a sweet engine – which of course it got in the form of the creamy 2.5-litre six-cylinder unit from the 325i. This car was subjected to a £25k restoration by the son of the original owner, with all work recorded in the book BMW Z1 Roadster – Celebrating the 20th Anniversary in Pictures which he wrote. If you want a Z1, this could be the car…
1996 Ferrari F355 Spider, guide price £85-95,000
A Ferrari Spider is a little predictable in any sports-cars-for-summer story, but when faced by a car like this…well, what’s wrong with a little predictability? Who wouldn’t want this car? It’s an F355 for starters, so a huge step up on the 348 and acclaimed, then as now, for its design, performance, handling and build quality. It’s in the rare Giallo Modena yellow finish with black hide interior with yellow stitching. It’s right-hand-drive and originally supplied by H R Owen. It’s covered under 24,000 miles and has 16 stamps in the book, the latest for a £2k cambelt service in March 2017. Oh, and it’s being sold by a well-known former racing driver! As Silverstone Auctions says: “A simply superb example of one of the most revered and sought-after Ferrari models of the modern era.” Count us in!
Silverstone Auctions’ May Sale is in The Wing building at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday May 13th, starting at 14.00hrs.
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