Is it wise to get a convertible, especially at this time of year? Of course it is. They fall in price during the colder, darker months (not by as much as some people imagine, though) and although they are not necessarily easier to find, the private ones you do come across can be desperate sales.
Dealers, by contrast, always know what they are doing, so they’ll either settle for a smaller profit in the off-season or just wait for the weather to improve. But you don’t have to. There are roofless cars out there now with your name on them.
I’d say it was fate that brought me back to the BMW Z3 that I’d surfed past days earlier. Obviously, that’s all I do, but this 2001 1.9 Z3 looked the business. Black alloys maketh this model along with dark blue paintwork. It was a dealer partexchange and the previous owner had had it for 16 clearly enjoyable years and had racked up 140,000 miles overall. It wasn’t without battle scars and you could clearly see rust around the sills where they meet the wheel arches. I can usually take or leave a Z3, but I really wanted this one for £995.
I’ve also been looking at Suzuki Jimnys recently, and for just £3490 I can get a 2000 1.3 JLX that is bobbed to the max. Actually, it is very well done: proper black paintwork, big black steel wheels, jacked-up suspension and, most important, an open roof. It’s done 90,000 miles, but that is not relevant. This is what a convertible is all about – grabbing some attention.
Folding metal roofs: don’t you feel like giving the driver a round of applause once the show is over? It’s best to get a really reliable Japanese one, like one of those impossibly cute Daihatsu Copens. There was more blackness, including the alloys, on a £1995, 2003, 85,000-mile example I found. Most impressive of all was the extensive history, never mind the aircon, leather and two new rear tyres.