The Premise

OK – so I need (“need”) a new (old) car.

What to get?

Well, here are the rules. Ideally, the car should be a convertible. I like smaller cars and am inclined to European models, but my budget (sadly, always an important consideration) is not the sort that would readily allow me to consider E Types, 300SLs or even a Maserati Mistral convertible…. No, I will be limited to searching for cars in the $15,000 to $25,000 category. This is worsened by the fact that the dollars mentioned are “Canadian” dollars, which have taken a beating in the last several months.

The car MUST be manual (there are exceptions, but they are “exceptional”)

The car should be manufactured between 1959 and 1976. Again – for the right car, these dates are malleable, but this is my preferred vintage – and I should be clear that the dollars mentioned are Canadian dollars, which in the current global context makes my task less enviable.

The cars I am primarily interested in are as follows  (and you will note that some of these are not convertibles… well – ttthpbt!):

  • TR6/250/4
  • Datsun 240Z/1600/2000
  • Alfa Romeo Spider (1971 to 1974)
  • Honda S600/S800
  • Toyota Sports 800
  • Jaguar MkII
  • Jaguar XJC
  • Lotus Elan (original)
  • Fiat Spider
  • Porsche 914 or 914/6
  • Porsche 912
  • Mercedes 230/250/280sl
  • Mazda RX7

I know that many of these won’t easily fit into the $25k category, and some of them are not spiders (spyders) – but one must keep an open mind. 🙂

Lastly, and most difficult, any car I purchase must be a good driving example, or better expressed, “the best I can afford”. I live in a condo and it is a wonderful place to live – it even has its own underground car wash bay! It does not, however, allow tenants to put their classics up on blocks and wrench them – so any car I buy will have to be serviced/repaired/recovered offsite by someone other than myself with the financial consequences one would expect.


3 thoughts on “The Premise”

  1. Great idea for a blog Bruce…and I love the drawings. Someone from Humber shared the link on a Facebook group and I instantly recognized your style before realizing it was in fact your work. As someone on Core77 mentioned, I hope you don’t find a car too soon so we can enjoy some more drawings!

    My best friend throughout high school was obsessed with the TR6, so I have a soft spot for it as well. Back then, he and I used to frequently visit the underground parking garage in his building to admire and sit in an early 70’s E-type roadster that sat abandoned for what seemed like decades (flat tires, smashed gauges, ripped top etc). Although the dream of somehow claiming this abandoned car ended when the car suddenly vanished, we still made off with a few mementos including a chrome hubcap which I still own.

    Anyhow, I guess all these classic roadsters must have influenced me quite a bit since I now own an 80’s BMW 3 series cabriolet. Not quite of the same era as the cars you’ve documented, but a classic in its own right. Very curious to see what you end up with…


  2. Found you through Autoblog and I love almost everything on your list. One however, stood out in particular- Mazda RX-7. With your budget you could get a really, really nice 1st gen RX-7. My personal recommendation would be either an ’84 or ’85 GSL or GSL-SE. Those particular cars had a pleasantly refined interior. You seem to like a lot of classic stuff though so I don’t know if the contemporary-to-the-80’s interior would appeal to you but I really liked it (right down to the shiny stack of tiny Clarion audio components and the center console joystick for the balance and fader that you will no doubt bump while shifting.)

    To me this car was an outstanding blend of sportiness and refinement and as soon as I’m done with my current project car it will be on my radar again. Excellent examples of these come up for sale every few months so patience pays and I expect there is a good chance you’ll find something else that fits you first. By the way, the earlier cars have some nicely classical details like the wheels and the dashboard appearance.

    Good luck and happy hunting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike – thanks for the comment – yeah – I love the RX7s… you’re right – the interiors can be a bit “plastic-y” but they’re beautiful cars and a blast to drive. I only wish they came in convertibles – but I don’t think they’d look as good as the Coupe… I saw a brilliant series RX7 on “” a month or two ago and was sorely tempted, but it was in the States and gone before I could act on my impulse…

      If one comes up locally I’ll be sniffing around… 🙂

      Thanks again Mike – cheers – Bruce


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