Which country builds the best convertibles?
Personal tastes aside, we wanted to find out which of four car-building countries (Japan, Germany, the U.S. and the UK) builds the best convertible. However, we also don’t want to break the bank, so we’re talking about the best convertibles in a more affordable era these days. The 1990s saw convertibles like the Mercedes-Benz 500SL and the Jaguar XK8 prowling the roads. We also had drop-top versions of the Nissan 300ZX and the 4th-generation Ford Mustang GT. In this series called “Stud to Dud”, we’re putting these four against each other to see which got the best deal — and which country best represents the convertible lifestyle.
Before getting into all that, though, you need to know how much we paid for each of these machines. Most points to whoever paid the least, and that prize goes to Nathan in the 2002 Jaguar XK8. Now, the $6,500 spent on that vehicle factors in the Boulder discount (long story, check out more on that below). He did get four points in that category, though. Next up are Roman’s 1994 Nissan 300ZX and Tommy’s 1997 Ford Mustang GT, at $8,500 a piece. The Nissan, though, did not have a check engine light, so Roman gets three points to Tommy’s two. In last place, Andre’s $9,000 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SL nets just one point on the price front.
After going through each purchase, the guys take the four convertibles on the drag strip in a bracket-style race. The 300ZX and 500SL are up first, with the winner taking on the Mustang then the Jaguar XK8.
Find out which convertible is the quickest below, and we also throw another (modern) sports car into the mix: