Lately I’ve been feeling the need to drive along the coastline.
From the sunrise till the sunset.
Is it the weather? Is it the constant playing of Crosby, Stills & Nash’s albums?
Or is it just the will to be near the ocean?
Cruising with the wind in your hair, the smell of salt in the air…
Well if you feel the same way you’re probably questioning what car you would take.
I would happily settle for any roadster from the sixties or seventies but this time the aim is to present some of the “coolest” (arguable) and affordable roadsters from the 90s.
Being born in the 90s and growing up wanting to own a convertible these were part of my childhood. I won’t get into every roadster or convertible from this era (I’ll leave that to the pros). These are just some of what I think are the most interesting and elegant cars from this era.
Here’s a fine selection of what you can find in the market at a reasonable price and full-on weekend driver roadster from the 90s featuring end of the century photographs packed with a generous dose of nostalgia.
MAZDA MX-5 MIATA
Still in production and hitting the 1 000 000 mark last year this is probably THE ROADSTER FROM THE 90s.
Fun to drive and a true icon of an era. Once criticised for not having any heritage to live up to it certainly has now. Inspired by the British roadsters from the 60s it carries the retro-style vibe that still to this day gets our attention.
Meant to put a smile in your face whenever you sit behind the wheel this is a true weekender’s car. Hill climbing or beachside cruising… Emotion and excitement.
MERCEDES SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR
Once described as the rich man’s Miata this is probably the most elegant of all (although it only appeared in the late 90s).
Elegance is certainly the word for this car but it also comes with 190 bhp and a beautiful sound as you start the car (that 90s Mercedes Vroooooommmmm).
For a long time this was a car to which I paid zero attention. Why? I seriously have no idea.
It’s like that beautiful Swedish model you probably think it’s too good for you. Once you notice it you can’t stop thinking about it!
I feel the same way about a dark navy blue SLK 230 as I feel towards a blonde blue eyed Scandinavian female model – I can’t take my eyes off it!
Yatch clubs, white pants and Navy Blue SLKs.
Oh I forgot… SUPERCHARGER. That’s all…
Exciting to look at. Exciting to drive. I’ve dreamed about owning one for years!
You just can’t walk by one of these and look away…
Even James Bond drove one! If that isn’t enough for you you’re probably in the wrong blog.
When it came out there was an argue whether if it was a German answer to Mazda’s MX-5 or if it was the modern take (although retro-inspired) on the beautiful 507.
Nonetheless it’s history this is one car to do it all. Hill climbing flat out, throwing it into every corner or cruising alongside the ocean.
It looks aggressive and exotic yet classy and unique.
ALFA ROMEO SPIDER 2.0 TS
The legend tells that this car was meant to be called the SPEEDER but a translation problem between Italians resulted in what came to be known as the new Spider.
Some might say it looks odd. Your mother won’t like it.
It feels exquisite. It feels exciting. It feels like leaving on Saturday morning to an open road and to champagne and oysters by the beach.
And you also get that 90s formula 1 racing inspired interior (typical 90s alfa styling).
That little rascal.
Stylish, fun to drive (despite the front wheel drive) and reliable (mechanically speaking it’s basically a fiat punto – only ten times cooler!). This carries the same Latin charisma as the Alfa and so it will turn some heads as you pass by.
Particularly fond of high revs and practical this is probably the one you should choose if you’re looking for a fun roadster for cruising around the town or for the occasional weekend getaway.
LOTUS ELAN M100
Looks 90s. Sounds fast.
Once described as “arguably the finest handling front wheel drive car ever”.
Super comfortable and still raging through every corner you throw it into. Smoothly getting by every obstacle the road throws at you.
Have you ever gone flat out into a corner and got by just fine in your father’s Mercedes?
You probably have. You can do that in the Elan M100 and look cooler.
And it’s a L-O-T-U-S.
There you have it. Some of the coolest gems from the 90s.
Start searching for your favourite for this summer or if by any chance, you already own one of these charismatic roadsters fire it up and enjoy the ride!