The 5 best roadsters

by Kyle Smith // June 5, 2019

There is no feeling like the brush of cool air coming over the windscreen as you motor down the roadway. Almost every manufacturer has produced a roadster at some point, so we asked Hagerty members which one is their favorite. Here are the most popular answers.

Honda S200
Packing nearly 100 horsepower per liter, the Honda S2000 is a feat of engineering. The two-seater is sleekly styled and while small, is packed with function. The entire cockpit is driver-centric, and the rear-wheel-drive platform paired with a manual six-speed transmission promises a lively driving experience. They appear to be only going up, might be the time to shop for one now.

Mazda Miata
Embodying all the enjoyment—even the exhaust note—of a little British car, but with traditional Japanese reliability, is a sure fire recipe for those who like fun to drive cars. The Miata hit that nail square and hard, making itself a favorite of those in the search for a modern roadster. The first generation from 1989-97, also known as NA, are typically favored by those seeking a pure experience, but the subsequent generations are still wonderful cars to enjoy.

Morgan
We expected a wide range of responses, but we will say we didn’t expect a pack of Morgan lovers to come out of the woodwork (pun intended) to declare their love for open top motoring. A pure British roadster, this fits the traditional definition by leaving the side windows behind. The majority of the responses calling for inclusion of the Morgan nameplate made reference to the Plus Four, a more powerful version of 4/4 model, which was built from 1950 to 1969.

Chevrolet Corvette
The second-generation Corvette is best known for the one-year-only split-window of 1963, as it was a gorgeous design and also the first Corvette without the option to remove the roof (the convertible, of course, wasn’t a split-window) Arguably the most American roadster (we would accept arguments that the ’32 Ford is a tie for the spot), the Corvette is the quintessential roadster for those who want an exhaust note that sounds as good as the American flag looks. Barring a few years after 1976 when no American production cars had the convertible option, the Corvette has always had the box on the order form for a drop top. We hope it stays that way.

Triumph TR3
The term LBC encapsulates a lot, but when you break it down to Little British Cars, to us there are few that fit the term better than the Triumph TR3. Hagerty members mentioned a number of Lucas-electrics-equipped cars, but the most support seems to lean on the curvaceous TR3. While British in heritage and production, between 1955 and 1957, 90-percent of TR3 production was shipped to the shores of the U.S.

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