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The best roadsters, according to you

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


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/05/24/best-roadsters-according-to-you

Most popular answers, perhaps, but any list of the best roadsters that doesn’t mention the Lotus Elan (said to be Gordon Murray, Jay Leno, and Harry Metcalfe’s favorite sports car) is not complete.

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You’ve got the wrong TR, The TR6 is so much prettier and more fun.
And with minor mods, they can be driven very spiritedly.

Can’t agree more on the S2000. Our family has an AP1 and an AP2. VTEC is intoxicating. Low mileage examples are out there.

Kyle, the S2000 AP1s had 120 horsepower per liter, not nearly a hundred per liter. The later cars were still in excess of one hundred horsepower per liter.

I like the selections, particularly the S2000 and TR3. I had spent fifteen years only owning German cars when I first drove an S2000 and discovered that one didn’t have to sacrifice quality to get a car that handled better than a BMW or Porsche. A dozen years later, I don’t know what became of the tools I used during my almost two decades of German cars. I haven’t needed a one of them. It is sad that Honda makes absolutely nothing that has a tie to the S2000 today, but they retained a connection to their heritage longer than BMW did.

I agree with you. I checked online a few weeks ago to find that my 1969 Lotus Elan S4 SE is STILL registered in England 50 years after I first registered it. However, it has changed colour from Cobra Blue to red. It was a real joy to drive and hugged the road like nothing else.

I am always amazed when I spend time in my AP1 S2000, less frequently than I should, but it works everytime. I have modded only a little and it always ready to go and such a blast to drive. Glad others agree, sometimes I find myself in a vacuum (Lancia’s in the garage) but since new in 02 - I have been thrilled with this car. I don’t consider myself a convertible guy, but that’s the only way they come - so I jumped in…it has been a great decision for many years!!

Gotta Speak up for the MR2 Spyder. Mid engine fun affordable and bullet proof reliable2002%20MR2%20Spyder

If you don’t include the last year of the only Saturn car worth owning, it only shows that either you are a brand snob or never drove one. I have owned or driven most the cars on your list and would match up my 2009 Saturn Sky Redline on any road course or drag strip. This car was simply over looked because of its brand. I still own and drive my car with 30k miles, never a brake down and zero turbo lag. With the dealership installed GMPP performance upgraded 3-bar map sensor, the cars 290hp improved to 310 hp. With slight tuning, my puts out 345hp and 350tq and 23psi. I haven’t found a roadster yet that will beat its performance on Premium gas and factor parts.

My wife hates riding in the car because she is freaked out by all the people that come by to stare at it and stick their faces up to the windows to perk in while I pay for gas. Not to mention the time spent answering questions from people that approach me about this beauty. And with baby Corvette looks, it stands out everywhere.

Morgan Plus 8 ! A beast with the Rover V8.

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Another S2000 owner here. I intentionally sought out an AP2v1 model. This car is a blast to drive, easy to work on, cheap to maintain and to date has been nothing but reliable. For all of the amazing qualities this car holds, perhaps most amazing is that it is still a Honda at heart.

I would only add that I would jump at the chance to drive any of the cars mentioned in Kyle’s article or those suggested thus far by other members. I have loved roadsters since I was a kid (my very first car was a Triumph Spitfire). These cars provide such a fun and unique driving experience. Not everyone appreciates them but it is a shame that far too few people ever get a chance to experience them in the first place.

Absolutely right, rokem - the Elan is one of the very best. I had an open early S2 for a while which was a joy, and when I lived near London acquired a closed S4 SE which my now-wife paid to bring over to the US after we used it on our visits to the UK and she fell in love with it. (I knew she was the one for me!) I do speak from experience - my wife and I formed a company to work on classic cars for about 10 years, so we have driven many, many interesting sports and classic cars, and the Elan still stands out. We also have an S1 E-Type and a Mk1 Sprite - both wonderful cars in their own right, but the Elan’s handling, general performance, comfort (very softly sprung for a sports car) and yes, fuel economy, shine through. The other interesting point is that, possibly because the S4 was assembled from a kit by very knowledgeable chaps who raced Lotuses, it has proven very reliable. The only major upgrade we have made is CVJ drive shafts from ElanTrikBits (Australia) to replace the rubber doughnuts - a very worthwhile and well-made update. (We have no association with the company.)

Ummm - it might be pedantic, but perhaps it should be pointed out that, at least in old-school terminology, the term “roadster” is NOT interchangeable with “convertible”. Technically, a Bugeye Sprite would be considered a roadster, having sidescreens and a top stored in the trunk, if present at all, which is assembled rather like a tent, whereas cars like a TR6 would not, having such luxuries as a permanently-attached top and, gasp, wind-up windows!
Probably doesn’t matter any more - any two-seater convertible - actually virtually any old-school-type sports-car - is more fun than most of the other cars on the road today…