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Which older convertible would you choose for a weekend driver?

I located several clean models and would like opinions from those who may have experience with these cars. The car would be used for light weekend travel – once a month or so.

Looking for style, comfort, performance – and good dependability. Won’t be a daily driver, but don’t want to be stuck somewhere with a breakdown. Thanks for your input!

1995 Jaguar XJS

1988 Cadillac Allante

1985 Mercedes Benz 380SL

1989 Ford Mustang 5.0

The Mustang.

The others are expensive to fix if anything should fail.


Of those I’d consider the MB and the Mustang, they’re so different you’d need to pick. The 380SL is a cruiser, not a sports car, and will be reliable, but expensive to repair (only consider it if it’s had the dual row timing chain installed, most 380s have). If I were considering an old SL, I’d only consider the 560, more modern by far, better performance. The Mustang is much less refined, more fun, easier and cheaper to keep running.

Not the Jag, cool car but will need frequent expensive repairs.

The Allante has some fans. Some engine and drive train parts are regular Cadillac but other parts are unique to Allante and may be expensive or hard to find. I believe the top is manual on the Allante.

MB is possible, won’t break down as often as Jag, but still expensive repairs.

1st choice the Mustang. Only concern is some of the 5.0’s have been driven hard. Get the car inspected by a trusted mechanic. My son had a 5.0 Mustang convertible and it was stolen off the street in front of a friends house and taken for a joy ride. The car was recovered but had a bent frame (unibody) as a result of the joy riders.

As I recall, you want a cruiser. I’d go for the 380SL first, Allante second, Mustang 3rd, and Jag 4th. Have you driven any of them? Which ones do you like best?