Which $40,000-or-less Convertible Would You Choose for Your Dream Garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings


It’s official: Geese are migrating north, bees are buzzing about, and the early buds on the trees are all telling us – here in the Northeast, anyway – that spring is truly on our doorstep. Sure, there may be a little leftover frost to contend with yet, but sunny days are nearing nonetheless. Which means it’s time to dream about warm weather cruising, and what finer way to do so then at the helm of a convertible? In our latest edition of This or That, we’ve upped the dream garage price ceiling to $40,000 to bring forth a wider selection of what were originally mid-range drop-top rides, all of which are currently available in the Hemmings classifieds. You know the drill: Which one would you take home this week?


Price new: $2,434 (Today’s currency: $29,000)Let’s begin this week’s venture in the late Forties, when manufacturers could sell anything on wheels in the blink of an eye, despite what some might consider already-outdated styling. It explains, in part, why Chrysler didn’t make any appreciable visual changes to its line of cars through 1948, as depicted by this Windsor convertible trimmed out with the “Highlander” upholstery option. From 1946 until the debut of the new ’49s, Chrysler built 11,200 Windsor two-door convertibles; it was the third-most-popular body style in the series behind the 161,139 four-door sedans and 26,482 Club coupes. From the seller’s description:

Highlander convertible; great condition; very nice paint; great looking chrome; like new interior; 250-cu.in. inline six engine; great condition car

Price$35,950Locationst-jerome, QCAvailabilityAvailable


Price new: $3,250 (Today’s currency: $38,723)While Chrysler was preparing to tool up with revised bodies to be debuted in 1949, independent automaker Packard had already redesigned its “Twenty-Second Series” line of cars that were unveiled in 1948, among them this midrange Super 8 Victoria Convertible Coupe. The old pontoon-style front fenders that flowed into the front doors were replaced outright; clean, slab-sided styling was in vogue. Similarly, the tall, narrow grille, while retaining a traditional Packard shape, was considerably more compact. All-new to the postwar Packard family was the Victoria convertible, which found 4,700 buyers in 1948, along with another 4,250 a year later. From the seller’s description:

Stock eight-cylinder engine with three-speed manual transmission. This is an older restoration that still shows very well. Runs and drives great!

Price$30,900LocationUtica, OHAvailabilityAvailable

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