Background Lifestyle & Fun

The 5 most unusual compact convertibles in the world

July 20, 2022

Smart Crossblade

The Smart Crossblade is one of the craziest convertibles around. Roofless, impractical and it actually has no windshield. Oh yes, boarding is also slightly different. After all, it has wing doors. As far as you can speak of doors. Still, it’s not a bad idea to buy one, if you get the chance. Very few of them were built, so it may well become a valuable collector’s item in the future. Indeed, Smart produced only 2,000 units of the Crossblade.

Meyers Manx Beach baby carriage

The Meyers Manx Beach baby carriage is a creation of Bruce Myers, an American surfer. The carressory is made of fiberglass, so it will not rust easily. Meyers also built boats, so he had a lot of experience with fiberglass. The baby carriage is based on a Volkswagen Beetle. There are also many other similar baby carriages based on a Beetle from other manufacturers. These are often much cheaper, because an original Meyers Manx can be quite expensive.

Citroën Mehari

The Citroën Mehari is based on a Citroën 2CV and was launched at the height of the hippie era. There were 150,000 Mehari made in total. In the past they were often used on the farm and as an errand car, but today they are a trendy summer car. So in the south of France you often see them driving in and around trendy seaside resorts. In Monaco, he is also popular. Probably because there are no windows in it and people can show themselves better. A second-hand Mehari starts at around 10,000 euros these days, but prices for a net copy can be quite steep.

Fiat 500 Jolly

Wicker seats, a cloth roof and no doors: that’s Fiat 500 Jolly. It came on the market in 1958, as a sort of joke. At least, Jolly stands for “Joker. Italian carmaker Carrozzeria Ghia was responsible for the substantially rebuilt Fiat 500. They demolished the doors and roof of a 500 and in its place came a kind of tent on the car. Gigi Segre – the boss of Ghia – thought this was a good idea, after seeing other compact convertibles such as the Mini Moke and Citroën Mehari driving around southern Europe. By now, it’s an expensive proposition if you want one. You’ll lose at least 30,000 euros, but some specimens will fetch 100,000 euros or more.

Mini Moke

The Mini Moke was produced from 1964 to 1993 based on the chassis and powertrain of the primal Mini developed by Sir Alec Issigonis. Intended as a compact and light vehicle for the British Army, which could be dropped from an aircraft together with paratroopers behind enemy lines, so that the men on the ground had immediate transportation at hand.

Based on the original Mini, a military baby carriage was developed in 1964 that could be ejected from an airplane by a parachute. This car quickly gained cult status, in part because celebrities such as The Beatles, Beach Boys and Brigitte Bardot appeared in it. Like the Mehari and the 500 Jolly, it is now a trendy car that you often see driving around popular seaside resorts.