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Hagerty Employee

6 collectible coupes worth more than their drop-top siblings

There’s an old saying in the car hobby: “When the top goes down, the price goes up.” It makes sense. A roadster, convertible, cabriolet, or targa does more than just put some sunshine on your face. It amplifies the sensory driving experience—more sights, more sounds, more smells. You feel more connected to the road. As with most rules, though, there are plenty of exceptions. Cisitalias from the 1940s and ’50s are one example. Mercedes’ 300SL Gullwing is another; for a long time, the coupes were worth significantly more than their roadster cousins. In this article, we decided to gather a list of exceptions that are a bit more mainstream. For these six cars, “when the top goes up, the price goes up.”


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Pit Crew

Porsche got ahead of this when they decided the hard-top Cayman would carry a premium over the soft-top Boxster back in 2006.

Pit Crew

Another thing affecting the GTS vs RT/10 values, is that unlike the RT/10, the GTS is a car you can actually almost live with.  Many "modern classics" are still being bought with the intention of being driven regularly.


You hit it right on the head with the Solstice coupe, originally it only became a reality because GM wanted it out on the race circuits that a few people were already doing well on with custom fabricated hardtops, and winning means selling. Personally, the lines on the coupe are terrible compared to the convertibles, and the car is literally sought after only because of it's rarity. If there were only 25 Renault R5's in the world, they'd be $50k cars. More with a full tank of gas and fresh tires.

Intermediate Driver

Any Corvette is a collectible given time.

Pit Crew

The other thing with the Solstice coupe in question, that really helps its price, is the rarity of one in GXP trim, particularly with the manual transmission.  I love reading these studies, but it would really be interesting to look at these cars in a "market-neutral" way, by adjusting for factors like overall scarcity, livability, maintenance costs, etc.  I think of all of them, the M3 and 911 are the best representation of purely coupe vs convertible, with really all else being equal.

Pit Crew

Would you consider the BMW Z3 Coupe? Especially the 3.0 or the M. 

New Driver

1950s Gullwing Mercedes SL300 should top the list. 

Intermediate Driver

i am not a fan of convertibles. want the open air experience? GET A MOTORCYCLE. i prefer coupes over rag tops, and 4 door sedans over 2 doors, as i prefer big yank tanks, and they just make more sense with 4 doors. i am a little different than other people though.......

New Driver

I have owned 2 Lotus’s Esprit and Elise. The Esprit was a complete disappointment quality of interior

very poor quality seats and dash and electrical is a nightmare.

Would definitely not purchase another. Air conditioning in both cars was a joke.

The Elise had a Toyota engine best part of car. 
I was thinking about buying Lotus Esprit V8 Turbo but internet reports and maintenance have thrown a no to purchase.

Like Ferrari 328 again quality and maintenance not worth ownership.




Can't ever for get about the 65-73 Mustang fastbacks.  They always bring more than the convertibles.

Pit Crew

My Z4 3.0 6-speed Coupe (non-M) is a rarity with fewer than 900 made. The roadsters can be had cheap, but the hard top variant commands a premium--and lots of second looks and questions. 




You missed the BMW Z4 M Coupe, selling for roughly twice what its convertible version does.

Intermediate Driver

Coupes > ragtops. Always!

Intermediate Driver

The 1963 Corvette Coupe is about the only C2 coupe - other than a few big block cars that gets a premium price. And most of those cars lacked 4 wheel disc brakes and air conditioning - making driving them on a hot day less than fun to drive. 

New Driver

Love the Solstice in any version. Hope to add one to the stable some day.

Intermediate Driver

I disagree. The only people I’ve heard complain about drop top cars are cranky old timers. The younger generations with money to spend will prefer convertibles to coupes every time. Auction sales don’t accurately represent sales at small specialty dealers and brokers. 


A friend of mine had a 1963 Vette that was converted to the full rear window.   Supposedly to make it look like a 64.


The 63, not 64 Corvette split window, is worth more than the convertible.  I have the convertible. 


C-2 4 wheel disc brakes introduced in 1965 .