If you fancy going off the beaten track before the autumn comes, then what better way to do it than in something where you can get a panoramic view, unimpeded by a roof or a road? Here’s our top six.
1 - Citroën Mehari (1968-1988)
The epitome of carefree motoring, the Mehari was derived from the mechanically simple 2CV. There was a 4x4 version, powered by a 602cc flat twin, through a manual gearbox with seven speeds.
They’re popular in the South of France but, even so, watch out for a chassis that has rotted badly. A nicely restored example should set you back around £5000.
2 - Suzuki Vitara Cabriolet (1989-1998)
The Vitara wasn’t a particularly sophisticated 4x4 but it was a pretty good off-roader. The 4x4 models were the JX and JLX, and both featured the 79bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the only choice.
Around £1500 will buy you a good example with low mileage, although a high-miler will be about half that.
3 - Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet (2011-2014)
Nissan were keen to follow on the success of the Juke, and so they pushed this interestingly styled crossover into production as part of the second-generation Murano range. It only sold in the States, where this soft-top was fitted with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine.
But there were problems with the roof, with some not working properly when opening and closing, and others leaving marks on the seats. You’ll find one through the US dealer network for around $28,000, which is about £18,000.
4 - Jeep Wrangler (1987-1995)
The Wrangler is one of those iconic 4x4s with a reputation as a real off-roader. The soft-top versions came with half-doors as standard, with full doors and a hard-top roof all extras. The engine range included a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and a 4.2-litre V6.
There are plenty to choose from in the classifieds but steer well clear of any modified vehicles and watch out for rust. A quick search found a left-hand drive example in sound condition for £4795, but a low-mileage Wrangler will be more like £6000.
5 - Land Rover Series 2A (1961-1971)
Land Rover used to dominate the globe’s off-road markets, to the extent that in the 1960s it’s said that Land Rover had 90% of Australia’s 4x4 market. The Series 2A was a good chunk of that, with soft-top models having a 2.5-litre diesel engine. The long-wheelbase 2As had the choice of a 2.6-litre six-cylinder motor.
The bodywork seems to age surprisingly well, although it’s worth checking out the electrics before you buy. About £2000 will get you a Series 2A but a good example will cost double that.
6 - Mercedes-Benz G-Class Cabriolet (1997-2013)
The luxury off-roader from Mercedes was made with a soft-top version, which had a powered roof. Launched in 1997, the G-Class Cabriolet stayed in production until 2013, ending its run with a limited Final Edition.
Engine choice included a 2.9-litre turbodiesel and a V6 petrol. These were joined by a G500 in 1998 which had a monster 340bhp V8 option.
The G-Class earned a solid reputation for being unbreakable, so if you find one there shouldn’t be too many problems, although it’s worth checking the powered roof operates correctly. There actually aren’t that many early examples around, but we found some online in Europe for just £14,000.