Luxury GT convertibles that were once out of reach, now suddenly look like great value for money. If you are willing to spend over Rs 25 lakh on a 12- to 16-year-old car and are willing to live with a two-door that can seat four, get yourself a pre-owned GT from the mid 2000s, like a BMW 650i (E64 generation), or a Mercedes-Benz SL350 or SL500 (R230).
Prices for such cars start at around Rs 20 lakh and, yes, you may need to spend some money to get them into tip-top shape, but that still makes them awesome value. These cars have reasonably powerful engines, automatic transmissions and, being relatively modern cars, they also come with all sorts of safety and comfort features.
Values of luxury cars fall off the cliff when they are 12 to 16 years old, with the fear of high maintenance costs and expensive spare parts prices. However, if you find a nice example that has been lovingly looked after, there isn’t too much to worry about, especially if this is your second car. Let me warn you, though, running costs of such cars can be quite steep and they can also be expensive to fix, as they can be temperamental and kick up a fair share of issues. However, they are great fun-to-drive cars and can feel even more special with the roof down. As a bonus, driving a shiny one with the roof down can make you feel like a celebrity, grabbing eyeballs and camera phone clicks.
Yes, you won’t get a warranty with your car but that should not be a deal-breaker. Besides authorised service centres for support, there are plenty of websites you can buy parts from? And there are also a number of independent workshops that have the tools and expertise to maintain such cars, at least in Mumbai and some other metros.
It’s not often that such cars come up on sale,and good examples come up even more rarely. Blame that on the limited number of such cars sold in the country, which, on the other hand, also gives you that much more exclusivity.
A 2003 SL500 sells for around Rs 25 lakh, while an executive sedan costs Rs 25 to 30 lakh. If I was spending over Rs 25 lakh on a car, I’d be asking myself: why drive a boring executive sedan when you can have a convertible GT instead?
In my opinion, if you want something that is a little more special, more powerful or premium, nothing comes close to the thrill of owning and driving a convertible GT. Think about it.