Topless Models: The 4 Hottest Roof-Optional Weekend Warrior Cars to Invest in Now

Clockwise from top left: 1950s-era Jeep CJ5, 1980s-era Chevy Blazer, 1960s-era Ford Bronco, 1970s-era International Scout II.

There's a saying among car geeks: When the top goes down, the price goes up. And when it comes to vintage SUVs, truer words were never spoken. Topless versions of these old-school four-wheel-drives are almost sure bets if you want to sell later—prices are up 42% over the past five years—but why would you want to? They're the driving equivalent of a beach house: the ultimate second-home car. "These vehicles tick a lot of boxes," says McKeel Hagerty, publisher of the definitive Hagerty Price Guide. We asked specialists at high-end auction houses what's tops on their topless lists.

The Off-Roading Original
1950s-era Jeep CJ5

"Jeeps are a go-anywhere, fun American product," says Gooding & Co.'s Paul Hageman. The CJ5 had one of the world's longest production runs—from 1954 to 1983—and appeals to both collectors and those just looking for a surf wagon.
Look For: A bare-bones model with a classic four-cylinder engine known as the Hurricane.
Top Notes: The fabric roof and door skins peel back and roll up; windows zip out. Starting at $14,000

The Next Big Thing
1980s-era Chevy Blazer

This powerhouse was never as popular as the Bronco, but it's "very up-and-coming," says Hagerty, with a look that's both menacing (like an eighties DEA pursuit vehicle) and refined (vinyl seats, power windows and locks).
Look For: Metallic-brown, fuel-injected 1987-89 models.
Top Notes: The fiberglass top runs from just behind the half-cab's fixed-steel roof to the back. Starting at $12,500

The Half-Cab
1960s-era Ford Bronco

"I don't know if Steve McQueen ever drove a Bronco in a movie," says Eric Minoff, of Bonhams. "But you could imagine him in one."
Look For: The 1969 Sport model comes with chrome trim, power steering, and an optional V8.
Top Notes: The compact metal-glass hardtop unbolts. Customize it with a cloth Safari or Bikini top, shading the full length of the truck or just the front seat. Starting at $20,000

The Alternative
1970s-era International Scout II

Its original competitor was the CJ, but the Scout is not as well known, says Hageman—which means it "can be bought at a lower price than a Land Cruiser."
Look For: A 1978–79 Rallye or Selective Edition with outrageous side stripes, a V8, disc brakes, and options like cruise control and A/C.
Top Notes: Full-length metal top, but Safari and Bikini tops are also available. Starting at $15,000

• • •

Also on Details.com:
Porsche 911 Targa 2015: Return of an Icon (That Can Flip Its Lid in Just 20 Seconds)
Barely Legal: The Hottest First-Time-on-the-Market Foreign Cars
Europe's Sexiest Road Trips—and the Best Cars for Them

Photographs, clockwise from top left: courtesy of manufacturer: Wisconsin Historical Society, WHS-25806; courtesy of manufacturer (2).
Details Newsletters
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Subscribe to Details
Newsletter Sign Up
  • Get the latest in men's style, grooming, diet, fitness and pop-culture trends every Wednesday. See Sample
  • Get the most popular articles, blog posts, and slideshows of the past week every Saturday. See Sample
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Powered By ZergNet
Subscribe to Details

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest in men's style, grooming, health, and pop-culture news every day.
Will be in accordance with our Privacy Policy