From BMW Z1 to Donkervoort: summer can really start with these five open cars


Renault Sport Spider (1995)

Also typical for the summer: flying! You get a close bond with this when you drive this Renault, because initially the Sport Spider had no windscreen at all. They found a wind deflector enough in France. A helmet is recommended, but if you have one on, it turns out that catching flies has never been so much fun. The Renault Sport Spider weighs 930 kilos and has the 150 hp engine from the Clio Williams, with which it reaches a top of 215 km/h. How many owners would have dared to do that? Later models are also supplied with a windscreen, but for a bit of excitement you get your breath of fresh air.

BMW Z1 (1989)

The Dutchman Harm Lagaaij knows how to draw timeless cars. You wouldn’t say the Z1 dates back to 1986, although it didn’t go into production until three years later. Most striking: the doors that sink into the sills, so that you can drive (legally!) with the doors open. The 2.5-litre six-cylinder engine is positioned behind the front axle for optimum weight distribution. Boarding requires some agility and the sports seats are extremely cramped: a good reason to leave beer and nuts. Initially, the Z1 would not go into production at all, but BMW received so many positive reactions that the brand decided to build exactly 8000 copies.

Morgan 3-Wheeler (2011)

As early as 1908, Peter Morgan built a three-wheeled single-seater for personal use. It was not until 1935 that the British brand first introduced a car that had four wheels. Al founder Henry Morgan drove his old 3-Wheeler until his death. The most recent 3-Wheeler was introduced in 2011 and is likely to get a successor this year. The 3-Wheeler weighs just over 500 pounds and does the 100th sprint in 4.5 seconds. A windscreen has been installed pro forma, but that only protects gnomes from the elements. Who dares to touch the top of 185 km/h in this car without ABS, ESP or airbags?

Donkervoort D8 GTO (2012)

Since 1978, Joop Donkervoort has focused on building the perfect sports car. Fewer kilos result in higher speeds. Then add some extra power, and you have a sports car that performs like a rocket. Take the JD-70, which was introduced last year at Joop’s 70th birthday. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder is good for 415 hp, the sprint to 100 km/h takes only 2.8 seconds. But with Donkervoort, it’s less about speed than about dynamics: on winding roads, the car can handle extraordinary lateral forces. In Lelystad they remain true to the philosophy of Joop Donkervoort: pushing boundaries. Even now that Joop Donkervoort has stepped down and his son Denis has taken over the wheel.

Citroën e-Méhari (2016)

We could have chosen the original Mehari from 1968, but still go for the modern version with an electric motor. The production of the e-Méhari was limited to 1000 units. Had Citroën built more, the buggy would have had to meet stricter safety requirements, such as airbags. The comfort is un-French spartan and the range is not much: if you drive a bit, you will reach 100 kilometers at most. But when the sun shines and the roof comes off, your rose-colored glasses cloud the drawbacks and you forgive the e-Méhari everything.

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