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One of the best things about a gorgeous summer evening is the way the perfect convertible can make you feel when you’re just trundling through town, stalking an ice cream cone with your sweetie. With its classic lines, distinctive V-8 rumble, and confident American swagger, the GT droptop is perfect for double-scooping duty. And unlike many of our other favorite cabrios, there’s ample room for four people–so long as the Dairy Queen isn’t too far down the road or your adult passengers don’t mind getting friendly with the back panel of the front seats.
When the sidewalk ends and the envious onlookers scatter, the Mustang GT, which starts at $31,265, can still go a long way toward improving your mood. Just like its skin, this horse’s handling is a throwback to the 1960s. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t any fun to ride hard, especially if you’re willing to let it leave behind little bits of its rear tires in the pavement. If you’d prefer non-smoking, you can enjoy the Mustang’s wonderfully designed interior, which also takes after its flower-power forebears. And to keep the Mustang firmly in the twenty-first century, Ford offers a navigation system, a kickin’ stereo with ten speakers, and a gauge cluster with adjustable backlighting colors.
The base, V-6-powered Mustang convertible starts at less than $25,000, and the GT–our favorite–can be spec’d up to about $40,000. You’ll be lucky to find a copy of the rare 500 hp Shelby GT500 Mustang for less then $50 grand.