Three Decades of Halo Convertibles


Today’s B/D/B was suggested by commenter namesakeone, who posited that a couple of the cars featured in the worst halo cars article last week might make an interesting trio for this segment.

I needed to cover one more as a Rare Ride first, which is why we saw that Thunderbird yesterday. Requirement out of the way, it’s time to have our first multi-decade, Rare Rides-sourced Buy/Drive/Burn.

All cars featured today were halo convertibles for their manufacturer at the time of their offering. They hail from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. And of course we’re assuming here in The Present Year that you could buy a brand new example of each.

Chrysler TC by Maserati

Oldest car first. The Chrysler TC by Maserati was the brand’s halo vehicle introduced in 1989. Designed in conjunction with Maserati in Italy, the TC was assembled at two different Maserati factories and fitted with a very luxurious interior before it was shipped to eager US customers. The front-drive TC was technically on its own (LeBaron-based) platform, though it looked a lot like the much less expensive LeBaron with which it shared some components. Today’s example is one of the earlier 500 equipped with a high-output 200 horsepower 2.2 inline-four, developed by Maserati. It’s paired to a five-speed Getrag manual, for the most fun Italian luxury experience possible.

Cadillac Allanté 

Cadillac-Allante-747The Allanté was Cadillac’s grandest attempt to capture the 1980s/1990s “European car buyer” who eluded General Motors for… forever. Introduced for 1987, it was designed and built in Italy by Pininfarina. The bodies included Italian-fitted interiors, and were flown at great expense to Detroit for final assembly at Hamtramck. Another front-driver, the Allanté also used a unique platform, the V. Today’s car is the most developed example from Allanté’s final year in 1993. It has the 4.6-liter Northstar V8 good for 295 horsepower. Those horses are routed by a brand new four-speed auto which debuted in the Allanté and was used through 2006 in the DTS.

Ford Thunderbird

Our 2000s halo mobile is the Ford Thunderbird. It debuted for the 2002 model year, in the prime of the Modern Retro Is Cool thing amongst older buyers across the nation. The only rear-drive vehicle here, the Thunderbird shared its platform with the not retro Lincoln LS, and very retro Jaguar S-Type. All examples had a five-speed automatic that directed power from a 3.9-liter Jaguar V8 good for 252 horses. Pictured is the 2003 007 Edition Thunderbird, but you can swap it for a regular one if it’s your Buy.

Three decades and three halos. Which one will light up your life with a Buy?

[Images: Chrysler, GM, Ford]

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