Today, we focus on lightweight cars: which one to choose for a top budget of 25’000€ ($28’111, £22’380, 26’970 CHF)? Which lightweight car would you buy for this top budget line? Text: Mickael B., Luca W., Thomas Z. © Images: Bonhams, Innocenti ©

The people’s lightweight car to buy: Innocenti Mini

The Mini Innocenti is a small car made by the famous Milan-based manufacturer Innocenti for the Italian market from 1965 to 1975. Technically and aesthetically, it matches a lot with the Mini developped by Alec Issigonis, presented in 1959. Nonetheless, the car was lavish comparing to the original Mini: the grill profiles, headlamps were chrome finished and the interior was way more confortable. The Innocenti is surely is heavier, averaging 650 kg but it is not really a sports car.

The 998cc engine is not that common and those 56 HP can still give you some enjoyable moments, for almost 10’000€ below the line budget!

Link to an Innocenti Mini for sale

The sandy lightweight: Meyers Manx

If I had to get something lightweight, in that budget, I would get a Volkswagen Buggy. I really think going for a Lotus or a Caterham was a too obvious and too serious option. Of course with a 25’000 € budget, I could not even hope to grasp an original Meyers Manx buggy. The one from Steve McQueen himself, pictured below, was sold for over 400’000 € in March at the Bonhams Auction in Amelia Island. Based on a shortened Volkswagen Beetle, it was only available in rear-wheel drive with a 1.2 litre or 1.5 litre four cylinder engine and manual transmission. As most of them were sold as kit cars, it was actually very easy to put another engine to make it even more fun. And that’s exactly what Steve McQueen did with a 2.7 liter Chevrolet Corvair flat-six engine.

An original very nice example of Meyers Manx price is estimated around 40’000 € but you can find cheaper ones in the budget. I would get one under the budget and probably do a swap for more torque, more power and more fun. That’s what I love about these Volkswagen Buggy: they are very popular, have a very sympathetic look. Moreover, they provide great sensations without the need of going very fast thanks to no electronic assistances. Last but not least, they are tremendous in light off-roading on dunes, but as well gravel roads.

Link to a Meyers Manx for sale in Germany

The easing lightweight: Autobianchi Bianchina

If you have ever seen the movie “How to steal a million” with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole, you probably know the car that I choose this time. The theator from South of France also used it because it was small enough to get on stage. Plus, the cabriolet makes it easy to see the actor inside. The Autobianchi Bianchina may be not the funniest lightweight car to buy (better look for a Lotus or a Caterham) but just look at it; this is the perfect car to cruise on a sunny day or simply go to the beach.

Link to an Autobianchi Bianchina for sale