If you like the idea of a Miata on steroids, this AMG-tuned R170 generation SLK should do the trick. Its blown M112 V6 cranks out nearly 350 hp and pushes the sled to 60 mph in about 5.2 seconds.
To my eye, the clean simple lines of the bodywork, penned during the Golden Age of Benz design, still hold up well today – perhaps even better than ever.
This example is exactly what you want – a well-maintained car offered by its original owner in a mild climate.
The seller notes a few little cosmetic issues, like rock chips and peeling clearcoat on the spoiler, which are gentle reminders to get in and really drive the car vs. treating it like a museum piece.
For less than ten grand, it’s a hell of a lot of car for the money.