Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner, and with it the long-awaited start to summer, warm weather and sunny, sand-filled days at the beach. And if you want to do it right, you’ll need the right set of wheels to cruise to, and maybe on the beach. What you want then is a capable car with style, one that you don’t mind getting a little sand on and is as open air as possible — to enjoy the torrent of vitamin D the sun will be throwing your way. Here are five affordable beach cruisers that check all those boxes. Because you don’t want to be that guy that gets his truck stuck in the sand, do you?
1974 Volkswagen Thing
What we like: The Volkswagen Thing was originally designed for the dusty rural roads and dunes, so it naturally made its way to beach culture in the U.S. This one, in Kermit-the-Frog green, is in beautiful condition right down to the wood plank floors.
From the seller: This is a very clean VW Thing with recent engine overhaul and body restoration, complete repaint, new interior, top, and side curtains.
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
1970 Jeep CJ5
What we like: The red Raptor truck bed-liner paint job should be your first indication that this old jeep is ready for a few hits. The new Chevy 350 V8 under the hood means it’s ready to hit back. The spartan interior and apropos signature CJ5 bikini top make this the ideal beach-ready Wrangler.
From the seller: Up for sale is a mildly restored 1970 Jeep CJ5 with a screaming Chevy 350 V8. The motor has less than a hundred miles on it.
Mileage: 300 (restored)
Location: Aurora, Colorado
1971 Citroen Mehari
What we like: A lot like the VW Thing (except more French), the Citroen Mehari was designed for desert patrol. This little Mehari comes restored with an all-new soft top, folding front windshield, detachable hood, new tires and Hella fog lamps.
From the seller: Fully restored in Rouge Hopi with black interior, equipped with a flat twin two-cylinder engine and manual transmission. Comes equipped with all-new soft top, soft windows, new chrome top frame, folding front windshield, detachable hood and new tires.
Mileage: 2 (restored)
Location: Beverly Hills, California
1959 Volkswagen Dune Buggy
What we like: Light, fun and fast — it’s hard not to love a good buggy. This one was designed to look just like the one McQueen whipped around in The Thomas Crown Affair, which should help you get used to the metallic orange paint a little easier.
From the seller: Finished in orange flake with two-tone black and orange interior. Steve McQueen drove one just like this through California in The Thomas Crown Affair.
Mileage: TMU (rebuilt)
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Custom 1960 Morris Minor Traveler
What we like: This is what you would call a Frankenstein build. It’s a 1960 Morris Minor Traveler body on a 1987 Suzuki Samurai 4WD chassis pulled along by a Chevy 4.3-liter V6. If you want something unique, look no further.
From the seller: It is impossible to take this thing out for a spin without everyone you pass honking, smiling, or trying to take pictures. Every time you stop to gas up or park, you will get people coming up to ask you about it.
Location: Escondido, California
Gear Patrol’s Beach Patrol
Over the past several months, Gear Patrol’s Editor in Chief, Eric Yang, has worked with the fine folks at The FJ Company to coordinate style, design and performance details for this unique FJ40 that capture an essence of Gear Patrol. No detail was ignored. Read the Story