What is a Bitch Basket?

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It’s summertime again, and I can’t be the only one out there that wants to ditch my boring white sedan for a car that will let me soak up the sun. I see a lot of convertibles coming out of hibernation in my neighborhood, and they all have something in common that confuses me: they’re all really, REALLY fast.

I see a constant rotation of Porsche convertibles (mostly late-model 911s), Mercedes SLs, BMW 6 series convertibles, Corvettes, early ’00s Ferraris that are suddenly becoming affordable… the list goes on and on. I find this confusing because fast convertibles make absolutely no sense.

Let’s get into the difference between a regular convertible sports car and a bitch basket. But first, let’s examine some of the design flaws of standard convertible sports cars.

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The Problem with Fast Convertibles

Over 40 MPH, if you don’t have one of those little wind deflector screens, there’s no chance you’ll be able to have a conversation. Convertibles are LOUD, and driving them at highway speeds is downright unpleasant unless you’re on molly… or in the Florida keys… or both.

Convertibles aren’t supposed to be “driver’s cars.” They are and always will be fatter, slower, heavier, and less structurally rigid than their coupe counterparts. Convertibles are supposed to be fun, and this is where the “bitch basket” comes in.

What is a Bitch Basket?

A Bitch basket is a convertible car (or, ‘drop top’) that’s designed to be a fun, likable, or cute car; not a fast car. The original bitch basket is the Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible, because the roll bar made the car look like a basket.

Bitch baskets are fun, small, and slow cars with four seats and no more than six cylinders. In fact, many bitch baskets only have four-cylinder engines. Because remember, speed and power ain’t what you’re after.

Two-seaters are for people with only one friend. Fun cars are for fun people, and since bitch baskets are fun cars, they have four seats. Bitch baskets are generally small. In some cases, even the Chrysler LeBaron could be considered a bitch basket.


Bitch baskets never have more than six cylinders. Speed is not the goal here; open container violations are the goal.

They don’t have to be luxury cars per sé, but style generally trumps substance in a kind of relatable ‘girl next door’ way. That said, everyone loves the girl next door, so I fail to see how this is a negative.

Much like actual baskets, these automobiles have enough room for your stuff. It won’t store all of your stuff, but certainly enough for a day at the beach. To qualify by this metric, a bitch basket cannot have a folding metal top.

Why Should I Buy a Bitch Basket?

Because everyone is going to give you shit for buying a convertible anyway. And “because they’re dumb,” you might as well buy one that you and your friends can day-drink in. They are also probably the only convertibles you can realistically daily-drive as well, which is a bonus.

Can I Afford a Bitch Basket?

Yes! In fact, I’ve compiled a thorough list of four bitch baskets suitable for a variety of budgets, along with a brief description. Note that the most expensive repair on most of these cars is the top itself. So when you’re looking at a bitch basket, make sure that the top is in good condition.

Get the experience of a classic European convertible for half the price.

Also note that the car above is not a bitch basket; it’s a classic sports car. But unlike a bitch basket, the car pictured above will cost you a fortune but it serves the same purpose. So why not buy a bitch basket?