For style, speed, and sheer panache in a (fairly) affordable package, look no further than the Globe Swift.
The Swift, manufactured from 1946 through 1951, is a low-wing, all-metal airplane with retractable gear. The butterfly doors and front windows resemble a canopy, which, coupled with the tailwheel landing gear, give the Swift a rakish look not unlike that of a miniature P–51 Mustang. Keeping a polished Swift looking its very best is a time-consuming labor of love.
As speedy as Swifts look on the ground, the first model came from the factory with an 85-horsepower engine; most have been swapped out for bigger engines. That and a host of speed mods will give an owner higher cruise speeds. The Swift is short-coupled, and if winds are strong down the runway you might run out of rudder effectiveness taxiing out.
See how the Globe Swift measures up:
How much: $40,000 to $90,000.
Buy it: If you admire classic good looks in a sporty package.
Skip it: If you do not want to bother with the maintenance issues associated with older aircraft.
Finance: For a purchase price of $50,000, AOPA Finance estimates a monthly payment of $371 with 20 percent down, a 7.5 percent interest rate, and a 15-year term.
Insurance: AssuredPartners estimates $2,000 annually, assuming 100 hours retractable time.