Modern cars are faster, have better handling, or more reliable, and are more economical. With these facts, it might be a bit difficult to see why classic cars are not only so popular but also so expensive.
While there is no singular answer as to why classic cars are still a hot commodity, there is a combination of factors that come into play. First, there is the unique design of the classic car itself. They were created in an analog world, where car designers weren’t inundated by regulations and laws. Compared to today’s cars, classic cars are aesthetic in almost every way, shaped like no modern vehicle.
Classic cars are also easier to modify. Unlike modern vehicles that are essentially sealed, classic cars represent a delicate balance of mechanical systems that consists of hundreds of individual parts. Modifying a classic car result in a genuine experience that is not possible with the modern vehicle.
Thankfully, affording a classic car does not need to break the bank.
10 Affordable Classic Cars
1970–1973 Datsun 240Z
Once upon a time, this car model was extremely popular — it was a Japanese sports car that offered reliable performance, style, and comfort. Under the hood was a six-cylinder engine that went 0 to 60 in just under eight seconds. During its heyday, it was also one of the more fastest consumer vehicles, topping over at 125 miles an hour. Today, you can pick up a 1970–1973 Datsun 240Z for less than $15,000.
1990–94 Volkswagen Corrado
Volkswagen admittedly initially only sold about 17,000 Corrados since they were a bit expensive. However, now they are a lot more affordable. They have an impressive acceleration, with the model going from 0 to 62 in 8.3 seconds with a top speed of 140 miles an hour. This model used to be very niche, but now buyers are becoming more interested since they are a lot more affordable sitting at about $4600.
1969–1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra Jet
This is one of the more aesthetically interesting classic vehicles. Oddly enough, it was largely overlooked and it is commonly undervalued. However, if you want a powerful classic car that has the same motor of an expensive Shelby GT 500, then the Mach 1 is an affordable alternative.
1984–89 Toyota MR2
This is a compact, fun to drive classic car fixed with a mid-engine, two-seater chassis that has always had an affordable price tag. These are highly popular, so it might be a bit difficult to find a first-generation Toyota MR2; but once you find them, an average condition vehicle will only cost about $4300.
1967–72 Chevrolet Suburban
First introduced in the 1930s, This Suburban is an enduring American vehicle and has been noted for its reliability. In 1967, the Chevrolet Suburban was updated, including third door and rear passengers. These can be picked up for about $9400.
1964–1970 Pontiac GTO
Pontiac was discontinued back in 2009 — but thankfully there isn’t some sort of extraordinary bump to the price of these cars. The classic Pontiac GTO can be obtained for less than $30,000, which is thousands less than similar vehicles. Credited for spearheading the muscle car era, this classic car has a massive big block engine choices that can deliver up to 360 hp.
1979–93 Ford Mustang
Fox bodies are charming and are still approachable. Under its chassis, there is a V-8 and a rear-wheel-drive in a package that has led to increased interest in the 1979–93 Ford Mustang. An average condition car will be about $5300.
1969–1973 Triumph TR6
This gorgeous British sports car is powerful and an excellent buy. The car is available for about $15,000. Under its hood, there is a powerful 2.5 L six-cylinder engine. It has major acceleration and torque. This is an ideal classic car for beginner collectors since they are easy to maintain and look terrific.
1972–1975 Porsche 914 2.0
Sometimes overlooked, the Porsche 914 was called a VW Porsche. Striking design features included a very long wheelbase for the car’s length, a removable roof panel made from glass fiber, as well as a uniquely wide safety bar. It being unappreciated also means that it is largely undervalued. You can purchase one for as little as $9000.
1965–71 Dodge D/W Series Pickups
There’s also interest in classic trucks, with this model being particularly sought after. They are solidly built, reliable, and come in a range of attractive colors and trim combinations. One of the more popular combinations was a black stripe on the side of the vehicle and a decal on the tailgate that was further augmented with a very loud and bold paint color. There were also specialty vehicles that were designed with a 426 Hemi V-8. An average condition vehicle will be about $9000.
A classic car does not have to be expensive. Start with these more wallet-friendly options to start your collection.