It is not always easy to tell the type of cars that men are into since some of them like beefed up trucks while others prefer the more sportier types. Regardless, a relationship between men and their cars has existed ever since the dawn of the automobile. Chances are that most guys would go out and buy a few of their favourites if they had the money to do so.
While there is an interest in modern supercars, they are nowhere even close to the interest collectors have for the good old classics. A big reason for this is that the generation that was once driving these cars are now quite old with a lot of savings. So, what better way to spend this money than on some excellent classic vehicles. Owning a classic car is something that every man should do before they hit 40.
Now, an argument that most of you will present is that the good ones are too expensive. There is some truth to that since most of the rare ones fetch well over a few million dollars but that is exactly why we’ve compiled this list. There are so many classic cars that can be bought without breaking the bank. So, here we have mentioned 15 classic cars that are not only fun to drive but will also turn heads once you take them out on the road while catering to all the different price points.
15. Datsun 240Z
From the Nissan GTR to the 350Z, Japan has been responsible for producing some of the most well-known performance cars in the world. One of the lesser known manufacturers which was, in fact, responsible for producing one of the first popular Japanese sports cars in America is Datsun. The 240Z was a masterpiece, offering performance, reliability, and style without sacrificing comfort. It was no slouch either since it was powered by a six-cylinder engine that propelled it from 0 to 60 in just under 7.8 seconds.
The 240Z also had a top speed of 125-mph which was pretty fast for its time, making it even quicker than the Porsche 911T or the Jaguar E-type. Nowadays, models of this car between 1970 to 1973 can easily be found for less than $15,000 and it is a good choice for those who want to collect a classic car without breaking the bank.
14. Chevrolet Corvette
Any list of classic cars would be incomplete without a Corvette. Certain models of this car are some of the most sought-after classics in the world and they can cost quite a fortune. Luckily, there is also something for those who want to own a classic but without spending the large sum of money.
A 1965 Chevrolet Corvette in good condition can easily cost upwards of $80,000 but it is worth every single penny. Powered by a 6.5-liter Big-Block V8 producing 425 horsepower, this is a car that doesn’t like to mess around. On the other hand, a 1973 Corvette can be had for much less costing around the $25,000 mark which makes it an excellent affordable classic car.
13. Triumph TR6
While the Land Rover and certain other British cars get a bad rep for unreliability, the Triumph TR6 proves that British automotive engineering has also produced some gems. It is a gorgeous and brawny looking sports car that is equal parts powerful and spirited.
The powertrain is a 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 150 horsepower along with some major torque. One of the biggest benefits to owning one of these is that they are super easy to maintain since parts are readily available. The TR6 is also very affordable as an excellent, low-mile condition car can be had for as little as $15,000 making it an excellent choice for first-time car collectors.
12. Porsche 914 2.0
This particular Porsche is important for what it never was: a Porsche 911. It was meant to be a true sports car that was also affordable and readily available to the masses. What eventually came out was a small race car that weighed almost 2000 pounds and had an engine mounted behind the cabin.
Unfortunately, it never really caught on because of the measly 1.7-liter flat four engine that only produced 80 horsepower which made the car go from 0 to 60 in 13 seconds. If you’re looking to get this car for the performance, it’s not a very good choice but if you’re looking to buy something that was once a part of the Porsche history and looks unique, then this is it. Excellent examples of this car can be bought for less than $12,000.
11. Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
This here is one of the most sought-after and expensive classic cars around. The signature gullwing doors which were later carried to the Mercedes SLS AMG weren’t the only thing that made this car stand out from any crowd. It was also the fastest production car at the time, powered by a 6-cylinder-inline front mounted engine producing 222 horsepower.
More than 80% of these cars ever made were sold in the US which proved that Mercedes was easily capable of producing a high-performance sports car. Since it is one of the highly collectible Mercedes-Benz models, prices usually go upwards of a million dollars so you need to be the CEO of a hedge fund to afford one of these.
10. Sunbeam Tiger
You might be aware of the AC Cobra, a British roadster that was stuffed with a Ford V8 by Carroll Shelby. This wasn’t the only car, however, to have undergone such a procedure. The Sunbeam Tiger, which previously existed as the Sunbeam Alpine with a four-cylinder engine was given a similar upgrade.
While the AC Cobra can cost a fortune to own, going as high as $5.5 million, the Sunbeam Tiger relatively seems like a bargain costing around $100K. It is definitely one of the best British classic cars to own if you can afford it and the prices on these are only rising as time goes by.
9. Acura NSX
We’re talking about the old Acura NSX here which was also sold under the Honda brand. Announced in 1990, it was the first mass-produced car to be inspired by an F-16 fighter jet cockpit and featuring an all-aluminum body with a 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 270 horsepower. It also had Honda’s famous VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) which was developed in the 1980’s.
Even though a newer version of the NSX is out, the 90’s models are still an example of the effort that was put into cars back in the day that is exactly why it’s on this list. Excellent examples of this car can be found for almost $50,000 which is pretty affordable if you’re an enthusiast and would like to own a classic that still performs.
8. DeTomaso Pantera
The Pantera, which is Italian for “Panther” is a sports car which was manufactured by de Tomaso in Italy. It was announced in 1970 and almost 7,000 of these were produced over a time period of 20 years. The styling of this car resembles some of the other popular cars of that era like the Maserati Merak SS or the Ferrari 308 GTSi.
A 5.8-liter V8 engine producing almost 330 horsepower ensured that the Pantera wasn’t left behind the competition even when it came to performance. Nowadays, a DeTomaso Pantera in good condition and low miles on it can be found upwards of $100k but some even go for less than that, depending on how lucky you get.
7. Ferrari 308 GTSi
Similar to how modern Ferraris can attract women, the classic models hold the power to attracting all sorts of collectors. The proof for this is in the fact that the most expensive car ever sold at auction was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which went for a whopping $38 million. While the cost of a Ferrari 308 might seem like chump change compared to that, it is still a popular collector car.
The mid-mounted V8 is the same that can be found in a Dino GT4 which is a 3.0-liter quad-cam producing 270 horsepower. Maintenance for this car also isn’t much of a hassle as long as you take care of all the minor issues that come with age degradation. A Grade A car can fetch upwards of $70,000 while a normal good condition 308s can be found in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.
6. Austin Healey 3000 MKIII
It’s funny how standards for cars have changed throughout the years. The Austin Healey 3000 was considered a beast in its day but if you compare it to a modern-day Scion FR-S, you’ll see that it is almost 10 inches shorter. The Mark 3 was launched in 1963 as a replacement for its predecessor, the Mark 2.
Today the Mark 3 is a well-known collectors car and it is one of those rare vehicles that you should be driving when you turn 50. Most of these in a good condition will easily cost you over $60,000 and we recommend getting an auto-program like the AAA since these aren’t the most reliable cars around. Regardless, you will have an amazing time driving one of these along the coast on a nice summer evening.
5. Ford Mustang Mach 1
Since it is a Ford and not a Shelby, this car has always been overlooked by collectors. The truth is that this undervalued car is actually powered by the same motor that can be found on a Shelby GT 500 and it carries over the performance and style as well.
Roll down the windows while driving one of these around and you will know that you’re in automotive heaven, plus, you’ll be making a lot of friends who are Mustang enthusiasts. Most of these cars are usually worth up to $100,000 which might seem like a lot but in fact, this is only half of what you’d pay for an equivalent Shelby GT 500.
4. Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Let’s be honest here, most of you already knew that a Mustang and a Camaro would be included on this list. These two iconic vehicles have essentially defined the meaning behind good ol’ American muscle.
The Camaro Z28 from the year 1969 was powered by a 4.9-liter V8 that produced 350 horsepower which was pretty crazy at the time. Other than performance, the Camaro simply looks badass, I mean who wouldn’t want to own one of these. They are worth almost the same as a Mustang Mach 1, with good condition vehicles going upwards of $80,000.
3. Triumph Spitfire
This car shares its name with one of the most iconic fighter planes of all time. Yes, we’re talking about the Royal Air Force Supermarine Spitfire. This Triumph was built in order to honor these amazing flying machines and it first showed up at the London Motor Show in 1962.
It carries that classy look but it is less hefty looking unlike its cousin, the TR6 that we have on this list. It came in either an open top or convertible configuration powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine. Spitfires can usually acquire rust on their floor panels and where the bonnet is which can be expensive to fix. Other than that, however, pristine examples of this classic car can be bought for around $20,000.
2. Maserati Merak SS
The Merak SS was Maserati’s answer to the Ferrari Dino and Porsche 911 but it was also a low-cost alternative to Maserati’s supercar, the Bora. It was powered by a 3.0-liter V6 producing 217 horsepower which was much smaller than the Bora’s V8 but this was done to cut down on some of the costs.
The SS was a slightly powerful version of the original Merak, featuring a 50-kg weight reduction and slightly increased engine power. Only a 1000 units of the SS were ever produced, making it one of the rare cars to collect. In a fully restored condition, the Merak SS can easily cost near the $100,000 ballpark figure and it can be quite difficult to find one of these on sale.
1. First Generation Mercury Cougar
While the Mustang and Camaro are some of the most iconic cars ever made, their Mercury brother, the Cougar is usually forgotten and ignored. Despite this, it remained the icon for Mercury for several decades. The first-generation Mercury was built upon the same formula as the Mustang and it looked totally badass.
It was available in a variety of engine choices with the most powerful one being a four-barrel V8 producing 335 horsepower. These are pretty affordable vehicles and surprisingly not very hard to restore which makes them really good project and collector cars. Prices for decent cars are usually upwards of $15,000 which is quite affordable for a lot of people.
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