These cheap classic cars are a great choice for the collector on a budget | Taza Khabre

Collecting classic cars it’s more than just buying used vehicles – it’s an art that involves passion, knowledge and a keen eye for detail. Some people buy vintage cars to evoke a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era. Others collect classic cars for their timeless and elegant design, historical and cultural significance, rarity and exclusivity, and their investment potential. It’s also a good idea to buy a classic car if you enjoy the restoration process that brings a run-down vintage car back to its former glory.

Whatever your reason, you’ll need money to spend on a classic car trip. Many rich and famous car collectors boast enviable collections of rare and exclusive classic cars that fetch millions of dollars at auction. That said, there are plenty of affordable classic car options on the market for the budget-conscious collector. And some of them will be appreciated over time and become valuable collectibles.

Using cross-market data from Hagerty, Classic.com, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book, we’ve compiled this list of 10 cheap classic cars that are great for collectors on a budget.

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1 1992 Ford Mustang

Used Market Range: $3,850-$44,000

Via: Bring a trailer

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

5.0 liter V8

power

225 hp

A turning point

300 lb-ft

0-60 mph

6.8 seconds

The highest speed

137 mph

The Fox Body Mustang has a huge following and an interesting history. For the 1992 model year, Ford sold a total of 73,200 Mustangs, which were best identified by their front fascia styling and aerodynamic composite headlights. Two engine options were available — a 2.3-liter in-line four-cylinder engine with a capacity of 105 hp. and a 5-liter V8. Most desirable would be the V8-powered cars that gained popularity in the performance aftermarket industry and had the distinctive five-spoke alloy wheels. KBB’s data shows that the 1992 Mustang is hard to beat when looking for a cheap classic carprices start at $3,850.

2 1996 Chevrolet Corvette C4

Used Market Range: $4,200-$82,500

1996 Corvette Grand Sport on the highway
Chevrolet

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

5.7-liter V8

power

330 hp

A turning point

340 lb-ft

0-60 mph

5 seconds

The highest speed

168 mph

A quarter of a mile

13.5 seconds at 104 mph

Chevy wanted to send off the fourth-generation Corvette in style. And for the 1996 model – an additional LT4 V8 engine with a capacity of 330 hp. in the Grand Sport trim, which pays tribute to the original high-performance Grand Sport model of 1963. Its racing finish and more powerful engine promise a rare pleasure. The Collector’s Edition, which included silver 5-spoke alloy wheels, Sebring Silver paint, seat trim and special badging, was available in coupe or convertible body styles. Whether you go for the base C4 Corvette, the Collector Edition, or the more race-oriented Grand Sport, these are some of the coolest vintage sports cars around. Prices start at $4,200 Hagerty estimates the value of the cars in good condition at $12,300.

3 1991 Porsche 944

Used Market Range: $9,458-$49,280

1991 red Porsche 944 S2 sports car
Bring a trailer

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

3.0 liter Inline-4

power

208 hp

A turning point

207 lb-ft

0-60 mph

6.2 seconds

The highest speed

151 mph

Available in coupe or convertible body styles, with turbocharged or non-turbocharged engines, the Porsche 944 is one of the affordable classic cars you can’t sleep on. These were true sports cars with excellent handling thanks to an even 50/50 weight distribution. The 944 has a powerful engine with torque available across a broad curve, providing ample cornering traction. Although some questioned the DNA of the Porsche 944, it proved to be a hit. According to Classic.com, the average market price for a 1991 Porsche 944 is $23,282..

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4 1978 Volkswagen Super Beetle

Used Market Range: $1,650 – $45,000

VW Super Beetle - front
Via Bring A Trailer

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

1.6-liter four-cylinder

power

48 hp

A turning point

73 lb-ft

0-60 mph

19.5 seconds

The highest speed

80 mph

The North American Super Beetle came in the L package with a 1,600cc engine. Unlike other markets that received front disc brakes, this one received larger brake drums compared to the standard Beetle. Approximately 1,100 Champagne Edition Super Beetles made it to the U.S. dressed in red or blue metallic with white leather interior. With the classic Beetle design, these cars are an interesting collectible that holds a unique place in automotive history and nostalgic charm.

5 1994 Lexus LS

Used market range: $12,500-$25,000

Black 1994 Lexus LS400 parked outside
Bring a trailer

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

4.0 liter V8

power

250 hp

A turning point

260 lb-ft

0-60 mph

7.9 seconds

The highest speed

150 mph

A quarter of a mile

15.9 seconds at 90 mph

Lexus has built a reputation for offering more affordable and durable luxury models compared to European imports. The Lexus LS 400 is no different, seeing consumers enthusiastically embrace this high-performance vehicle, mainly due to the build quality, dealership experience and fantastic performance. It was one of the most advanced cars of its time with power seat belts, power steering and an iconic engine. When you’re looking for cheap classic cars, the 1994 Lexus LS 400 is worth checking out, with an average price of $20,017, according to Classic.com.

6 1994 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500

Used market range: $4,927 – $55,000

mercedes-benz sl500 1994
Bring a trailer

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

5.0 liter V8

power

315 hp

A turning point

345 lb-ft

0-60 mph

6 seconds

The highest speed

166 mph

Classic timeless design, luxurious interiors and a host of innovative features in the SL-Class SL500 make these cheap classic cars one of the most affordable for collectors on a budget. The SL emblem has always offered sport touring capabilities accompanied by comfort and build quality. The 1994 SL500 featured the R129 unibody chassis, sport-luxury suspension, and advanced safety features. Undoubtedly, the 1994 SL-Class was an engineering marvel of its era and is one of the high-performance collector cars in terms of performance and comfort. Hagerty’s estimate shows a good expected price of $14,300 for the Mercedes SL-Class SL500.

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7 1991 Honda CR-X

Used Market Range: $5,000-$37,000

1991_honda_crx
Bring a trailer

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

1.6-liter inline-4

power

108-148 hp

A turning point

100-106 lb-ft

0-60 mph

7.2 seconds

The highest speed

138 mph

During the seven years of production of the unique CRX, Honda has achieved great success. The CR-X was popular back in the 90s for its performance, this legendary car is powered by a superb 1.6 liter inline 4 engine that produces 148 hp. Fuel efficient and fun to drive, these hatches have captured the hearts of many and a living legend that will never grow old. Currently one of the best sports cars under $30,000, Classic.com estimates that the average price for a used 1991 Honda CR-X is approximately $14,421.

8 1991 Toyota MR2 W20

Used Market Range: $4,535-$35,500

Red 1991 Toyota MR2
Toyota

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4

power

200 hp

A turning point

200 lb-ft

0-60 mph

6.3 seconds

The highest speed

152 mph

A quarter of a mile

14.8 seconds

The second generation Toyota MR2 debuted in 1991 with increased power, luxury features and attractive styling. The basic 2.2-liter version produced a decent 130 hp. But the MR2 Turbo featured Toyota’s forced induction to help the car produce a healthy 200bhp. and 200 lb/ft. Its excellent performance was combined with maneuverability and quick handling, which came in handy when cornering. The Turbo was only available with a manual transmission. For the ultimate sports car under $50k, the Toyota MR2 W20 is a great option, with examples selling under $35,500.

9 1993 BMW 3 Series E30

Used market range: $13,899-$31,250

Black 1994 BMW E30 316i Touring
Source: YouTube @ Doug DeMuro

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

2.5 liter Straight-6

power

189 hp

A turning point

184 lb-ft

0-60 mph

7 seconds

The highest speed

144 mph

A quarter of a mile

15.5 seconds

The E30 chassis has the iconic boxy design that gearheads love. Built to be a racehorse, the E30 carries the BMW racing pedigree that made it popular in the late 80s to early 90s. It was offered in a variety of body styles and transmissions to provide affordable European driving dynamics. Increased interest in the E30 has led to a rise in prices for many examples on the used car market. You can still get a deal on Classic.com with the average value of a used BMW 3 Series E30 in good condition at $20,107.

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10 1981 Triumph Spitfire

Used market range: $4,083-$19,925

1981 Triumph Spitfire
History (Great Britain)

Engine and performance characteristics

Engine

1.5 liter Inline-4

power

72 hp

A turning point

82 lb-ft

0-60 mph

11.2 seconds

The highest speed

100 mph

It is worth considering the Triumph Spitfire as an affordable entry into the classics. He is extremely popular, easy to work with and has the full support of the club. This British classic car is by no means the fastest, accelerating to 100 km/h in 13.2 seconds. But this is one of the most beautiful classic cars you can buy on the cheap. Classic.com estimates the average value of a Triumph Spitfire in good condition at $12,004.

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