10 Under $10K: Hot and Affordable Collector Cars

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10 Under $10K: Hot and Affordable Collector Cars

No matter how you look at it, the collector car hobby is not a cheap one. On top of the purchase price of the car itself, you have registration, insurance, maintenance, fuel, and storage to consider. Fortunately, owning a classic is not just a hobby for the rich. There are plenty of great vintage cars and trucks available, like this compilation from Hagerty, for those of us on a budget.

 

This batch is the latest group of hot and affordable vehicles, as determined by the Hagerty® Vehicle Rating (a 0-100 measurement of a vehicle’s performance relative to the market)—meaning that while they can be had for temptingly low prices today, that may not be the case for all that much longer.

1990–94 Volkswagen Corrado / Hagerty Vehicle Rating (HVR): 82

Average Condition #3 (good) value: $4,600

Volkswagen only sold about 17,000 Corrados in the United States and they were quite a bit pricier than the Golf GTI. For a time, it seemed like dedicated VW enthusiasts were the only ones who paid attention to Corrados, but in recent months buyer interest has been on the rise, and Hagerty Price Guide values have increased slightly. They still remain temptingly affordable, and a good example will stand out in the hot hatch crowd like few other cars will.

Volkswagen only sold about 17,000 Corrados in the United States and they were quite a bit pricier than the Golf GTI. For a time, it seemed like dedicated VW enthusiasts were the only ones who paid attention to Corrados, but in recent months buyer interest has been on the rise, and Hagerty Price Guide values have increased slightly. They still remain temptingly affordable, and a good example will stand out in the hot hatch crowd like few other cars will.

1984–89 Toyota MR2 / HVR: 82

Average Condition #3 value: $4,300

It may look like a souped-up doorstop, but the first-generation “Mister Two” is an endlessly fun-todrive mid-engine two-seater sports car that has always come at an affordable price. Because they’ve always been pretty cheap, it can be hard to find a good first-gen MR2, but if you do find a clean low-mileage car it can still be had for under five figures, at least for now. Supercharged models are naturally more expensive, but a good driver is still affordable.

1975–80 MG Midget / HVR: 79

Average Condition #3 value: $4,300

MG Midgets and Austin-Healey Sprites (collectively known as “Spridgets”) have been one of the cheapest ways to get into classic car ownership for many years, and they still are. While they won’t get much past highway speeds, these little roadsters embody the old adage that slow cars driven fast are more fun than fast cars driven slow. Parts are accessible and there are usually plenty of Midgets choose from on the market at any given time.

1967–72 Chevrolet Suburban / HVR: 77

Average condition #3 value: $9,400

Introduced in 1935, Suburban is one of the most enduring nameplates among American automobiles. Pristine examples are a bit pricy in today’s market, but a solid used Suburban with a few miles that you wouldn’t be afraid to get a bit dirty is still on the affordable side for now.

1962–67 Chevrolet Nova / HVR: 76

Average condition #3 value: $9,600

At the beginning of the 1960s, Chevrolet was decidedly outmaneuvered by Ford in the compact segment, with the Falcon vastly outselling Chevy’s quirky Corvair. The much more conventional Nova was GM’s response. While not the most elegant or attention-grabbing thing on the road, the first-generation Nova offers appealing ’60s styling and V-8 muscle to satisfy for the GM fan who can’t quite afford that Camaro or Chevelle.

1979–93 Ford Mustang / HVR: 75

Average condition #3 value: $5,300

A lot of people now look at the styling of the Fox-body Mustang and find it charmingly bland rather than just plain boring, and the combination of large V-8 and rear-wheel drive in a fun-to-drive package has similarly led to a growth in interest as the third-generation Mustang goes from used car to collector car.

1965–70 Oldsmobile 88 / HVR: 74

Average condition #3 value: $7,750

With Coke-bottle styling typical of the era and a big V-8, these cars walk the walk as well as talk the talk, but they’re still quite a bit less pricey than many of their ‘60s muscle car peers.

1965–71 Dodge D/W Series Pickups / HVR: 74

Average condition #3 value: $8,500

With interest in vintage trucks on the rise in general, it makes sense that the venerable Dodge D/W pickups would be particularly sought after. They’re capable, solidly built, and came in a range of attractive colors and trim packages. The D/W pickups were available with a wide range of engines, and a few were even specially ordered with the 426 Hemi V-8, but don’t expect to find one of those for cheap.

1997–04 Porsche Boxster / HVR: 73

Average condition #3 value: $9,500

It may be the entry-level car, but the first-generation Boxster still cost over 40 grand when it was new and was a highly engineered, well-balanced driver’s car that offered competitive performance as well as a high degree of comfort and luxury—exactly what you would expect from Porsche. Babied low-mileage examples will command prices that are a bit over our $10,000 threshold, but good drivers can still be had for under five figures.

1961–64 Mercury Monterey / HVR: 72

Average Condition #3 value: $9,200

With the Ford Motor Company reeling from the Edsel debacle of the late 1950s, the 1961 Mercury Monterey was introduced with a shorter body based on a lower-priced Ford model, but it did have an attractive Thunderbird-style roofline and subtle tailfins out back, while 1963 models had the neat “Breezeway” reverse slanted power rear window.


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