All cost less than $10,000.
We all hope the tax man will send us a big fat check in the mail following tax season, but the question is: how should you spend it? You could simply put that tax return into savings, the sensible thing to do. Or, because we're incurable gearheads, you could buy or put it towards a car. If that's your plan – and a fine one it is – why not turn that car purchase into an investment? ClassicCars.com has compiled a list of 10 cars that can currently be purchased for less than $10,000 and, more importantly, are expected to appreciate in the future.
But unlike so many other classics, these are all fairly modern and will have no problem keeping up with traffic. They're also relatively affordable to maintain due to an abundance of parts on the market and are a hoot to drive. 1. 1969-1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE – They're built like tanks and parts are easily available. One important thing: avoid the earlier carbureted models because they're going to be slow in traffic. 2. Chevrolet Corvair – Attention all Ralph Nader fans! Looking for something butt-engined and air-cooled that's not a Porsche 911? This is it.
3. 1990-1994 Lexus LS400 – Okay, so this may not be the most exciting car ever, but Toyota engineered the hell out of it, which continues to show its mark today. But still, this thing is V8-powered with RWD, a combination that's becoming increasingly hard to find. 4. 1979-1992 Jaguar XJ6 – We all know old British cars are known for crap reliability and build quality (perhaps that's even being too nice). But the XJ6 does offer a great straight-six engine and, if properly maintained, the car will serve you well – most of the time.
5. Alfa Romeo 164 – Before the brand's American market return with the 4C, the 164 was the last Alfa sold in this market. And yes, it is FWD. Fortunately, it's still fun to drive, and because it has a galvanized body, rust is less of a problem. 6. Volvo 240 – They may have been laughable brick-like objects in our youth, but old 240s are already beginning to appreciate. They may never be stylish, but the 240 has become cool in its own unique way. Swedish quirkiness combined with a stellar safety record is always a fun combination.
7. BMW E36 M3 – It's no secret that US market E36 M3s weren't quite as cool as their Euro market counterparts, but it's still an old M3, nonetheless. Believe it or not, the so-called water-downed drivetrain makes US-spec versions cheaper to maintain. Also, the sedan is cheaper and handles better than the coupe. 8. 1987-1993 Ford Mustang – Fox body Mustangs are a good investment? Turns out, yes. They may not have the nicest of exterior designs, but they've proven to be reliable enough and the 5.0 V8 is a solid engine that's easy to both maintain and modify.
9. 1948-1950 Packard – These are called the "Bathtub Packards," due to the extra sheet metal they were given because Packard couldn't afford an all-out refresh following WWII. Parts are relatively easy to find at fair prices and the straight-8 engine is an absolute gem. 10. 1960s and 70s Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac Wagons – Of the three brands, only Buick is still around today, and it just revealed its first new wagon in years. But there was a time when station wagons were everywhere in the US, and these classic wagons would be a great addition to any collection. Parts are easy to find, and the powertrains and running gear are standard GM fare.