Always wanted a great classic car but your budget is small? Not to worry, as there are some great finds out there that cost less than you might think.
It’s not unusual to hear people say that the so-called "Golden Era" of cars is long gone. That’s all a matter of opinion, but for those who have a thing for classic cars from the Sixties and Seventies, there are some incredible bargains out there that you may not be aware of. But with a little digging around online, we've come up with this short list of just a few great classics that can be found in good condition for $20,000 or less. None of them are especially rare, but each one will draw plenty of stares of admiration.
Sure it has an unusual fiberglass body design that’s pretty much a hit or miss, but the Studebaker Avanti is truly one-of-a-kind in terms of unique styling for a personal luxury coupe. Power comes from a 4.7-liter V8, giving it classic American muscle to brag about, and fewer than 4,600 examples were built from 1962-63. The car still has a loyal group of fans and it’s possible to find one in good condition for around $17,500.
This one needs absolutely no introduction. The Ford Mustang is an all-American icon that's adored by everyone from Baby Boomers to today’s youth. The Mustang has certainly had its share of ups and downs over the years, but the first-gen model is often the preferred choice for many. That’s good news for anyone in the market for one, because a 1966 coupe that’s in good shape can be found for around $13,000, and a convertible will likely cost no more than $25k.
The old T-Bird may no longer be with us, but it’s left behind plenty of good memories. Although it started off as Ford’s answer to the Corvette, the Thunderbird quickly evolved into a much larger car when the second-generation model premiered in 1958. The fourth-gen model debuted just before the Mustang, after which it was moved upmarket and grew in size even more. Fortunately, those 1964-66 T-Birds can be found today for anywhere from $11,000 to $23,000 or so (depending whether it’s a coupe or convertible) in good condition.
There’s no question the MGB wasn’t the most reliable car of its time. It dripped oil and its electronics were often beyond terrible. But still, it was a charming little roadster in the classic British sense and was tons of fun to drive. Nearly 400,000 units were built between 1962 and 1980. In 1974, however, those beautiful chrome bumpers were replaced with black plastic due to new US safety standards. Fortunately, an early 70s MGB (pre black plastic) can be found for well under $10,000, making it a tempting buy, but you'll want to budget extra for repairs should the inevitable problems arise.
By 1971, the Cadillac Eldorado Convertible became a land yacht. It was both a status symbol and an example of America’s obsession with big cars. But damn was it cool. It was often the ride of choice for both country club golf types and New York mobsters alike. Power came from a 500 cu in. V8 and by 1976, according to GM, the Eldorado was "the last American convertible". Many were purchased as investments, but today a 1974 Eldorado convertible can be had for only about $15,000. Just be prepared for the hefty gas bills.