Fun Cars On A $20,000 Budget: 5 Super-Cool, Classic Volkswagens


Classic collectibles don't always have to be for millionaires.

Buying an older vehicle is not for everyone. Thanks to the insane appreciation that we have seen in the classic car market, owning an older, rare vehicle is now often prohibitively expensive. Even though there are tons of collectible cars with six and even seven-figure price tags, that doesn't mean these are the only cool old cars are on the market. We wondered if there were any of these cars that could be purchased as an investment by "normal people." Amazingly, the Volkswagen brand has produced tons of cars that fit the bill.

Everyone knows about the Volkswagen Beetle, but fewer people are aware of the beautiful Type 3 Fastback. This pristine 1971 example has only 74,000 original miles and is currently being sold for $11,900 by Motorcar Studio in Georgia. The car was recently repainted in its original Kansas Beige color which we think looks amazing. The interior is well-preserved and is mostly original with some slight patina. The 1.6-liter flat-four runs well with a recent service. The original owner's manual, service book with dealer stamps, tool kit, jack, spare tire, service manual and a number of spare parts are also included.

The car is also wearing replica Porsche Fuchs with modern rubber, which is a great way to make any classic VW look even better. It may not be fast, but this amazing rear-engined car is a lot more fun than driving around in a modern car in this price range.

We have gone on record saying that the Karmann Ghia is the most beautiful car Volkswagen ever built. We would love to see this car be brought back, but we would also settle for a pristine original example. We found this stunning 1970 Karmann Ghia Type 14 coupe that's been fully restored. The car has 70,532 original miles and has only been driven around 3,000 miles since it was restored in 1995. The 1776cc engine was restored in 2009 with a rebuilt carburetor, new spark plugs, distributor, fuel lines, fuel sending unit, brake bleed, steel braided brake lines and 12V battery. The car is offered at North Scottsdale VW for just $20,000. Not bad for a fully restored classic car.

Not every car enthusiast is interested in speed. Some people may enjoy just driving around in a classic car and cruising away from civilization to enjoy the beauty of nature. For these people, we found a 1970 Westfalia Pop Top Camper. Prices for old VW buses like the 23-window have reached outrageous levels, but normal models like the Westfalia are still very affordable. This example has a rebuilt 1600cc engine and plenty of seating space that can be converted into a bed. This fun machine is currently for sale for $20,000 at Niello Volkswagen in California. We would love to take a camping trip in this classic VW.

We are reaching a point in time where cars from the 1980s are now becoming collectible. The BMW E30 M3, for example, has skyrocketed in price in recent years. We also think that the original Mk1 Rabbit GTI is a great candidate for an investment. In the US, the Mk1 Rabbit GTI lived a short life from 1983 to 1984 before it was replaced by the Mk2 in 1985. The 1,781 cc four-cylinder with 90 hp may sound pathetic by today's standards, but just means you can floor it almost all the time, which is a lot of fun. We found a black 1984 example for $10,995 with 90,000 miles on it. The car is for sale at Cupples Car Company in new Hampshire.

The Volkswagen Corrado is the most modern car on this list, but it's also the least expensive. This 1991 example has 103,000 miles on it and can now be purchased for $5,900 from East Penn Auto Sales in Pennsylvania. The Corrado was sold from 1988 to 1995 as a successor to the Scirocco. These cars are becoming exceedingly difficult to find in running condition, which makes them pretty rare. The model we found comes with the 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder with 160 hp. There was also a 179 hp 2.9-liter VR6 version, which is one of our favorite six-cylinder engines of all time. Which classic VW would you take home if you had $20,000 to spend on a fun car?

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