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Seven Classic Cars You Can Afford to Drive Today

What are your favorite affordable classic cars?

A classic is forever. But forever costs plenty when you’re looking for a classic car.

A 1973 Camaro Z28 with the 400 V-8 and a few extras went for $3,713 off the lot, but could run you up to $50,000 today. A 1967 Mustang GT convertible could make you a mad man with its $100,000 price tag.  And a 1967 Corvette L88 sold for $3.5 million last year at a Barrett-Jackson auction.

Who dares to take a $3.5 million car out of the garage?

If you want a classic you can actually drive without bodyguards, here are seven affordable alternatives.

1. Music Blasting Off the T-top

Bruce Springsteen sang about the T-top in “Darlington County” and the mid to late 1980s Camaro IROC-Z remains an affordable example of the third generation Camaros. Get a port-injected 5.0-liter V-8 with 215 hp for somewhere between $4,500 and $9,000.

2. Ditch the Pony1970_Ford_Torino+GT

It’s long been in the shadow of its popular cousin, the Mustang. And Clint Eastwood chose the later model, Gran Torino, for his movie title. But the Ford Torino GT with a 250hp, 351-cubic inch growler under the hood and the classic styling make this a good deal at prices ranging from $12,000 to about $16,000.

 

 3. Cadillac Cruising

1974_Cadillac_EldoradoBelieve it or not, the 1973 Cadillac Eldorado was the pace car for the Indianapolis 500. You can pick up the big lug of cruisers, a 1974 convertible with a giant 500-cubic inch V-8 for between $9,500 and $25,000.

 

4. Riding in Grand Style

_1973_Pontiac_Grand+AmWith its hood scoops and louvered rear quarter windows, the Pontiac Grand Ams of 1973 through 1975 matched style with performance, evidenced by the 455-cubic-inch, 250 hp engine options.  Nabbing one will run you between $11,350 and $16,600.

 

5.  Down Thunder Road

1964_Ford_Thunderbird      Stylish and comfortable, the 1964 Ford Thunderbird wasn’t the roadster of the past that inspired a Chuck Berry tune, but Ford manufactured nearly 100,000 of these babies. Standard is a 390-cubic inch V-8 with 300hp .It was good enough for Felix Leiter to drive chasing Bond in “Goldfinger.” Prices range from about $11,000 for a coupe to $26,000 for a convertible.

6. Flying on the Ground

1969PontiscGrandPrixThe Pontiac Grand Prix was redesigned for 1969, featuring the longest hood in production car history. The car offered bucket seats and a wrap-around cockpit inspired by airplanes. Pontiac produced more than 112,000 in 1969 offering 350,400 and 428 engines. The engine options would change over the next few years, but the styling remained so check out models from 1969-1972. Because they are plentiful, they remain bargains at prices from $6,450 to $22,000.

 

7. Ride Like Bond

1964_Studebaker_AvantiNo classic list should be without a quirky pick and ours is the 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti. Among the most daring of American cars during the decade, the Studebaker Avanti was one of the fastest, reaching 168 mph with the supercharged model.  Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming had his Avanti shipped to wherever he was staying.  Check out those looks because they will get you noticed driving down the block. Getting noticed, though, will run you from $13,850 to $31,700.

Valuations for cars are from Hagerty Insurance and NADA Guides.

 

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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