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Top 5 Classic Vehicles You Can Make Yours For Under $5,000

Who doesn’t want a Classic Car under $5000?

Published July 2, 2017

Some gearheads may have extra five figures sitting in the bank waiting for that old Porsche or Corvette they’ve always coveted to go up for sale, but this is just applicable to the lucky few. Well, if not all of us, definitely some of us have to deal with their kid’s tuition, rent, hefty student loans etc. The list is endless. We certainly don’t have the figures to spare, and this can make it hard especially if you’re a car person and you like to do your weekend runs in style. Well, don’t worry. Even though the classic vehicle market seems to appreciate every single day, it still has some usable, interesting classics to offer with very affordable prices.

Below is a list of these great options:

5. 1975-1981 Triumph TR7

Average condition #3 value for $4,200

In its era, several ads extolled the “brash, slashing wedge” body shape of the Triumph TR7 as an example of greater things that were to hit the market. Whatever these ads were talking about, clearly never happened as the TR7 represented the last sports car to come from Triumph. This machine made some headlines during its time, straight from its tartan seats and stylish doorstop-like wedge to the bin engineering parts and British Leyland’s bristling quality control in the 1970s. With years of getting featured in the “bad joke” car list and making its way into many not-so-good lists, the TR7 has stayed cheap and neglected. However, people are still not doing away with the “great things to come” edge as it still wears this title to some point. The recent years have seen the prices slightly increase but it still remains one of the most pocket-friendly sports cars to have ever come from Britain with the now price not being that far off from the original pricing of $4,995 forty years ago.

4. 1990-1994 Volkswagen Corrado

Average condition #3 value for $4,500

Even with a sports car marketing tag on it in the early ‘90s, the front-drive vehicle has since faded away from the minds of many in America. The hardcore Volkswagen fans seem to be the only lot that keeps track of them. In its era, VW Corrado did 17,000 in sales in the US with it being relatively expensive compared to its fun sibling, the Golf GTI. By the time the production was coming to a halt, price tags on some of these models had reached $20,000 and given it was the early ‘90s; they offered tremendous speed performance. Fitted with a supercharged 1.8-liter engine, they packed up to 158 horsepower with 166 lb-ft of torque which enabled them to make a 0 to 60 mph sprint in under 7.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 140 mph. For those who needed more power, they could get the VR6-powered option (2.8-liter) that would crank up to 178 horsepower with 177 lb-ft and an even lower 0 to 60 sprint time of 6.5 seconds. If that’s not enough, it also offered all sorts of top-notch tech goodies, the likes of an electronic traction control and rear power spoiler.

The pricing on this classic according to Hagerty Price Guide has slightly increased recently. Creeping over our $5,000 price range are the VR6 models which made a late entrance, but the Corrados are still good for our budget range. One of the pitfalls to acquiring this classic is that getting the parts can be a hard nut to crack with power features such as the sunroof and rear spoiler being prone to failure. Also, 1.8-liter cars with superchargers have a thing for breaking prematurely.

3. 1979-1985 Mazda RX-7

Average condition #3 value for $4,100

Between the 1960s and 1970s, Mazda invested a huge sum of money, energy and time for the Wankel rotary technology. This technology came with models ranging from the impressive and merely luxurious Cosmo coupe to the brilliant RX-series sedans with also a B-series truck getting a rotary treatment. Among these creatures, the RX-7 carried the rotary association the most. And despite its novelty in terms of the powertrain, the first gen RX-7 was more of a reliable and simple car excluding the common rotary problems like burning oil and apex seal failure. These machines were quick, well-built in a new form and handsome and they still maintain that same appeal to date. Collector examples nowadays aren’t friendly to the pocket, but the RX-7 knows well to stay within our price limit.

2. 1984-1993 Mercedes-Benz 190

Average condition #3 value for $3,900

Even before Germans came up with the build quality marketing slogan, Mercedes was long before then practicing this slogan, and many of the drivers seemed to love the longevity their cars wore. Being an entry-level Benz during its era, the 190 still stood as a rock-solid vehicle to many, especially the diesel models which seemed to last a lifetime. Putting the coveted 16-valve designs aside, the Mercedes 190 can be very affordable. With a budget under the $5,000, you can acquire the European exotic sedan and let people know that you’re driving a Mercedes if that’s your kind of thrill.

1. 1983-1986 Ford Mustang 5.0

Average condition #3 value for $4,500

The more crafted body Mustangs have been having much heavier price tags on them, especially the special models as well the late example like SVO and GT attracting higher prices. However, the memorable 5.0-liter LX has remained relatively cheap regardless of the engine resemblance with that of the GT. The price of this machine can go higher as the demand for the foxy body grows, but for now, they’re within reach.

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Jesse Taylor
About Jesse Taylor

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