10 hot classics under $10K to grab this fall

Say hello to the stocking stuffers of your fall automotive wishlist. According to our data, these are 10 vehicles humming along ahead of the market average. If you’ve been following along with recent trends, it won’t shock you that a few late-’80s pickups and 4x4s reveal promising prospects, too, and can be scored for well under five figures in #3 (Good) condition. Keeping a couple of ’70s oddballs company near the top of our HVR list are some strong showings from the ’90s—hot hatches, roadsters, and a V-12 saloon.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/09/12/hot-classics-under-10k-to-grab-fall-2019

Someday somebody is going to find out about the range of BMW e36 automobiles and they’ll start filling up these lists. These small, agile cars rack up hundreds of thousands of miles, can swap engines from 30 mpg 4’s to powerful 6 cylinders, they look sporty, and my goodness they are fun to drive. Maybe an under $3,000 hidden classics list is what it will take?

1 Like

The Caddy is the only one that appeals to me, but what makes you happy is what is important on a sunny Sunday afternoon

1 Like

I had several Cadillacs, all from the early 90s. I assume it would be the same with the 1977-84 models. But I had a terrible time finding anyone who could work on these cars. They were advanced technologically before their time but that presents a lot of problems. The people who used to work on these cars are either retired or dead. Current Cadillac technicians are of no use on the older cars. They just shake their heads at the problems these cars typically have. And they have no clue where to start since today’s technology is totally different from these early attempts. On top of that, unless it is a GM-common mechanical part, it is very difficult to find parts for them, especially when they are of the electronic variety.

I had my fill with them. When it finally got to the point where I didn’t feel I could trust them every time I drove them, it was time to sell.

As far as the '77-'84s go, I know the V8-6-4 is definitely one to avoid. The 425 CI V8 of 1977-79 is the one to look for.

Don’t forget that 1991 through 1996 Mercedes models have biodegradable wire insulation that prematurely falls apart causing fires and breakdowns. You do not want these cars at any price.

1 Like

The Comet/Maverick? Really? Really?

It looks to me you just keep adding every car ever made to keep these articles going. I have to agree, a Maverick and just plain older Caddy, really! These cars were terrible when they were new.

I have one of these and owned two others! And I want most of the rest of the list. Fantastic list guys!


I wouldn’t have any one of these in my funeral procession. What duds.

Hmmmm…based on this article I should’ve asked a lot more for my '91 F-150 Super Cab “Texas-Oklahoma Special” with 226,000 miles on it’s 300 six and 5 speed. Too late now.

Phil in TX

Any older car can become a classic. Makes no difference on production numbers, etc… The fact is; the less you physically see any car the more desirable it becomes. That’s why strange unwanted cars of their time are now desirable. And why the coolest car at the car show is often the one you haven’t seen since you were a kid, or ever! I recently stood beside what I thought was the coolest foreign car in the world. The owner told me it was because I had never seen one! The less you see 'em, the more you love 'em.

1 Like

Have to agree with 'Goth '…I’ve owned two 240 Z s, a Rabbit (Golf ) junk…and 1987 full size Bronco, bought brand new, ( garbage )… Would not want to go back to the past for any of them on this list …

Replace the engine wiring harness and the ETA and you’re good to go.

Have both a v12 97 S coupe and and a 92 VR6 Corrado (2 owners/one owner 24 years). Both amazing and sumblime cars in their respective ways. Have a 92 MK2 Jetta GLI, surprised to not see that beside the GTI. They’re even harder to find (mins is fully-documented, dry, with 2 owners/one also for 24 years). Agree on the 90s Caddys but still love em. I managed to find the right 89 Allante within driving distance after years of trying. Fully-documented, 2 owner (one owner for 26 years) with every last piece of paper from the day they bought it til the day they sold it. 46k miles, but took replacing the 30 year old alternator, water pump, AC compressor, and all 4 speaker amps - as well as the 23 year old tires - to get it perfect. There are Allante specialists but basically it takes their knowledge plus your independent domestic tech to make the rubber meet the road since they are scattered around the US. As far as the Devilles/Fleetwoods/Sevilles/Eldorados of that era, they’re not quite as complex but some are close, and there’s just no love for them, which is sad, because I’d about kill for a 92 blacked-out Deville Touring Sedan. The 4.5 and 4.9 are excellent motors, but the oddball Caddy-specific electronic pieces are a needle in a haystack.

To the “resident Corrado expert,” several VR6 Corrados in good condition with low miles have fetched $10-19k this year on BaT; I wonder where the pricing data is coming from. I'm not sure there is any such thing as a #3 Corrado. They're either 2s like mine, else they're 4s. Most of the guys who I know who work on these have parted out more than they're repaired due to needing many more stupid little repair than the cars are worth based on their condition. I think the values need to be revisited; I wouldn’t take a dime less than $12,500 for mine today and I think I can easily get $18-19 with the right buyer and timing. Only gonna go up!

Am I just outrageously cynical when I think that sometimes Hagerty writes this kind of stuff primarily hoping that people will buy some of these “classics” and, subsequently, insure them with them?

Not at all. They don’t pay people to write this content just for the fun of it. Article gets shared, people learn about Hagerty and become a customer. It’s all marketing. But I do think the articles are researched and well-written. There’s a lot worse out there!


I see where you’re going, but I have to disagree. The haven’t seen a Yugo in 30 years and still have no desire for it. Pretty sure there aren’t more than 7 people on the planet that like them. :grin: While time and dwindling numbers do help make cars more desirable, they need to be cars people wanted when they were new.

True, trucks are becoming very fashionable, but I wouldn’t touch an American car from the Detroit Dark Ages (1973-1999) with a pole. The Mazda is cute but mechanics don’t like to work on them. Mavericks and Comets?..nobody wanted them when they were new and they are even less desirable now.

You want a great car under $10k take a look at the Mercedes 190e 2.6 (1987-1993), the BMW 318ti ( 1995-1999) and the Mercedes 300/400e (1986-1993)

1 Like

Not quite. The w124 300e did not get the biodegrable harness until the facelifted 1994 e320. You are completely safe buying the first generation 300e/400e, 190e to '93 and w126 S Class to '91.

Seriously? You guys would rather have one of these than a 3.5 condition BMW e36 M3 coupe?