10 ways to own a classic for under $10k


I remember a day when you couldn’t give away a first gen mustang or camaro because they made a gazillion of them and no one thought they’d ever be worth anything. So the list cars may not be much now, but who knows?


Not sure; but, I believe you don’t need to hurry to “Grab one of These”. On second thought…I am SURE!
I am also sure there will most likely be plenty of these cars to be found cheaply; AND they will always be way under $10k!
Must have been written by someone owning several of these UN-remarkable vehicles.


I have to say that I’m in my mid 30’s and I do believe that people my age will start to collect the cars they wanted when they were in thier teens. It’s natural. After all, the collectibles now are the ones that people wanted when they were younger and some may not have even been the muscle cars/ big block…etc…After all , the Chevy Belairs were just the normal family sedan, now everyone wants them, I could say the same for Novas, Falcons, AMC’s, Malibus, etc. Now of course I know some of these were desirable when they were new, but there were alot that were just the run of the mill car that everyone had during that time frame. I don’t see every car on this list being a collectible , but some I’m sure will be. All depends on what people want in 20 years.


I think you’re right. I read Rick Harrison’s book “License to Pawn” awhile back and my takeaway from it was that just because something becomes older and rarer doesn’t necessarily make it more valuable.


I agree. This is just Hagerty trying to perpetuate the bastardization of the hobby along with the auction houses. Despite the effort of many to call anything 30 years old, 40 years old, or 50 years old as collectibles. They are not collectibles in the true sense of the word. Is a 1969 Plymouth Fury a collectible? No. Is it a classic? No, Did it set a landmark in car development? Therefore is a 924 Porsche a landmark car? No, it is the same as the Fury. The 911 is a classic/collectible in the true sense of the word while the 924 is just a car.


Most of those are OK, but aren’t really classic collectables. I’ll stick with my cherry 86 Chevy El Camino as a classic and a collectable. But what appeals to one guy may not be desirable to the next. So, we have a large number of cars -new and old - and in between to take care of and have fun with. Variety is the
spice of life, and of car collectors! Enjoy!


Truly no offense but how old are you that are commenting with the “this is crap”, while I don’t agree with every car in the list, there are definitely some that are spot on. I specifically like the trucks, I am 30 years old, I have a 1971 C20 custom camper with the 402 and factory air. My dad had a 1969 C20 when I was growing up. I love it, I get so many thumbs up and people stopping by to talk at shows where there are 50 corvettes and mustangs to every 1 “classic” truck. The trucks are getting really popular and there are not that many left in good condition, I would love a Burb of the same vintage I keep drooling over one that is at one of my local shows the same color as my truck. Mine is in great condition and I could get quite a bit more than $10k. Also it’s not my preference but you can get the short beds and really hotrod them out. As for ‘classics’ I kind of understand that these may not be classics in the sense that they will forever be engraved in automotive history but it doesn’t mean that they won’t become more and more desirable in time and turn out to be a good investment. As some already commented the classic 40s-50s market is drying up, my generation doesn’t care about those, the muscle cars will last longer of course but will definitely take a hit when the only buyers left are Gen X’ers and Millennials. Honestly I think car collecting might go the way of the baseball card in the end but only time will tell. Keep bringing your kids and grandkids to shows and teach them nothing sounds like a V8 and let them see the personality that cars can have, that’s what makes something collectable to me.


My recommendation is to only collect cars you like. If you love sports cars do not buy a Bronco because you think it is a good investment. People who invest in collectible cars only for financial gain cause price increases for us enthusiasts. All collectibles require attention so be sure you collect cars you like to spend your time
with !


How about a well maintained Ford Taurus SHO? You can actually pick up a nice one for $5k. The 1989-1995 were available with a 5 speed manual. The Yamaha V-6 redlined at 7000 rpm. I’m pretty sure out on the interstate, I could easily pass all 10 of your classics.


I agree with Peterframson1. Buy what you like & let $ fall in place where the market says. I am 72, retired & living in So Cal. I looked for the right classic car on Ebay, Craigslist,etc for 10 years. At my age, most guys are selling their collection & here I am buying my first vintage car. Most would think I would be in the market for a muscle car (GTO, Chevelle, Mustang, etc) from the 60’s when I was in high school & college but no, I bought a 49 Buick Super Fastback manual tranny 3 on the tree. I was 3 years old when this car came out but after considering all the post war cars available I couldn’t resist this 1 year model—a Harley Earl masterpiece in my opinion. For me, it is as cool as it gets as slow as it is. The state of California & the DMV ought to be paying me for driving this car on the roads for beautifying the freeways in LA & Orange County. Just an old guy rant.


Good call. Had a red 1991 with the manual. Very underrated and wonderful to drive. Not much to look at though.


Hagerty you have lost it! maybe the BMW! It’s clear to me you are attempting to driving values to increase premiums! #time_to_find_a_new_insurance_company


It all depends how you focus your collection. If you want get rich, or if you want to enjoy the ride. Of course some cars offer both. As a european in my end 40´s, I dont care much about VW Golf, Corrado and BMW of the 80´s and later. But I really love those US trucks, like the puctured Suburban, early F Series…
I personally own german cars (911, 356 and Mercedes, but also Land Rovers and Peugeot) Never mind opinions of the rest, just enjoy what you like.


Agree with keithw303. Own vehicles that you like. They all require time and money and you need to truly enjoy your investment. I like to believe that Hagerty is simply reporting what they see and not driving prices up. The folks who have the ability to collect cars as investments do drive the prices up for the rest of us. As time goes by desire for different vehicles changes, none of those vehicles appeals to me but it looks like they do to others.


Lots of nice '54 to '61 Nash/AMC Metropolitans out there for less than $10K. Loads of fun, active club, and plentiful parts. Careful, they can be habit-forming!


E30s are not the end all of BMW. Ive owned several E24 635CSi coupes and they are a much more substantial and special vehicle.
Another overlooked great ride is the W124 Mercedes, My 95 E420 has been the most satisfying car Ive owned.

I currently have a 2000 BMW 540it Sports Wagon which I think would make sense included on the list along with the Dodge Magnum RT Hemi wagon

Had a fairly rare E55 AMG that Hagerty wouldn’t insure claiming it didn’t fall within the category of “collectible” despite less than 600 imported in 99

Rarity and “limited editions” are relative terms .The most common 1978 Corvette was the 2tone silver 25th Anniversary edition while the rare-est was a yellow-beige with auto trans . Rare can simply mean nobody liked or bought that model


Personally, I don’t know if these vehicles have earned the right to be called classics. Guess it shows my age. There are some interesting cars at a pretty reasonable price that would be fun to drive though.



Just because a car doesn’t appeal to the masses or doesn’t meet some sort of “collectible” criteria doesn’t mean it’s not special to someone. Cars mean different things to different people. My first car was a 1976 Ford Granada Ghia V8 302, if I could find one just as nice believe you me I’d get it. :blush:

It’s so irritating to watch those car Auction shows, only to hear the announcers put down a car, and make up facts about a car, they know absolutely nothing about. They love hacking cars from the 90’s. My favorite cars are from the 80’s and 90’s because that was the time I could afford and drive a car.

I’m a proud owner of a 95 Chevrolet Impala SS, 95 Chevy Corvette, 2015 Chevy Malibu LTZ Turbo, and the toughest little car I’ve ever owned a 93 Ford Tempo GL. Don’t mess with my Tempo :blush:


Oh my. There are some tragedies on this list. The 924 is just crap. 2.0 Audi Fox engine. Test drove one new and it broke down before getting back to the dealership. Corrado…avoid the 4 cyl like the plague. Turbo pipes made of plastic and melt. The Caddy…really? Where is the Brontosaurus Buick Roadmaster? Let’s redo the list and add the Granada, Tempo, Lincoln Versailles, Cimarron, Lincoln Mark VI, Datsun F10 and any other Road Toads that we can come up with.


Did you forget the meaning of the term “classic”? That term’s meaning has become blurred over time and now it seems “collectibles” are included. Pity. I did not read the article but scrolled through the photos of cars Hagerty considers “classic” and I have to say I did not find one of them I would classify as being “collectible”. Of course “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but 10 large for a Chevy Suburban seems like such a waste of money, as it does for every car listed.