8 classics that could be yours for under $10K


Jim: I would settle for a story on the 69/70 Grand Prix in general. I don’t think these cars have gotten the notoriety they deserved over the years. I would just like to see someone write an article explaining how this beautiful piece of machinery came into being. It doesn’t have to be my car. Just respect the model is all I ask. There’s really a lot to talk about when you are explaining the 1969 and 1970 Grand Prix Model J and SJ and SSJ. The J stands for John incidentally. John DeLorean that is. Really, people just need to know about this car.


I agree, for sporty vehicles, the Miata and 'Vette are very good values under 10K. Let me add another to the list IF you can find one that hasn’t been modified or abused: a 2002-4 SVT Focus, 3-door hatch – a great, often overlooked sports coupe.


Continental and its sister Crown Vic were some of the sturdiest cars ever built. (I used to administer police fleets) I’m not a huge fan, but for $2K, the Conti is a steal.


That sounds like a great car! Cool that it’s a driver and not a trailer queen. I think that car may be worth more then you think. A good place to look is hemming, you can see comparable cars and what they are asking for them. Your car is really impressive!


You folks left out one of the best examples! The 1977 Buick Electra Ltd. 403 Olds motor. Luxury limo. Great car for anyone doing period chauffeur work or even film/video. Spotless period pieces can be had for less than $10K


I also live in CA and we are already there!


I think the list of cars is solid. I am seeing more of these vehicles at local car shows and the folks who own them are very proud. These cars and trucks are great for the beginner collectors and very affordable. They are not my choice for a collector car, with the exception of the D series pickups. But, I do appreciate seeing them on the road polished up and running strong. Hagerty does a pretty good job of showing the car enthusiast the latest statistics and trends. Keep it up !


The times truly are a changing though NOT for the better. When Asian vehicles start showing up on “classics” lists…:roll_eyes:



As the owner of a 1988, 1989, and a 1992 Lincoln Town car, I will tell you that these cars are unsung values. I drive the 88 Town Car daily in the summer months. My little sister drives the 89 Town Car daily in the summer months. The 92 is currently getting a new transmission.
Last summer the 89 Town Car was spotted by the nephew of the original owner. He about wept when my sis revealed that the car was indeed the last one his uncle owned. She even let him go for a ride with her around the block.
Not only are they inexpensive to buy and drive, liability insurance is CHEAP. I have been tuning the 88 and last summer was averaging 25 mpg.
In short, I realize that these are not everyones cup of tea, but I personally love them due to the cushy ride, seating for five/six with room for luggage in the trunk, and the fact that adding 5K to 10K miles a year does nothing to the value.


Love my 1994 !!


I agree that the C4 are a good value for sports car. They are crude compare to the newer ones, but the do handle well on smooth surface. I used to own a 86 Corvette Convertible that I sold 13 years ago. I think the reason why C4 price are staying down is they were made in plentiful numbers (most of C4 production was in 20-30,000 units except for 84 and 85), the older Corvette are upstaged by the newer models in performance and comfort which are also in plentiful supply and C4 Corvettes are hard (expensive) to restore cosmetically.


Thanks for the tip Jim. I’ll check it out.


I couldn’t agree more. I like to read the comments but it gets painful when so many people whine about the same thing. “Why isnt my car in here”? It couldn’t be more obvious that the article is based on stats, not opinion. Same thing every article like this.


Well, I apologize for standing corrected. I had forgotten about this GP article and I am so glad to be reminded that these beautiful cars have not been forgotten. You rarely see them on the road among all the 57 Chevys and 67 GTOs but when you do, they really do turn heads. Thanks for reminding me about the article.


If someone had told me that my ‘78 Ford Thunderbird company car would someday be a ‘classic’ I would have laughed. I am now laughing. What a pig of a car it was/is.


Ok, Ok, I showed my “Torch Red” C4 and along with others do believe they are one of your “Best Buys” if you want to get into the “Classics” and “Muscle”, but as many of the other comments; to me (60+) “Any” of the survivors are “Classics”; I’ve owned Mavericks, Pintos, Vegas, a couple MGs and an Alfa; loved them all, enjoyed them all and never walk away from looking or considering any “Classic”; so other then my C4 (previously pictured) I also own another what I consider a “True Classic” and a model that you can find for under $10K (sure some go up) and more important one that if you pick up really, really cheap; it’s easy to work on, doesn’t take up much room, engine work can be simply “Bench Work” and you can find parts anywhere and do whatever you want to it and it still is a well respected “Classic”, what car am I talking about…you ready…“The Classic VW Beetle”. Love my “72”, enjoy it, love to drive it and always…always get a group looking at it and here somebody say: “Hey, I use to have one of those”.loweredvw


Beautiful 94.
For those feeling people are whining about their car not being on the list. Each car is special to their owner. Every persons taste is different.
A C4 is just a fun car to drive for those that like them. I’m sure there are people that would spend a bunch more for a VW bug than I did on my Corvette.
Enjoy what you like.


Well, I’ll jump in on the C4 Corvette debate here. And before all you C4 owners feel offended and decide to blast me, let me say I have owned Corvettes since I was 18 in 1971. I have been involved in owning and restoring them so I feel I have a good idea of the pulse of the Corvette market. AND what I am saying here is my opinion and I am welcome to it just as you are to yours.

I had loved and admired Corvettes since I was a kid in the 50s. When I got my first one in 1971, I was in heaven. In the years that followed, I bought, sold and restored Corvettes. I became a member of a local Corvette club serving as their vice president. I was a member of the National Corvette Restorers Society as well as the National Council of Corvette Clubs. I wrote quite a few articles for various Corvette magazines and operated a 1963 Corvette Registry. I have made the journey from North Carolina to St. Louis to watch Corvettes being assembled at the factory. A few years later, I went to the present Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green to see them being made again. So, yes, I was heavily involved in Corvettes.

When the 1984 C4s arrived, I received a call from the Corvette salesman at the local Chevrolet dealer that one had been delivered. I rushed to go see it in person. It was white with black interior. I remember the feeling of being disappointed by looking at a Corvette for the first time. It did not do anything for me.

I continued to own Corvettes but I did lose interest in them during this period due to the bland, generic styling of the C4 (again, my opinion). They just did nothing for me. I figured I would never own a new Corvette.

But my love affair for them was reborn once I saw the first C5. It was Nassau Blue. And I loved them so much that I decided to buy a new one for the first time. And it was a 2004 convertible, the last year for the C5. And I loved it so much I still have it 15 years later.

I will say also that I had a lot of Corvette buddies and they all felt the same about the C4s. And I believe that has a lot to do with why they don’t receive a lot of love these days. It’s all supply and demand!

And yes, I will admit they improved the C4s a lot during their 13-year run. And I did like the 1996 Grand Sports especially with red interior but never enough to buy one.

So since everybody else wants to post their own cars, here is mine. The C5s rekindled my love affair for the Corvette.


Well, I’m 62 and my oldest car is a 1980 and all are imports, so I’m exempt from those pre-‘70’s cruise-ins. I go to the ones that accept “newer” cars. I enjoy looking at 50’s to 70’ cars, but the pre-'49 stuff that I interests me is waaayyy out of my price range. I’d rather have several below $10k cars that I can actually drive, than one boring over priced something from back then that is a garage/trailer queen that shouldn’t be driven.
I agree with Jeff on these 7. I would have mostly any of these. I have a '78 Dodge truck that my dad left me. I will get started on it in a couple of years or swap it for something else. I agree that the C4 Vette that others have mentioned should be on this list and one of those is on my list.
As for the '69 - '72 Grand Prix, I love those. I drove a '70 454 from Seattle to Birmingham back in '74. Loved it!! But, those don’t fit in this article, because even a #4 car is worth more than $10k.