8 classics that could be yours for under $10K


You certainly are entitled to your opinion without Qualification, as am I. my only qualification is as a previous owner. I owned the first year and the worst year for the C-4. The 1984. Worst as in the Automotive press going beserk over the car when it was released then going back on it because it was to stiff and flexed a little with the Targa removed. I found my C4 to be quite reliable, easy to work on, Definitely fast for the time and great looking, A great leap forward from the C3. The C5 never did it for me as the C4 never did for you. I found the car over bloated, the rear end to fat and true to the eye it was. Every dimension of the C5 grew over the C4 Especially the wheelbase which grew an incredible 7 inches! Save for the weight, that was kept in check with weight saving features like deleting the spare tire. The C4 looked more svelte and athletic but then again just my opinion.


Very good point. you can get a nice '92 coupe( possibly even a lower mileage convertible if you are a real tough shopper) for under that price and that was the first year they went to a fairly decent 300 horsepower got good mileage had some luxury. And looked good and fun to drive


Clearly, you are quite incorrect about nobody wanting them when new. Did you read how many were sold?


I’ve always loved the 77-79 styling of the Thunderbird. It’s on my bucket list of cars I’d like to own, or a Lincoln Mk V.


Have been involved in car culture since my first car (1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe 2 dr) in 1966 I’ve owned over 100 vehicles in my life. Over the years I’ve pretty much gone with what was catching my interest at the time be it Muscle cars, 50’s cruisers, or old pickups. One thing I’ve learned is there is something good to say about most all of them. If the vehicle makes you feel good and you enjoy it who am I or anyone else in any place where we can judge your passion. I’ve owned sports cars both foreign and domestic and thats where my passion is right now but that doesn’t prevent me from appreciating a classy full size cruiser. The more we dis someone’s else’s ride the less likely that we can keep the government from finding ways to restrict or tax our hobby. The old adage about judging someone else’s wife is a sure way to lose a friend holds true here. Isn’t there enough discord in our country without adding to it.
My current special car is a 1997 Miata STO with 38 thousand on it. It brings a smile to my face every time I walk into the garage. This is the 4th NA Miata I’ve owned and I have to say I doubt I’ll ever let it go until I get to the point I cant get in it any more.


We too have a Miata ('91 NA). Certainly agree with you. I’m surprised there are no Porsches on this list. The 924, 944, and early 986 Boxsters can all be had for under $10k. I know, I have a 944. Four door five speed BMW 3 series e30, e36, and e46 can also be had for under $10,000. Our family also has a couple of these too. An e30 with manual trans in nice shape is definitely a classic and will appreciate.


You can’t mix oil and water.

I would rather attend a show with only 10 really good and significant cars than one with 10,000 rubbish cars!

Give me quality rather than quantity.


Beautiful ! Love the color !


I think you miss the point.
Everyone is entitled to like what they like and no one has the right to criticise them for their taste.
It is however an altogether different story to produce a list of “classics” which include cars that by no stretch of imagination can be classified as “classic”.
Yes, there are people out there who love them but that does not suddenly make them classics!
Drive an enjoy whatever floats your boat. It’s a free world (still).

(PS. My first car was also a Chev Fleetline in 1965!)


My 1972 Thunderbird is a first-year, single-year, pre-crash bumper model with a 4-barrel big block 429, C-6 automatic, big 9-inh rear and 11.72" discs up front. It’s the first (purest design) of the 72-76 Birds. Hagerty values it at around $9,000. It’s a fairly low production year at 55,000-or-so units and the Marti Report says mine is one-of-416 equipped as is. Zero electrical power options, AM radio, cloth interior, non-A/.C car. While heavier and larger than the 77-79 Birds (which are based on the Gran Torino/Cougar/Elite, not the Fairmont, which was from 80-82) 1972 stands out as the last of the pre-bumper era. Another possible interesting choice, Hagerty could have substituted the Granada Euro Coupes with their 302 V8 and 4-speed manual transmission in place of the 77-79 Birds. Smaller, sportier and a manual transmissions, you can swap in one of the Versailles rear disk brake setups.


I know that this list is open to debate, but what about the sporty K cars? Or the sporty and highly desirable Chevy Vega or Ricardo Montalbans favorite, the Chrysler Cordoba. Having lived through the 80’s and early 90’s, IMO, in general, all American Cars sucked!! Awful performance, Awful style and Awful quality. A true desert in the history of US automaking. I had an '85 Chrysler Turbo Laser and even though I had great luck with it, I had a dickens of a time selling it (w/ 35,000 miles!)


I understand where you are coming from but as I’m sure you well know, the term classic has been used in so many different ways that the true meaning is really hard to pin down. Not saying that there isn’t a correct use in the “Classic” definition but I think
if you asked the general public what it means you would get a lot of different answers.

I’m also in agreement with Hagerty in that they aren’t trying to define, only putting out data that shows what people are buying and insuring as collector cars. I’m with you that there are cars on the list that I have a hard time putting in the category of
classic. But if you go back to the 40’s when a lot of what we consider true Classics ie:Packards ,Cadillacs and such were being turned into wreckers as they were just cheap used cars that had a strong chassis that lent itself well to heavy hauling. It all
boils down to perspective and the passage of time.

I think if a vehicle brings a strong emotional pull to a large group of people in that it transports them to a different time than it becomes a classic to that group of people. Case in point, The VW Microbus. The fact that the vehicle is woefully underpowered
and has some pretty scary handling attributes doesn’t keep them from bringing crazy money now days. So who’s to say that Disco era T birds might not do it for a those who came of age in that era. Stranger things have happened.


I think we tend to confuse “classic” with “collectible”. One of the best definitions of classic is “judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind” and I think this is a definition to follow to establish “classic”. A “collectible” car is an older car there is a demand to purchase, maintain, and enjoy with hopes of its increasing value. I was in the wholesale/retail/collectible car business for 38 years which furthered my addiction to the automobile and showed me a world I had not known. If you feel you own a “classic” then compare it to an early E-type Jaguar roadster or a Mercedes 500K and see if it merits a “classic” standard. The first time I saw a Bugatti Royale in person, I was overwhelmed and mesmerized at the same time. Classic? Absolutely! Did I have a desire to own it? No. But its magnificence and sheer beauty gave me goosebumps. And there is a third type of automobile; the really nice 20 plus year old low mileage clean original car that you personally like, whether it is it’s excellent condition, or your personal taste, or both, but seemingly really doesn’t have a lot of collectibility. Rareness, low, low mileage (not low mileage per year!) and having something special or new (unique design, etc.) will determine its future collectibility. However, the top of the line cars new, especially convertibles and performance cars, will have a tendency to become more collectible than standard sedans, mainly due to initial higher costs and lower production numbers. I have a weakness for old Cadillacs and currently own a 68 Eldorado with 52,000 original miles and have owned it for 26 years. Classic? No. Beautiful? To me, yes! Collectible? Only the last 5 years has it moved up in value. I just sold my red pearl 93 Cadillac Allante with low miles. Classic? No. Beautiful? To me, yes! Collectible? Not really, and a bit surprising to me. Ive been surprised like most of what has become of crazy value because I personally may not be fond of them ($200,000 VW vans for instance, the 60’s hippies got marijuana legalized and are making a fortune ) means nothing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Get ready my fellow baby boomers, the generation behind us is already collecting all their favorite imports, a recent auction sold an Acura Integra for $60,000.


They never include the ultimate driving machine (Geo Metro Convertible) in the Hagerty articles.


Just my two cents but, The Mazda Miata has been a choice for many to HotRod lately. A prime example would be Stacy Davids Banshee. The Miata’s used are relatively cheap, they make lots of aftermarket parts for them and many people have done some interesting engine swaps. Some say that they are going to be as popular as the Tri-Fives, Camaro’s, Mustang’s, ETC. https://staceydavid.com/projects/banshee/


I think the reason why the K-based Laser/Daytona didn’t make this list is that the list based on buyer interest, and from your experience it was somewhat hard to sell.
That said there is one sporty K-Car that is quite sought after, which is the LeBaron convertible and to a lesser extent Town & Country. However those may not have made the list because they occasionally crest over $10K.
My first car was a 1989 Aries. I think that if I bought a K-variant today I’d have a few weeks of blissful nostalgia followed by “why exactly did I want one of these again?”


Some of these comments make me laugh. “grumble grumble, that car isn’t a classic because I say so! grumble grumble”

Yeah… it may not be Hemi-Cuda level collectible. But everyone has their own opinion of what’s “classic.” Back in the 80s, people couldn’t get rid of those 70s cars (INCLUDING the muscle cars) fast enough. I NEVER would have thought a Lincoln Continental MkV would be around today. Yet here we are… they are starting to show up. Who would have thought ANY of those 70s Japanese econoboxes would be collectible? Well… guess what cars are starting to jump in price and collectibility? Yeah… those 70s Japanese econoboxes.

I see a lot of younger people slamming their cars, doing the “stance” thing. It’s not my style… but guess what… that’s where a lot of the attention is going. Bottom line… whatever is classic to YOU is what is important. I would not be surprised if in 20 years, suddenly you see someone showing up with a Chevrolet Citation. And I’d be fine with that.

To those of you who complain about cars from the last 45 years… all I can say is… stop it with the “GET OFF MY LAWN” attitude.


I picked up a really nice 86 Corvette,loaded, including removable hardtop and Z51 package, for way under 10K early in 2017. Picked it up from an older couple who were moving upstate. They had all the documentation from new. It had 53K on it then and still has under 54K on it now. Somehow white just looks right on a Corvette with the flame red interior. It’s the wife’s toy, but I do have to take it out and stretch its legs frequently in the summer. The best thing I like about it, is that it’s totally unmolested, bone stock with the aluminum heads. Would like to get a 95-96 next.


I think the lincoln town car is collectible. And if you tune the computer right you can get more horsepower.


It’s beautiful that’s 1 of my favorites . I have a 62 Catalina