Hagerty.com

Question of the Week: Tell us a car you think is still a bargain

I’d be curious how depreciation and all the Hagerty ratings stuff views those T-birds.

Where I live they seem overpriced, as if the owners think they bought an insta-classic and depreciation isn’t a thing. But maybe that is just a false impression from a few examples…

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There always seems to be a couple of “needs a bit of work, but in great shape” Reatta’s for sale in my area. Price is usually very reasonable, but I wonder if some parts are a pain to get (why do they seem to be always almost done projects)?

If yes… then a done and complete Reatta might be a great buy… but one needing a dash cluster (or whatever the problem parts are) might be a “run from it” situation?

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'12/'13 Boss 302 Mustang

I think that the 1968/67 Mercury Cougar is a great value and will be on the rise soon. Much like a Mustang, without as many copies sold. Everywhere I go in my '68, people are so interested and have a “Cougar Story” from the past. Affordable, Classy, elegant and fun to drive!

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onree

I think that most people who have a Lightning don’t consider it a true work truck, more an occasional errands to the local hardware store truck ,and a vehicle to just enjoy for what it is, a rather brutish fun to drive 2 wheel drive truck… :sunglasses:

Oldsmobile Starfire, 1962-1966. Big luxury box the likes of Cadillac, with beautiful sporty lines and only sold as a coupe. With a big engine and top of the line luxury touches including leather interior, well preserved and restored models are rare and don’t generally command more than 20k. My fave is 1965, styling of particular note, the exhaust exits rectangular ports in the rear fenders. Perfect luxo-cruisers for a restomod project.

There always seems to be a couple of “needs a bit of work, but in great shape” Reatta’s for sale in my area. Price is usually very reasonable, but I wonder if some parts are a pain to get (why do they seem to be always almost done projects)?

If yes… then a done and complete Reatta might be a great buy… but one needing a dash cluster (or whatever the problem parts are) might be a “run from it” situation?

Reattas are really quite reliable and there is great support from niche providers as far as reman CRT screens, dashes, and body parts, the issue is for just a few grand more (like, literally, 2 or 3 grand) you can get an Allante which is the far-nicer version (all things being equal) that its Buick cousin. I have both. An 89 Reatta and an 89 Allante, both with miles in the 40s and well-preserved. For $4500 I got my 165hp, coarse-but-tough 3800 V6, 15 inch wheels, and cheap interior materials (though the dash design and CRT were actually ahead of their time, kind of like the 80s equivalent of the weirdness of the Toro/Riv/Eldo of 66-67). For 2 grand more, I got way more power in an impressive V8, unmatched Italian styling, Recaro leather seats, an excellent-for-89 sound system, 16 inch wheels, and just a more-solid and luxuriously-appointed car. I have spent a couple grand on each at shop prices (20 year old tires, alternators, the stupid little things). Both of these cars are a bargain as far as what you get in style for the dollar. And one sentence sums it up - most of these cars are dogs now, so you HAVE to do your homework and be patient in your search. I always wanted an Allante and found one by accident that was worth buying. With the Reatta, I thought it was an interesting purchase at absolute max depreciation, maybe worth seeing where the market goes.

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No one has mentioned the VW Corrado either, surprisingly, but they’ve gone nuts on BaT in the past year. I paid $10k for a well-documented, 70k SLC 2 years ago. All old VWs need work, so I’m in it for more, but it’s bone-stock and should fetch $15-$18 in the current market. One with cloth and more miles did $19.5k last spring. Spring fever+bidding war and some of these cars will do mid-20s now. Got hot fast, may cool off fast, but my hunch is stock, under 100k cars in driveable condition are headed for mid-30s within 5-7 years, which will probably be a peak, sort of liek what the Karmann Ghias did about a decade ago. Until then, I will enjoy what has to be one of the top-10 best drivers cars of the 20th century. The only reason people don’t really talk about them is because no one remembers them, and no one has ever driven them.

Keep in mind I am referring to SLC VR6s. The G60 cars are nowhere near as refined, fast or enjoyable (or valuable)

C1 and C4 Corvettes, especialy the C4 ZR-1.

Aston Martin DB7, no matter if it’s a coupé or convertible, I6 or V12. Still can be a good deal for what it offers.

A great car, have had an L98 for several years, seat gets smaller every year, and trickier to get out of, 70 yr old!

The Porsche Cayman 987.2 is the sweet spot of all Caymans. It’s the last Cayman with hydraulic steering, and the first without an IMS bearing. The guys on Everyday Driver preferred the 987.2 to the 981 and the 718. It will never be cheaper than they are right now You can score one of these beauties with under 50,000 miles for $30,000.

The 1970 to 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlos are a bargain compared to similarly equipped cars of the era. Of course I’m biased as an owner of 1970 and 1971 Monte Carlos. They are essentially a 2-door Chevelle with an extra 8 inches added to the length of the front end and a little more chrome. When new the 1970-72 Monte Carlos were marketed as personal luxury vehicles and any sport options were downplayed which is certainly why they are not as valuable as their other A-body cousins today. I purchased my 1970 Monte Carlo in 1996. It is not highly optioned but I fell in love with it when I saw it at 19 years of age. Not too much muscle with a 300 hp 350 engine, bench seat and 2.73 rear end but I have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it over the years. In addition I have a 1971 SS454 with a 365 hp 454, bucket seats, console and a posi 3.73 rear end. There were only 1,919 SS454s built that year. If you can find a factory 402 4-speed those are even more rare. The value is this: I can own both of these cars for less than the price of a similarly equipped 1971 SS454 Chevelle. I really have the best of both worlds with these two cars. Don’t get me wrong, I like Chevelles and I’m not saying the Chevelle is a bad car to buy but the Monte Carlo has great value in comparison. I still turn a lot of heads.


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Agreed. I own two first gen Monte Carlos including a 1971 SS454 (only 1,919 built). They are great cars for the price.

Thanks. Can’t tell you much about the rocker covers other than they’re aluminum alloy. Engine builder sourced them. Good luck with the GT. '65-'67 are my favorites, especually with OD.

C5 Corvette! I bought a 2000 convertible 3 years ago for a great price. It has enough horses to scare me if I want to. I added a ram air and I absolutely love it! Not sure how much more horsepower it added but I don’t care. I can feel a difference. People are ignoring the early c5s because the later ones were approaching 400 horsepower. Mine is here to stay!