Question of the Week: What is your favorite budget-friendly classic?


For the price of a 2012 Throw-away Hyundai, I found a great sleeper. It’s basically a Mustang with a square body., A very Rare 78 Mercury Monarch with a factory 302/4-speed , A/C, AM-FM-8 track car with 108k miles. paid $4200.


You can absolutely have a fine VW Beetle for under 10K! You can get parts for it easily. You can learn about it reasonably easily along with the satisfaction that you can still be in control of a reasonable means of transportation. Yes, it’s obsolete and unsafe by today’s safety standards, but if you are an alert, non-texting engaged driver, it’s a trade-off I will take.


That’s kinda the point. What you describe is the crossover point between reliability, comfort, price, and pleasure.


I love that good Model A’s can still be had. They are truly enjoyable to drive both in stock condition and lightly modified.


Those really are pretty cars, especially in that white. You have now sent me down the rabbit hole of internet listings when I really don’t need another car.


@rnm356 - but do you want the price to climb? I loved that the Corvair was a small secret there for awhile. Now I’m getting priced out of the examples that I have on my short list to buy!


I’m glad you mentioned the Volkswagen beetle, because they really are affordable to restore. Buses can’t too bad either!


True enough. but then again, so were all the “Classics” of the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s by the time the 70’s and 80’s rolled around, if they had survived scrap drives. When I was getting my drivers license in the mid 70’s, old muscle cars were a dime a dozen, couldn’t give them away during the the gas crisis of the late 70’s.


Much as I would like to, but my wife would kill me, I don’t think I could use anymore cars than I have. Doesn’t mean I don’t look every week, hehehe…


Excellent point! Do to the large number produced over its long run, prices have remained flat. A little value growth might help justify the expense.

Randy McPhee


How about the Buicks , Lesabres , Wildcats , Skylarks etc… I have a 1964 Lesabre 2 door hard top with 77k miles I bought for $1500.00 . Almost have it done .


Mercedes 240D, Diesel, 1980 or earlier
Easy to work on and run forever
good support online and thru forums
One the best is Kent


Vista Cruiser, under 10 grand, Always draws a crowd ( and lots of stories) at Cruise nights


I bought a '72 Buick Centurion convertible for $5,000 even. It needed exhaust manifolds and a tune up. I take it to shows and for cruises, and it runs like a dream.


Might also want to consider a Karmann Ghia. Same engine and transmission as the bug, but turns a lot more heads. www.thesamba.com


Budget Friendly? Buy a Mopar C Body ragtop. Most can still be had for less than 10 grand. I bought mine in 2003. It has a Dealer-installed 440 in place of the original 383 2bbl, and the only option was AC. The radio was a weird animal, being an AM 8-track. No FM! Beating that, however, is my Son’s '73 Gremlin X that sat in a field for over 5 years. I traded a motor for it! The original 258 was shot and the 3-speed transmission had exploded. We searched for parts; it now has a 401 out if a wrecked Wagoneer, a '68 T-10 from a Javelin, and a Mopar 8.75 3,23 Sure-grip rear under it. One day it will be painted, but it, and the Newport, does receive many compliments!


The Ford Falcon/Mercury Comet. Simple to work on, parts are plentiful and inexpensive, and they are easy to drive. As long as you stay away with desirable Sprint/Futura hardtops and convertibles and factory V8 cars they are very affordable for the first time restorer/hobbyist. Even the Ranchero configuration is a fraction of the cost of an El Camino.


That was a great DEAL !!! Nice ride


Ford Marverick 642F9B9A-67E8-44F1-B2D8-3ABB13654A13


We have a 1984 Fiero, which my wife allowed me to order when I turned 40. It currently has 64,000 miles and a new set of tires. They had just been introduced in 1983 when I placed the order. We only had one major issue with it which was some broken head bolts on the Iron Duke engine which occurred shortly after the warranty ran out. Pontiac fixed it; the only thing we paid for were the fluids. It has been a great little car and is fun to drive. It is more difficult to get in and out of now that we are in our mid seventies. I do get good comments when I take it to get a half-gallon of milk at the Red Owl.