how bout a Alfa Romeo Spyder. The mid 70’s to the 90’s versions are still pretty cheap. cheapest being the 80’s rubber tail fin models. Spica FI can be a problem and is fiddly and expensive to fix but that little 4 can scream and make pretty sounds. Handling is excellent and its just fun to own.
I just purchased a 1972 Pontiac Catalina 2door 400 with 35000 Miles all original interior is mint and original paint is great! Paid well less than 10k and is a great way to be in the collector car hobby with my budget. This car drives like a dream and has plenty of v8 power.
I love taking my 1985 Toyota MR2 for a drive whenever I get the chance. If you have never driven one of these, you must do it sometime, you’ll be hooked too.
1955 Mercury Monterey Coupe - barn find. Nice to look at & fun to drive. Paid $6,000 for it. (& the back seat is clothing-optional!)
I’ve had a couple that had a huge fun to $ ratio, Like others on the site, I had a Bug Eye that seemed fast and was loads of fun even though it was dead slow in stock form. My wife was terrified that we would get run over by a 4wd truck, so that one went to France. I had an 81 TR7 that in stock form was somewhat lethargic, but once I slipped a port injected Camaro v-6 and 5 speed in, and installed Wilwood brakes and a Quaife gear carrier and some suspension tweaks it was a blast (and even held a set of golf clubs). “Too noisy and rough” said the wife…(in all fairness, as I got older she was right. Now I’m working on a 1967 Volvo 123GT which to my eyes is a very pretty car. These cars are a little pricey but their sisters the Amazons are a screaming deal. Almost every part you need is available and they are simple machines. Google the old Volvo ad and “drive it like you hate it”. I’m hoping to have mine ready to take down the PCH for the winter next fall. The best part is that Deborah loves the car! I told her the light green paint contrasts well with her red hair!! The Volvo pictured is not mine. Mine is in pieces right now.
1965 Oldsmobile Starfire. While fully restored models can reach $20k, most unrestored examples I’ve seen are $4500 to $12k depending on condition. Unlike smaller muscle-car brethren like Cutlass and 442, the Starfire is likely to be found in near original condition. A fantastic interior, clean muscular lines, and a big, beefy V-8 makes for a great boulevard cruiser. My favorite design detail is the exhaust tips exiting the rear fenders ahead of the bumper.
I agree and you could have three for the $10k budget or one nicely done with a supercharged conversion.
Funny what getting older does to the brain… I was never a fan until the last couple of years, but the square body Chevy trucks (1973-87) to are starting to appeal to me now, especially the short beds. Early blazers in this generation were cool, but in the last couple of years, they are breaking the 10K ceiling/rule. Certainly prefer the older ones over the 80’s plastic laden, velour covered varieties, but there are still very good examples below 10K. They are easy to work on, parts are dirt cheap, easy to modify, and hard to do screw up. Plus, chicks dig trucks (as a 75 yr old Texan once told me)
I know it may be a little bit over 10 grand but not by much. My 996 Porsche has hit most likely hood it’s low especially due to the IMS bearing. I bought mine with a brand new engine two year warranty In the teens. Yes it has 156,000 miles but it looks inside and outside like it has 40,000 and it’s all original
1st generation Lexus SC300. If you can find a good one. Reliable, omfortable, and to a degree, will performance and driving match any beemer or Porsche, Classic design - park it next to a new Jag hardtop and ask which is more classic.
2003 Cooper S. Does everything right and a blast to drive with no drama
Now that is sharp and you bought it at price that makes it fun !
Agree with you - I’ve got a 66. So much fun
100% agree and they are soo much fun
Ford Model T from 1917 to 1921.
Model T’s in general are the most fun-per-dollar antique car you can find.
These years are among the lowest priced, have a windshield that folds out of the way, and parts are easy to find.
How about the third gen Z/28s and Trans Ams? Under 10k and parts are cheap and plentiful! Also Fox Body Mustang GTs and V/8 LXs. Again under 10k and again parts are cheap and plentiful. Best of all they are fun to drive!
I bought a 1990 Miata brand new. Added a chin and rear spoiler. Bought a tonneau cover with a zipper and loved driving with the tonneau in place and unzipped only for the driver. It had limited slip and was a great driver. Will probably own another before I’m done.
Now - for a budget friendly classic race car - you can’t beat a vintage Formula Vee, and I’ve owned and raced several. Mostly Zinks.
A 1978 Dodge Magnum GT with T-Tops in show/driver quality can be had for under $10K. With a few simple tools you’re back in muscle car territory. Yeah, I dig these.
Cadillac Allantes, especially the last year. I have owned several of these and this was the most recent, a pearl red 68k miles with 300hp V-8. Half Italian and half American, they handle well, are fast, and get reasonable fuel mileage. The top design was the major flaw, should have been fully electric for the price, which was the second biggest flaw. The interiors didnt fare well unless the car was garaged. This one I purchased for under $5,000.