Hagerty.com

Question of the Week: What’s the best deal you’ve scored on a collector car?


#1

Now that the Detroit Lions have lost, the in-laws have gone home, and a week’s worth of Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator, it’s time to scour the internet for the best Christmas deals. That’s right, Cyber Monday is upon us, signaling to even the most reluctant holiday holdouts that the season of giving is here. And a big part of the fun in giving those gifts is doing the research and finding the best deals out there.

As car enthusiasts, we know this feeling all too well, since many of us search for the best prices even though we don’t intend to make a purchase. We’ve all lost far more hours to eBay, Bring-a-Trailer, and Craigslist than we care to admit, but the hunt is certainly one of the most enjoyable aspects of this game we play. However, there are few feelings that rival the thrill of actually pulling the trigger on a screaming deal.


This Bronco looks to be a sweet deal for someone (Photo Hagerty)

So what’s the best deal you’ve ever scored on a collector car purchase? Please share your stories with us in the comments below.


#2

#3

The BEST deal I ever got on a collector car was in 1988. I’ve always had mustangs and still do to this day but I ran across a 1968 1/2 R code cobra jet fastback sitting outside with some rust and a blown up engine. All parts were accounted for so I made a deal for it for…get this…$200. I got the engine rebuilt, went through the brakes and replaced some rusted sheet metal and drove the heck out of that car. I’ve had other good deals before but that one even surprised me.


#4

I live in Buffalo, and I was driving by a local garage while he was putting a for sale sign in a beautiful 1996 Ford F-150. A guy brought in for an oil change and forgot to leave his phone number. So the shop owner looked up the title and called the guy. Turns out, the owner’s brother stole the truck from New Mexico a few years back. So the owner had the shop refuse to return it, and sold it to me for $4000 with only 50K miles in 2016. No rust as it’s from the south and I don’t think I would even take 10k for it now.


#5

Well, it was a long time ago - about 1986 - but it would be a fairly ratty Hemi 4-speed Road Runner for $4000. The episode was like the kid (Artie?) buying Christine, when I asked the rough elderly guy who answered the door about the old Plymouth cobwebbed to the driveway. Restored it & kept it 33 years.


#6

In July of this year, I scored a 1965 Galaxie 500 XL. #'s matching and driveable, but in need of some work for $3400.00 CDN


#7

I found a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, 440 six pac car with 16,159 miles in 1980, been sitting in the owners garage since 1975 after a carb fire. Paid $2,500 for the car, which was a lot of money in 1980, rebuilt the engine, and still have the car today.


#8

about 10 years ago I was able to get a 1976 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, beautiful green with tan top and interior, very classy, in just incredible condition, for $13,000!! Put in about $1,500, drove it for about 6 months, then sold it for $23,000!! Paid for the next ones:)


#9

I bought a very clean stock 1950s VW bus for around $1,000 or less as I recall. It was the model with all the port hole windows and the long sunroof. This was in the late 60’s. It could barely reach 55 mph on the highway and the wind blew it all over the road, which I hated. I sold it for a small profit, but now wish I had mothballed it instead


#10

A year ago last Labor Day I purchased a 1997 Lincoln Town Car Cartier Ltd Edition for $3,500.
The provenance was purchased new for a company executive, who purchased it from the company when he retired. (company records) It came with all maintenance records and also included the ‘window sticker’ that reads “$48,942.” He drove it until he died, leaving it to his son who wasn’t interested in it and sold it to a friend of his, whom I purchased it from.
It is a remarkable car; like going down the road in an arm chair. The seven speaker upscale sound system with a remote CD Changer in the trunk merely adds to the experience. I intend to drive it until my death or loss of license. (being 86, any of that could happen any day.)


#11

40 years ago I bought my first car, a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 for $800, for my senior year in high school! I still have the car today and love it!


#12

In 1989 I had a co-worker who wanted to borrow $700 for a month and he left me his 1967 Cutlass convertible, fully restored, as collateral. He even signed the title over to me. If he didn’t pay me back on time, the car was mine. The month went by and he asked for a one week extension for an extra $100. I agreed but told him that was as long as I would go because I had a wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. The week went by, he told me to keep the car. I sold it a week later for $3700. Guess who had a nice wedding. I don’t really like Cutlasses anyway…


#13

In 2006 I found a 65 Mercury Comet Caliente in good running condition with original interior in great shape and a new carpet kit installed along with a brand new windshield. They car lacked power and the owner thought the motor was dying, but it ran very smoothly with no strange noises and had great compression. I knew it was something else. Body and Paint were in good condition and I always loved the Aquamarine color on the Comets and Mustangs. I picked it up for $3000 and drove it home. When I got home I pulled off the air cleaner and looked down the carburetor as I moved the throttle to “full open.” The linkage was not correctly installed so this poor motor was only getting 1/4 throttle at full pedal… oops A few turns later and she had all the power she needed! I ran that motor for about 11 years and just put in a 400hp replacement which she loves even more! I’m never getting rid of the Blue Comet!! :smile:


#14

i scored a Porsche 964 coupe, 5 speed manual, hard to impossible to find nowadays my car friends.


#15

@doug.lingo- The Air-cooled and ice-cold Beetle that one of our video guys drove from Oregon to Michigan in the winter had the same throttle issues you experienced. I had the chance to drive it before and after we got it straightened out and it sure was nice to have everything it should have had power-wise!


#16

Just picked up this 68 Fury 1 Sedan from my neighbor for $1800. Has everything except a windshield to put it back together


#17

I got an ‘85 VW Vanagon Westfalia in great shape inside and out with 34,000 (questionable) miles for $7500. Not a month goes by that people don’t leave notes wanting to buy it.


#18

In June of this year I picked up a Y88 Trans Am for 12,500 CAD. They were only made in 1978 so she’s kind of a rare bird. Not a show car but it is in decent condition.


#19

I just picked up a pristine 1985 Mercedes 300CD for $9000. This is a one owner car with only 105,000 miles on it. The Mercedes has been stored in a climate controlled Barn for it’s entire life. I was looking for a 300TD Wagon, but could not pass this up in the interim.


#20

I moved from Singapore to the US for college 2 years ago and bought a 1993 500E last May!

I’d given up on owning a car until I arrived here and saw that almost everyone in college had a car. I checked the prices online and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that prices for used cars are so low! I knew that I wanted an old Benz, as I had fond memories of the first car my family owned, which was a 1989 200E. Even at the end of its service in 2009, it still drove well and felt more comfortable compared to our new car, a Honda Stream (think Civic wagon). Of course, that may just be me being sentimental, but I definitely wanted a W124. With prices the way they are here, I began looking above the 200E and at the V8 powered W124s (who doesn’t want a V8 amirite?). Imagine my surprise when even the V8 400Es were reasonably priced (about $3500 for one in decent condition)! However, I still wanted something more, and I began to browse the ads for the 500E and wait for the perfect car…

So that brings us to the car. After searching for 3 months or so, I came across a nice example of a 500E in Utah that was in good condition, had low miles (only 102k miles), and also crucially, within budget! I immediately called up the owner that evening and after chatting for a few hours, I bought a ticket for the next flight out and flew out to get it the very next morning! The drive back from Utah was amazing (got to hit it’s top speed somewhere in the desert!) and so far it’s only needed general maintenance for wear and tear.