Best Affordable Classic Cars

Whether you’re a new enthusiast or you’ve been collecting for years, there are plenty of affordable classic cars available for purchase. From affordable classic muscle cars to iconic vintage luxury vehicles, you can find an excellent ride for under $15,000. Classic car insurance can help protect your investment, whether you take your car out for pleasure cruises or display them in car shows.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Classic cars aren’t merely a fun hobby — since they appreciate in value, these vehicles can be an important investment
  • Some of the most expensive cars ever sold were classic models, but you don’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started
  • There are numerous classic models you can purchase for under $15,000, some of which are currently rising in value
  • Classic car insurance can help you protect your investment

Classic cars are both an investment and a hobby. Unlike modern vehicles, a well-maintained classic car can appreciate in value.

There is an expectation that all classic cars are expensive vehicles that only the wealthy can enjoy, but that simply isn’t true. There are plenty of classic cars under $15,000 that you can either start a collection with or add to one.

Finding affordable classic cars for sale is more than simply a good investment. Classic car insurance can be more expensive than coverage for traditional vehicles, so a good sales price can help you save money.

If you’re interested in affordable classic cars and want to discover what insurance prices might look like for you, you should compare rates from as many companies as possible. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see what quotes might look like for you.

Top Ten Best Affordable Classic Cars

There are plenty of options for affordable classic cars, even though some of the most expensive cars ever sold were vintage.

If you’re interested in classic cars and you’re on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of makes and models available. From affordable classic muscle cars to sleek luxury vehicles, you should be able to find a car within your budget.

Number 10: Porsche 944

Price: $9,500

The 1970s was a special time for Porsche. After decades of designing nothing but rear-engined cars, Porsche began creating more conventional vehicles. Of course, for Porsche, conventional simply refers to the location of the engine.

The Porsche 944 is the third front-engine car and was released in 1982. The 944 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, boasting 187 horsepower.

The Porsche 944 hasn’t been in the spotlight compared with its more famous siblings. However, the 944 is currently enjoying a resurgence. The price is reasonable now but will likely rise soon.

Number 9: 1973 Alfa Romeo Spider

Price: $14,000

While the Alfa Romeo Spider is a beautiful classic car, it’s not as famous as other classic vehicles. This is one of the main reasons why the Spider has remained so affordable.

This Italian sports car doesn’t have the best handling, and it’s not the fastest out there, but it makes up for it with sheer style.

With 129 horsepower and a 2.0-liter twin cam four-cylinder engine, the Alfa Romeo Spider is a vehicle that any car lover should experience at least once.

Number 8: 1981 Chevrolet Corvette

Price: $13,000

While the Corvette is a famous, sought after car, the 1981 version suffered a drop in popularity because it’s not the most stylish model. However, that works out well for collectors on a budget since less demand means lower prices.

The 1981 Corvette sports a carburetor-fed V8 engine that gives drivers 190 horsepower. It’s not a lot of power, but there is a large aftermarket for Corvettes where you can upgrade and tune your car into a faster machine.

Number 7: 1994 Jaguar XJS

Price: $11,000

Classic Jaguars are usually very expensive, but the ’94 XJS is an affordable option for fans of this famous brand.

To get the $11,000 price tag, you’ll need to choose the six-cylinder engine XJS. If you want the extra power that comes with a V12, it will cost you approximately $14,500.

The Jaguar XJS isn’t the fastest classic car by a long shot, but it offers 219 horsepower. While not the most exciting car to drive, Jaguar fans shouldn’t skip the XJS.

Number 6: 1976 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II

Price: $12,000

Rolls-Royce is a famous classic car model as well as a prized modern brand. For 12 thousand dollars, you can own the sleek 1976 Silver Shadow II.

This four-door full-size car was the height of luxury in the 70s, and it’s still a beautiful car. The Silver Shadow II has a V8 engine that offers 247 horsepower. While not impressive compared to modern luxury cars, the 115-mile top speed is still impressive.

Number 5: 1988 Chevrolet Corvette

Price: $6,400

The 1988 Chevrolet Corvette is an excellent option for collectors looking to spend less than $10,000.

Unfortunately, the ’88 Corvette hasn’t held up compared to similar cars. However, it has an iconic silhouette and is still quite popular.

With 245 horsepower and a top speed of 160 miles per hour, the ’88 Corvette is a fun ride.

The Corvette has a loyal fanbase, but this vehicle carries many critics, particularly concerning mechanical issues. Chevrolet has honed the Corvette since its inception in the 80s, but the ’88 likely faces the antiquated issues.

Number 4: 1975 Dodge Charger

Price: $7,500

The Dodge Charger has enjoyed popularity since its first release and continues to sell well today.

The 1975 Charger lost power from previous models, but it still offers 150 horsepower with a V8 engine. With less power, the ’75 model has a top speed of 109 miles per hour. It’s not quite as fast as other cars on this list, but it certainly covers everyday driving.

Number 3: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL

Price: $10,700

Mercedes-Benz is a coveted car brand with sleek curves, a powerful engine, and a smooth ride. For just under $11,000, you can add a Mercedes to your classic car collection.

The 380SL V8 engine offers 155 horsepower and a top speed of 115 miles per hour. As a bonus, the 380SL has one of the best fuel economies on this list.

Owners of this classic car typically praise it, complaining only that the convertible top isn’t electric and that the car sits a little low.

Number 2: Porsche 924

Price: $8,700

The Porsche 924 is the older brother of the 928. Both are excellent cars, but the 924 is slightly less expensive. Another factor in comparison is the cost of repairs — the 924 wins in that department.

This car is more exciting for Porsche collectors than for people looking for a fun drive. Porsche added a lot of horsepower to this model later in the 80s, but the 924 is still a fun car to own. On top of that, the 924 was produced for several years, which means that the price will remain lower.

Number 1: 1975 Cadillac Eldorado

Price: $12,000

Finally, there’s the 1975 Cadillac Eldorado. With an iconic silhouette, a top speed of 114 miles per hour, and a robust V8 engine, the Eldorado is a great purchase for muscle car enthusiasts.

There are not many other cars that can summarize the style of the 70s the way the Eldorado can.

With few mechanical issues and a spacious interior, many drivers swear by the Eldorado. While its horsepower, speed, and handling are relatively average, you can’t beat the Eldorado if you’re looking for throwback 1970s style.

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Affordable Classic Cars to Repair

If the above cars don’t suit your tastes, there is another avenue in which to locate a classic car. You can always purchase a less expensive car that needs repairs and restore it yourself.

This is an excellent option for people with the mechanical skills to fix a car. It can be expensive to find parts, but you can take your time and repair a car slowly. If you consider working on a vehicle a hobby, this is an excellent route to take.

Some relatively affordable cars to restore include Ford Mustangs, Dodge Chargers, Chevrolet Novas, and Pontiac Firebirds.

Classic Auto Insurance

The first thing to consider when it comes to insurance is the type of car you purchase and what you use it for. For example, if you’re part of the classic car show circuit, you won’t need the same coverage as someone using their car as an everyday ride.

You should also consider the company you want to buy from. Classic car insurance is regarded as a type of specialty insurance. Most of the largest companies offer classic coverage, but several providers are also dedicated to vintage cars.

The company that will work best for you depends on what you use your car for and how much coverage you want to purchase. You should browse our list of classic car insurance companies to get started.

If you’re interested in classic car insurance, Grundy, Hagerty, and Safeco are some of the best companies.

Find the Best Classic Car Insurance Today

Collecting classic cars can be a rewarding hobby, both financially and recreationally. Some of the best affordable classic cars are collector’s pieces that will be fun to drive, while others are expected to increase in value.

Finding affordable classic cars and obtaining the best insurance to cover them can be challenging, but comparing quotes from different companies can help you save money. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to determine what rates might look like for you.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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