It is no secret that Carmakers are constantly engaged in a race to bring out flashy, radically new designs and over-the-top, state-of-the-art technology features to outdo the competition. Nevertheless, there remains a huge chunk of enthusiasts whose hearts remain fixated on what came before. A love for classic cars and an enthusiasm for antique vehicles is certainly not something new—it seems to have been handed down generation after generation.
In that vein, if you’re someone whose heart skips a beat every time they see an old photograph of a classic, well-designed coupe and wish you had one in the garage to drive around in sometimes without the bells and whistles of today, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise to know that many classic models are available to purchase on a budget even today, and not all remarkable classics are stored with collectors and affluent celebrities.
Here are the most inexpensive classic coupes you could invest in without making too much of a dent in your wallet.
10 Mazda RX-7 GSL ($7,000)
If you're looking to buy a Mazda RX-7 from between 1979 and 1985, you have certainly chosen well. Powered by a 1.1-liter rotary engine, the first generation of the RX-7 cars churned out 100 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque, and the redline went as far up as 7000 rpm.
Available in good deals for under $8,000, a first-generation RX-7 handles remarkably well, even if you were to consider it by today's standards. This one is a truly underrated classic coupe that you simply can't miss out on if a good deal comes your way.
9 1996 Chevrolet Camaro ($7,000)
For as low as $7m000, you could be taking a 1996 Chevrolet Camaro home. Of course, by today's standards, the car doesn't look half as pretty as those out on the road, but it's a decent car with an engine just as decent and adept at getting the job done. After all, a naturally-aspirated V8, even from the last century, ought to crank out substantial power.
Thus, substantial power is exactly what the 1996 Chevy Camaro churns out, with its engine producing 285 horsepower along with 335 lb-ft of torque. Moreover, it's not just the initial deal that will be easy on the wallet, but the cost of keeping it running too, as, despite the naturally-aspirated V8 under the hood, this Camaro should return a 20 MPG efficiency.
8 1975 Dodge Charger ($8,000)
A naturally-aspirated V8 engine sitting under the hood of a classic like the 1975 Dodge Charger is no laughing matter. Cranking out 150 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque, the 1975 Dodge Charger can cost you just under $8,000 on the used car market today.
Furthermore, it won't hurt to have a cousin to the iconic '75 Charger from the Fast and the Furious franchise in your garage, would it? With a 3-speed automatic transmission, the 1975 Dodge Charger is certainly a classy and beautiful classic coupe you can bring home.
7 Datsun 260Z ($8,000)
Let's face it- despite being here on the list, it's the Datsun 240Z that people tend to look for more. However, it is for that exact reason that the 260Z puts less of a dent in your wallet, and some models on the used car market for the 260Z even go for as low as $8,000.
The 260Z is certainly more powerful, as emission regulations hampered the 240Z's new generation from 1973-74. Thus, when it came time for the new 260Z to hit the production line, the Japanese automakers increased performance in the car through direct fuel injection in its Due to emission regulations, the 240Z wasn't as great as the 1973 version. However, the Japanese manufacturer would bolster performance through direct fuel injection in the 260Z.
6 1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe ($15,000)
The 1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe is certainly one stylish ride. A naturally-aspirated, carburetor-fed V8 powers the '81 Corvette, churning out 190 horsepower along with 280 lb-ft of torque. The engine powers the rear wheels of the coupe and creates a beautiful classic car you could pick up under $15,000.
Despite being a bit of a gas-guzzler, the '81 Chevy Corvette is extremely reliable, and just looking after it as one basically should, would be enough to ensure you keep it running forever. This generation of Corvettes (78-81) are known for their sturdy and reliable transmissions as well, so you can't miss the mark with a Corvette from the 80's.
5 1987 Toyota Supra Mk III ($20,000)
The Mk III lineup of the Toyota Supra were the first Supra cars after Toyota finally cut ties with Celica. While the latter switched to FWD cars, Toyota kept the Supra's engine rear-mounted. Of course, it is the MK IV models of the Supra that are the most sought-after by enthusiasts, but that also helps drive down the price of the preceding Supra models.
The Mk IV models with their superior driving dynamics and now-iconic 2JZ inline-six power units are anything but affordable today. On the other hand, the Mk III models with their own 3.0-liter inline-six engines could cost around $6,000 to $7,000. In fact, even mint-condition units are selling for less than $20,000 on average.
4 1967 Ford Galaxie ($7,500)
The 1967 Ford Galaxie is certainly a looker. Even today, driving down the road in the Galaxie is guaranteed to turn heads in your direction. The Galaxie came with a powerful 7-liter V8 that cranked out 345 horsepower, and buyers were also spoilt for choice in terms of body configurations, as Ford made available a convertible, a 2-door coupe and a 4-door sedan option.
With a top-end of 100mph and 13.3 second to reach the 60 mph mark, the Ford Galaxie isn't going to be a very fast car by today's standards. But a retail tag of less than $15,000 with the looks and road presence you get is certainly a steal.
3 1990-1994 Volkswagen Corrado ($10,000)
The Volkswagen Corrado has the heritage of being the first true sports car that the German automakers made that was up to world standards. It reached American shores in the year 1990, and certainly impressed the market with its reliability and little to no flaws at the time.
Based on the Golf and featuring a Front-Wheel Drive system, the Corrado even boasted of a supercharger that came with its 1.8-liter V4 engine. Retailing for around the $10,000 mark, the Corrado remains a steal today, with decent performance.
2 1962 Ford Thunderbird ($15,000)
A beautiful 2-door coupe, the Ford Thunderbird retails for around $15,000. With a powerful V8 power unit churning out 300 horsepower with 427 lb-ft of torque, the Ford Thunderbird is also available as a convertible. Of course, if you're bringing one home today, it would be best suited for cruising along the shoreline rather than sending it racing through drag lines on the interstate.
Moreover, if this coupe is looking a little familiar, that's because you'd most probably recognize it from 1964 James Bond blockbuster Goldfinger, which certainly adds to the Thunderbird's head-turning attributes.
1 Porsche 944 ($10,000)
It was the seventies when Porsche decided to switch things up from the usual and move from rear-engined cars to front-engined coupes. It began with the Porsche 924 in 1976, continued with the 928 four years later, and then came the Porsche 944 in 1982, which was easily the most sporty-looking of the bunch.
Powering the 944 was a 2.5-liter V4 engine, which churned out 187 horsepower. In fact, it even got the honor of being named the "Best Handling Production Car in America" at the time, which is certainly some high praise. For under $10,000, the 944 remains a steal today if you're looking to add to the vintage value in your garage.