With lots of classic cars nowadays reaching prices higher than the sky, the dream of owning a garage filled with interesting classics might not seem very attainable, but there’s always something you can find, despite your budget. There are plenty of quality odltimers and on the market that won’t send you financially bust, so here’s 10 best classic cars for collectors on a budget that might fulfill your automotive dream.
Austin Mini (1959-1969)
I don’t think it’s possible to dislike a Mini. It’s a car that revolutionized day to day travel while retaining astounding driving joy. A steering rack sharper than in any new car, a playful chassis and iconic design make it a true blessing for any type of driver. And with a long span of production, there’s a huge array of versions to buy, the purest being the first iterations built in the 60s. If you look hard enough, you can still find early Minis for under 10 thousand euros.
Alfa Romeo Giulia (1962-1978)
A universally praised little saloon car, the original Giulia in its many variations to this day has one of the best sportiness to price ratios out there. Big highlights of the Giulia are its 16 valve engines and dynamic steering. Versions like „Super“ can achieve 106 mph and due to their light weight and simplicity, Giulias were often used in racing. A well kept 1975 Giulia can even be found for less than 15 thousand euros.
Chevrolet Nova (1968-1974)
The third generation Chevy Nova is one of few proper muscle cars that are still selling for not that much. With powerplants all the way up to Chevy‘s big block V8, as well as simple and reliable engineering, these were very popular all over the world. The Nova gives you most of what other muscle cars do, but just for a fraction of their price. Nice examples can be found for under 35 thousand euros.
Ford Capri (1969-1974)
The closest thing the British Ford division ever came to a Mustang was the Capri. It is quite smaller than the usual American pony car, but that didn‘t stop it from becoming Britain’s motoring icon. Drivers praise the Essex V6 powered models, like the top of the line 3000E, that produced a melodic sound and had enough power to enjoyably move it along a backroad. A well cared for Capri 3000E can be had for around 25 thousand euros.
Citroën CX (1974-1991)
The 70s and 80s were a golden era for Citroën. After the futuristic DS and SM, Citroën went on to create cars that would define the era and the CX is a perfect example. With it‘s elegant low stance, insanely modern and innovative self leveling suspension and various hot versions, the CX is a perfect budget classic. Well looked after models are easy to find as they were bought by people who most likely were not cross shopping it with other cars. A Prestige turbo version, for instance, boasts great overall performance, notorious comfort and standout design language, all for the price of around 8 thousand euros.
Toyota MR2 (1984-1989)
The mid-engined MR2 was Toyota‘s rival to various American and European contemporaries, like the Pontiac Fiero and Alfa Romeo Spider. The sharp edged first gen MR2 was quite a head turner, had a well designed interior, great reliability and driving feel, as well as wonderful twin cam engines which could be had in supercharged form. The AW11 generation MR2s can still be had for near pennies, but probably not for long. A pristine example will set you back around 10 thousand euros.
Volkswagen Golf GTI (1976-1983)
Being the original all round hot hatch, the Golf GTI with its feisty 1.6 litre 108 hp motor is something every car enthusiast should experience to realize you don‘t need power to have fun. And with its lightweight architecture and improved suspension, compared to a regular Golf, a tight road becomes the GTI‘s natural habitat, where it will also keep up with cars of a much higher rank. Well kept examples can be found for around 15 thousand euros.
Porsche 928 (1977-1995)
The 928 was supposed to replace the 911 and become the flagship Porsche, but we all know how that turned out. Yet in many ways, the 928 is superior to a 911. In 1986 it set the record for the fastest naturally aspirated car in the world, reaching 171 mph. It had a modern 4 valve per cylinder V8 engine, great GT car characteristics and even rear wheel steering. Late examples are the most desirable, but early ones are worth a look too. Great examples from the early 80s can set you back as little as 15 thousand euros.
E30 325i (1985-1993)
Yes, it is the obvious, albeit slightly boring choice, but an E30, especially an M20 powered six cylinder variant, is hard to beat in terms of value, performance and drivability. Renowned dynamics and usability make it a perfect all round classic car that can be used and abused at any given moment. The 325i, especially in “is” guise, is the closest thing you can get to a 6 cylinder E30 M3. These will most likely be worth an unbelievable amount of money in the future as there are not many great examples left, so buying this classic BMW now and enjoying it is a great prospect that will probably bring great resale in the upcoming years. A nicely kept 325i E30 can still be found for around 15 thousand euros.
Tatra T603 (1956-1962)
If there‘s any vehicle that properly stands out from the regular crowd, it‘s a Tatra. Rear engined with a throaty sounding air cooled V8, rear wheel drive and with 3 headlights is definitely very unusual and that‘s something worth cherishing in the car world these days. The T603‘s uniqueness and a relatively high production volume of 20 thousand make it a worthwhile addition to any car collection. While the earlier 3 headlight versions are more expensive, a later 4 headlight car in good condition can be found for around 35 grand.