When someone mentions a classic car, you probably think of something that was highly desirable in its day and over time appreciated in value. Something that’s in pristine condition, costs a lot of money to buy, and is probably brought out to the roads only when it’s 24 degrees and the sky is completely blue. Great examples are cars like the Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 275 GTB, Mercedes Benz 300 SL, or an all-original 1966 Shelby Cobra. At a recent Gooding & Company auction, a 1957 Mercedes Benz 300 SL roadster was sold for $654,500!
With such price tags it’s easy to come to the conclusion that classic cars are only for rich people, but that’s not necessarily true. Of course if you go for something that has always been highly desirable, you’ll have to pay a lot of money. But what if you went for the car that was produced in large numbers? By this I mean cars that were inconspicuous “everyday cars” of years gone by.
The great thing about cars that were inconspicuous in the ‘70s and ‘80s is that they are now a rare sight, which makes them cool. Think about it, how often do you see a car from this era? Unless you own one or know someone who does, probably not that often. And the great thing about these cars is that you don’t have to pay a lot of money to own one. Also, most of them can be worked on by any qualified mechanic thanks to the absence of complex electronics and cheap parts (most of them, at least).
Consider this a follow up to a previous story I wrote on the Mk1 VW Golf GTI, only this time with more cars and quick facts. Included are also some great performance cars from the same era, but – thanks to mass production and other factors – haven’t commanded the price tags of the highly desirable collector items. With that said, this post is divided in two parts: the everyday classics and the affordable performance classics.
(Prices below are based solely on single examples found online, and photos aren’t the actual cars on sale)
The everyday classics
The affordable performance classics
Written and compiled by Alex Kisiri