Follow by Email

Monday, September 1, 2014

10 (Potentially) Future Classic Cars Now Selling for Under $20K


Posted By  


Source: Thinkstock

With classic cars going at auction for millions of dollars on a fairly regular basis, part of the fun for auto collectors is trying to determine which vehicles available in great numbers now will be worth large quantities of money later.

 It’s not as easy as one might think: Cars that are deemed a good investment, which will appreciate in time, are highly sought after as a result. Finding vehicles that are currently available for less money than they were new — say, under $20,000 — and will appreciate over time is especially difficult, but readers of Jalopnik took up the challenge.

These cars are priced at the whim of their current owners, and Jalopnik used to find examples. As of this writing, these cars may or may not have been sold, but for many, it’s only a matter of playing the waiting game until the right vehicle comes along at a reasonable price.
The site asked its readers about the cars they believed would appreciate over time, provided that they were available for less than $20,000 now. Jalopnik then chose the most popular answers. Notably, the pictures displayed may not match the exact vehicle discussed, but we tried our best. Here are the top 10.

Ross Land/Getty Images

10. Dodge Viper

A brand spankin’ new SRT Viper will retail for about $100,000, even before options. But travel back a ways to the generation that started it all and examples of Dodge’s V10-powered Corvette fighter can be swung for under $20,000.

It has no windows, no roof, the engine from a truck, an exhaust that burns your leg, and Power Wheels build quality. It’s absolutely perfect,” Jalopnik pines, acknowledging that the Viper fell a little outside of the pricing threshold — as of the time of writing, bids were asking a hair over $22,000.


9. Toyota FJ40

Off-roading vehicles are built to be used and abused, but that hasn’t stopped Toyota’s beloved and legendary line of dedicated trail blazers from making significant gains in value. Jalopnik notes that low-mileage examples of the cars are breaking into six figures, but the 1980 model year example cited by the publication was going for a mere $14,500 before a “best offer” was accepted.

Source: Alfa Romeo

8. Alfa Romeo Series 1

“It’s a fuel-injected, turbocharged, quirky, Italian roadster from the right end of the ’60s. ‘Nuff Said,” Jalopnik writes. Admittedly, it’s hard to argue with that sentiment. Perhaps best of all, the example cited was going for a meager $4,650 at the time of this writing. It needs some work, but for the auto-savvy, project cars don’t get much better than this.

Source: Honda

7. Acura Integra Type R

The Acura Integra R’s “low production numbers, loud colors, and stellar naturally aspirated performance make it quite the catch, if you can catch a tastefully molested example in your local neighborhood (spoiler alert: You can’t),” Jalopnik says, accurately describing the popularity that the Intrgra R had among DIY tuners. Though it was front wheel drive, the 195-horsepower Integra behaved like a Supra lite, making it a favorite for more budget-conscious Japanese sports car enthusiasts.

Source: Chevrolet via Facebook

6. Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR1

With 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be among the most powerful production ‘Vettes ever. But the ZR1 is where the upper echelons of Corvette lore began. “It’s a rare Corvette designed in the early 80s, with a very un-American dual overhead cam V8, with 32 valves, designed by Lotus,” Jalopnik said. “It had nearly twice the power output as the regular C4 Vette, and it was almost twice as much as the base model when new.” A Jalopnik reader found one for about $17,000.

Source: Pontiac via Facebook

5. Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

Corvette not really your thing? Not brash enough? Well, Pontiac has you covered — or did, rather — with the Trans Am Turbo. A 20th anniversary edition Trans AM GTA Turbo sold on eBay for just over $12,000, and its value is expected to increase with time, as only 1,555 of the 301-horsepower, 3.8-liter turbocharged-six powered cars were produced.

Source: Ford

4. Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

Arguably, the Ford Mustang Cobra of the early 2000s was the car that the Mustang should have been all along. It had independent rear suspension (long a sore spot in the Mustang’s engineering history) and a dual overhead cam V8 (an upgrade over the V8 found in the more standard Mustang GTs). A 2003 example of the Mustang Cobra sold at just over $12,100, and given its more limited production numbers, it’s likely to increase from there.

Source: Audi

3. Audi RS6

Sadly, there’s no RS6 sedan currently available in the North American market, but there is a float of older models that can be bought for a steal. The Audi RS6 is among the most underrated sleeper cars on the road, with little indication on the outside that it was packing a nuclear missile beneath the hood. A 2003 example of the RS6 was going for about $14,500 at the time of writing, with less than 80,000 miles on the clock.

Source: Chrysler Group

2. Dodge Stealth R/T and TT; Mitsubishi 3000 VR4

These cars are perhaps some of the best performance bargains available, Jalopnik says, citing an example of a Stealth twin-turbo going for under $10,000 that offers 320 horsepower on tap. “You get 320 horsepower, 6 speeds, all wheel drive, and all the smiles that Mitsubishi allowed you to have in a car in the 90s,” it says. The story is the same with the Mitsubishi — the cars were essentially the same, divided by badge alone.

Source: Buick


1. Buick Grand National

Muscle cars were long built on the idea of huge-displacement, supercharged V8s, but the Buick Grand National challenged that paradigm with a turbocharged six similar to that found in the Pontiac. The 1987 model highlighted by Jalopnik sold for just $14,000, with an odometer reading at just 46,563 miles.