If you’re like me then one of your favorite pass times is chewing up miles on the road to nowhere. What I mean by that is, you love going out for a drive just because you enjoy the actual emotions that driving brings. For some it’s the action of rowing through the gears, for others it’s the feeling of the wind in their hair, and yet for others it’s simply a great departure from the rigors of everyday life. Owning a classic car is luxury that most people think is way out of their reach. Auctions such as Barrett-Jackson and Mecum have skewed the public’s perception that all classic cars are out of reach and that everything that was built before 1980 is worth in the triple digits. Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that that is simply not so, in fact there are loads of hot little sports cars and roadsters that you can pick up in excellent condition right now for the price of a new Ford Fiesta. Sounds crazy right… well it’s not. Below is a list of 10 amazing automobiles that can be had for below 20K. So, with that being said go take a look at the list and clean out your garage, because I have a feeling there may be a new little fun mobile in your future.
• 1969–1976 Porsche 914
A lot of Porsche enthusiasts don’t consider this car to be a real Porsche – I say bullshit. The 914 is a hot little mid-engine sports car that is an absolute hoot to drive. It’s quick, well balanced and with some light performance modifications can be made to run with some much more high dollar machines. You can pick these up starting at around $7,000.
• 1967–1970 Datsun 2000 Roadster
It was lightweight, had 150 hp thanks to its 2.0 L U20 inline-4 mill, and was destined to become a future classic. Good ones can be had for around 15-20k, the key is doing your homework and the 311s.org forum is a great place to start.
• 1959-2000 Mini Cooper Classic
You know them, you love them, but I bet you didn’t think you could afford them. Websites like MiniMania.com can guide you in the right direction. Since these cupcakes were made for almost half a century it’s important to get some guidance before making a purchase. Oh yea… you can get these for under 10k.
• 1968–1976 BMW 2002
What you are looking at is the great grandfather to the BMW 3-Series. The 2002 is an enthusiasts car if there ever was one. Small, sporty, great handling and a blast to drive, the BMW 2002 has a true cult following. They’re deceptively roomy inside, have great handling manners and visibility and are accepted in just about every automotive circle. This one is high on my list!
• 1961–1973 Volvo P1800
The first time I saw this car I was shocked to find out that it was a Volvo. I mean just look at it, the thing is gorgeous and so far out of the boxy realm that Volvo’s styling is known for. These beauties are known to have some rust issues, so make sure to have them checked out thoroughly before you purchase one.
• 1958-1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
Just read this – it’ll fill you in on why I dig these little guys.
• 1969–1976 Triumph TR6
Sure the Lucas electrics in these thing stunk, but that was part of their charm right? The Triumph TR6 is simply a great looking little roadster that will take you 100’s of happy Sunday morning rides. Plus there are Triumph clubs all over the place so finding parts and great mechanics should be no problem whatsoever.
• 1971-1974 Alfa Romeo GTV
The Alfa Romeo GTV is probably one of the best looking classic Italian sport coupes out there. Its little 2-liter inline-4 mill cranked out about 130 hp and with front and rear disc brakes, the little Alfa had performance levels of cars that cost twice as much. Price range from around 15-20k for clean models.
• 1962–1980 MG MGB Roadster
It’s British, small and looked like a million bucks. Here in the United States MG Roadsters are pretty common as their cheap to purchase and to maintain. Like anything British though, check the electronics and make sure you have an honest mechanic handy.
• 1966-1982 Fiat Spider
The Fiat Spider is the Italian version of the car that sits above and because of it, all the same rules apply, except of course for the mechanics name. In fact if it doesn’t end in a vowel I’d suggest running in the other direction.