19 Cool Classic Cars That Are Perfect for a Collector on a Budget

These classics deliver collector credibility without breaking the bank.


Just because you don't have six figures to spend doesn't mean you can't afford a cool classic car. With a little searching, these are the best vintage cars you can regularly find for $20,000 or less, according to you.

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Road & Track
Toyota Supra

The last-gen Toyota Supra may be an unobtainable collector's item, but the earlier versions are still well within reach. No, you won't get the same performance (or Fast & Furious crowd attention), but they're still lovely cars. is listed on eBay right now for under $10,000.

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Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo GTV-6

The GTV-6 had big shoes to fill following the lovely Alfetta and before that, the wonderful GTV. Equipped with that magnificent-sounding V6 and a rear-mounted transaxle, it was a joy to drive.

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Honda CR-X

The original CR-X of the 1980s was light, simple, fun, and affordable. It remains that way to this day—if you can find an unmolested example, that is. They're few and far in between, but worth the effort. is up for sale for just $3150.

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Volkswagen Beetle

You really can't go wrong with a Beetle. It has a huge fan base, tons of support for parts and DIY maintenance, and looks great. And because VW sold so many, prices remain low. is on eBay Motors right now for under $13,000.

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Toyota MR2

The original MR2 is now over 30 years old, and makes for one fun piece of machinery. Some say the first-gen cars were a bit twitchy through corners, but treat it with respect (as you should with all classics), and you'll have plenty of fun behind the wheel. had its engine replaced, and can be yours.

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BMW 3-Series

Older BMW 3-Series models, especially E30-generation cars, have become hot items in the collector car world. M3 models have grown beyond reach for most people, but normal models like the 325i and 318i can still be found for cheap. listed for $15,000.

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Keno Brothers
Datsun Z

The Datsun Z family of cars is considered one of the prettiest Japanese vehicles ever built. A sleek two-door shape with a long nose and short overhangs compliments a fantastic rear-wheel drive layout and wonderful chassis, paired to a straight-six engine. Prices are going up, but there are still deals to be found if you act fast—and don't mind a little tinkering. is currently on eBay Motors right now.

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Goodwood Road & RacingYouTube
Volkswagen GTI

The GTI has been around since the 1980s, and the earliest models remain the coolest. Lightweight, simple, and agile, the Mk1 and Mk2 GTIs both feature boxy looks and signature round headlights that any enthusiast will love.

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Bob Hall/Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Miata

We know it's hard to believe, but the first Miata is already nearly 30 years old. It first debuted in 1989 as a 1990 model year car, making it a certified classic. It's still one of the best cars you can buy, and since Mazda made so many, prices tend to stay low. , and it's listed for sale for under $10,000.

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Chevrolet El Camino

We were supposed to see an El Camino revival with the Pontiac G8 ST, but thanks to the economic meltdown, that didn't happen. Still, a classic El Camino is always going to be cool, and you can easily find them for decent prices. on eBay right now.

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Datsun 510

It may have borrowed a bit from some of the European sedans at the time, but the Datsun 510 is more than a knockoff BMW. It's a fun little car in its own right. And thanks to Datsun's big-time involvement in racing at the time, this car has a ton of motorsports history.

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Fiat 124 Spider

Yeah, you can buy a new 124 Spider, but spending your money on a classic is more of an adventure. Besides, the old 124s have far more style and class than the newer versions. An added bonus: You''ll have something to work on every Saturday for the rest of your life. listed for sale right now.

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Ford F-100

Everybody loves a classic truck on the road, even if you're not a "truck person." If you can find an old Ford F-100 that you can pick up (pun intended), you absolutely should. Just look at those fenders. listed for just under $20,000.

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Jeep Jeepster

CJs are always great, but if you're going to buy a classic Jeep, why not get something a little different? Skip the go-to CJ and get yourself a two-tone Jeepster to standout from the crowd. , with eight days remaining.

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Mercedes-Benz W115

There's an inherent coolness that comes with driving an old Mercedes, but if you don't want to look like you bought one because it was cheap, you have to reach back a little further than the W124. That's where something like a 220D comes in. Such a classic look.

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The BMW Clown Shoe is a collector's dream, but those cars have gotten incredibly pricey lately. For a shooting brake on a budget, look to the MGB GT instead. We wouldn't blame you for picking the drop-top version of the MGB, but the GT is the one for us. .

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Plymouth Valiant

The first-generation Valiant had a design only a mother could love, but by the mid-1960s, it was updated and looking pretty good. It was sold in several different body styles, including a convertible, and the engines are famous for lasting forever. On a budget, you can't go wrong here. is in running, driving condition, and it can be yours for under $5000.

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Pontiac Firebird

You can spend a lot of money on one of these if you really want to, but late-1970s Firebirds can also be pretty good deals if you keep an eye out for them. And even if it's not black, you'll still be able to live out your Smokey and the Bandit fantasies. Just make sure you have some Jerry Reed 8-tracks ready to go. right now.

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Volvo 122

Volvo has quite a few lustworthy classics out there, but if you're trying to keep it affordable, you'll have a hard time finding a better deal than a Volvo 122. It's not quite a P1800, but you still get plenty of style. And if you're concerned about safety, the 122 was the first car to offer a three-point seatbelt as standard back in 1959. , and seems to be in great shape.

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