18 Unreliable Classic Cars That We Can't Help but Love

These cars are pretty much guaranteed to cost a fortune in repairs and maintenance, but we want them anyway.

Aston Martin

Some bad decisions are still worth making. Here are some unreliable classics that we still pine for, despite knowing better.

1 of 18
Porsche 924 Turbo

The 924 was originally supposed to be a Volkswagen, but ended up being sold as a Porsche. The Turbo model was the one to have because it had the guts to back up its good looks. But 1979 was a long time ago, and most Turbos now need constant attention. is up for bidding right now on eBay.

2 of 18
Powered by a 3.2-liter twin-turbo V8, the Shamal made about 326-hp. It could hit 60 from a standstill in 5.3 seconds. And just look at those rear arches. Both elegant and aggressive, they did well to offset the car's pointier nose. While you could argue that the Maseratis of today flounder a bit in image, the Shamal was a Gandini-designed standalone great. 
 Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments!
Maserati Shamal

The Shamal was one of Maserati's most expensive cars in the early '90s, meant to represent the top of the line in the BiTurbo series of vehicles. It had a twin-turbo V-8 with 322 horsepower. The design has aged well, but the Italian mechanicals are a different story.

3 of 18
You won't be protecting a valuable target or shooting down enemy bombers in the Jensen, but it's still an awesome name for a car.
Jensen Interceptor

Sure, it might have an American V-8, but don't forget, the Jensen Interceptor is still a British automobile. It looks and sounds great, but when it comes to longevity, be prepared to take a hit.

4 of 18
Peter Harholdt
De Tomaso Pantera

Like the Jensen, the Pantera used an American engine. The thing is, '70s Italian engineering wasn't much better than British engineering, meaning build qualify wasn't the best on early cars. Still, it's a stunner. has low miles, and you can own it today.

5 of 18
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo GTV6

The Alfa Romeo GTV6 still looks beautiful after all these years, but it's also sneaky. It tries to lull you into thinking it's a sensible hatchback that has a little more space than your typical exotic and could maybe be a little bit practical. The truth is, it's an Italian car from an era when Italian reliability was a punchline. Still, we love the style.

6 of 18
Aston Martin
Aston Martin Lagonda

Most people who see an Aston Martin Lagonda on the street are going to look past it and keep going about their day. But to someone who knows, it's a car worth getting excited about. As much as we'd love to be seen in one, can you imagine trying to get one serviced? Or having to find replacement parts for that crazy futuristic digital dashboard?

7 of 18
<p>We heralded the Citroën SM as the <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/features/a7178/10-revolutionary-geneva-motor-show-debuts-of-the-last-50-years/">star of the 1970 Geneva Motor Show</a>. It paired hydro-pneumatic suspension with self-centering, variable steering and a quad-cam V-6 that was worked on with Maserati. Even though it still looks futuristic, the complex internals created a car that was notoriously unrelable on a good day and a fancy garage sculpture on a bad day.</p>
Wikimedia Commons/Hotlorp
Citroen SM

Neither the French nor the Italians are known for building cars with bulletproof reliability, so clearly the solution was for them to conspire together to build a car. The result was the undeniably wonderful Citroen SM. Yes, certain parts may as well be ticking time bombs, but who cares? The SM is awesome. , and you can own it now.

8 of 18
Road & Track
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS

The Ferrari 308 looks incredible, and it's actually a car a normal enthusiast could conceivably afford. For a little less than the cost of a base Porsche 911, you could have an exotic Ferrari with a gated shifter. But even if nothing broke, we don't want to think about how much maintenance would be. And things are probably going to break. with an asking price of $63,500.

9 of 18
After Honda put the dowdy Ferrari 348 in its place with the brilliant Acura NSX, Ferrari knew it had to up its game for its next mid-engined V8. The result is the F355, a car that still looks fantastic 22 years after its debut.
Ferrari F355

Of course, buying a newer Ferrari doesn't mean it's going to be any cheaper. The F355 is famous for its high routine maintenance costs and fragility. Any engine-out service will run you north of $10,000. for just under $63,000.

10 of 18
©Grand Basel
Jaguar E-Type

Often called the most beautiful car ever made, the E-Type is known for a lot of things—but reliability isn't one of them. The prettiest Series I cars are especially prone to issues. , and the seller's still asking nearly $35,000.

11 of 18
Jaguar XJS

The XJS isn't nearly as desirable as the E-Type, but you do get a lot of bang for your buck. Even the V-12 versions of these cars can be had for not a whole lot of money. For the first few months, you might look cool driving a V-12 Jag, but after that? Something will probably go wrong, it will probably be electrical, and it will almost definitely be a big deal. Thanks for nothing, Lucas. .

12 of 18
John Lamm
Lotus Elan

We're pretty sure anyone who's ever driven a Lotus Elan has loved it. That opinion might not be based on the most scientific of surveys, but you can't pretend it's not a thrilling car to drive. You just have to be fine with plenty of repair time. We say bring it on. for just under $28,000.

13 of 18
Lotus Esprit

The Elan isn't the only Lotus with a reputation for breaking down. In fact, most Lotuses (Loti?) are rather unreliable. The Esprit stands out thanks to its hard-to-work-on mid-engine layout and range of turbocharged engines. , and can be yours for $33,900.

14 of 18
Mike Duff
Lamborghini Miura

It's old. It's Italian. It has a V-12. It's one of the most beautiful cars ever built. Those are all perfectly legitimate reasons to want to own a Lamborghini Miura, and if we had the money, we'd absolutely go for it. We'd just have to make sure we were prepared for gargantuan maintenance costs. for just over $1 million.

15 of 18
Range Rover

Yes, there are plenty of SUVs we could probably buy that would still be cool. Heck, Land Rover will gladly sell you a new Range Rover that's truly excellent. But the original Range Rover is about as cool as an SUV gets, and that's the one we want. The list of things that will probably go wrong is pretty much endless, but who cares? It's a Range Rover. for around $15,000.

16 of 18
Triumph Spitfire

Look at how much fun those people are having. That's the kind of fun we want to have. We want to put the top down on our gorgeous convertible sports car and laugh as we enjoy each and every corner. Maybe the wiring will catch on fire. Still worth it. is up for bidding on eBay right now.

17 of 18
Mazda FB RX-7

The first-gen RX-7 was an immediate hit with enthusiasts everywhere thanks to its fantastic handling attributes and smooth power delivery. But as with any rotary engine, costly apex seal replacements are a common sight. Still, we wouldn't mind having one in our garage. , and it's listed for $13,000.

18 of 18
BMW 850i

How confident would you feel if you knew there were a bunch of 30-year old computers controlling the V-12 engine in your car? That's reality with the first-gen 8-Series. Still, that smooth power delivery and fantastic styling will have people coming back no matter what. with an asking price of just under $17,000.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Vintage