My Car Quest

August 21, 2017

Seven Affordable Classic Cars – Part 2

by Mike –

Seven Affordable Classic Cars – Part 1 is here.

4. Porsche 911 – Type 993 and earlier models

The Porsche 911 Type 993 was a new design more than just an evolution from previous 911 designs. It, like other Porsches, is a car for the driver.

Porsche 911

1996 Porsche 911 Carerra

The Type 993 is the last of the air cooled engine Porsche 911s. This 1996 Carrera has a 3.6 liter engine and a manual 6-speed transaxle producing 282 hp. It will accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.3 seconds.

I bought this Porsche 911 new in 1996. There were 11 miles on the odometer when I picked it up in Palo Alto, California.

This is a classic car that still gets attention from people on the street even though there were more than 50,000 made, of all versions. Good examples can be bought for $30,000 to $50,000.

The 1970 911 below was Steve McQueen’s car that he drove in the movie Le Mans. It sold at auction recently for about $1.3 million. However, if this was not a McQueen car it would have sold for about $75,000.

Porsche 911

1970 Porsche 911S

5. Alfa Romeo Spider

I owned a red 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider from 1984 to 1989. It was great fun to drive and had a good exhaust note. There were some reliability issues that worked themselves out after a couple of years.

The Spider from this era had a 2 liter 4-cylinder engine with a manual 5-speed transmission. These cars are not fast but just fun to drive on a sunny day and a curvy road.

Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

A 1984 model like the one I drove can be bought for under $20,000 depending on condition.

6. Austin-Healey 3000

The Austin-Healy 3000 evolved from the Austin-Healey 100 and was introduced in 1959. It has a 2.9 liter inline 6-cylinder engine with a manual transmission and optional overdrive.

All were roadsters and an optional removable hardtop was also available.

Austin Healey

Austin Healey 100

The Austin-Healey 3000 was in between the MG and the Jaguar in terms of performance and price. They had a successful race history and are still sought after today by car enthusiasts.

There were approximately 43,000 produced between 1959 and 1967. There are several on the market at any time because of the large production numbers.

Austin-Healey 3000

Austin-Healey 3000

A good driver quality example of the Austin-Healey 3000 can be found for $30,000 to $75,000 with show car quality examples going for more than $100,000.

It is surprising that I have never owned an Austin-Healey because when I was a kid my friend’s older brother owned one and he gave me a ride one day that stimulated my interest in European sports cars.

7. Iso Rivolta GT

In 1962 Iso Rivolta, led by Renzo Rivolta, made their first GT car – and what a car it was, and still is! The Iso Rivolta GT.

Iso Rivolta GT

Iso Rivolta GT

With chassis design by Giotto Bizzarrini and styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone, Iso made a comfortable four seater that handled like a sports car. It is powered by a Chevrolet Corvette 327 cid engine that puts out either 300 hp or 365 hp.

The transmission is a manual Borg Warner 4 speed, the differential is a Salisbury and there were disk brakes on all 4 wheels with the rear being in-board, like the Bizzarrini GT 5300 and Iso Grifo.

Iso Rivolta GT

Iso Rivolta GT

There were approximately 800 of Iso Rivolta GTs produced from 1963 to 1970. The Iso Rivolta GT ranges in price from the low $25,000 for a car that needs a total restoration to $60,000 plus for one in show quality condition.

I recommend buying the best condition car that you can find – a restoration of this car, like the Lamborghini Espada, can quickly add up to more that the car is worth. I recently sold my 1965 Iso Rivolta GT which has been featured in My Car Quest a few times.

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I do not expect that any of these cars will appreciate very much over time. However, they are fun cars, for a reasonable price, and they will get attention on the road or at a local car show. If they are cared for properly they likely will not depreciate much, if at all.

Porsche 911

Alfa Romeo

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