Classic Car Watch
Ultra Low Budget Classics

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

June 2, 2012
By Scott Lewis

A couple of months ago I told you I was actively looking for a classic car. Well, as the saying goes... best laid plans! I lost the extra income I was counting on to buy a classic. When this goes to press I should have $6,000 saved. I am hoping to get paid for the time I spent on the side project, but I don't know yet.

With that... I decided to see what I could get for $6,000. I went as high as $7,000 in my search. I also included some eBay cars. I will try to go back and fill in the selling price (or highest bid) for the eBay cars. I put them here because I would not have bid over $6,000 for them.

Keep in mind that when your budget goes down, you have to think further out of the box... or in the case of classic cars... further from mainstream cars.

Next month I may know more about my finances... and how much of the $6,000 can really be put toward a classic. I might have to give this up for another year or so. I'll keep you posted.

In the mean time... take a look at some really low priced cars.

1968 Ford Mustang - eBay High Bid - $8,534.01

Description: Don't miss the opportunity to own a incredible, restored true survivor mustang. I purchased this mustang 2 years ago from a elderly lady that had it stored in her garage after the death of her husband in 1983. They were the original owners of the car . It was purchased new at Charlie Hillard ford in fort worth Texas and has been in the fort worth Texas area all its life. It is a original car that has been freshened up due to its age. A 289 c code car with a c4 automatic transmission. The engine runs great and the transmission shifts flawlessly. Optioned with the sprint b package, power steering and factory in dash air conditioning ( updated with all new old air components retaining the in dash system, blows cold !) The car has had one re-spray and is in need of new paint to be show quality. Also has a dent in the right rear quarter panel as shown. The floors are original and rust free. The frame rails, torque boxes and rocker panels and sheet metal is also rust free. Runs and drives probably better that when it was new (due to the many items that have been replaced or updated). The odometer reads 40577 and I feel like this mileage is probably actual.

Source: eBay Motors

Found: 5/7/2012

Comments: Here is another eBay car. I really like this car. Yes... there is a huge gouge in the right-rear quarter panel, and the paint does not look that great. But the interior is clean. If this really is a 40K original mile car I want it. I could see driving this car as-is until I could afford a paint job. In the mean time I could upgrade the brakes to 4 wheel discs, and modify the suspension for better handling. This is an example of a car you can have fun with on a tight budget. Assuming it can be had for a bargain price. I think the high bid of $8,500+ was fair considering this car will need a paint job. I think it should have sold.

1987 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo - eBay Winning Bid $5,900

Description: This is one of the finest examples of a Shelby Charger you will find in North America, of any model year (I was looking for a long time before I bought this one). This car runs perfectly with no issues. The paint was redone a few years ago in the stock glossy black and metallic silver. The pinstripes are painted on, as the decals are no longer available. The rest of the decals are reproduction. I bought this car 3 years ago from another fanatical owner who did a lot of the restoration work.

Source: eBay Motors

Found: 5/8/2012

Comments: This is about as far outside the box as I could get. I remember these cars when they came out. Just keep this in mind... it is a real Shelby, and can be registered with the Shelby people. Plus how often do you see these? I'll answer that for you... never! I would have easily gone to $6,000 for this car... and that would have been enough to win it since it sold for $5,900.

1972 Volkswagen Beetle - $6,000

Description: I'm selling my 72 VW Beetle. I've owned the car since I was 18 purchased it from original owner while stationed in Washington state. The engine is great starts right up been garaged keep and had a 2 tone paint job done on it. There no rust floor boards are in good shape. Looking to sell cause I never drive it and would rather have somebody that would use and take care of it. Interior is in decent shape for its age. I have all original docs, keys, owners manual etc. I'm asking $6000 but am willing to negotiate with serious buyers.

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Found: 5/7/2012

Comments: This car is located right here in San Antonio, it is right in line with my budget, and it looks pretty good. Clearly we need to see more. That is easy, since it is in the same city as I am. I should call, but I won't have the cash until June (I am writing this in early May).

1965 Chevrolet Corvair Convertible - $6,995

Description: Up for sale is this really Clean 1965 Chevy Corvair Convertible that was repainted over 16 years ago and still looks like it was done yesterday with an exception of a spot in the lower front fender. The Marina blue paint is laid out beautifully over a laser straight body. The chrome and stainless is also in great shape with a brilliant shine. This triple blue car is in very nice original shape throughout with only 61,540 miles showing on the odometer. The interior is completely original and in nice condition with an exception of some tears in the front original seat covers. The previous owner has enjoyed and shown this great looking classic Corvair for the last 16 years and now it’s your turn!

Source: Coyote Classics

Found: 5/5/2012

Comments: Yes... this is a little over my $6,000 budget. But a cash offer might take it. This car is a bit ruff. The interior needs some work. However, my biggest concern is that this car is in Iowa. Talk about the rust belt. Corvairs are not know for surviving the rust belt. I would much prefer to find a car raised in Texas or Arizona. But this car came up and the price is close enough to think about.

1965 Ford Falcon - eBay - Winning Bid $6,433.33

Description: If you're looking for a beautiful head-turner, this Ford Falcon is the car for you. The previous owner put over $20,000 into this vehicle, upgrading and restoring, taking it down to the bare metal and redoing it. Unfortunately his age and health forced him to give it up. But now you can pick up where he left off. The interior looks like it is original, and in awesome shape. The rebuilt engine only has about 600 miles on it. Smoke-free vehicle.

Source: eBay Motors

Found: 5/7/2012

Comments: I usually don't list eBay cars here. But now that I am getting serious about possibly buying a classic, I need to start tracking eBay prices. This car was listed with no reserve. I don't like it much. That white stripe and those wheels and tires make a horrible look. But I could see paying a few hundred dollars to have a second shade of blue painted where the white is. Then putting a contrasting pinstripe between them. Next up would be a set of vintage Ford wheels from a Mustang. This car has some potential... and it should be a lot less than a comparable Mustang. It is also located in Texas, so I could have gone to see it before bidding.

1966 Ford Mustang Coupe - $6,500

Description: In running condition, good project car, interior in good condition. 6 cylinder, manual transmission.

Source: Mustang Classifieds

Found: 5/5/2012

Comments: There is not much info here... and it does not sound promising from the short description. But a Texas based Mustang for only $500 over my budget... I should take a look.

1966 Ford Mustang - $6,950

Description: 302-2V, 3 Speed Manual, Runs Good, Solid Body, Good Original Interior, Factory Spinner Hubcaps, Rebuilt Brake System, Rebuilt Carburetor.

Source: Auto Trends

Found: 5/7/2012

Comments: Only one picture. Not a good sign. But again... we have a Texas base Mustang that I might be able to get with a $6K offer. This car should require a better look.

1978 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan - $3,000

Description: This car has always been garaged, and has been started at least once a week. The body is in great shape as well as the interior. There are some minor items that need attention. This car has low mileage (71K), and engine is in great shape. You must see this car to appreciate it. This is a one owner car, which was a non-smoker.

Source: AutoTrader Classic

Found: 5/7/2012

Comments: This is a V6, automatic car. Yes... it is a four door. I have covered those before. With a car like this you are trying to see potential. Every now and then you will see one of the hot rod style car magazines show artist renderings of off beat cars. I could see them doing that to this. Could I come up with that imagination myself. Is it worth it?

1974 Pontiac Grad Prix - $6,500

Description: Always garaged, Looks & runs great, Low mileage, One owner, Runs & drives great. 94,000 miles, V-8.

Source: AutoTrader Classic

Found: 5/7/2012

Comments: I learned to drive on a 76 Grand Prix. I would prefer a 72 with the smaller bumpers. This ad had the worst pictures I have ever seen. The car is in Texas, so I could easily take a Saturday to go see it. I might car. I would only look at this car if it had a 400 engine.