Classic Car Watch
Under $10K in Texas

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.

April 1, 2013
By Scott Lewis

I was stuck... and I was curious what I could get on a tight budget. So I decided to enter the following into AutoTrader Classics:

Year: 1960-1987
Distance: 250 miles from 78135
Price: $5,000-$10,000

Nothing else... I just wanted to see what would come up. What came up was a bunch of cars I would not even consider looking at, but we do have the few cars below. They are a stretch, even for me.

Because there was so little out there I decided to include a couple of other cars. One is a 93 Camaro I have listed before. It is still for sale. I was seriously considering making an offer on the car. But best laid plans and all... the A/C in my 2004 Mini Cooper S went out and the repair bill left me with too little money to make an offer. Hey, the car has been for sale for over a year, I believe. So maybe next year it will still be available.

Finally, I found a car on AutoTrader (not the classic, but the regular used car site). It was a 93 Corvette in Austin for $8,000 with reasonable mileage. Again, I was about to make an offer when the A/C in my car prevented that.

So... I will continue saving. In the mean time, lets see what less than $10K will get you in Texas (except the 93 Camaro. It's in California).

1972 Volkswagen Beetle - $9,500 --> $8,900

Description: For sale by owner '72 Super Beetle. This vehicle is in very good condition. Street legal, up to date Texas State Inspection. This was our cruising car, never used for commuting. Always kept in a garage. This car must be seen to be believed. Looks and runs great, well maintained. Fun to drive and a real looker.

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Found: 3/12/2013

Comments: I am on the fence as to whether I could really get a Beetle or not. This one looked good enough to get me to take a closer look, if I still had enough cash to work with. The images are a nice high resolution and the car looks good. This would definitely be worth looking at. And... the price went down since I initially saw it a few weeks ago. They were asking $8,900 just as I went to press.

1974 Volkswagen Beetle - $7,280

Description: 79,876 miles - all stock/original Original 1600dp (96HP engine ) Automatic - 3 speed transmission New Carburetor New tires New brake shoes and cylinders Marina blue Kept in garage Great gas mileage Excellent condition! *1974 was the last year the Super Beetle was built $7,280.

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Found: 3/12/2013

Comments: I don't know if an automatic Beetle is worth it. But this one is located right in San Antonio, so it surely is worth a look and a test drive. Really, these are just cars for occasional use, so maybe the automatic won't be so bad.

 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC - $6,450

Description: Beautiful Mercedes Classic - 1979 450SLC, silver on blue. 3rd owner's last dream car before retiring from driving. Always garaged and well maintained. Less than 80,000 actual miles (replaced speedo /odo) means there's lots of life left in this car. Only 6,000 miles on the tires. Less than 4,000 miles on brake pads, all 4 shocks and both rear springs, Recent service includes a steering box rebuild, A/C compressor and clutch replacement, new battery. Smooth running and reliable, this is a nice driver!

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Found: 3/12/2013

Comments: Follow me on this one. I am a fan of the early 70's to late 80's SL cars. This is essentially a coupe version of those cars. So you don't get to drop the top. It might be worth a test drive to see if this cars provide a good enough driving experience to forget the sun shining in my eyes.

1982 Mazda RX-7 - $9,995

Description: This 25,280 original mile 1982 RX7 is so exceptionally clean that it looks like it's been transported directly from the Mazda showroom to the present and hasn't aged a bit in decades. This one's gold paint shimmers with an even glow and anyone who grew up in the '80s will instantly recognize this color. There's no sign of rust or accident damage anywhere on this incredible survivor, which is highlighted by a black pinstripe that matches the black rubber rub strips. Fit and finish is remarkably good, and just in case you've forgotten how Japan made their mark in the US, you need look no further than how well the doors and hood fit, how flush the headlights are, and how snugly it seals up, even thirty years later. This one includes power windows, A/C, a rear defroster, and that massive sunroof that's totally removable and stows in the trunk.This RX7 has always been cherished, and its extensive documentation includes the original owner's manual and warranty booklet.

Source: Streetside Classics

Found: 3/12/2013

Comments: I used to love these little cars. As we all know, the RX-7 grew biger and bolder until it was way too expensive, like the Toyota Supra and Nissan 300ZX. Especially when all those cars went to turbocharging. This car was teh second coming. The first being the original Datsun 240Z of the early 70's. This car was like that original Z: small, nimble, with enough power to be a lot of fun. But this one has just enough modern conveniences for the times.

I really like this car. I don't know if it will increase much in value, but I would sure like to add it to my collection.

 1980 Chevrolet Camaro - $7,900

Description: This 1980 Z28 Camaro is a great looking and great running muscle car. It has been well maintained and garaged for at least the last 7 years. It was modified by a previous owner with Edelbrock components including carburator and air filter and valves and valve covers. It has a B&M Star Shifter and a tall rear end. The exterior dark blue paint and body are in good condition. The odometer shows 12,850 miles, probably the second time around. The car is in good shape to use as is, or it could be a project for further upgrades.

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Found: 4/1/2013

Comments: This one was late to the party. I saw it when I re-ran my search, just to see if I missed something. There was much here after all. I do really like these era Camaros. These were popular when I was in high school. This one looks "eh." But maybe that is enough. I want to see it in person. I my A/C had not just gone out I would at least take a look.

1993 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 - $8,995 --> $6,995

Description: 5.7L V8, 4 speed automatic with overdrive, 92,320 Actual Miles, factory A/C, power steering, power brakes, power locks, power windows, power driver seat, tilt wheel, cruise control, rear window defroster, remote side mirrors, Bose A/FM with single CD, alarm. New paint – purchased new at Crest Chevrolet, San Bernardino, CA – Very Well Maintained!

Source: Play Toys

Found: 3/12/2013

Comments: I wrote about this car in my January 2012 column. It is still for sale, at $2,000 less than last year. When I was disappointed at how few vehicles I found that piqued my interest above, I check to see if this car was still available.

I was seriously considering making a $5,000 cash offer on this car (until my A/C went out). The worst they can do is say no. The only thing I am concerned about is the new paint. Why? I have been looking at these on a regular bases since I saw this car. I am going to get a 93-96 Camaro Z28 in red someday. I just don't know when.

1993 Chevrolet Corvette Targa - $8,000

Description: Looks & drives great, Never seen snow, New tires, No accidents, Very clean interior, Well maintained. 95,640 miles, CD Player, Cruise Control, Leather Seats, Power Mirrors, Sunroof, Tilt/Telescope Steering Wheel.

Source: AutoTrader

Found: 3/12/2013

Comments: So after finding the red 93 Camaro above I stumbled on this red 93 Corvette... right in Austin. I like it a lot. I didn't think I could go for a C4 (4th generation) Corvette. But I find this car compelling for a toy. I was very tempted to call the guy and ask to see the car, then offer $6,000... which I would bring with me in cash. Money talks... well, you know the rest. Unfortunately I know long have $6000 laying around. I'll just have to keep saving.