Classic Car Watch
Affordable Oddball Cars for an Eclectic Collection

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.

March 1, 2017
By Scott Lewis

I have a friend that says you can get into the car collecting world for ANY budget. That's a bit strong. I do NOT want to buy a car of any kind for $1,500. It will cost far more than it is worth to get presentable and enjoyable.

But it is true that you can get into the world of collecting cars at an affordable price. In this article I want to show you some examples of cars that are very affordable. I am setting a budget of $10,000. Normally I rarely look at cars below $6,000, but we might have a surprise or two for you.

I did break the budget on two cars. Why? Quite simply because the one car intrigued me at a cost of $15K, but has a Shelby Pedigree. And another was just a tick over budget.

To make this even more difficult, there are no mainstream cars here. I did not go hunting down an acceptable 65 Mustang for $7,500. Though I did find a super low mileage "unusual" Mustang that many people would look right past. I wanted to cover the odd-ball cars. If you have read this column before you know that my favorite odd-ball car is the Chevrolet Corvair. You know, the car Ralph Nader said was unsafe and any speed.

Let get on with it... here are cars that only the mother of the guy that designed them could love. But because of the price, there is no reason you could not own and drive one of these and find a nice parking spot at your local Cars & Coffee.

1961 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 - $7,900 --> $6,900 --> Sold for $6,500

Description: This Corvair Coupe has an upgraded 2.7L air-cooled, aluminum flat six engine that produces 110 horsepower paired to an Automatic Transmission. The Monza 900 (Model 927 2-Door Club Coupe) was the sportiest of all the four original Corvair models. In 1961 it carried a $2,201 factory price. We're offering this Classic 1961 ''First Generation'' Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 2 Door Coupe adorned in FAWN BEIGE over FAWN BEIGE VINYL with only 91,182 miles and comes with the following factory installed Extra Charge options RADIO, BACK-UP LAMPS, WINDSHIELD WIPERS & WASHERS, FRONT SEATBELTS, OUTSIDE BODY MOUNT MIRROR, CIGARETTE LIGHTER, RIGHT HAND SUN SHADE, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION.

Source: Rayco Eurospec Motorcars

Found: 12/13/2016

Comments: This is the car that inspired this article. I watched this car until it was sold. When I found it it was listed for $7,900. Then I saw it drop to $6,900. I was stunned. I normally prefer the 65 or later Corvair. This car was so nicely detailed. In fact, the engine compartment is better detailed than most cars three times the price. This is an excellent way to spend minimal money to get into the car collecting world. I was looking at this car wondering if my income tax refund and my company bonus could have paid for it. Unfortunately it sold for $6,500 before I could try.

1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 Convertible - $9,900

Description: We're offering this Classic 1964 ''First Generation'' Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 2 Door Convertible adorned in SADDLE TAN METALLIC W/WHITE SOFT-TOP over WHITE VINYL with only 75,677 miles and comes with the following factory installed Extra Charge options BUMPER GUARDS, BACK-UP LAMPS, FRONT & REAR SEATBELTS, OUTSIDE BODY MOUNT MIRRORS. Plus a PIONEER CD PLAYER. Comes comprehensively serviced and detailed by our highly regarded Bosch Authorized Service Facility. Trades Welcome. -- INSTALLED FEATURES: Blinkers, Full Vinyl Interior, Heater, Locking Glove Box, 4-Speed Manual Transmission, Rear Wheel Drive, 2.7L Flat 6 Air Cooled 110 Horsepower, Manual Soft-Top W/Boot Cover, Electric Wipers, Chrome Bumper Guards, Back-Up Lamps, Front & Rear Seatbelts, Outside Body Mount Mirrors.

Source: Rayco Eurospec Motorcars

Found: 2/14/2017

Comments: Same dealer as above, with another Corvair. This time a convertible, but still under 10 grand. This one was still for sale as I assembled this article.

1978 Mercury Cougar XR7 - $6,900

Description: Powered by a 351 ci V8 engine and 3-speed automatic transmission, this 2-door hardtop is in good condition! The interior features cloth split bench seating, air conditioning, and an AM/FM radio with cassette player, and the power brakes and steering make for an easy ride. 110,316 on the odometer.

Source: Unique Specialty & Classics

Found: 2/14/2017

Comments: OK, this is probably not serious for me. But this was the absolute pique of the late seventies cars before they started downsizing. And I kind of do like the look a bit. It would be better if it had buckets and a console. This one is still available at press time, so go check it out.


Description: 1978 Lincoln Mark V, Bill Blass edition. Low actual and documented miles 101,226 which equals only approx 2,664 per year. One owner Dallas Texas suburb beauty. Always garaged, maintained and pampered. Many receipts and manuals from new. All in a nice folder. Showing pride of ownership. Original dark maroon finish is stunning and has no faults, matching spotless leather interior shows no wear. Split 50/50 seats, six way power both sides. Factory desirable, working, power glass Moonroof. All power windows work as should. Tilt/Cruise, stock AM/FM, no cracks in dash or steering wheel. All gauges and lights work as should. Power steering, power disc brakes, factory attractive turbine wheels on like new radial tires. Vinyl top is also an excellent condition. Spare an original jacks all there. Smooth-running original 460 V8, automatic, cold factory air conditioning. No rust ever, all original sheet metal. True documented survivor.

Source: Silver Creek Classic

Found: 11:06 PM 1/3/2017

Comments: It doesn't get much bigger, or much slower than this. At this price you are in the collector car world, and have a lux-o-barge cruiser.

1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass - $9,990

Description: ONE OWNER CAR!

Source: Unique Specialty & Classics

Found: 2/14/2017

Comments: Not much of a description. Regardless, this is the unloved years for American cars. Bigger and slower than the Muscle Cars they replaced. But still under 10 grand.

1974 Pontiac Grand Prix - $9,950

Description: 1974 Pontiac Grand Prix model J. Rare find, bucket seat, center console Grand Prix. Only 83k actual miles. The Best motor, 400V8, Floor shift Automatic. Powers steering, Power Brakes. Tilt steering , Cruise control. Cold Factory A/C. Awesome combination of luxury and Pontiac Performance. Runs and Drives awesome.

Source: Silver Creek Classic

Found: 1/3/2017

Comments: I learned to drive on a 76 Grand Prix. Horsepower would be down a bit in 74, but this car should not have catalytic converts (I think that came in 75). And it does have a 400. It should be easy to way this motor up and have a fast, luxury cruiser. I would do some research to see of the earlier bumpers form 72 or something could be fit to this car. But overall I really like this car.

1980 Mazda RX7 - $7,950

Description: Black over Black, 5 speed, 52K miles

Source: Unique Specialty & Classics

Found: 12/14/2016

Comments: I kind of like the first gen RX-7. I want to know what they are like to drive.

1983 Mazda RX7 GS - $5,800

Description: 1983 Mazda RX7 GS, 5 speed, factory original no modifications, 72K original miles, 1983 time capsule, titled owner since 1985, rust free original silver exterior, black interior, ac.

Source: Craigslist

Comments: I think the interior is nicer on this one.

1980 Mazda RX-7 GS RX7 - $6000

Description: 1980 Mazda RX-7 in excellent condition with very rare rear seat option. This was a Texas car and as far as I know never driven in the snow. 5 speed manual and AC. 50,956 miles. Original bill of sale paperwork included.

Source: Craigslist

Found: 1/17/2017

Comments: Wow, this is the best of them all. I really like this one. And a back seat! That just adds to the weirdness.

1988 CHEVROLET CAMARO - $7,995

Description: 2.8L V6 5SPD MANUAL, 40,518 miles.

Source: Dusty's Old Cars

Found: 12/14/2016

Comments: Yes, a V-6. In fact, this is the same V-6 they put in the Fiero. Yikes. But low mileage and a manual... and an awesome shade of blue. Why not.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL - SOLD ON 12/22/16 FOR $9,500

Description: This 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL is a nice driver that is powered by a 5.5 liter V8 backed by an automatic transmission. The car was sold new in Indiana and was purchased by the seller for his wife from the third owner in 2010. Around 11k miles have been added over the last six years and the car has been faithfully maintained by the seller. Aside from regular service, the seller has replaced the shocks and struts, the exhaust system, catalytic converter, radiator, and battery. The car is sold with its original toolkit, first aid kit, owner’s manual, window sticker, and a clean Texas title.

Source: Bring-A-Trailer

Found: 12/19/2016

Comments: I love these cars. Not my favorite color, but the price was right.

1979 Toyota Supra - $7800


Source: Craigslist

Found: 1/17/2017

Comments: Weird, but I like it. I think this is actually a Celica Supra. But I do not feel like looking that up.

1984 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible - $7,900

Description: 3,227 miles.

Source: AutoTrader

Found: 1/17/2017

Comments: Fake wood paneling at no extra charge.

1970 Chrysler 300 Convertible - High Bid: $10,718

Description: This 1970 Chrysler 300 Convertible is a three-owner example powered by a 440ci V8 paired to a 3-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The car was purchased new in Spokane and is believed to have spent its life in Washington state. It was with its second owner from 1973 until acquired by the seller in 2014, and it remains a mostly stock driver. Modifications include the addition of cruise control, a dual snorkel air cleaner, electronic ignition, and an inside hood release.

Source: Bring-A-Trailer

Found: 1/17/2017

Comments: This is the first car over $10,000. And it did not sell on its Bring-A-Trailer auction. That's a shame. I really love these oversized, fuselage cars. 440, buckets & console, and A/C. Perfect. I would have tried to contact the seller for a private sale if I had the cash at the time it was not meeting its reserve.

1982 Porsche 944 - $6,850

Description: Rare first year euro model 944. Paint to sample 911 light blue metallic. Currently serviced including timing belt. Sunroof and A/C delete. Some cracks on the dash otherwise interior shows very well. Nice options. Resprayed in its original color at some point in its history. Rock nicks on the nose. The car has a very original and sound feel. Excellent mechanicals with a unique color combination.

Source: Mohr Imports

Found: 2/14/2017

Comments: I like these cars a LOT. This price is so low I want to question the car. But if I was shopping I would definitely call. Just check out that CRAZY interior... just don't have a seizure.

1969 Chevrolet Corvair - $9,950

Description: This particular Corvair is from the second generation and features a 165 CI Flat 6 with mates up with a PowerGlide automatic transmission. The mileage is believed to be original at 80800 and the car runs and drives great. It has been painted and features rally wheels and black rally stripes. The carbs were recently rebuilt and synchronized so this little baby is ready for duty. If you're looking for a great entry level classic car with a lot of character this is it.

Source: Hemmings

Found: 2/15/2017

Comments: I much prefer the second gen Corvair. Nice price and looks likel it is nice enough.

1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Convertible - $9,950

Description: Check out this classic Corvair Convertible! This is one of 8,350 Corsa Convertibles with the flat six cylinder, 4 individual carburetors making 140 Horsepower. Options include 4 speed manual transmission, upgraded front disc brakes, factory gauges, power top, black interior with bucket seats and old original blue California license plates. A true solid survivor!

Source: Hemmings

Found: 2/15/.2017

Comments: Hey, a convertible and it's red!


Description: Lot #400 - Finished in triple White, this features a parade boot, console, intermittent wipers, tilt, power steering, cruise, lower body protection, power front windows and power locks. Fully documented from day one, this has a large binder, purchase contract, books, manuals and owner card. A major service was performed December 2015 with receipts, brakes radiator, carb rebuild, complete tune-up, battery and fluids. New stereo with Bluetooth and XM Sirius satellite. It got new TRX style wheels and tires in 2016. Only 8,987 actual miles. Ready to enjoy. Deluxe Marti Report included.

Source: Barrett-Jackson

Comments: This was part of Dennis Collins collection of pristine, low mileage Fox body Mustang he sold at no reserve and the Barrett-Jackson auction in January of 2017. WOW! Just under $10,000 for a perfect Mustang with less than 9,000 miles. I would have bid on it if I was there. See... you can even get into car collecting on a budget at Barrett-Jackson.

1983 Dodge Charger Shelby - $14,983

Description: Great Condition, Looks & Drives Great, Non-smoker, Original Paint, One Owner, Very Clean Interior, Well Maintained. 15,200 Miles.

Source: AutoTrader

Found: 12/18/2016

Comments: I really want this car. I just wish I had the cash right now. This car is so cute. And it's a real Shelby, so it breaks out $10,000 budget pretty bad. However, where can you find any other Shelby Anything with 15K miles for 15 grand.