5 Classic and Fun Cars You Can Own For Less Than $5,000

Not everyone has a spare $10k plus to put down on that Porsche or Corvette they have always secretly desired.For many auto enthusiasts, living on a tighter budget because of a mortgage, student loans, kids, or all of the above makes getting a fun weekend auto demanding. The truly amazing news is the fact that even though the classic car market has seen values rise significantly within the last several years, you can still find a lot of thrilling, classics out there for the price of a 10-year old Honda Civic. We’ve compiled a list that we think are the best for $5k or less.

  1. 1975–1981 Triumph TR7: Typical Value: $4200

Advertisements touted the “daring, slashing wedge” contour of the TR7 as “the form of things to come.” But whatever “form” they meant never came, because the TR7 was the last sports car made by Triumph. The TR7 was certainly a car of its own time, from its doorstop-like wedge styling and tartan seats to the parts bin engineering and awful quality control of British Leyland in the late ’70s. Often the target of jokes and making numerous “worst automobiles” lists have kept them low-cost and often ignored, but “the form of things to come” really hasn’t aged that badly and nostalgic car buyers are warming up to them. The TR7 is still most likely the least expensive classic British sports car out there. It has maintained its initial $4,995 purchase price from over forty years ago.

2. 1990–1994 Volkswagen Corrado: Typical Value $4500

Advertised as a sports car despite the fact that it’s a front wheel drive hatch-back, the Corrado is mostly forgotten here in the States. Dedicated VW enthusiasts appear to be the only people conscious of them. Volkswagen sold about 17,000 of them in the U.S. They were pretty high-priced when compared to the likewise enjoyable Golf GTI. Sticker prices went way past $20K in the last production year. For the early 1990s, though, they were pretty damn fast. The earlier 1.8-litre supercharged models made 158hp and 166 lb-ft of torque, good enough for 0–60 in 7.5 seconds and a 140mph top speed. The more desired 2.8-litre VR6-powered vehicles got a bump to 178hp and 177 lb-ft, dropping the 0–60 time to 6.5 seconds. The Corrado came with high tech goodies like electronic traction control and a power rear spoiler.

3. 1979–1985 Mazda RX-7: Typical Value: $4100

Mazda put quite a bit of time, money, and energy into Wankel rotary technology in the 1960s and ’70s. Models ranged from the pretty exotic and stunning Cosmo coupe to RX series sedans and even a rotary variant of the B series pickup truck. It’s the small RX7, though, that’s most identified with the rotary engine. Despite their novel powertrain, the initial generation RX7 was fairly dependable aside from the standard rotary problems like burning oil and apex seal failure. They were affordable, good-looking and solidly constructed when new, which is why buyers still like them now. Top notch collector-grade examples might be expensive now, however a daily driver may be gotten for the same price as a Mazda Miata (with its four-cylinder engine).

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