Hagerty’s valuation specialists pored over the Monterey Car Week auction sales and gathered a list of sales that totaled less than $50,000, then we pulled out the highlights. While it’s not pocket change, $50k is less than the average luxury midsize crossover and about as much as an average full-size pickup truck. For the price of one of those new cars, you could put one of your dream cars in your garage instead. If we had that $50k to spend we’d have no problem finding worthy, bucket-list cars to buy. The trouble, of course, would be narrowing it to one.
For the price of a brand-new, highly optioned Mustang GT, this timeless targa could have been yours. Nothing against the late-model pony—it makes about twice the power of the Ferrari – but the 308 is a beautiful mid-engine design that sounds as good as it looks. The quintessential 1970s Ferrari, designed by Leonardo Fioravanti at Pininfarina, uses a 2.9L V8 with four Weber carbs. Squeaking in just under $50K, this is a fine way to get into a rather exclusive club.
Although this car was a little rough in some places—particularly the interior, which revealed a cracking steering wheel and missing shift boot—it appeared to be mechanically sound and just needed some polishing, a fresh set of tires, and general TLC. If originality isn’t for you, a turnkey kit car can be had for $10k less, although this is certainly a reasonable premium to pay for the real deal.
This lovely example of Fiat’s elegantly styled 2+2 coupe sold for a bit higher than its condition would have suggested, but you can’t argue that its Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned bodywork isn’t worth a premium. The car shows Italian sports car styling from every angle.
Considering how gorgeous the fastback second-generation coupes look, you might miss the 1963 Vette’s infamous split window. Then again, ’63s make for beautiful convertibles too. This example has its numbers-matching 300-horsepower 327 and a four-speed. Even the color is perfect for a Corvette. A red, four-speed mid-year Corvette is at the top of many collectors lists, and to get into one at this price is a great way to cross one off.
Vipers are a combination of rarity, a powerful bespoke engine, and great racing pedigree with plenty of endurance wins over the course of their—hopefully to be continued—25-year production run. It’s a recipe for desirability and collectability, yet the middle generation models are available for absolute bargains. This model was a one-off built by West Coast Customs to resemble the Viper’s Grand Theft Auto counterpart, the Bravado Banshee. For the price of a Camry, this head-turning coupe was nothing short of a steal.
This is one of 1000 factory-built Gran Torinos with the correct Starsky and Hutch paint scheme. Putting aside the odd choice for a pair of undercover cops to drive one of the most striking and recognizable paint schemes in car history, it’s a part of American culture. This one is now powered by a stroked Ford small-block at 406 cubic inches; it definitely packs more power than the emissions-choked V-8 did in 1976. You know it’s good when you can’t even register it in the state of California.
OK, so it’s the wrong color to be the Risky Business 928 and it has the less-desirable automatic. It’s still a 5.0L DOHC V-8 Porsche grand tourer with only 86,080 miles on the odometer! According to the listing, this car recently had significant maintenance done, including a new timing belt, so it should be ready for the road. Its condition was 3+, and its interior looked great- which would make it a perfect driver.