Surprise and Delight: Five affordable classic cars

Some cars wear their price tags on their sleeves, while others can be surprisingly affordable in spite of being historic, iconic or otherwise famous:

1927-31 Ford Model A: The Model A is a bedrock car for the classic car community. Forty years ago, it was probably what the majority of the people involved in the hobby thought of as an entry-level classic. For such an iconic car, the Model A remains surprisingly affordable with driver-level cars still available in the high teens.

1967-69 Pontiac Firebird: The Firebird was launched the same year as the Camaro, but it never seemed to gain the popularity of its Chevy brother. And with the demise of Pontiac during the GM bankruptcy, it’s in danger of becoming the forgotten twin. A pity, as you could make the case that the first-generation Firebird was at least as appealing as the Camaro. Today, they’re surprisingly affordable, often trading at a significant discount over Chevy’s pony car.

1936 Cord 810 Beverly: The Cord 810 is hands-down one of the prettiest American cars of all time. Even collectors who don’t otherwise have an interest in pre-war cars are often drawn to them. Deal with the primitive front axles and the funky transmission and you’ll enjoy a surprisingly affordable experience with a milestone classic. Cord sedans can still be found for under $50,000.

1983-92 Porsche 944: The 944 is the car that saved Porsche. Built by Audi, in numbers larger than Porsche could ever have achieved, it was a strong seller for almost 10 years and pulled Porsche’s financial chestnuts out of the fire. Bad ones can be money pits, but well-maintained, low-mileage creampuffs can be had for well under 10 grand, so why mess with a mediocre example?

1980-81 DeLorean DMC-12: For such a famous car, the DeLorean is surprisingly affordable. Even with the renewed attention as the result of “Back to the Future Day” on Oct. 21, the price of a decent DeLorean seems to never be far from where it has been for years – the $20,000-$30,000 range.

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