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Hagerty Employee

4 tempting personal luxury cars you can own for under $12,000

While there’s some debate about when the personal luxury car came into being, it is generally agreed upon that the 1958 Ford Thunderbird is the car that set the standard for all to follow. The standard being a mass produced coupe with an emphasis on comfort and amenities over performance. That doesn’t always need to ring true though.


Ask any owner of a supercharged Studebaker Avanti, Pontiac Grand Prix SJ, or Monte Carlo SS 454, and they will tell you just how a car can be luxurious and quick at the same time. Personal luxury is perhaps one of the most affordable ways to get into a sporty classic without breaking the bank. They are often overlooked in favor of more performance-specific models they already share many components with.


Here are four examples of how much car you can get in Good condition (or far better) for less than $12,000 ...


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Alongside that GrandAm has to be the Olds Cutlass Supreme. It could be had with a 455 if you had the money to feed it. And talk about velour overload!

Intermediate Driver

These rattle traps are LUXURY cars?

Pit Crew

Who would spend $12000 on cars worth $3000?

Intermediate Driver

Pass on all of them thank you. America lost it from 1970 onwards in the design department in my view.


Riviera T-Type was supremely pimpalicious right off the lot--no mods, lights, tint, or drops needed.  It would be the perfect neck-twisting foil in any high-end collection.

Intermediate Driver

You folks missed listing the Cadillac Allante.  Loaded with amenities and most are senior owned and well kept.  Comfy Recaro seating, plenty of trunk room - even with the convertible top down, and very minimal road noise when driving with the top down. 

Intermediate Driver

All of these cars are great until something goes wrong with them.  Nobody now knows how to diagnose their problems and even if they do, the parts can be difficult if not almost impossible to find.   And EXPENSIVE!

I sold a 1991 Cadillac Allante and a '93 Cadillac Sixty Special for just those reasons.


I could get at least 2 well kept Jaguar XJ-S V12s for this kind of money. 

Pit Crew

For that money I'd rather look at a Mercedes 450SL, you can still find them under $12K if you look around, talk about personal luxury!