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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

According to you: 13 undervalued vehicles you can enjoy on the cheap

I recently asked folks in the Hagerty Community to submit their candidates for the most undervalued classics, and I received answers that were both insightful and surprisingly varied. The results go to show the diverse backgrounds of our Community fans, but they also make for good content elsewhere in the Hagerty mediaverse.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/according-to-you-undervalued-vehicles-you-can-enjoy-cheap/
192 REPLIES 192
DUB6
Specialist

Aha!  Data mining!  I knew it!

Of course, @Sajeev told us he was gonna do it, so... um... well... uh... (insert sound of righteous indignation fizzling out).  😁

Sajeev
Community Manager

Now I shall read the comments and begin my spelunking!
RokemRonnie
Instructor

1956-57 Continental Mark IIs continue to go for very reasonable prices, particularly considering there were only about 3,000 produced and they were essentially handbuilt. The valuation tool says that in #3 "good" condition, the avg price is less than $40K. That seems to me to be a bargain.
Studenorton
Instructor

Never mind its handbuilt nature, or any other features (like, 300 HP).
At just about 5000 pounds, that's a lot of car for the money!
JL
Pit Crew

Always loved the Continental Mk II but if you have to disassemble and, particularly repaint, it has lost its cache. Those are the characteristics from the factory that were the major cost elements that cannot truly be duplicated in a restoration. Look at the prices of Mk II's that are original vs. those that have had to be restored. It is interesting that these vehicles were among the highest price tags in their day yet could have been allowed to fall into such a dismal state of repair that they need to be restored. What were the original owners, their descendants and/or subsequent owners thinking? I also have seen this with many of the other luxury/personal luxury vehicles. When I see hulks of these previously high end vehicles on the road or advertised for sale I always try to imagine what it may have looked like when it rolled of the assembly line and/or what that first owner must have thought when it was first delivered. These were expensive vehicles in their day and at least in the '50s, '60s these were the height of automotive technology. Sad to see such vehicles neglected and trashed over time.
MrKnowItAll
Advanced Driver

Both the Mark and 55-7 TBird have seemed to have stabilized price wise, and may be in decline.
ATLpaul
Detailer

I don't know about ZR-1s being driven, but looking at how many regular C4s sell on Mecum, and how many still have less than 50,000 miles, I think the regular C4 with the LT1 engine is the vehicle to get and enjoy driving. That is if you can live with the tough entry/exit required (wide sill) and the creaks and noises. It is otherwise a truly enjoyable sports car with still decent performance.
Lightning1
Advanced Driver

What ATLpaul said plus how many ZR-1 C4s still exist added to since they don't bring much money relative to the fun factor, owners just keep them and they just don't pop up for sale often.
Historian
Detailer

I know a guy with an 84 C4 that regularly beats C5's and C6's on the track. I have a 84 that came from the factory with a race-ready Z51 suspension. My engine was rebuilt 30-over. I swapped out that Crossfire with a carb, added headers and some other goodies. Improved on that suspension too. The C4 is a car just crying out to be modded and improved upon. A friend of mine had a 84 that he did an LS swap on, running a carb. The owner tracked it, and won his first race. Lots of other generations of Corvette owners look down their noses at C4's, but have no idea of their potential if non-stock. I don't plan to ever sell mine. Its too much fun!
Cadero2dmax
New Driver

Has nobody ever driven a Fiero, especially the '88? Talk about undervalued - these mid engined, no rust plastic bodied cars are completely overlooked. Those with engine swaps, SBC's, Northstars, etc for even more fun!
mfp4073
Detailer

Yes! A clean 84 or an 88gt have tripled in price around here. (Tripled!). They have to be perfect though. With everything working, nice paint, and low miles.
okfoz
Advanced Driver

I just bought an 88 Fiero GT, It has a lot of miles, but the car is spotless, and I mean spotless, the previous owner used to show it. IT is a really fun car, especially with a 5 speed. The ride is way better than I expected too...
UncleJerry
New Driver

I hear you! I had an '88 Fiero GT in Race Red & T-Tops in mid 90's! Car was a Blast & a Half to drive & solid power with the Factory hop'd up rear V-6 (like a race go cart-ha!), only problem I ever had was with 5 spd trans, which finally broke the spindles out & locked the shifter up totally! Had trans replaced with a used one for cheap , drove another year & then sold it for a grand more than I paid for it lol! Fond memories on some serious Beach Hwy Cruising!  I now have a 2003 Thunderbird convertible which is a Hoot! I don't see much Love on these ever mentioned either! I just wrote a reply to this Hagerty article also ha!  But go figure, Beauty, Fun, and a Classic is in the eye of the beholder huh! I did meet a lot of nice Bikini's with it also lol! : )  Cruise On!

Gary
Detailer

The 02-05 Thunderbirds. I considered a boxter or cc but after reading the problems owners were having, and expensive problems at that, I didn't think I needed that. I wanted something fun and enjoyable. I then looked at the Chrysler crossfire, but the back window falling out (convertible) and you had to replace the entire top I stayed away from that. Then I came to the Thunderbird. The first one one had over 300,000 miles and still ran great, engine & trans never been opened. Did read about problem with original coils shorting out and front computer giving problems but once fixed these cars are bulletproof. So I have had it for 6 years and love it. $98 for a coil replacement and $225 for front computer repair with lifetime warranty, minor repairs compared to what I had looked at and looking to put 300,000 miles on mine someday, 106,000 now.
Pathi
Pit Crew

Sorry man,,I'll stick with my '89 Supercharged Toyota MR2. A buddy of mine bought an 88GT Fiero. That car spent more time in the air at the garage than on the ground! Got rid og after 3 years of headaches. Mines still here,,increasing in v in value every year.
OHCOddball
Advanced Driver

The plastic body panels may not rust, but what's underneath sure will. Interior plastics were poor so they didn't hold up well and replacements are hard to find these days.
Elky64
New Driver

Perhaps we could consider the 2002-5 Ford Thunderbird.
JohnZiraldo
Intermediate Driver

Always thought I wanted one of these. Saw a black/on black/on black one for sale near Felon Falls ON. Looked great. $18K (Cdn) with 75,000 km. Went home and did some research. Glad I did. Weak motor. 3.9V8. Two seater with little trunk space for such a big car. Poor interior quality. Lots of goofy features. I lost interest real quick.

 

RodneyRacer
Intermediate Driver

I have my brothers dead 02 T-Bird out back. Ford dealers (yes plural) say it cant be fixed, no parts, may as well sell as-is of donate it. Electronic issue killed this one.
1964tbird
Pit Crew

The Ford dealer only thinks in terms of new parts availability. With a bit of patience - and eBay - you can find most any part (used) you need. Keep in mind, that a 2002 car is a USED car, so you don't need NEW parts, a good USED part is fine.
Gary
Detailer

Lincoin LS same running gear and there was lots of them out there. If you expect a dealer to fix anything anymore then I have a bridge I'll sell you!
Studenorton
Instructor

I have a Studebaker.  Must admit, our dealer network has kind of faded, but we have some *great* vendors!  At least among the "Drivers Club" crowd, it's rare to see any Studebaker sidelined due to parts.

drdipstick
New Driver

I agree with 1964tbird's response. We have a 2003 Desert Sky blue bird with a White performance top and 26,000 miles that is a pleasure to drive and show. I have had an electronic issue with the top function and worked through my local Ford dealer and another Ford dealer in Kansas for parts. The platform is Jaguar and was also used in Lincolns. Most dealers no longer have the electronic diagnostic equipment for this older platform. Mine worked through the factory to get their modern diagnostics to work. There is a great online forum for Thunderbirds of all years that has been helpful for parts sources and diagnostics. Ours is still valued close to what we paid for it almost 8 years ago. We bought it for style and fun and drove it from Texas to Virginia.
Rick2
Instructor

I had a 2005 with 110,000 miles on it and it did have some issues. Horn & cruise control did not work and I had to fix some oil leaks. But someone used it for a winter car around Chicago and it had large rust issues underneath that I missed. Almost feel sorry for the guy I sold it to. And the seats were HARD!
1959Imperial
Intermediate Driver

I agree with the Supercharged 3800 motor cars. As cars got bigger and people want something more, the supercharger was the answer. For me finding the last year (2005) Buick Park Avenue Ultra was the goal. It was located three years ago, not perfect but solid. The price reflected the needs and I now use as an occasional Summer car. The amount of metallic was increased in this one year color (silver blue) and having only one option (power sunroof) which it does have with the chrome aluminum wheels.
FauxReal
New Driver

Undervalued and Under-appreciated - top of my list is the Panoz Esperante GTLM. Hand-built, carbon fiber and aluminum construction, 32v supercharged V8, front midengined. And relatively inexpensive to maintain and drive often!

Rrobgorgt
New Driver

3800 supercharged gets my vote. Ordered a new 1996 Buick Riviera and was my wife’s car for years. Turn the traction control off and it would fry the left front. Luxurious interior and stylish lines, and a bit of a sleeper all in one.
Also agree with the comment on Fiero - an almost great car by 1988. Had an ‘87 GT V6 that needed the ‘88 upgrades and more engine, but was fun all the same. Had it for 5 years and sold it for what I paid for it.
Damaho912
New Driver

I guess everyone’s definition of “cheap” is different. While I agree with some of the selections, the Lambo is in no way “cheap” in today’s market!
MATTMERICA
Technician

That lambo isn't cheap, it is horrific to work on, and it is NOT a good driver. But other than that, it's awesome.
RACN33
Pit Crew

You missed the mark again by not including the 2004-2008 Chrysler Crossfire, especially the 2005 SRT6 (350hp 3.2 V6). These cars are 80% 2003 Mercedes SLK 320, and the SRT6 is 80% 2003 AMG32. They are fun to drive, supported by a worldwide network of Crossfire owners, and several after market Mercedes parts suppliers. They are available in both coupe and roadster configuration, and are reasonably priced ( under $20,000 including the SRT6). Hopefully you will reconsider including the Crossfire in you next listing of undervalued cheap cars. Since when are some of your choices considered cheap? (Urraco and Fiat 124 for example).
ADM
Pit Crew

I guess he "forgot."
XF05RM
New Driver

Agreed! When looking for something fun to drive, attractive (yet still unique) as a weekend ride, by process of elimination I decided on an NA Crossfire Limited roadster. Found a beautiful '05 (first year for the roadster) with less than 12K miles on it three years ago. It is a great performer for its engine size and I think it looks better than the now generic-looking MB SLK320 it is based on or any Camaro or Mustang that would have cost the same money and been much more common. Although I have had no real mechanical issues, it pays to find a good independent German car mechanic as Chrysler dealerships no longer have techs who can service/work on them and MB dealerships won't touch them even though 80% of the running gear is MB. The cars were even built in the Karman factory in Germany alongside other MB's. I'm biased, but feel they are greatly undervalued and underappreciated.
Rider79
Technician

Plus, the coupes have the benefit of looking like an old AMC Marlin! ;<)
ThePorscheMan
Detailer

Problem with the Crossfire is that you have to look at it when you approach it and as the great JC says "It looks like a dog takin' a shi...".
lepiane
Intermediate Driver

I realize it's a quality car but the looks never worked for me.
F360Spider
Detailer

There's a good reason why many of those cars are cheap. Enjoy them? Only if you have an endless fountain of cash to keep them running. The little Pontiac Solstice is cute but a far better car is a Miata for about the same price. The Lambo, hardly a car anyone would want to turn a wrench on for cheap. The 928 never was a car that anyone wanted, even when it was new. My neighbor has one of those Jags and it's a total drag to keep running. I don't think he's had it out once in the last five years as he's always waiting on parts that never arrive. Of the lot, I'd choose the Fiat 124 as it was always a fun car with a relatively good maintenance record.
Quincydubois
Intermediate Driver

Oh, gee Spider, tell us MORE!
DAY
Detailer

That's funny. Since I've had my Turbo Solstice, it has been running great! Looking forward to many fun drives!
TheWall
New Driver

Well, Magnus Walker for one, a lead designer at Audi, and thousands of others across the country including yours truly, are enjoying the hell out of our 928s. Well, maybe hundreds.
MattK
Detailer

I love the 928 when it was new, Used, whatever, A cool looking powerful Spaceage GT.
lepiane
Intermediate Driver

I owned the 1st Solstice in San Diego from 2006 until 6 months ago. Zero problems with 2 factory recall issues. I sold it too cheap to Carvana. Anyone out there driving a Deep Blue two-tone interior low miles 2006 with windscreen and visor pockets options from KappaSphere?
everettpa1
New Driver

1994-1997 Ferrari 456 GT. Front engined Ferrari V12. 436HP. Gated shifter. Built like a tank. Gorgeous Pinifarina design. Last car Enzo himself green lighted. Cost well north of $200K new…in the mid 90s. All this for under $100K today. I got one last month. Superb!
TheWall
New Driver

Nice Choice!

Padgett
Advanced Driver

And then there is a whole group that are currently running under $10k (most can be found under $5k).
- Cadillac Allante (1989 is best year). Helps to have a DVM & soldering iron but have a built in scan tool to help. Mary Kay Special is a plus.
- C4 Corvette (best with six speed and targa roof).
-1968-1975 FIAT 124 Spyder (make sure to clean out the oil slinger on the front of the engine, when sludged can kill oil pressure).
- Buick Reatta Convertible no hardtop but 3800 engine, built in scan tool, top is faster than power. Coupe with sunroof is cheaper.
- 1991-93 Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Pontiac GTP with DOHC-6 and 5 speed Getrag. Recent timing belt a plus. Will surprise Porsches.
- 1996-2004 R170 Mercedes (SLK230, SLK320, SLk32) very small retractable particularly with uber reliable SOHC six cylinder
- 2004-2008 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe and Convertible with 6 speed manual transmission (more built than you would think) essentially a rebodied R170 Mercedes and made in Germany by Karmamm. Coupe is best looking IMNSHO.

All have parts available and prices are so far down you can buy two and have a shed for spare parts.
lepiane
Intermediate Driver

Concur until the Crossfire. Old pals and myself think it has no style at all.
Padgett
Advanced Driver

What happens when you nail the six speed manual out of a toll booth as eight lanes go to two might change your mind. Is one of the few coupes that lacks a roof vent that I really like. Just do not expect service from a Chrysler dealer.

side

 

RACN33
Pit Crew

Try it with an SRT6, It will put you back in the seat when the super charger kicks in.
Padgett
Advanced Driver

Considered but SRT is only available with an automagic and for some cars I like a manual transmission (a surprisingly large % of Crossfires had sticks).

avideo
Detailer

We owned a 1992 Allante and enjoyed it during the three years we owned it. The Recaro seats are super comfortable and other than a replacing the injectors, our biggest issue was a power antenna that failed about every 12 months. Great car for cruising - in fact, because of the way the side windows and windshield are angled, you can have a normal conversation with the top down and minimal wind noise at 70 MPH!
Look for a lower mileage example with regular use.