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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.
191 REPLIES 191
Pit Crew

The disappointing change from the racy E-Type to the dowdy and awkward XJS was nicely rectified by the XK8 in terms of styling but the early XK8s sadly suffered from some fatal flaws in the new V8 engines, most egregiously the faulty tensioners and to a lesser extent--especially in the US--the Nikasil liners. These and more were rectified in the later 4.2-liter V8s (2003 onward). I bought my 2006 (really an '05) with almost 90K miles on the clock, over six years ago, and it's still amazing. I would however love to have an XJS if I could score a first-generation Lynx Eventer shooting brake. As for much newer Jaguars, another undervalued unicorn is the XF Sportbrake wagon. Imported to the US for only three years, 2018-20. I consider the 2018 the only one to have, of which a mere 99 were reportedly sold here.
Pit Crew

The Solstace/Sky was offered earlier by Vauxhall. It is better looking than the North American versions.
Intermediate Driver

This is a pretty good list. I would add the Nissan 300zx twin turbo and the Mercedes R129 (SL500 or even the 600).
Intermediate Driver

I don't think you would call them classics, but as an undervalued vehicle that one can enjoy on the cheap, I am more than pleased with a Fox-bodied Mustang convertible. There are lots of them still readily available in all manner of condition and mileage. Unmolested Foxes may be good for show and collection, but my preference is to go with the style you like and re-make it into the car you want to drive forever. There is no end to the list of parts and talent that can help you build an outstanding sample. 


With half a million kilometers on my 86 I am not close to wanting to sell it. My wife would kill me, and she doesn't drive. I have made plenty of not so outwardly-obvious changes that have made it into a fantastic and reliable road car, but there are enough upgrades to get lots of attention everywhere we go. And we have gone everywhere with it. All US states, plus all Canadian provinces and territories accessible by road. 


One of the fun perks about driving a Fox is the number of people that want to tell you about their Fox from when they were young. So many end their story with "I wish I still had it". I will always be able to say I still have mine. 

New Driver

1993-7 Ford Probe GT. These things were just a hoot to drive. Best handling front-drive platform ever, but only get a 5-speed because you had to buzz 'em to really extract the fun! Add to that unique swoopy good looks and you have a winner. At this late date, it might take some looking to get a nice one but when you find it, it won't be too expensive as they've been largely forgotten.
Pit Crew

Lots of good ones on this list.

I would add BMW Z3. Neat cars and price is still reasonable (but climbing).


I got my wife a 97 Z-3 years ago. Just repainted it and replaced all the suspension. Still drives very nice.
New Driver

You missed one: 2002 to 2007 Mercedes Benz SL500 Convertible Hard Top
A clean well maintained example can be found for under $25,000
New it was over $100k.
I know I bought one and its awesome. I sold my 2003 50th year edition Convertible Corvette for $25,000 and bought the 2005 Benz for $20,000. A sports car that I can actually get into without being a swami. Plus the SL 500 offers a choice of hard top or wind in your hair.
Power and Class in a Beautifully wrapped Package
New Driver

ummm... how bout a nice 1980 MGB...?
New Driver

Triumph TR6.
New Driver

Good collection, but I would have included 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO. Otherwise, know as the Holden Monaro imported from Australia. 2004 LS1 with 350 HP. 2005-2006 LS2 2 with 400 HP. Pretty rare car these days. Low mileage ones under 10k are going for about $30,000 - $36,000. I know because I bought one and love it. Mine is a 2006 with 3,700 miles on it when I bought it. Not a typo.

Na Look like a two door accord.
New Driver

So, a Euro 1978 Porsche 928 5-Speed is up to $47,928 on BAT today with 4 days to go. I sold my 78 5-Speed for $4,000 just five years ago. I would say these fabulous cars are appreciating like crazy and not what I would consider undervalued. Had you listed a 924 instead, I would agree that you had a fun, inexpensive, car in your sights. Mind you a 1987 S can go for upwards of $9,000 so they are not being given away. My 928s have been a joy to own, my Jag XJS V-12, a disaster. Last word, a Mercedes 4-Matic, say 2005, is a terrific car that sells for next to nothing.

I would agree with most of these. I always thought the Spider was better-looking than the Miata, for example. Also, we owned a supercharged 1998 Grand Prix GTP coupe for almost 20 years (until a drunk driver took it out), and it was always a blast to drive. I loved its seemingly instant torque, combined with over 30 MPG at a steady 60 MPH.
Pit Crew

The Lexus is the only thing I'd touch with a 10-foot pole.
I'm starting to wonder if I'm in the wrong place sometimes, but the Lambo on a list of "cars you can enjoy on the cheap" along with a bunch of other lackluster selections makes me feel like a tourist in my hometown.

I saw a pristine black Saturn Sky in the Kroger parking lot yesterday (The Kroger parking lot!? Narrow spaces. Ding gnomes everywhere. Mein Gott!) The car was so beautiful that I thought of a current controversial movie and it crossed my mind that I might have a baby with it. Joke! Joke! Seriously! Come on, now, no side-eyes.
Pit Crew

1989-1995 Thunderbird SC which still looks terrific and was a design that was way ahead of its time. The rear IRS was designed under contract by Porsche giving it a ride that few American cars have been able to equal at the time. With some well thought out upgrades, this car could easily be turned into a true Supercoupe.
Intermediate Driver

I own a '97 LX Sport 4.6L V8. But like the SC's, these are all overlooked & undervalued. Beautifully designed cars, great performance, bulletproof reliability & quality, and easy to maintain...they're easily superior to many of the cars on this list.

Intermediate Driver

I recently bought a clean low mileage 97 LX for 2500$ after selling our 89 C4 convert. My MRS. asked me why I wanted it, I replied " honey, it's a Mustang with more legroom and a bigger trunk " She bought that explanation and life is better . This one has the 3.8l V6 , I don't mind with gas now 1.50 a litre and climbing. The A/C blows ice cold, that is more important to me than horsepower at this point in life. 🙂
Intermediate Driver

My previous car was an '89 3.8L V6 Bird. That engine was pretty peppy and got great gas mileage for being able to move a car that size & weight. Also, those cars will take a beating and keep running. I regret the abuse & damage I put on that car in my younger days, but she held up so well that I bought the '97 LX Sport (their last year of production) and have been driving her since without any issues. The MN-12 Birds are one of the best cars Ford ever produced.

Pit Crew

One more for the pile:
1980-84 Chevrolet Citation X11's. Pretty rare then and really rare now. Mind you, no supercar it was but it did look good and performed quite well given that era. They took a bad rap from the press, some of which it deserved, but they did serve the need better than a K-car! (saved Chrysler BTW)
New Driver

2001-02 Mercedes CLK 55s are still cheap. For 360-375hp and 380ft/lbs torque, that's sort of insane given that they have a super reliable drivetrain and no gizmo-tronics like the later cars. Earlier AMGs are starting to get heat now and prices are rising!
New Driver

Early SLK230's with that supercharger have made for manageable mileage if one can keep pedal pressure down. Short on grocery space but what two seater isn't?
New Driver

928 values jumped the shark a few years ago. They were great buys for a while, now expensive money pits.

SVX. Transmission is made of glass, many parts unobtainable.
New Driver

My brother in law has a Soltice Coupe that hardly ever goes out without getting compliments and head turns from passerbies. For the most part it's been a pretty good car since he bought it new. The body design does seem prone to inviting rock chips down the sides of the doors and fenders requiring one repaint so far.
Intermediate Driver

I think the 2004 - 2006 GTO are a bargain. LS2 w/T56 is an absolute blast to drive, with nice examples available in the teens.
New Driver

How about a 1986-88 Pontiac Fiero GT 6? (with manual trans.) :-)! The automobile public missed out on that one!
New Driver

I would like to add;
MGBs and MG TDs
Both good value for getting that British motoring experience.
Perhaps a bit needy but what loved one isn't?
New Driver

Hi all! My personal opinion of one severely undervalued car is the 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner. My arguments for this; The Muscle Car era was unarguably at its Apex in 1970 for all (American) auto makers. 1971 Was the "beginnig of the end". We can all agree on that. However unlike the "Standard" 383, which had been detuned from 335 hp to 300 for the 1971 Mopar lineup, Chrysler still offered the mighty 426 Hemi, allthough production halted in April of 1971 with only 55 Hemi Roadrunners built for that year model, but the 0-60 mph just about identical 440-6 was still available in an almost untouched (by EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) version for those who did not mind the insurance surcharges. This was about to change by 1972 when all these engines were dropped for the only option of the 400 Cu.In engine with significantly lower power output ratings, in some part due to new power measurment standards (New Net HP as opposed to Old Gross HP) to sync with world standards on how to declare power.

The 1971 differs immensly in body style from it´s predecesors of 1968-1970 which were rather boxy looking in comparison with the (Gen II) 1971-1972. The 1968-70 RR´s were also more boxy than it´s cousin, the 1968-1970 Dodge Charger, which up until then looked much more sleek compared to the RR.

Production numbers had also started falling severely by 1971 compared to the great success years prior. The production number of the1971 novel Fuselage/Coke Bottle Style is somewhere in the ballpark of 14 000 units which is a small fraction of all Roadrunners generation I (the boxy ones) which were produced in about 170 000 units.

Sleek, beautiful, and still with power nearly about as bad as they ever were at the end, this bird is quite rare. You can much more easily get a Dodge Charger (Gen 2), say a 1971 with the new fuselage body as they were all called Chargers wether they had a 318 and served as a family car (the equal of a Plymouth Satellite). It had to be a quite rare R/T (or a Super Bee) to compare with a Roadrunner

In 1973 the Roadrunner body was completely reshaped (unlike the D. Charger) as the Muscle Car Era was about to go into oblivion, still with the 400 Cu.In untouched until and including 1974, whereafter the fun was completely over.

All in all this is a very unique bird, and with the cartoon theme everywhere on the car, it is very different from all cars in the world, and should be a very good investment with great potential for raised appreciation the years ahead.

Best Regs


 Cheap--it's interesting how folks use that word-Most (non professional ) working folks would consider a basic (useable) classic car between 4 & 10,000 a cheap classic--Unless of course you have family Money behind you--    If you can spend 20/30 or more thousand you are well off or Rich-- I mean--I mean--spending that much (a yr or more take home pay)  on something you want but don't need is quite a stretch-- 

New Driver

Audi TT ? A blast to drive. Still has somewhat exotic looks at 21 years old. Available with automatic or manual (earlier models). Quattro (goes in the snow). Coupe or convertible. Very dependable. Good cars can be found from $5- $10k.
New Driver

What about a 2016 Cadillac ELR, only 534 made total and selling for about a third of list.

I test drove a used 928 back in the early 1980s. Compared to an earlier 911 that I owned, it was like a luxury car with a powerful engine and silky smooth gearbox and shifter. I should have bought that thing, but its price (low $20Ks, as I recall) was a lot of money back then. So I ended up getting a new RX-7 for half as much. If Porsche made a 928 today, it would probably cost $150K or more.

   In 1988, I bought my wife a new 924S.  Like @mbr2000 , I had had a 911 back in the day.  I'd also had a 914.  The 924S seemed light years more comfy, faster and with better handling.  Yes, I realized it was considered a 944's "little brother" and was looked down upon by the hard-core Porsche purists as little more than a fancy VW (although the Stuttgart designation did seem to elevate it a couple of notches above just "924" level).  Yeah, my car was viewed as an "entry-level" into the Porsche world.  Whatever, thought I, it drove well, looked good, and made the Mrs. happy.  I think I paid about $29K - although my memory is a bit hazy.  Anyway, she drove it to work, garaged it, and we made a handful of road trips, so the mileage stayed pretty low.  We took good care of it.  It looks to me like one like it today would cast me around $9,000.

   So all of you experts reading this can jump in and tell me how wrong I am, but it seems to me, after having driven one for almost 6 years, if I could get one like it for under $10 grand, it is a great value (or even undervalued).  I'm open to any and all feedback (positive and negative) to my attempting to add this car to the list!  😊

New Driver

The real problem with these reader selected lists is that most choices are motivated to hype cars they already own in a thinly veiled attempt to create buzz and increase value. A Saturn? A Subaru? Don’t think so. I realize it may be hard to get content. Better to have less and more real substance, IMHO.
Pit Crew

There always has to be someone with a negative attitude - perhaps a "thinly veiled"  cry for help?  I thought we were here to have fun and share some positives in this effed up world. jeeeeez.


Can't speak for anyone else, but I'm having fun being here and have no issues with the quality of the content on this site.  The best way to filter out Negative-Nellies, in my experience, is to ignore them and pay attention to the Positive-Petes around you.  😃

Pit Crew

I am getting close to retirement age and wanted to find something fun and affordable. I found in my search that to find anything in decent condition with low miles was at least 15 to 20 grand. I have been on the hunt for about a year and was considering a classic car loan to buy something nice for sunny day cruising. Well, I recently stumbled upon a California survivor 1993 Ford Taurus SHO with 57000 original miles. Talk about bang for your buck! How does $8000 sound for a car that is just plain fun to drive and draws comments almost everywhere I go. It helps that it is "stop me red"! Full coverage insurance ($9500 replacement value) with no restrictions and $500 deductible is $34 per month through my homeowner/ auto insurance agent. I honestly had been thinking about a Camaro or Rally 350 Olds. My brother has a 1968 Roadrunner that he has had since 1986 and it is valued on his Hagerty policy at $35000 and it is just a nice driver, not a show car or trailer queen. I am completely satisfied with my SHO and I am ok if it gets rained on occasionally. This car was $28000 new in 1993 and I bought it for what I think is a steal. I had a 95 15 years ago and even then I thought they were undervalued. Just my opinion - I know there are a lot of folks that don't like the Taurus SHO. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just wanted to share my inexpensive find. It is not brutally fast, but it is FUN!
Intermediate Driver

I think the '89-'95 SHOs are on the verge of taking off. Stick, that incredible engine, and the fact they ran with M5s back when new. All good stuff.
New Driver

I have a Sunburst Yellow 2007 Sky Redline with 31K miles. From Florida, never seen salt or snow and like new condition. Awesome little car! Fast & handles like a expensive sports car. Only paid $13K. Seeing these cars are not too common and have killer styling they should be worth more more than they are valued. Would have like to post a picture but don't see a way to do it here.

I've owned, and driven with many good memories now, the following: A Urraco S, bought
from a Swiss Architect in San Francisco, a Fiat 124 reposessed by a Los Angeles Leasing Company, 2 Alfas, one Gulietta in pale blue bought in Chicago in my halcyon days, and another much later model in Blue with Tan if I remember correctly. Thanks for the memories.............
New Driver

How about the Triumph TR-8 ? Same size as the Solstice/Sky, but with V8 power. They only made about 2700 of them, and you can find a good clean one today for less than $15K. Would think they would appreciate.
Intermediate Driver

Hoo Boy..... !!..
If the Chrysler Crossfire Limited Roadster doesn't thoroughly-deserve to belong in this grouping....
..then it seems to me that 'No Other Rig' should qualify !

***On the Cheap???!!??***.....
The Crossfire is SECRETLY an "Old School" M-B SLK, afterall !
This l'il gem "sold cheap". Like any other rig, anywhere, the Crossfire is by no means "perfect".... but on a Dollar per Pound basis.... she's an outright marvel ! ( my semi-humble opinion, that is..... )

Sorry guys not a head turner in the bunch with the possible exception of the 05-08 Dodge Magnum and the Saturn Sky. All to many cars of this era look like Bubble Style cars with little that make me want to collect one. Now my 87MCSS, that a head turner even to this day, wish it made the list.
Pit Crew

2 cars that take residence in my garage that I wish would appreciate in value:
1971 Triumph TR6 - I've owned it for nearly 20 years and it's still worth about the same as when I purchased it. A lot of people will complain about the mechanical and electrical problems of these cars, but anyone with knowledge and patience will sort them out and have a truly reliable vehicle. 2 other friend have the TR6's and I've always been able to keep theirs on the road for reasonable costs (parts availability is great and relatively inexpensive). Damned fun and damned fine car!
2001 Toyota MR-2 Spyder - this one belongs to my wife who purchased it in the last 2 years. The only downfall of this is lack of stowage space. There is a tiny bit of room in the spare tire well, and a small hatch area behind the seats. Enough for an overnight bag and a small bag of groceries if you're not too hungry. It handles like a go-cart, and accelerates well enough for a NA 4 cylinder. The 5-speed needs an overdrive as it revs like a hive of hornets at freeway speeds. If you can find one that hasn't been bastardized by some punk kid, then you're lucky enough to have found a fun, solidly reliable car.

That 3.8 mill is a a great engine. One of my biddies had a sweet sales job and his company car was the Ultra with that engine. We raged on that thing and it took ever lick. We joked that it was the fastest sofa ever made.
Intermediate Driver

The XJS and 928 are vehicles for people that hate having money. When clients inquire about the purchase of either of these vehicles I tell them to put a hand full of $100 dollar bills in a coffee can, light it on fire and if that does not bother you then you are the perfect candidate for ownership.
Pit Crew

Surprised that no one mentioned rubber bumper c-3’s. With a few exceptions, (1973/74 454, any L-82 with a 4-speed) the best ones are $15k cars, and sometimes a lot less.

Solstice/Sky Turbo's are rare, even rarer is the Solstice Coupe. I have run into one person with one here in my area. A nice RWD turbo 4 car. Would have been nice to see it get a next generation as GM usually fixes the faults later on but sadly it was doomed.

SVX with the Flat 6 is nice but WRX/STI powered ones are a lot of fun.

ZR-1, quite possibly my favorite engine to look at of all Corvette generations. Great engine.

Lexus SC's. The Mark 4 Supra's luxury brother. Love them. You can also do to them anything you could do to a Supra.

Supercharged 3.8-liter Buick V-6s, I had a friend with A Buick Regal GS. It was a nice, quick, smooth car. They never got the respect they deserved.

New Driver

I guess I'm partial, because I own one, but for my money, which, by most standards is very little I would nominate the Mercedes are 129 roadster built from 1998-2001. The 1999 SL 500 that I own, has 315 hp and is still quicker and handles better than 90% of the cars on the road today. It's a fabulous car to just drive on a regular basis, comfortable, and the quality of build is spectacular. Top-down, Windows and windscreen raised, you can cruise at 70 miles an hour and hold a normal conversation or listen to the Bose stereo. It's far and away the most impressive automobile I've ever owned. It started at about $95,000 new and the engineering, fit and finish reflect it.

Other than a couple of years in the mid-90s when they used a biodegradable wiring harness, that prematurely failed, the rest of the run was extremely well-built and reliable. The one common problem is failure of the seals in the hydraulic cylinders that operate the soft top. While the dealers want to replace all of the cylinders at a ridiculous price, you can get a set of rebuilt cylinders for $600, and get someone to install them for less than $1500. Or, if you're at all handy with tools you can buy the seals, remove, rebuild, and reinstall the cylinders yourself over a long weekend for about $250. There are excellent videos online and information from the company who rebuilds the cylinders. It literally is a job you can do in your home garage/shop.

That said, I bought my well cared for 2 owner car with with 104,000 miles on it two years ago from a used car dealer who specialized in high and foreign cars for $6000. As I mentioned above. It cost me about $250 to rebuild all the roof hydraulic cylinders. I had a new aftermarket soft top installed at a cost of about $1500. Because I'm pretty picky about handling I spent another $1650 on tires and suspension parts, the latter of which I installed myself.. Spent a couple hundred dollars on interior trim pieces, and reglued the hardtop headliner. The car is now in #2 condition and Haggerty's values. it at about $14,000... but, I'm not inclined to part with it. I really like this car, and I think based on what the predecessor 107 series is selling for, the prices of these in good condition will likely go up significantly in the next few years.