Affordable Classics: 10 Head-Turning Vintage Cars You Can Actually Afford

There are two types of car owners in this world. Some prefer to drive cars that get the job done without attracting too much attention. On the other hand, there are gearheads who prefer to drive something a bit more flashy – cars that turn heads everywhere they go either because of their cool designs, loud exhaust notes, incredible performance, and other features that make them stand out.

Gearheads who love flashier cars typically have to spend insane amounts of money to get the latest and greatest cars. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case. With a bit of research, you can find plenty of affordable classic cars that still have the wow factor on modern roads and can give you good service. The following are ten such cars.

10 Jaguar XJS Convertible – $15,000

1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible Sports Car

Every gearhead knows and loves the legendary Jaguar E-Type. It’s Jaguar’s greatest creation ever and is widely considered to be among the best-looking sports cars ever built. Unfortunately, the E-Type’s success only meant doom for its successor – the XJS.

Jaguar XJS - side

The XJS just couldn’t be as good as the E-Type. For one, it wasn’t as beautiful as the E-Type. Not even close! It did have a V12, but it wasn’t enough to make it exciting. The XJS remained a huge fail for Jaguar, which is why it’s still among the most affordable V12-powered cars on the market.

9 Honda S2000 – $20,000

Honda-S2000-2000 Parked

The ’90s decade will always be special to Honda, as the Japanese marque built some of its most iconic cars ever. It all started with the fabled NSX and finished off with yet another fantastic sports car – the S2000.

Honda S2000 - Rear

Although the S2000 wasn’t as prestigious and advanced as the NSX, it still stole gearheads’ hearts with its style, affordability, reliability, and masterpiece of an engine. The S2000 is still affordable today, but prices are on the rise.

8 Porsche 944 Turbo – $20,000

1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

Porsche is not the first automaker that comes to mind when you think of entry-level sports cars. However, Porsche tried to build entry-level front-engined sports cars a few decades ago, and arguably the best of them was the 944.

Porsche 944 Turbo - side

The 944 impressed many with its stylish design, advanced engineering, and its friendly price tag. Although the 944 wasn’t as fast as the 911, it was still a joy to drive, particularly the turbocharged version.

7 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia – $15,000


Volkswagen was on top of the automotive world in the ’50s, largely thanks to the huge success of the iconic Beetle. However, the automaker still felt that it was missing something in its lineup – a proper sports car to face off against other top European automakers.

1965 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Classic Sports Car In Silver

So in 1955, Volkswagen introduced its first sports car – the Karmann Ghia. This awesome car was based on the Beetle but had its bodywork designed by Carrozzeria Ghia. The Karmann Ghia had a successful run, selling almost 500,000 units.

6 Aston Martin DB9 – $37,000


If there’s one car brand that’s sure to capture gearheads’ attention, it’s Aston Martin. Astons are famous for their gorgeous designs, luxurious cabins, and powerful engines. Unfortunately, Astons are also known for their exorbitant prices.

Aston Martin DB9 - Rear Quarter

Not all of them, though. Believe it or not, you can get an Aston Martin supercar that was built in the 21st century for almost the same price as a new Honda Civic. For just under $40,000, you can have a DB9 and enjoy similar styling elements to more exclusive and expensive Aston Martin models, an upscale cabin, and a mighty V12 under the hood. If the DB9 is too expensive, the DB7 is available for half its price.

5 Porsche 911 (996) – $20,000

Front 3/4 view of a silver 996 911 Carrera

The 911 is as good as it gets if you want a fun, powerful, and well-engineered German sports car. 911s are held in high regard by gearheads worldwide, which is why they’re typically expensive. If you want an affordable 911, you’ll have to settle for the 996 generation.

Porsche 911 Carrera S 996 4

The 996 receives a lot of hate from gearheads due to its styling and the fact that it was the first 911 to use water-cooling instead of air cooling. Despite being one of the cheapest Porsches, the 996 is still a 911 and will surely deliver hair-raising performance.

4 Datsun 240Z – $25,000

1972 Datsun 240Z Restomod Cropped

Japanese automakers were on a roll in the ’60s. Toyota impressed the world when it unveiled the drop-dead-gorgeous 2000GT in 1967, then Datsun followed in Toyota’s footsteps when it introduced the 240Z shortly after.

Nissan 240Z - Rear

Like the Toyota 2000GT, the Datsun was a huge hit thanks to its design. However, since it was mass-produced, the Datsun 240Z ended up being a lot more affordable than the 2000GT, even though they look alike. So, while a Toyota 2000GT costs over $1 million today, the 240Z is still within reach.

3 Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06 – $26,000

Blue 2002 Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06 2Parked Outside

The Chevy Corvette has always been one of the most powerful sports cars gearheads on a tight budget can buy. However, for those looking for a bit more than the base Corvettes offer, Chevy always builds higher-performance models.

The Z06 was the higher-performance version of the C5 Corvette, and what a fantastic sports car it was. Under the hood, the C5 Z06 had a tuned version of the base C5’s LS1 engine sending 385 hp to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual, making it a joy to drive.

2 Dodge Viper – $35,000

Red 1992 Dodge Viper RT/10

American manufacturers don’t get the same respect as their European counterparts when it comes to sports car production. Tired of this notion, Dodge rolled up its sleeves and built the ultimate American sports car in the ’90s – the Viper.

Dodge Viper RT10 - Rear

Other than its cool name, the Viper had a lot going for it. For one, it was praised for having a superb design, which is why Dodge made minimal changes over its lifetime. The Viper also impressed with its insane performance, as it’s one of the greatest V10-Powered sports cars ever.

1 Audi Quattro – $30,000

Audi Sport Quattro SWB - Front

In the ’80s, the FIA introduced the Group B rally rules that gave automakers the freedom to create some of the craziest rally cars ever. One of the rules allowed automakers to equip cars with all-wheel-drive systems, and Audi was the first automaker to take advantage when they introduced the Quattro.

Audi Sport Quattro SWB - Rear

Quattro, which means ‘four’ in Italian, was indicative of the car’s all-wheel-drive system, which is the main reason why it was so dominant in the early ’80s rallying scene. These qualities, coupled with the Quattro’s eye-catching wedge-shaped design, are some of the reasons why it’s widely considered to be among the greatest Audi modelsa

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