Collector cars, in a layman’s language, are those cars that were made more than 30 years back. They are believed to be very expensive, yet the craze for collector cars has risen considerably with time since most people nowadays have a sufficiently good disposable income and they can afford to buy those special cars which had been their fancy some years back.
What collectors look for in a collector car is its rarity, uniqueness, desirability, affordability and most importantly, the psychological value it carries in the form of status symbol. Owners of collector car auctions claim that while profit can never be guaranteed for any investment, collector car prices are constantly increasing by 5 to 15 percent annually.
In spite of rising prices, you need not get discouraged every time you dream of owning a certain Rolls Royce or those beautiful vintage cars you see in royal weddings. Just read further and you will be delighted to know that there are some very affordable classic cars beginning from prices as low as $30,000.
1967-72 Camaros and Firebirds
These models, just like the Mustang range of cars, were produced in huge numbers. The Camaros has high performance models like those powered with 396 cubic-inches V8, or the race bred 1967-68 Z-28, or the Firebird 400 and the 1969 Trans Am (which is very rare).
You can also take a look at the Firebirds’ Formula models of 1970-72, with overhead camshaft six cylinder engines with the same V8 power as compared to the costlier Trans Am of around the same years.
1967-70 Mustang Coupes and Fastbacks
These cars brought about a “generation launch”. Out of the millions of cars made about a hundred thousand can still be found. High value Mustang models are out of the reach of beginners in the collecting cars fashion, especially the 1965-66 convertibles loaded with the GT package, the 271-HP V8, the 428 cubic-inches Cobra Jet engine models of the 1968-70’s time and the Boss 302 and 429 Mustang varieties.
For prices below $30,000, you can go for hardtop range of Mustang cars. Convertibles lovers can enjoy their favorites with the six cylinder engine Mustangs of 1965-66 for a reasonable price. A 1967 V8 convertible model of the car would be the best buy, bearing a price tag of $15,000, for pristine models.
1964-69 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
The Impala range of models is not as great as compared to the high priced models like the Chevrolet Bel Air of 1957 and 1958. However, it can be found to be packed with powerful V8, bucket seat and trimmed model designs. Models with high V8s of 409 and 427 cubic inches are priced above $30,000, so go for models with lower V8s which will be pocket-friendly.
1968-71 Pontiac Tempest
The Pontiac Tempest does not rank as high as the prestigious GTO but a V8 powered ragtop variety of the Tempest would still be a good performance car, considering you can settle for something lower than the GTO if you want to go by the budget. The Pontiac Tempest has a Chevy 350cid engine, TH350 box, and 12b rear axle and was built for legal street racing.
1968-71 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible
It is a great muscle car with a 350 rocket engine and 350 Turbo Automatic transmissions. It boasts of 342 gears and 442 badging which sets it apart from many others of similar category. You can definitely try out this car for an entertaining experience.
1966-71 Dodge Charger
Iconic cars in their initial days, they are equipped with 426 cubic inches Hemi V8 which makes them stands out as the “gold standard” car. However, if you are low on your budget, you can go for smaller V8 cars. The 1966-67 model is a great bargain in the family of the Charger cars as it has a huge fastback style. And do not make the mistake of taking them for outdated cars; they look good even after so many years.
1964-71 Chevrolet Chevell SS
In response to its competitors like the great GTO and the Oldsmobile 442, Chevrolet churned out from its factory huge numbers of this category of cars. You can look for cars with hardtops and lower V8s.
Big block V8 models of the cars are auctioned at above $50,000. However, convertible models manufactured in the years 1964-67 are within the budget of entry-level collectors. Hence, low V8 cars are expected to be priced from $30,000 onwards.
1969-71 Pontiac Grand Prix
This marked Pontiac’s first venture into distinctive luxury personal sports vehicles. The big and powerful V8 cars are stylish in design and are meant for those whose primary psychological need is “style”.
The rare S/J models can make for cheaper buys if their designs (which is not as good as the high priced models) are able to impress you.
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado
This was similar to the Pontiac Grand Prix in that it popularized as a major style statement when it had just been introduced in the market. Not only this, it marked an important engineering fashion as it was the first vehicle with GM front wheel drive.
Also, since the Oldsmobile brand is dying away, you can purchase their cars and add them to the collection of collector cars. However, not all models in the range are collector cars.
1967-70 Mercury Cougar
This car was introduced as the “sister car” of the Mustang models. Unfortunately, it did not hit off too well as its sister counterpart. The high-end Cougar variety, XR-7 convertibles, is well within the $30,000 border. The rising fame of Mustang may indicate rise in the price of the Cougar variety also.
So you see, there are a wide range of cars at your disposition. But in spite of being collector car- crazy, you might be confused regarding your choice of cars. The above listed cars are priced within $30,000. For more lavish expenditures you can consider buying Ferrari GTO (priced at $7 million) or the Rolls Royce, which will empty more than $1 million from your pockets.
Among the recent cars that are future contenders to become collectors cars are the Audi S5, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR, Honda S2000 CR, Cadillac XLR-V Roadster, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Pontiac Solstice/ Saturn Sky, Lotus Exige S, to name a few.