Unicorn Hunters: Find Us A $10-15k Classic Driver
The last time we asked help finding cool cars we focused on the cheaper $6-9k daily driver market segment and it was a great discussion with lots of good reader input. Now imagine you’ve canceled getting braces for your kid(s) because eating corn on the cob through a chain link fence might come in handy someday. You’ve got some extra cash to spend on that Daily Turismo weekend driver and the budget is $10-15k USD. What do you get?
Last week my late model primary driver was undergoing some surgery that required the use of my 1969 Mustang Fastback as daily driver for the week. Guess what? Nobody died. The earth didn’t warm up any more than most weeks (although hydrocarbon readings for the LA basin were surely affected…gotta adjust that carburettor idle mixture…). Would I recommend a ’69 Fastback for everybody as a daily driver? Nope. For some people? Sure. You can get one with air conditioning, functioning heater and use it for your every day commute without worrying about resale value or expensive engine rebuilds because it isn’t a 911. A quick interwebs search found a few examples just smidgen above the defined price, but you could probably get them for $15k if you waved some cash under the seller’s nose.
Here is a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Clone offered for $16,500 in Tulsa, OK. Sure, the dash looks like an elephant threw up on it , but if the bottom is rust free it looks like a great car to run as is while you swap in an elephant puke free interior.
For comparison here’s another yellow 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback for sale in Dearborn, MI for $16,995 from a dealer via Hemmings.com. This one is powered by a 302 cubic inch V8 and is shifted with the legendary toploader 4-speed manual.
What would you get for a weekend cruiser for $10-15k? Comment below or send us a tip: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want that Saab 99 rally car from earlier this week at the $15k price Adam Fay suggested it should go for. How do you say "yee-ha" in Swedish…
I bought my first car (lived in NYC till recently) in May and settled on a 1970 Auto 302 Mustang Coupe as a L.A. daily driver. Originally I was on the hunt for my true love, a 1968 or 1969 Firebird coupe, but after investigating about 10 of those for sale in SoCal I determined I couldn't afford one which was already in solid daily driver condition. My Mustang was purchased for a reasonable $10K-ish, once you factor in a few tweaks it needed, and so far it is a great get-around-town car, probably even better than the Firebird due to its nimble handling and frankly, lower value. If a shopping cart nicks me or an overzealous passenger pulls off a door handle I'm not devastated, but it is still a blast to rumble through parking garages setting off car alarms + turn heads on every corner.
I love the modern am/fm cass. not ! And the crappy painted blacked out hood….not a winner.
You could do worse than the '72 Mustang Olympic edition below…
You could get a sweet, rust-free 2nd-gen Barracuda ('67 – '69) for $10-15K. The A-body is light, and handling could be improved. I'd like to think that price range could get you a 340-v8, but might have to settle for a 318.. (big blocks are way too expensive, and handling would really suck)… Or if you don't need the rumble of a v8, you could get the ultra-reliable slant 6, and put a good $3-5K back in your wallet. – Average Bear
I think I could put up with this 71 Dodge Dart SWINGARR with a period-correct 340 V8 every day. It's a cheapskate too: $6,300 reserve not met.
That car will be north of 10K too bad it has the 904 and not the 727 tranny.
Still have to go with this LS Powered Mercedes Wagon ! You've written it up You've written it up and its still for sale. Asking price is still more than 2x what he paid for it so there's room to negotiate, especially when armed with the DT write up and knowing that its been listed multiple times on Ebay without reaching this stratospheric ask. Its a great buy at anything less than $10K
mint, low-mile 2001 BMW e38 740i with sport package for me please.
This one looks nice to me: denver.craigslist.org/cto/4313170419.html
40's or early 50's american metal with an modern GM 4.8 or 5.3 and for that price, upgraded subframe with disc. Hold the 'tetanus patina' please. Can't wait for "paint" to come back.
I think the 2004~2008 Pontiac GTO is the most "bang for the buck" fun car you can own in that price range.
V8, 6 speed, nice interior, reliable, easy to work on, probably at the bottom of it's depreciation curve, many low mileage examples available, and Bob Lutz had his finger prints all over it.
I decided to look locally and see what I could do for the budget;
this vert Galaxie,
this low mileage and nice Cougar (I'm sure I could talk them down 1500)
with over $11k left over from the purchase, I know I can have this in a great driver state, maybe a hard 2
a little rough looking, but definitely working as a DD is this 68 Camaro,
maybe a 69 Cutlass,
if I can use money above the purchase, I would buy this and pull and store the original drivetrain and place a modern set out of a Mustang GT in with great mpg and low key springfield.craigslist.org/cto/4283403977.html
nice tribute and it's been up for a while
only thing stopping this from being ideal is no third pedal (and once in the mood t-tops), but good color, pontiac 400 (not 403), snowflakes
With just these shown, I would have a hard time trying to figure out which to choose; especially figuring out what would be the best. Thanks for the fun folks
James – great list! I am particularly enamored with the 72 Skylark GSX clone – cool car, convertible, PB, PS, AC….perfect for year around driver here in SoCal – smog exempt too!
1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass Coupe $12k with a ton of recent work done.
1967 to 1974 (3rd gen) Chevy Nova – just as spacious in the engine bay as anything else in the bowtie line (except maybe the land-yacht Chevelle), and uses all stock Chevy parts, but not as favored by the classic muscle crowd as the Camaro or the Chevelle, so easy to find (relatively) cheap ones. And for me, just as good looking as the 1st gen Camaro, though where the Camaro was calm, collected, and cool, the 3rd gen Nova was all mean looks and nasty intents. Admittedly though, the earlier in the generation the better these cars look, so lean towards late '60s/early '70s over the 1974 models.
Here's a beaut for $16 large: cars-on-line.com/56293.html
And another for an even smaller $10 grand, ready to tear up your local drag strip: cars-on-line.com/62429.html
Oooh, this one almost meets my $5K threshold to qualify as a winter beater… it's just begging for a real Muncie rockcrusher in place of the T-10 4 speed it's got, but until you get the replacement, it's still a driver (and fairly local… excuse me, gotta go make a call): stlouis.craigslist.org/cto/4323316958.html