General Motors has been around since 1908, selling millions of vehicles annually and largely shaping American car culture as we know it today. Many of GM vehicles have become collectible classics that go for millions of dollars. But the good news is that there are a number of cool GM classics that are within the reach of just about anyone. Classic cars shouldn’t cost an arm to get and maintain.
With anything from $5,000 to $20,000, you can own a classic GM car that is still in pristine condition and good for everyday driving. But bear in mind that the used-car market is quite volatile, so the figures may not be exactly the same when you decide to head to the GM dealership. That said, here are 10 cool classic GM cars you don’t have to break the bank to get.
10 1967 Chevrolet Nova – $9,500
1967 was a historic year for not just General Motors, but also the American muscle car industry with the release of the Chevrolet Nova and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Built on the X-body platform, the 1967 Nova was distinguished by its bold grille and semi-fastback roofline.
The top-of-the-line engine option was the 5.3-liter V8 which was rated at 350 hp. But for a compact car, the 1967 Nova was surprisingly more powerful than even the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, which made only 290 hp.
9 1970 Chevrolet Impala – $9,495
Right from its introduction in 1965, the Chevrolet Impala has been coveted by muscle cars enthusiasts and classic purists. The major difference between the 1970 Impala and its 1969 predecessors is under the hood. The top-of-the-line powerplant is a 400 CID V8 that raises power production to 265 hp.
Chevy built over 505,471 Impalas, making the Chevy full-size lineup one of the highest-selling automobile lineups of that era. Today, you can still get a 1970 Impala for just $9,495.
8 1973 Buick Riviera – $14,900
The Buick Riviera was GM’s first entry into the personal luxury car market segment, and it enjoyed a warm reception from automotive journalists. The grille and front bumper were redesigned, and a standard 260hp engine was introduced.
These improvements marginally increased sales of the Riviera from 33,728 in the previous year to 34,080 in 1973. Even though the Buick Riviera is now a cherished item among collectors, the price remains within the reach of everyone, as it goes for just $14,900.
7 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix – $16,500
Although the Pontiac Grand Prix was produced from 1962 to 2008, the 1973 model year stood out for its luxury, performance, and style. Pontiac sold over 153,000 units of the 1973 Grand Prix, making it the highest-selling personal luxury coupes of that era.
Under the hood of the 1973 Grand Prix is a V8 engine with an output of 230 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Even though Grand Prix is a gas guzzler, it has managed to become a collectible classic that can be yours for just $16,500.
6 1976 Buick Electra 225 – $10,500
The Buick Electra was introduced to replace the Super Riviera and as a cheaper alternative to the Cadillac Eldorado. The “225” represents the overall length of the Electra, which is 225 inches. Thanks to the superior styling, and massive V8 that cranks out 205 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque, Buick was able to sell over 26,655 units of the Electra 225.
Buick reworked the grille and bumper of the 1976 Electra, and the interior featured a notch-back diamond pattern seating. You can still get this four-door hardtop for just $10,500.
5 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 – $14,200
Pontiac introduced the WS6 Suspension Package in 1979 to boost the performance of the Firebird Trans Am. “WS6” is an acronym for Wide Suspension 6 pieces, which means the suspension bushings are stiffer and the rear sway bar is thicker. You will find a 400ci L78 V8 under the hood of the Firebird Trans Am WS6.
The engine has a factory rating of 220 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. Although the Firebird Trans Am WS6 was one of the best handling American muscle cars in 1979, you can still grab one for around $14,200 today.
4 1977 Chevrolet El Camino – $12,990
The oil crisis of the 70s coupled with strict emissions and safety regulations took a toll on performance cars, including the 1977 El Camino. Chevrolet offered three engine options for the 1977 El Camino, with the 350ci V8 being the top-of-the-line with a power rating of 175 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque.
The 1977 El Camino, which shares the same A-body platform with the Malibu and the Chevelle, sold over 54,321 units. This sport utility coupe could be yours for just $12,990.
3 1978 Cadillac DeVille – $6,995
With the roomy cabin, eye-catching styling and sonorous engine of the 1978 Cadillac DeVille, American luxury car buyers of the 70s couldn’t be more excited. With the naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V8 engine, the 1978 DeVille churned out 180 hp and 320 lb-ft of peak torque.
The standard features of the 1978 DeVille include power windows and door locks, an automatic climate control system, and a power six-way front seat. The ’78 DeVille came with more features and accessories compared to other luxury brands at the time, so it’s surprising that you can add this coupe to your luxury car collection for just $6,995.
2 1979 Chevrolet Corvette – $9,695
The 1979 Corvette was part of the third-generation Corvette that made its debut in 1968, and it came with body and interior improvements. The front and rear spoilers on the 1979 Corvette are a replica of the ones on the 1978 Corvette Indy Pace.
Chevrolet also smoothened the bodylines to minimize drag coefficient and increase speed. The 350ci V8 engine on the 1979 Corvette makes 195 hp and Chevrolet sold around 53,807 units of the two-door coupe.
1 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 – $13,495
Chevrolet needed to have a lineup with a touch of luxury in addition to being performance-driven and sleek, and so the Camaro Z28 was born. The Camaro was available in four versions—the base, RS, Z28, and Berlinetta, but the Z28 stood out as the most powerful option with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that delivers 190 horses.
Even though the regulatory demands affected the 1980 Camaro Z28, Chevrolet still smiled to the bank after selling over 45,137 units of the muscle car. You can find a 1980 Camaro Z28 that drives like new for just $13,495.
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