From budget-minded to budget breakers, the price tag for 1970s classic cars can vary widely and fluctuate over time. Intentions for the vehicle can also vary. Some buyers may be looking for an old-school daily driver, while some may be in search of a trailer queen to restore and tow to a show-n- shine. Still, there are others that have a track project in mind.
Regardless of intention, starting with a classic car that feels like a good deal is always a plus, especially when the purchaser considers the cost of restoration, maintenance, and wear-and-tear. So, when on the hunt for a classic, how much is the right amount?
Well, auto exec Lee Iacocca known for his development at Ford Motor Company and the revitalization of the Chrysler Corporation once said, “a good deal is a state of mind” and that couldn’t be truer than when dropping cash on a classic car.”
So, with a good deal as a state of mind and dirt cheap as a relative term, here are ten 1970s classics that are $15,000 or less.
10 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger: $15,000
The Dodge Dart kicked off production in 1960. Thirteen years later this ’73 Dart, now being sold by a company in Michigan, hit the blacktop with a base price tag of $2,767. Its ask now climbs to $15,000.
The Dodge Dart Swinger was first produced in 1969. A Hurst four-speed, unique paint colors with bumblebee striping and 14-inch wheels were part of the standard package. For the production year 1973, there were just under 108,000 Swingers off the line.
9 1978 Chevrolet Corvette: $12,700
The 1978 Chevrolet Corvette celebrated the 25th-anniversary special edition paint and badging. The’78 Silver Anniversary model Vette in this listing for $12,700 is out of New York.
For its 25-year milestone, the quarter-century Vette was redesigned with a fastback aesthetic. Just over 15,000 were sold for the Silver Anniversary with a Charcoal Silver on Silver Metallic body color theme. According to Classic Cars Journal, Chevrolet’s Silver Anniversary Pace Car edition accounted for 6,502 copies of the Vettes produced.
8 1970 Buick Skylark Custom Coupe: $12,000
A creation of famed automotive stylist and designer Harley Earl, the 1970 Buick Skylark originally sold in the $3,000 range. Appreciating over the last five decades, this single-owner ‘70 Skylark Custom Coupe was listed at $12,000 in Connecticut.
The Buick Skylark was redesigned in 1968 and again for the 1970 production release. In the modern day, the Buick is commonly modified for racing. The ‘70 Skylark is shown above ready to make a pass with a shot of nitrous.
7 1979 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow: $11,000
In 2019, Hagerty reported the median value of the Rolls Royce at $15,200 to be on the decline. Their statement appears accurate as just this week, a ’79 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II sold for $11,000 in Maryland.
The aforementioned Hagerty article discussed the daunting cost of maintenance on the Rolls. When sold new, Rolls Royce maintenance is free for the first four years, with unlimited mileage.
6 1978 Porsche 924: $10,500
Originally a joint project of Volkswagen and Porsche, the 924 was developed to replace the 914. This one-owner 1978 Porsche 924 listed by a company located in Michigan comes with original docs for $10,500.
The 1978 Porsche 924 was a two-door coupe, powered by a four-banger. It was considered the “poor man’s Porsche”.
5 1979 Ford Mustang Fox Body: $9,000
Ready for a track build, this 1979 Ford Mustang Fox Body Hatchback is priced at $9,000 in Minnesota. Its orange body is straight with minor issues. The Interior is original.
The Foxbody is readily available as Ford sold about 2.6 million copies during the period of 1979 to 1993. This keeps the price low and a no-brainer for an economical classic purchase to start a
4 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe: $8,600
The original base price of the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado was just over $10,000. For just under that original cost, today’s buyer could have picked up this ’76 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe in Pennsylvania for only $8,600.
For the model year 1976, sales of the Eldorado were up over 110 percent following the announcement that it was the final production year of the convertible version, according to Automotive Mileposts. The ’76 Eldorado came with the 8.2-liter, 500 cubic-inch V8.
3 1979 Fiat 124 Spider 2000 Convertible: $7,500
Those looking for a drop-top can invest their $7,500 classic car budget on this 1979 Fiat 124 Spider 2000 convertible located in Michigan. According to YourMechanic.com, the average cost to maintain a Fiat 124 runs just under $300, making this the ultimate budget stretcher.
Upon its debut in 1966, the Fiat 124 was recognized as the 124 Spider. The two-door Spider featured a four-cylinder, although Hagerty reports that about 700 factory-authorized turbocharged versions hit the streets.
2 1979 MG MGB Convertible: $7,500
The total production of the MG in 1979 is listed at just over 26,000. If you would like to own one of those look no further. On consignment with a company in Michigan is a ‘79 MG MGB, priced at $7,500.
The 1979 release of the MGB neared the end of its production in 1980. The ’79 version would’ve been manufactured with the rubber bumper that was introduced in 1974 due to NHTSA regulations.
1 1974 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe: $7,000
Topping our list as the most economical purchase at $7,000 is this 1974 Volkswagen Beetle out of New Jersey. Its bright orange body and black interior is in good condition for a nearing a half-century old.
A few alterations could turn the ’74 Beetle for sale into an off-road vehicle. The modified Baja Beetle build could evolve into a desert racer similar to the #37 Baja shown above.
We certainly wouldn’t mind owning any of these highly collectible cars, but the prices they sell for are beyond crazy!
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