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Affordable classics for the New Year


The modified 1967 Chevrolet Camaro coupe could be a decent affordable-classic choice
This modified 1967 Chevrolet Camaro coupe is a reasonably priced collector-classic choice

So, you have made the New Year’s resolution that 2015 will absolutely, positively be the year in which you finally buy a classic car of your own. Good for you.

But if you have more wishes than riches, and budget dictates that you confine yourself to the affordable end of the collector-car scale, here are a few American classics of the pony and muscle variety advertised on ClassicCars.com that could scratch that itch. Some need a little elbow grease, but you should be ready for that.

First up is what seems to be an attractive performance-modified 1967 Chevrolet Camaro coupe for sale in St. Charles, Missouri, with an asking price of just $14,995. It’s packing a 327-cid V8 with a Holley four-barrel carb and dual exhaust, four-speed stickshift and a 12-bolt rear, with cowl hood, spoilers, added gauges and custom aluminum wheels.

The 1970 Chevelle is an SS 454 clone
The 1970 Chevelle is an SS 454 clone

While it looks crisp in the photos, the seller calls it, “A perfect base for restoration.” He also advises that it’s ready to go and that you could “Drive it as you restore it.”

Here’s another Chevy, a 1970 Chevelle hardtop that was built up into a SS 454 “tribute.” While you might consider that to be a fake, the Chevelle sounds like it was done right and should bring all the performance joy and eyeball of the real deal. And the price is right at $21,500, less than half of what the genuine article would cost.

The seller says it was originally a six-cylinder car that has been transformed into a serious muscle machine with the installation of a 468-cid performance V8 with automatic, power steering and power front disc brakes. The car has gone just 1,200 miles since being fully restored and modified, the seller says.

“But that’s just part of the story,” the seller adds. “All those SS goodies were installed, including the difficult SS dash and gauges. With its great paint and interior, this clone could fool even the most knowledgeable. Why spend $50,000 or $60,000 when you can have just as much fun for half the price?”

The 1973 Dodge Challenger is another performance-car clone
The 1973 Dodge Challenger is another performance-car clone

Mopar fans generally must pay out big bucks for anything with muscle, so here is another “tribute” car that sounds like it’s not only affordable but ready to go. It’s a restored and modified 1973 Dodge Challenger R/T clone equipped with a “brand new” 360-cid V8 with Indy racing heads, stainless 202 valves with 509 lift springs and Isky performance camshaft. Sounds fast, and it’s priced at $22,995.

“This is a nice driver and a real head-turner,” the Crystal Lake, Illinois, seller says. “This car is not a fixer-upper like the ones you see at this price. She is ready to drive now.”

Moving over to Ford, this 1967 Mustang coupe is described by the seller as a “show car” that has been upgraded with a fresh coat of red paint with black rally stripes and other custom trim. The engine is a 302-cid V8 with three-speed manual transmission and sports such things as a 1,250-watt audio system. The price seems reasonable at $15,999.

This original ’65 Mustang looks ready for restoration
This original ’65 Mustang looks ready for restoration

“Runs relatively brand new and a very fast car indeed,” the Huntington, New York, seller says.

If you’re looking for a more-original Mustang, this 1965 coupe is ready for a sympathetic owner to provide a full restoration of what looks like a “barn-find” condition six-cylinder car with all its factory equipment. The car has 220,000 miles on it, the seller says, has not been run for a year and needs the whole treatment.

But the Mustang looks rust-free – it’s located in Newbury Park, California – and could make for a fun project. Or you could turn it into a muscle-car clone, if so inclined. The asking price is $8,900.

The 1969 AMC AMX is powered by a 390 cid V8
The 1969 AMC AMX is powered by a 390 cid V8

For something a bit more individualistic, we have a sharp-looking 1969 AMC AMX, the idiosyncratic sports coupe built by the late, great automaker. The AMX is described by the Norwalk, Connecticut, seller as an original 40,000-mile car equipped with 390-cid V8, four-speed stickshift and the Go Package of performance upgrades. Garage-kept and rust-free, the seller says, it sounds like a bargain at $19,500.

So what are you waiting for?

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.
  1. I am looking for a 1956 Buick special like my dad had.his was a 4 door ,black &white. the color don’t matter just so it is in good shape and not rusty.

  2. Mr. Golfen, great article, i am 67 years old and finally decided i deserve a classic muscle car of some sort. dont have deep pockets, but you have enlightened and encouraged me to forge ahead in 2015 to acquire a car. headed to mccormicks auction next month.
    again, thanks so much.
    Joseph Ianneo

  3. I would like to trade my ’68 Chevelle Malibu for a ’70 – ’72 Chevelle or an original ’78 or ’79 Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck…

  4. Hi, Tom. Any of the ads you’d like to see, click on the name of the car, which is shown in bright red. That’s a link that will take you to the ad.

  5. Want to trade for a 99 corvette Z51 package 6 speed great shape with extras, new Gm crome Z06 wheels, new run flat tires,convertible,tan interior and top with light puter metallic color and only 42,000 original miles. Call Jerri 941-374-2562

  6. I’m waiting for my ’92 Mustang GT convert (white over forest green) to get a little older so I can call it a “classic”. It’s not mint, but quite nice & I love it! Just turning 70, so friends say I’m a classic before my car is!

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