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Classic Cars From The ’60s & ’70s That Won’t Send Drivers To The Poor House

Cameron EittreimJuly 29, 2022

The 1960s and ’70s were two notable eras in the automotive industry. Many new technologies were coming out at the time. The two decades completely changed the automotive industry and shaped the cars that we have today. Cars from this era remain coveted by collectors of today for many reasons.

Many classic cars have become popular in the restoration community, and parts cars are becoming harder to come by. The repair costs of classic car ownership can be expensive, and some cars are far more expensive to own than others. When drivers consider buying a classic car, they want something that won’t break the bank. These cars are some of the most iconic models released, but they are also some of the most affordable when it comes to ownership costs. Check out some true classics from the ’60s and ’70s that won’t send drivers to the poor house.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Mazda Cosmo

The Mazda RX-7 is the most well-known rotary-powered Mazda sports car, but there was another rotary-powered car that came before it. The Cosmo is rare and was considered the pinnacle of Mazda design and engineering at the time. The Cosmo was the beginning of the rotary-powered sports car and it introduced a whole new world of engineering (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

The Cosmo was largely considered a “halo” car for the company. But enthusiasts will point to the excellent driving manners of the car. The rotary engine was instrumental in changing the way we enjoyed sports cars. Mazda often does not get the credit it deserves for innovation in this segment.

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Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The Corvette Stingray was one of the most notable sports cars in the 1960s. The Corvette line is an iconic automotive brand that still holds relevance today. And the Stingray, with its unique design and beautiful curves, was one of the most fun-to-drive cars of the era (via Hemmings).

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Photo Credit: RM Sotheby

At its core, the Corvette Stingray is a very simplistic car, which makes it fairly cheap to maintain. The GM V8 engines from this era are bulletproof and reliable. The body panels and trim pieces are almost impossible to find nowadays, but if you get a clean, well-running example of the car, you’ll have a great classic.

Photo Credit: Japanese Nostalgic Car

1969 Datsun 240Z

Believe it or not, many younger car enthusiasts don’t realize that the legendary “Z” has been around since the 1960s. The 1969 Datsun 240Z was the birth of a legendary automotive model. The car drove unlike anything else on the market at the time, and it was remarkably affordable (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Japanese Nostalgic Car

The 240Z proved to be one of the most successful Datsun models of all time. It also helped the company establish itself in the United States. The car would continue in this body style until the late 1980s, and it never lost popularity with car shoppers.

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Ferrari 275 GTB

The Ferrari 275 GTB is one of the most popular Ferrari sports cars from the 1960s and there’s a good reason for that. The design of the car was top-of-the-line at the time. Smoothly sculpted lines make up the aerodynamic exterior, and the driving dynamics are exciting even by today’s standards (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: AutoWp

The best thing about the Ferrari 275 GTB is that it is one of the most affordable Ferrari models of this generation. The 275 GTB will not be the most affordable car to keep on the road if you have to do a lot of repairs. But if you can find a well-maintained model from a collector, you’re in for a great ride.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Lotus Elan

The original Lotus Elan is considered the best roadster of all time by most car enthusiasts. It was a pure driving pleasure in every sense of the word. You could say the Mazda Miata borrowed many design elements from the original Elan model because both cars used the same design characteristics (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

The original Elan is an incredibly nimble car and that was one of the things drivers loved about it. Its lightweight design enabled the car to take off from 0-60 in incredible amounts of time. The ride quality was also quite comfortable, thanks to the precision-built suspension.

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Alfa Romeo Giulia

The modern Giulia is a beautiful sedan that has garnered a lot of positive press. And overall, the Giulia nameplate is one of the oldest automotive nameplates around. The Giulia name is equated with precision handling and performance wrapped in a compact package (via Hagerty).

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The Giulia is not your average sports car from this era. Every inch of the car was built to perfection, from its low-slung ride height to the no-frills steel wheels. The Giulia was surprisingly reliable for its period. The engine requires regular maintenance, but most owners report it’s otherwise reliable.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

MG B

The way a British sports coupe performs is unlike anything else that you’ll drive. The MG B is one of the most well-known roadsters in the world. The simple design of the car gave it a rewarding driving experience, to sum up in a single sentence (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The MG B came with a few engine variations, but perhaps the most intriguing is the MGC (1967-69), which came with a six-cylinder engine. This car is more common than you’d think, and you’ll see it often at various car shows. Driving a roadster down a beautiful twisting road is an unforgettable experience.

BMW 2002
Photo Credit: BMW

BMW 2002

There is just something about a compact BMW from the 1960s that invokes driving passion like nothing else. The BMW 2002 was built from 1966-1977, and the car has a solid following. The lightweight design of the 2002 gave it excellent off-the-line performance and stellar handling (via Hagerty).

BMW 2002tii - BMW 2002tii
Photo Credit: Edmunds

The original BMW 2002 had the four-cylinder M10 engine, which is highly regarded in the car community. With a little work, the BMW 2002 can be a comfortable modern sports car. The parts are not hard to come by, as the resale community for the BMW 2002 continues to grow as more people gain interest in the car.

Chrysler 300F
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

1960 Chrysler 300F

Nowadays, you probably know the Chrysler 300C as the popular urban cruiser everyone loves to modify. But history will show there were multiple Chrysler vehicles to sport the 300 brand name. The 300F was a big and bold luxury sedan with a powerful engine and stylish exterior. The performance of the 300F is one of the things that made the car resonate with consumers. Naturally, when you couple great performance and style, you have a recipe for success (via Hagerty).

Chrysler 300F
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

The maintenance costs for the Chrysler 300F are much more affordable than you would think. Many parts are common because they were used on different models in the Chrysler lineup. There are also many modern upgrades that you can do to this car thanks to the relationship with the Mopar parts division.

1961 Chevrolet Impala SS
Photo Credit: Lowrider

1961 Chevrolet Impala SS

The Impala is one of the most well-known automotive lines in the world and the 1961 model was especially unique. The 1961 Impala is popular in the lowrider world, but the car also had a lot of appeal to hot-rodders and enthusiasts. The car has a great base that is compatible with many GM products. Without breaking a sweat, you can fit any number of modern GM V8 engines into the 1961 Impala (via Hagerty).

1961 Chevrolet Impala SS
Photo Credit: Lowrider

Because the V8 GM cars from this era were so well built, the reliability is also there. This is just one of the cars from this era that will still turn over and start today. The engines and transmissions are plentiful and you can upgrade them easily if you wanted. The rest of the parts are all common and affordable at your local auto parts store.

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

Pontiac Catalina 421 Super Duty

The Pontiac GTO is probably the most well-known muscle car in history but there were other muscle cars with a Pontiac badge that tend to get overlooked. Case in point, the Catalina. The Catalina 421 Super Duty was a well-built muscle car packed with the legendary 421 V8 engine under the hood. The styling of the car was what you’d expect from this era but performance was out of this world (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

The Catalina 421 Super Duty was a performance powerhouse and the styling was handsome. The availability of parts for this car is fairly easy to come across. The most difficult time to find parts will probably be the replacement body parts. Apart from that, the Catalina 421 Super Duty has access to the massive GM portfolio of replacement engines and common easy-to-find parts.

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire

Oldsmobile was one of the most influential automotive brands in the world at one point in time. It’s disappointing that GM allowed the brand to fade into obscurity in the 1990s. The 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire was a special edition halo car designed much in the same light as the Cadillac Eldorado was at the time. A beautiful swooping exterior and interior make the car more beautiful than you might remember, especially in today’s classic car market (via Hagerty).

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Although the 1961 Starfire is a rare classic, it’s also one of the most reliable. The Skyrocket V8 engine was one of the best that GM had released. The basic parts that go into keeping the Starfire on the road are fairly easy to come across. There is also a large aftermarket community of enthusiasts who support the car and have local meet-ups and events.

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

1962 Dodge Dart 412 Max Wedge

The Dart is not what you’d consider one of the rarest muscle cars, but it has a few special-edition models. The 1962 Dart 412 Max Wedge was a special edition car with a performance-oriented engine and design. Underneath the hood are many common parts shared with other Dodge vehicles at the time. In recent years, there has been a lot of interest in the 1962 Dart 412 Max Wedge (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

The Dart was not only a lightweight and compact car that packed serious performance, but also the 412 Max Wedge took that philosophy to the next level. With the reliability of the car and the commonality of the parts from this era, the Dart is cheap to restore and keep on the road. Not to mention you get a car that will raise some serious eyebrows.

Photo Credit; Hot Rod

1962 Plymouth Savoy Super Stock 413

Part of the Chrysler Corporation and geared toward the value-oriented car buyer, Plymouth was also well-known for its performance cars in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1962 Savoy Super Stock 413 is perhaps one of the earliest examples of badge engineering in between different automotive divisions (via Hagerty).

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The 1962 Plymouth Savoy Super Stock 413 shared its platform with the Dodge Dart 412 Max Wedge. The two cars were almost identical but the Plymouth variant of the car was much rarer. Keeping the 1962 Plymouth Savoy Super Stock 413 is not as expensive as you might suspect. Parts are relatively common for much of the vehicle and there is also a fairly extensive aftermarket community.

Photo Credit: RM Sotheby

1962 Ford Galaxie 406

A classic car that doesn’t always get the credit it deserves is the Ford Galaxie. The Galaxie was not as prominent as some of the most well-known car models, such as the Impala, but it still provided a great driving experience. What makes the 1962 Ford Galaxie 406 such a great classic car? That’s because the performance of the Galaxie 406 is still impressive to this day. The motor had 406 cubic inches, which was one of the largest motors to come out of Ford (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: The Supercar Registry

The 1962 Ford Galaxie 406 might be one of the best bargains in the current classic car market. Because the car is not one of the common and immensely popular classics on the market, you can find one for a great price. With the common parts catalog and a loyal ownership community, the Galaxie 406 is a great collector’s car.

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1963 Studebaker Avanti R2

This car is expensive but it’s one of the rarest cars of this era. Take a look at the 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 and you will know right away that this isn’t your average classic. The Avanti R2 was designed to be a different type of sports car, and it provides a one-of-a-kind driving experience. With the four-speed transmission and the limited production run, this is a mix of muscle and luxury all in one package (via Hagerty).

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Even Jay Leno owns an Avanti R2, so that should tell you something about this car. Yes, you will spend a lot of money to get your hands on one, but the Avanti is reliable. The parts aren’t easy to come across, but this car has a dedicated following. There are also many modern upgrades that you can do to this car to bring it into the new millennium.

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

1963 Plymouth Max Wedge 426

As you probably realize by now, Plymouth was once a well-known entity on the muscle car scene. The 1963 Plymouth Max Wedge 426 was another great muscle car that hit the scene using the same simple formula as before. The lightweight body coupled with a massive engine was a recipe for driving pleasure. The Max Wedge 426 was made in fairly limited numbers and is not as well known as the Dodge version (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

The 1963 Plymouth Max Wedge 426 is not a cheap car to get your hands on, but once you own one, parts are fairly inexpensive to come across. Many of the parts used on this car were common Chrysler parts from the era. You can also do a few modern upgrades to this car, such as a modern motor, radio, and even an upgraded instrument cluster.

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

1963 Oldsmobile Jetfire

In the 1960s, most automakers were going with a space and technology theme. Part of this was that we were finally about to put a man on the moon. Oldsmobile took it a step further by naming their vehicles after space themes. The 1963 Oldsmobile Jetfire is another example of that and a car that most people don’t remember. But the convertible top coupled with the powerful engine made the Jetfire a one-of-a-kind car (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

The Jetfire is not the most common car on the road, but that benefits you because the market won’t drive up the price. Consumers want the Chevelle and the Impala, who is actively searching for a Jetfire? But if you can get your hands on a Jetfire, you have a classic that is easy to repair and drives wonderfully.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

AMC Gremlin

The Gremlin is one of the most recognizable classic cars in the world, and it’s not always a good thing. The awkward styling of the Gremlin was partly because the folks at AMC didn’t have many resources to design a completely new model. The Gremlin is a rolling parts catalog of existing AMC parts from the same era. But the car was also a subcompact that could be had with a V8 power plant from the factory (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

While that is unique, there were other things to like about the Gremlin. The interior of the car is not that cramped, considering the exterior dimensions. There are also many aftermarket parts available for this car. The Gremlin also has a devoted following of enthusiasts who are always willing to lend a hand to new owners. Not to mention the fact that AMC parts aren’t that expensive.

Chevrolet Vega GT
Photo Credit: GM

Chevrolet Vega

When looking at the Vega, you might mistake it for a miniature Camaro. That design was intentional by GM, as the fuel crisis forced the company to bring a fuel-efficient car to the market. There is a lot to like about the Vega nowadays, and with a little work, the Vega can be a great classic car. The interesting thing about the Vega above everything else is how cheap the current prices for one are (via Auto Blog).

Chevrolet Vega GT
Photo Credit: GM

The Chevrolet Vega was not the most reliable car when it was brand new, but much of that can be remedied with modern upgrades. There is also a dedicated following to the Vega, and they have car meets all over the country. With a little elbow grease, the Vega can be built into the ultimate retro-cruiser, and you won’t have to spend that much to keep it on the road.

Ford Maverick
Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Pinto

The Ford Pinto is a notorious car that probably needs no introduction for most readers. This is the subcompact car that almost put Ford out of business. There was a defect in the design that would cause the car to explode when it was hit from the back. But the Pinto has become a fun project car. Ever thought about cramming a Coyote V8 into a Pinto? Well, it’s been done and there is a lot more than you can do to this car (via Car Gurus).

Ford Pinto - Ford Motor Company
Photo Credit: Ford

The Pinto is a car that you can get for dirt cheap, and it won’t set you back all that much to fix it. Depending on how far you want to get in the restoration, the Pinto can be a great first-time project or another side project. There was a lot to like about the Pinto, and that is especially the case with all the new modern upgrades.

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AMC Pacer

If you thought the AMC Gremlin was a great car, you probably haven’t seen the AMC Pacer. This was another subcompact released by AMC and many of the interesting features of the Gremlin can be found in this car. The AMC Pacer had a unique fishbowl design that was an instant hit with consumers. The Pacer was one of the few projects that came out of AMC that managed to sell well (via Go Motors).

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There are hundreds of upgrades that you can do to the Pacer in its factory configuration to get more power out of the car. Like most AMC products, the Pacer is greatly undervalued, considering how big of a piece of automotive history it was. There weren’t many cars that hit the market that looked like the Pacer did. With a little work, you can make the Pacer a great classic ride that will turn heads wherever you go.

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Mustang Cobra II

Now, this is probably one of the most unique classic cars drivers can buy. The Ford Mustang II is based on the Ford Pinto of all things. This was the generation of the Mustang that Ford had to return to the drawing board. The Cobra R was not the fastest Mustang ever, but it is certainly a model that will turn heads. You don’t see this generation of the Mustang often, and it is one of the least valuable generations of the car. With a little work, the Pinto-based Mustang II can become the ultimate sleeper car (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

Many modern modifications have been making their way around automotive publications in recent years. These modern upgrades, such as swapping for a Coyote motor, have given the Mustang II model new life. But the prices for these Mustangs are still affordable, and since a 5.0 Fox Body is out of reach for most people, the Mustang II could be a more budget-friendly option for you.

Photo Credit: Chrysler

Plymouth Sapporo

The Sapporo is one of the least-known cars that came out of Chrysler in the 1970s. It was a compact car that wasn’t very recognizable, to say the least. The Sapporo didn’t stand out in any unique way but that has benefited the affordable price tag. Nowadays, the Sapporo can be a cheap classic that you can get a lot out of. There are plenty of upgrades that you can do to the Sapporo for an inexpensive price and have a cheap classic car (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Chrysler

There was a lot to like about the Sapporo. The platform is lightweight and there are many common parts that you can find for this car. The rarity of the Sapporo makes this a car that will cause people to turn their heads when you drive by. Even if you kept this car in stock, it would make a nice classic that you could take out and enjoy on the weekend. There aren’t many cars that came out of this era that you can get for the affordable price that you can get a Sapporo for.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Chevy Chevette

The Chevette was one of the first compacts to come out of GM in the 1970s. The design was cheap and back then the car was not that reliable, but there was a sports model worth checking out. If you can get an original Chevette Sport model, you will enjoy a two-tone paint job and a fairly peppy driving experience. The Chevette will not compete with an early GTI or CRX, but considering the decade it was from, the Chevette Sport is a solid ride (via The Truth About Cars).

Photo Credit: BAT

The Chevette was a very basic car when it came down to it, so repairs are fairly easy to do. These cars had a good basic engine, it was all the new emissions stuff that GM had to put on top of it that caused the car issues. Nowadays, you can switch a lot of this stuff out for modern parts that will make the car run a lot better. Another great thing about the Chevette is how cheap you can find one for now.

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Volvo 262C

Volvo is a company that has always made great cars but the Volvo 262C is one that certainly stands out from the crowd. Think of this as Volvo’s M3 years before the M3 became a popular car. The Volvo 262C has a determined stance and lines that are different from any other Volvo model you have ever seen. The engine under the hood is one of the best put-in Volvo models. The 262C is one of the rarest Volvo models on the road, and part of the reason for that is the engine (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

When you think of a cool classic car, the Volvo brand name probably isn’t the first thing that rings a bell. But the Volvo 260C is a unique car that offers that one-of-a-kind Swedish driving experience that only Volvo can offer. Plus, this car is rare, which means most people haven’t even gotten to see one in person. With the right maintenance and upkeep, the 260C is a car that will provide years of fun driving.

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Mercury Bobcat

For the most part, Mercury was always in the shadows of Ford. That is both good and bad when it comes to the values of the cars. Because there were a few Mercury models that were affordable and cool looking. The Bobcat is a car based on the Pinto, but it had its unique personality. Available in a few one-of-a-kind colors, the Bobcat had differentiating features like a waterfall grill. Considering the wide availability of upgrades for this car, the Bobcat is worth finding (via Motorcities).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Bobcat is a showstopper when you look at how unique the car is. If you’ve always liked the Pinto but wanted something just a bit different, the Bobcat might be that car. There are plenty of modern upgrades that you could do to the Bobcat to make it stand out even more.

Stutz Bearcat
Photo Credit: Mecum

Stutz Blackhawk

Although the 1970s had one of the worst economies in history, some cool-looking rides hit the market. The Stutz Blackhawk was a car designed by a banker, James O’Donnell. He wanted a luxurious car that was luxurious and American-made, thus the Stutz Blackhawk hit the market. This car was the pinnacle of everything you’d want in a two-door luxury coupe at the time. The Blackhawk has become the collector’s item (via Below The Radar).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The Blackhawk is perhaps one of the most unusual cars to come out of the 1970s. It has a lot of potential whether you keep it exactly how it came from the factory or upgrade it. There is such a unique look and feel to the car that you will never drive anything else like it on the road.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Chrysler Cordoba

Two-seat passenger cars were popular in the 1970s. If you think about it, the interiors were so large that these cars could still be used as family vehicles, unlike today’s coupe models. The Cordoba was a car that competed against the likes of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and the Oldsmobile Cutlass. The car had a lot going for it in terms of style, and the interior was upmarket but the engine was not reliable at all (via Medium).

Chrysler Cordoba
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

Because the factory engine is not the best in these cars, you can generally find them for an affordable price. With a relatively modest upgrade, you could bring Cordoba into the modern era and have a beautiful weekend cruiser. The styling of this car was great, and the fact that it is relatively forgotten means you can keep it on the road for a cheap price.

Photo Credit: Mecum

AMC Hornet 360

The AMC Hornet is another muscle car from this era that should not be forgotten. Although the Hornet was panned when it was brand new, this car has much potential. The first thing you’ll notice about the Hornet is the pitbull-like styling of the car. The factory V8 engine in the Hornet was not that great, but nowadays you can swap it out for a GM example. With the reasonable amount of upgrades that you can get for the Hornet, this car is one of the most overlooked models from this era (via Curbside Classic).

AMC Hornet SC/360
Photo Credit: Car Domain

With a little work, the Hornet 360 can be transformed into a modern muscle car with a lot of potential. The styling of the car is still quite handsome, and there is a lot to like about the car. Not to mention that AMC parts are generally cheap to come across. If you got the Hornet for a cheap enough price, you could even upgrade to a GM crate engine.

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

1970 Dodge Dart Swinger

The Dodge Dart is not a name that usually comes to mind when you think of performance. But there was a lot to like about the Dart in the 1970s, as the car was much more performance-oriented. The Dart Swinger was a special edition of the car that came with a 340ci V8 engine and 245HP straight from the factory. The car was not only powerful but also one of the best-looking Dodge models on the road. Enthusiasts liked the lightweight body and design of the car (via Barn Finds).

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

The Dart Swinger had all the makings of a great muscle car. Its styling was excellent and its performance was out of this world. The build quality of this variation of the Dart also made it a great ride. The engine was reliable, and the parts are easy to come by. With the right modifications, the Dart Swinger is a car that will turn heads at every car show.

Photo Credit: Car Gurus

Chevrolet El Camino

The El Camino is a great car with a unique look. There aren’t many cars that looked like the El Camino did. It was a combination of a pickup truck and a muscle car, which was unique at the time. Although it was not the sales success that GM had hoped for, the car was made for a long time. These cars can be affordable or expensive, depending on the model year you go for. The El Camino was built using many common parts that you could find in other GM vehicles (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: Car Gurus

With the right amount of work, the El Camino can be a stand-out muscle car. There are many common modifications that you can buy for the car that will take it to the next level. The GM LS series engines are easy to get as a crate motor and upgrade the El Camino to a modern performance car. You will never see another car like the El Camino again, which makes this one of the most unique cars to come out of the 1970s.

GMC Spirit
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GMC Sprint

The Sprint was a corporate clone of the El Camino, and both cars shared the same platform. But the fact that GMC has never made a passenger car makes the Sprint rare. This car-based truck stood out in the GMC lineup, enough that it cultivated a loyal following of consumers who still like the car today. (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: Bring A Trailer

The GMC Sprint has been growing in popularity, and part of that is the fact that the car is so rare. You don’t see a GMC car on the road, and especially not an authentic El Camino clone with GMC badging on it. The Sprint is the type of car you want as a collector because it has style and performance all wrapped up in one package.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

Volkswagen Type 181

The Type 181 was another project from the well-known automaker in the 1970s. This time, the company was attempting to create an off-road version of the popular Beetle. The resulting car was special, and you’ll seldom see one on the road today. The groundwork underneath the Type 181 has made the car one of the most special off-road vehicles of this era (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

The Type 181 is also known as “The Thing”. It was a capable off-road vehicle and nowadays you can find them used on the market. The engineering that went into this car made it easy to work on. The parts are fairly basic and easy to come by, and the reliability of the car is excellent. You’ll seldom find a car from this era that is as unique as the Type 181 is.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Subaru Brat

The Brat is another unique car that hit the market in the ’70s. The Brat had all the making of a great car and it turned out to be popular from the gate. The truck bed was useful and the optional removable Targa top gave the car a one-of-a-kind appeal. But it was the driving dynamics of the Brat that made it stand out from the crowd. As was the case with the earliest model Subaru, the Brat didn’t drive like anything else on the road (via Subaru Car Blog).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

There are very few cars like the Brat. One that would come to mind is the El Camino. But the unique thing about the Brat was the small engine and great fuel economy. This compact car was unique, and there was nothing else like it. You can find a used Brat for almost nothing if you know where to look, and the maintenance on this car is quite easy.

1979 Ford LTD Country Squire
Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Country Squire

The Country Squire needs no introduction, as it was the car featured in the Chevy Chase cult classic ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation.’ The car is also one of the most recognizable Ford models of all time. There was a lot to like about this car, the design was only part of the appeal. Under the hood was a powerful V8 engine that would propel the car with authority. Ford was also sure to include a lot of luxury amenities that made the car even better (via Bring A Trailer).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Finding parts for this car is not that difficult, especially when you consider the appeal that the car has to a certain demographic of customers. You can also upgrade this car fairly easily to have a modern motor and transmission. Overall, the Country Squire is one of the most popular station wagons of its day. If you can find one, the Country Squire will be a reliable ride that does not need much attention to keep it humming along on the road.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Mercury Cougar

The Cougar was the runner-up to the Mustang, which meant the two almost always shared a platform. The Cougar was geared toward the luxury buyer, while the Mustang was the everyman’s car. The first-generation Cougar models were the most special, and they came with many great features. Take one look at the Cougar, and you will know right away that this isn’t your mother’s Mustang. Instead, the Cougar is a car that took style and performance to the next level (via Repair Pal).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Cougar has grown in interest in the past couple of years, mostly because of the classic car bubble. But you can still find these from time to time for a great price from sellers who don’t know what they have. There was a lot to like about the Cougar and with a little bit of elbow grease you can make this car something special. The Cougar was also quite reliable which helped it to stand out from the crowd at a time when pony cars were still new.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

Opel GT

The Opel GT is another sports car that gained popularity in the 1970s. Take one look at the car and you’ll see that it got a lot of its styling cues from the Corvette. There were differences between the two, which is what made the Opel special. Instead of having off-the-line performance, the Opel GT had some of the best handling characteristics on the road. Which meant you could take this car anywhere and have a good time driving it (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

You will also notice that the price for a used Opel GT is not as expensive as you might think. Many of these cars have started to rust away, or the owners just don’t realize what they are worth. The parts for an Opel GT are not easy to come by anymore, but the car is well built, and if you find a clean example, you will have a great driving car. With the precision handling and the unique exterior design, the Opel GT doesn’t look like anything else on the market at the time.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

Ford Ranchero

As with every other segment of the automotive industry, Ford will always create a car to compete with a GM model. The Ford Ranchero was designed to compete with the El Camino. Both cars were similar, but the Ranchero had its unique style and performance to differentiate the two. In many ways, the Ranchero was a better performing car, and you can find one for a lot cheaper nowadays. When you look at the Ranchero, there is no mistaking this car for a Ford (via Car Survey).

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

The Ranchero has always been a more affordable option than the El Camino, and even on today’s used car market, it is more attainable. With the right amount of work, you can make the Ranchero a car that you can show off anywhere. The stock V8 engine was a great one, although you could upgrade it fairly easily. There are also many benefits to having the truck bed, even if you only used the Ranchero as a show car, it would still turn heads.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Cadillac Coupe DeVille

There were many popular Cadillac models in the 1960s and 1970s, and the ’70s were a defining decade for the brand. The Coupe DeVille was one of the most notorious models of this decade. When you look at the car, you know that this is not your average Cadillac. The Coupe DeVille was designed to provide comfort and a smooth driving experience. The stock suspension was one of the best GM ever put into a car. The factory engine also commanded respect with a lot of horsepower under the hood (via Notorious Luxury).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Coupe DeVille will not be the cheapest classic car to obtain, but once you do get one, this is one of the most reliable models on the road. There is also an extensive aftermarket community willing to help fellow drivers with the car. You don’t have to spend a lot to keep this car on the road, it’s just the nit-picky maintenance that will add up over time. The Coupe DeVille is a noteworthy car that needs no introduction.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

BMW E3 3.0Si

The BMW E3 is one of the most revered generations of the legendary car. The compact dimensions of the E3 gave it excellent off-the-line performance. But BMW also put a lot of effort into creating a car that would vibe well with consumers. This meant the car would have a great handling experience, as well as a reasonably appointed interior. This is also one of the first BMW cars to introduce many luxury features to the interior. Even in today’s modern era, the BMW E3 3.0Si is a fun-to-drive car that will leave a smile on your face (via Car Review).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The E3 3.0Si has increased in value over the past couple of decades, as more interest in these classic beamer models starts to rise. There is a lot to like about the car because you get the driving dynamics of a BMW without all the modern tech of the current generation. These classic BMW models are great cars to drive and will leave you smiling every time.

Photo Credit: Plymouth

Plymouth Arrow

Did you know there was once a Plymouth truck called the Arrow? The interesting thing about the Arrow is that the truck was a Mitsubishi model. The Arrow was one of the first compact trucks to hit the market. It came in many unique paint schemes and proved popular. Although this was the only truck ever sold in the Plymouth lineup, it is a unique model (via Barn Finds).

Photo Credit: Plymouth

The Arrow was a popular model for a short period and there are still a few left on the road. The problem with the Arrow was that it would rust fairly easily, which means there aren’t many of these trucks left that have not rusted away. But if you can find one that has not rusted away, you won’t pay a lot for it. The Arrow can be a great affordable project truck that collectors can modify to their liking easily.

1972 Citroën SM
Photo Credit: Bring A Trailer

Citroën SM

The SM was a unique luxury car released in the United States in the 1970s. This was a French luxury car, which you didn’t see too often at the time. The SM had many new features that made it more innovative than anything else on the market at the time. The suspension in the SM was one of the most unique features, but other one-of-a-kind features went into this car. The styling of the SM was unlike anything else on the road, but when you got behind the wheel, it drove like nothing else (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Bring A Trailer

When it comes to unique luxury cars from this era, the Citroën SM is unlike anything else you will see from this era. The styling and luxury that this car has to offer make it stand out in a way that many other cars don’t. With the right upgrades, you can transform the Citroën SM into a show-stopping ride. The comfort and feel that the Citroën SM is unique and there are plenty of aftermarket parts that can be used to make this car ride better than ever.

Photo Credit: Classic Car DB

1978 Oldsmobile Omega Coupe

If you’ve never seen an Olds Omega Coupe, it’s because the car didn’t sell well. It was one of the first compact cars to come out of GM and shared a platform with the Chevrolet Vega. But that doesn’t mean the Omega was a bad car because it had a unique driving characteristic. The Omega’s performance was almost non-existent at the time. But modern upgrades have enabled these cars to become the sleeper in the GM community (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Classic Car DB

The Omega has increased in popularity as a new generation of buyers start to check out the car. The Omega’s body style made it unique and versatile at a time when cars were shrinking. The stock engine is not one of the best, but it isn’t hard to upgrade to a modern engine and increase the performance dramatically. Few Oldsmobile models were like the Omega and the car has developed a reputation.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

1972 Lombardi Grand Prix

The 1972 Lombardi Grand Prix was a car designed with a specific purpose in mind, to entice performance car shoppers who might have wanted something different. The underpinnings of the car were shared with the Fiat 850, which was one of the best handling cars in the automotive industry. Boasting a beautifully designed fiberglass body, the 1972 Lombardi Grand Prix was a cultivated masterpiece (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

In America, there was a rare version of the car sold called the OTAS Grand Prix 820cc. These cars are rare, but when you find one, you will be in for something special. The car did tend to overheat, so many times these cars will have a lot of issues, but with a lot of work, you can have a unique Sportster.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

1970 Marcos Mantis

What exactly is the 1970 Marcos Mantis? The Mantis is not a sports car that you will see often, but it was one of the most fun-to-drive cars from the 1970s. The Mantis was a British sports car engineered in North Wales. It had a sleek body that was unlike anything else on the market at the time (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

There were only 32 examples of this rare car ever built. Export issues caused the automaker to cease production early on, but you’ll still see a few on the road. With the intriguing styling and excellent road manners, the Mantis is fun to drive and a unique sports car to say the least.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

1975 Bricklin SV-1

The 1975 Bricklin SV-1 is a fiberglass sports car built from 1974 to 1974. The body of the car was designed from a color-impregnated acrylic resin, which made the car extremely lightweight. The SV-1 is noteworthy for having gull-wing doors and a true sports car look (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Bricklin SV-1 was touted as the world’s safest sports car. It had a custom-made roll-over structure and shock-absorbing bumpers. You won’t see many sports cars that are as unique as the Bricklin SV-1. With the right upgrades, this car will be a modern sports car that hearkens back to a happier time for performance.

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