The classic car market has grown enormously ever since the 1980s. First, car enthusiasts only collected cars from the ’40s and ’50s. Later on, as the market grew and years passed by, some cars not only managed to pass the test of time but also find homes in the garages of the rich people.
But the trends keep shifting every time, from muscle cars to hot hatches, to classic Porsches, the classic car market is always in search of the next big thing. And when that happens, the classics we all love become overpriced and scarce.
For your luck, there are some amazingly underrated classic sports cars that you can still purchase, due to them being underrated. But, once the market recognizes them as good buys, your dream car will be ten times the price it is today. There’s no time to waste, so read our article, and appreciate these great finds.
10 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC
The 450 SLC has what many other cars don’t: authenticity, heritage, and a story. When you’ve seen and driven a lot of cars in your life, that’s what you want. Not an extremely fast and loud, supercar that’ll wake you, neighbors. No, you want the 450 SLC. Why this exact car?
When the 450 SLC was released in 1979, it was ahead of its time. It had power steering, seat heating, and a sunroof. But that’s nothing new, we already know what Mercedes-Benz can do. Buying it in the ’80s, was the equivalent of buying a UFO. Today, unfortunately, is rarely seen on the streets and not many people talk about it.
9 Triumph TR6
When the TR6 was launched in 1969, Triumph declared it was their last real sports car. And, the TR6 was on its own for a long time. No car in the market could match its performance, looks, and price. Although its handling wasn’t the best in the market, many people claim it was faster than any E-type.
So why is it so underrated today? Part of the reason is the myth about the vaporization of the mechanical fuel-injection, and of course the obvious, the over-competitive car market itself. Today, you can find one for $12,000 in great condition, but look out for that bodywork!
8 Toyota Supra MK III
The Supra from the third generation might not be the car for drivers who prefer lightweight and knife-edge handling, but the Supra directly talks to real hands-on sports car enthusiasts. It’s fast, loud, unforgiving, and comfortable. In fact, the Supra’s drivability is probably its biggest strength. And at the same time, it is a very misunderstood car.
The Supra isn’t the hero you think you need, but the one you deserve. It’s a GT car, and probably the best car you can buy from the ’80s. Unfortunately, this Toyota will always live under the shadow of MK4 cars, but you can still change that.
7 Volvo P1800
The Volvo P1800 is probably the prettiest Volvo out there. We still don’t understand why is it so underrated. Nevertheless, the Italian inspired P1800 was launched at the Brussels Motor Show in 1960, designed by Pelle Petterson. However, without the help of two British firms: Pressed Steel and Jensen Motors, the P1800 would never make it to production.
Under the hood of the P1800, there lies a 1.8-liter four-cylinder twin-carb petrol engine, not the most powerful, but it runs smoothly, enough for you to enjoy the driving experience of it, which is what Volvo is all about. Although it takes a bit of time to adjust to such an old car, once you do, you’ll never want to change it.
6 Mercury Cougar
The Mercury Cougar surely isn’t the most underrated car in this list, but at the same time, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Launched right after the Mustang, the Cougar came available with a V8 engine rated between 200-230 horsepower. Later on, its V8 engine was developed to 340 horsepower. Remember, this was made in the ’60s. Impressive, right?
And the driving experience, of course, is remarkably similar to a Mustang’s. Which is not surprising, considering that’s what the Cougar was based on. An excellent original from the ’60s will cost you no more than $7000, so hurry up and purchase it, there’s no time to lose.
5 Maserati 222 BiTurbo
The 222 Biturbo isn’t only an underrated car in the automotive industry, it is a hated one. In fact, the 222 Biturbo is considered one of the worst sports cars ever built. But, hear us out. First of all, it was a sports car for the “common” man; increased usability, and a much lower price tag. So it’s not exactly smart to expect this car to look like a typical Maserati.
Although much different, the Biturbo still manages to catch attention. It was designed by the same guy who worked on the De Tomaso Pantera, Pierangelo Andreani. But stop judging it from the outside and look on the inside. An interior to die for. An engine that’s anything but conventional. A 2.0 liter V6 force-fed by two twin turbochargers, making it the first production car with a twin-turbocharged setup. See, that’s what we’re talking about. The 222 Biturbo is anything but a bad sports car, it only takes the right eyes to see it.
4 Datsun 260Z
TopGear called the Nissan 240Z as one of the most important sports cars of all time. And we don’t disagree. The 240Z is a front-engined, two-seater coupe, that features a 2.4-liter straight-six engine. Although its outputs are modest, the car weighed only one tonne, so 150 horsepower it’s plenty.
A good one will cost you up to $12,000. But if you really want a weekend sports car, that is an ultimate classic, but still lives up to modern standards, look no further. You’ll probably spend days and days polishing it, but once you do there will be no greater satisfaction.
3 Ferrari Mondial
You’ve heard it here: the Mondial doesn’t deserve its bad reputation. Yes, it’s not as flashy as other Ferraris, it has other seats and only 212 horsepower, but so what? It’s designed by Pininfarina, and driving it in any random street will get you all the attention you desire. It’s a Ferrari after all.
It’s a unique car and an even more unique Ferrari and it should be appreciated for everything it offers. After all, it still reached 60mph in only 6.4 seconds. And compared with other Ferraris, this one you’ll actually use and drive, not keep it in your garage for eternity. Prices start from $23,000, and if you ask us, it’s worth every cent.
2 Indigo 3000
The Indigo 3000 although it looks like a typical classic, it’s more of a modern classic. Produced by Josse Car, a Swedish sports car manufacturer from 1996 to 2000, the 3000 featured a 3.0-liter straight-six Volvo engine, generating 204 horsepower. Unfortunately, although the sales were great in the beginning, the company closed for bankruptcy due to an economic crisis.
And the Indigo 3000 not only looks like a Jaguar, but it also drives fantastically. If the Indigo was produced in another country, let’s say, Germany or Italy, it probably would’ve had a different luck today. If you have the chance to ever spot it somewhere, don’t take your eyes off of it.
1 MGB GT/ Roadster
The MGB is not an unpopular car like the others in this list, most car enthusiasts turn up their noses when they see it at a classic car show. But, at the same time, it is not appreciated enough. The MGB used a 1.8-liter engine, that didn’t produce much power. But driving a classic like this one, shouldn’t be about power, but about the experience it offers.
And if you’re used by modern standards, you probably won’t appreciate it much, or at most get frustrated at the mechanics. But, for a car that can trace its roots to 1962, it drives remarkably well. It’s a proper sports car after all, that requires a lot of attention. And $8000 will probably buy you one, but get ready to commit to it, full-time.
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