There are two types of car owners in this world. Some prefer to drive cars that get the job done without drawing too much attention to themselves. On the other hand, there are gearheads who prefer to drive something a little flashier: cars that turn heads wherever they go because of their cool designs, loud exhaust notes, incredible performance, and other features that make them stand out.
Gearheads who love the flashiest of cars usually have to spend insane amounts of money to get the newest and best cars. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. With a little research, you can find plenty of affordable classic cars that still have the wow factor on modern roads and can serve you well. The following are ten of those cars.
10/10 Jaguar XJS Convertible – $15,000
All gearheads know and love the legendary Jaguar E-Type. It is Jaguar’s greatest creation and is considered one of the most attractive sports cars ever built. Unfortunately, the success of the E-Type only spelled doom for its successor, the XJS.
The XJS just couldn’t be as good as the E-Type. For one thing, it wasn’t as beautiful as the E-Type. Not even close! It had a V12, but it wasn’t enough to make it exciting. The XJS remained a huge flop for Jaguar, which is why it is still among the most affordable V12-powered cars on the market.
9/10 Honda S2000 – $20,000
The 1990s will always be a special decade for Honda, as the Japanese brand built some of its most iconic cars. It all started with the legendary NSX and ended with another fantastic sports car: the S2000.
Although the S2000 was not as prestigious and advanced as the NSX, it still stole the hearts of gearheads with its style, affordability, reliability, and the masterpiece of an engine. The S2000 is still affordable today, but prices are on the rise.
8/10 Porsche 944 Turbo – $20,000
Porsche isn’t the first automaker that comes to mind when you think of entry-level sports cars. However, Porsche tried to build entry-level front-engined sports cars a few decades ago, and arguably the best of them was the 944.
The 944 impressed many with its elegant design, advanced engineering and attractive price. Although the 944 was not as fast as the 911, it was a pleasure to drive, especially the turbocharged version.
7/10 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia – $15,000
Volkswagen was at the top of the automotive world in the 1950s, largely thanks to the huge success of the iconic Beetle. However, the automaker still felt something was missing from its lineup: a sports car fit to take on other major European automakers.
So, in 1955, Volkswagen introduced its first sports car: the Karmann Ghia. This impressive car was based on the Beetle but its bodywork was designed by Carrozzeria Ghia. The Karmann Ghia had a successful career, selling almost 500,000 units.
6/10 Aston Martin DB9 – $37,000
If there is one car brand that is sure to capture the attention of gear lovers, it is Aston Martin. Astons are famous for their magnificent designs, luxurious cabins and powerful engines. Unfortunately, Astons are also known for their exorbitant prices.
Although not all of them. Believe it or not, you can get an Aston Martin supercar built in the 21st century for about the same price as a new Honda Civic. For just under $40,000, you can own a DB9 and enjoy similar styling cues to more upscale and expensive Aston Martin models, a luxurious cabin, and a powerful V12 under the hood. If the DB9 is too expensive, the DB7 is available for half the price.
5/10 Porsche 911 (996) – $20,000
The 911 is as good as it gets if you want a fun, powerful, well-designed German sports car. 911s are highly regarded by gearheads around the world, which is why they tend to be expensive. If you want an affordable 911, you’ll have to settle for the 996 generation.
The 996 gets a lot of hate from gearheads due to its styling and the fact that it was the first 911 to use water cooling instead of air cooling. Despite being one of the cheapest Porsches around, the 996 is still a 911 and is sure to deliver some hair-raising performance.
4/10 Datsun 240Z – $25,000
Japanese automakers were on a roll in the ’60s. Toyota impressed the world when it introduced the spectacular 2000GT in 1967, then Datsun followed in Toyota’s footsteps when it introduced the 240Z shortly after.
Like the Toyota 2000GT, the Datsun was a huge success thanks to its design. However, since it was mass-produced, the Datsun 240Z ended up being much more affordable than the 2000GT, even though they look alike. So while a Toyota 2000GT costs over $1 million today, the 240Z is still within reach.
3/10 Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06 – $26,000
The Chevy Corvette has always been one of the most powerful sports cars that enthusiasts on a budget can buy. However, for those looking for a little more than the basic Corvettes offering, Chevy always builds higher performance models.
The Z06 was the higher performance version of the C5 Corvette, and what a fantastic sports car it was. Under the hood, the C5 Z06 had an upgraded version of the base C5’s LS1 engine that sent 385 hp to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, making it a joy to drive.
2/10 Dodge Viper-$35,000
American manufacturers don’t get the same respect as their European counterparts when it comes to sports car production. Tired of this notion, Dodge rolled up their sleeves and built the best American sports car in the ’90s: the Viper.
Aside from his cool name, Viper had a lot going for him. On the one hand, it was praised for having excellent design, which is why Dodge made minimal changes during its lifespan. The Viper also impressed with its incredible performance, as it is one of the best V10-powered sports cars of all time.
1/10 Audi Quattro – $30,000
In the 1980s, the FIA introduced Group B rally rules that gave car manufacturers the freedom to create some of the craziest rally cars in history. One of the rules allowed automakers to equip cars with four-wheel drive systems, and Audi was the first automaker to take advantage of it when it introduced the Quattro.
Quattro, meaning ‘four’ in Italian, was indicative of the car’s all-wheel drive system, which is the main reason it was so dominant in the rally scene of the early 1980s. These qualities, along with the The Quattro’s striking wedge-shaped design are some of the reasons why it is considered one of Audi’s best models.