13 Classic Cars That Are Perfect for a Collector on a Budget

These classics deliver collector credibility without breaking the bank.



Just because you don’t have R500,000 or more to spend doesn’t mean you can’t afford to own a cool classic car. With a little searching, these are some of the best classic cars you can regularly find for around R250,000 or less, according to you.



1. Datsun 240Z/260Z/280Z

The Datsun Z family of cars is considered one of the best looking Japanese vehicles ever built. A sleek two-door shape with a long nose and short overhangs compliments a fantastic rear-wheel drive layout and wonderful chassis, paired to a straight-six engine. Prices are going up, but there are still deals to be found if you act fast—and don’t mind a little tinkering.



2. Volkswagen GTI (Mk1 or Mk2)

The GTI has been around since the 1980s, and the earliest models remain the coolest. Lightweight, simple, and agile, the Mk1 and Mk2 GTIs both feature boxy looks and signature round headlights that any enthusiast will love.



3. Mazda MX-5 (Miata)

We know it’s hard to believe, but the first Miata is already nearly 30 years old. It first debuted in 1989 as a 1990 model year car, making it a certified classic. It’s still one of the best cars you can buy, and since Mazda made so many, prices tend to stay low.



4. Chevrolet El Camino

We saw somewhat of an El Camino revival with the Chevrolet Lumina SS (Holden UTE) , but thanks to the economic decline, that didn’t last long. Still, a classic El Camino is always going to be cool, and you can easily find them for decent prices.



5. Datsun 510

It may have borrowed a bit from some of the European sedans at the time, but the Datsun 510 is more than a knockoff BMW. It’s a fun little car in its own right. And thanks to Datsun’s big-time involvement in racing at the time, this car has a ton of motorsports history.



6. Fiat 124 Spider

Yes, you can buy a new 124 Spider, but spending your money on a classic is more of an adventure. Besides, the old 124s have far more style and class than the newer versions. An added bonus: You”ll have something to work on every Saturday for the rest of your life.



7. Ford F-100

Everybody loves a classic truck on the road, even if you’re not a “truck person.” If you can find an old Ford F-100 that you can pick up (pun intended), you absolutely should. Just look at that grille.



8. Jeep Wagoneer

CJs are always great, but if you’re going to buy a classic Jeep, why not get something a little different? Skip the go-to CJ and get yourself a two-tone Wagoneer to standout from the crowd.



9. Mercedes-Benz W115

There’s an inherent coolness that comes with driving an old Mercedes, but if you don’t want to look like you bought one because it was cheap, you have to reach back a little further than the W124. That’s where something like a W115 comes in. Such a classic look.



10. MGB GT

The BMW Clown Shoe is a collector’s dream, but those cars have gotten incredibly pricey lately. For a shooting brake on a budget, look to the MGB GT instead. We wouldn’t blame you for picking the drop-top version of the MGB, but the GT is the one for us.



11. Plymouth Valiant

The first-generation Valiant had a design only a mother could love, but by the mid-1960s, it was updated and looking pretty good. It was sold in several different body styles, including a convertible, and the engines are famous for lasting forever. On a budget, you can’t go wrong here.



12. Pontiac Firebird

You can spend a lot of money on one of these if you really want to, but late-1970s Firebirds can also be pretty good deals if you keep an eye out for them. And even if it’s not black, you’ll still be able to live out your Smokey and the Bandit fantasies. Just make sure you have some good old 8-tracks ready to go.



13. Volvo 122

Volvo has quite a few lustworthy classics out there, but if you’re trying to keep it affordable, you’ll have a hard time finding a better deal than a Volvo 122. It’s not quite a P1800, but you still get plenty of style. And if you’re concerned about safety, the 122 was the first car to offer a three-point seatbelt as standard back in 1959.


Thinking of purchasing an investment classic? Contact our team of specialist auto brokers for advice and assistance.