Cheap Fun: Affordable Sports Cars from Every Era
Every time I see some anonymous tan family sedan with a $27,000+ price tag, I want to grab people by the lapels and shake them until they make better financial decisions. Twenty-seven large is an insane amount of money to pay for a car with all the sex appeal of a Westinghouse dishwasher. With that kind of money, you can purchase any number of killer sports cars, from the 1950s right up until the last few years. Yeah, it’s going to take $27,000 cash, not financed out for six years, but money is money:
1950s – MG MGA
(1955 to 1962)
For $27,000, you’re going to have a tough time trying to find that XK120 you’ve always lusted after. But really, the MGA – in either coupe or roadster form – is the next best thing, on a scale that’s easier to fit in the garage. The MGA is a stunningly beautiful car, and because it’s smaller than the XK, the inline four-cylinder hauls it down the road just as enjoyably as the bigger Jaguar. For our money, the MGA might be the greatest bargain in classic, British sports cars.
1960s – Triumph GT6
(1966 to 1972)
It’s a similar story with the GT6: you’ve always wanted an XKE coupe, but the funds have never been there. The GT6 offers some of that beautifully athletic GT styling, along with a big inline six engine. Triumphs have never rung cash register bells with any authority, so you can buy a GT6 for short money almost anywhere, and there’s a huge aftermarket ready to support it.
1970s – Datsun 240Z
(1971 to 1973)
The Datsun 240Z is the quintessential sports car of the 1970s. For a short time, it put Datsun on the map as a serious builder of revolutionary sports cars as good as any out of Europe, for a price that regular schmoes could afford. Today, good 240Zs are spendy, but $27k should buy you the best one available.