You don’t have to buy a used car from this century to get a great deal and have heads turning at the rarity of your ride. You’d be surprised at what you can get for under $10,000 if you look at something a little older. In fact, there’s nothing over $9,000 on the list. So, what’s on the list? Look at my Top Ten Picks (no particular order) to find out.
1. 1999 Mercedes Benz SL-Class SL 500 Coupe
Buying a top-of-the-range car (when it came out) is a sure bet you’re going to get plenty of extras for your buck, and the Mercedes doesn’t disappoint. This two-door convertible model has a removable hardtop, multi-adjustable power driver’s seat, ABS brakes, cruise control, heated leather seats, keyless entry, power windows and mirrors, remote ignition, traction control, alloy wheels, and airbags for both driver and passenger. The model I found had no branded titles or previous damage of any kind. In fact, it’s in exceptional condition in silver with beige trim on the interior seats, door-cards and carpet. The wood-trim highlights and original old-school Mercedes Benz stereo will keep you entertained for hours. It’s a powerful V8 5.8 liter automatic rear-wheel drive with only 78,280 miles on the speedometer and original manual for just $8,995. Compare that with the original price tag of more than $81,000 before taxes when it came out of the showroom!
2. 1998 Chevrolet Blazer LS
If you’re looking for some old-school cool, then check out a good old Chevy. I came across a 1998 Blazer with automatic transmission, premium ride suspension package, lift-gate body, cruise control, rear privacy glass, power windows, day-time running lights, heated side mirrors, roof racks, tow bar, and big alloy wheels with metallic ‘Gold’ paintwork and 84,955 miles for only $6,995.
3. 1991 Pontiac Grand Prix SE Coupe
Finding a car that has only been driven to church on Sunday or the local store for the weekly grocery shop is hard to find. Yet they are out there and I just happened to come across such a rare bargain in the form of an ‘Electric Blue’ Pontiac Grand Prix with automatic transmission, original alloy wheels, sunroof, electric windows, air conditioning, only two previous owners and no previous damage. The velour seats are in immaculate condition as is the paintwork. This is a true collectors dream with a mouth-watering mileage of only 28,353 miles for the low, low price of just $7,195.
4. 1998 Ford F150 Supercab
Looking for a reliable pickup but can’t afford more than the $10k price tag? Look no further. I found a white Ford F150 in excellent condition inside and out, with cruise control, dual airbags, towing package, sliding rear window and running boards. The V8 4.6 liter engine has plenty of life left having only traveled 71,000 miles over the past 24 years – that’s less than 3,000 miles per year! The other great thing is the vehicle has been thoroughly detailed and polished ready to drive away. You won’t have to break the bank either at the $7,500 price tag. There could even be some negotiation room as it’s a private sale. Absolute bargain.
5. 1993 Ford Econoline Cargo E150 Van
If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, perhaps a van to travel in or cart stuff around, then you can’t go past the Ford Econoline Cargo. The one I found has automatic transmission, ultra-plush seats with adjustable arm rests and immaculate interior, power steering, adjustable steering wheel, power windows, cruise control, ABS brakes, and a powerful V8 5.0 liter engine. It has only had two owners and no previous damage. It does however have some slight surface rust on the rear roof lip which could easily be sanded back and re-painted. This is certainly a bargain with only 62,287 miles traveled for $4,450. There’s a lot of vehicle for that price.
6. 1991 Lincoln Town Car Signature
If you’re after a classic American sedan, this could easily be the one. The wheel rims and spokes are magnificent. It comes in pure white, expertly detailed and easily passed the dealer inspection. There’s ample space in the immaculate trunk, the interior beige leather seats are in pristine condition, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better one with an ultra low 43,116 miles on the dial. The 8 cylinder 4.6 liter engine will easily live up to expectations and last another 30 plus years. You can get all this and an updated CD stereo for only $7,995.
7. 1996 Chrysler LHS
If your budget doesn’t stretch to $8k for a sedan, I found a great condition automatic Chrysler with light tan interior, a mere 69,205 miles, tinted windows, alloy wheels, power windows, leather seats, multi-zone climate control, keyless entry, cruise control, $900 worth of mechanical work just done, and plenty of luxury extras for $5,795.
8. 1966 Ford Galaxie 500
You read right – a real olden-day classic! This one is an automatic four-door sedan in immaculate, original condition. It has beautiful blue upholstery and the bench seats and door cards are in pristine condition. It had a new carburetor installed last year, only 53,000 miles driven, and has always been garage stored. You could easily join a car collectors club and show this beauty off. This could be yours for $7,900.
9. 1993 Cadillac Eldorado
I can never get enough of immaculate examples of well-looked after cars, and this one’s no exception. A one-owner teal green convertible with tan leather interior, this car has always been garaged when not in use, has traveled only 78,000 miles, has a V8 engine, automatic transmission and comes with full service history for an amazingly low $5,999.
10. 1976 Pontiac Firebird
Who hasn’t dreamed of driving a Pontiac Firebird? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came across a silver dream-machine with bright red interior (no cracks or fading on the dashboard, no stains on the carpet, and no rust). Just one small cut on the bottom of the driver’s seat. All the original paperwork and fantastic condition are part of this slice of pop culture history. An 8-cylinder engine and 3-speed automatic transmission are great, 68,874 miles is stellar, but the icing on the cake is the original cassette tape bought on the day the car was bought that still works – and the album is ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. I can’t believe the price of $2,400 with the option to make an offer. I could trawl through more and more websites and pages of good deal older cars for sale, but that’s not the only way to pick up a bargain. Also look at upcoming car auctions in your local area, you can pick up some amazing finds provided you inspect the cars thoroughly beforehand and know your limit. Always check the mileage hasn’t been tampered with (usually a good sign is the general wear and tear on the body and interior of the car). There’s something for every taste listed here, and if I can find bargains so can you.