Five Affordable Classic Cars From the 2020 Amelia Island Auctions
Yes, even you can afford a cool classic car.
Think you're priced out of the collector car market? Think again. While the headlines after every major collector car auction boast sales prices that would buy you a very nice house in some states (and five very nice houses in some other states), there are some affordable classic cars to be found at nearly every auction. There were even some affordable cars at the 2020 Amelia Island auctions.
While the collector car market has cooled slightly in the last few years, you're still not likely to see many standards of the classic segment return to semi-affordable status. We're talking Jaguar E-types that were once $30,000 that now bring upward of $100,000. Driver-condition long-hood Porsche 911s that used to cost $15,000 are "cheap" at $65,000. Even the lowly Ferrari 308 GT4, an entry-level, eight-cylinder Bertone-designed 2+2 that Enzo Ferrari reportedly hated, is worth about $40,000 more than the $15,000-$20,000 it cost a decade or two ago. At the 2020 Amelia Island auctions there were plenty of big-dollar sales, but don't be fooled: there were plenty of affordable classic cars to be found at each of the three big auction houses, too. We've compiled six affordable classic cars that sold at the 2020 Amelia Island auctions for less than $35,000, or about the average price of a new car in 2020.
1990 Ferrari Mondial T Cabriolet
An honest-to-goodness Ferrari for twenty-seven large? What's the catch? Well, this one's a Mondial, which means you'll spend an inordinate amount of time catching compliments on your clean Toyota MR2. Oh, and the exterior and interior are white, so while you'll be a hit at Radwood, you'll be doing a lot of detailing before you get there. Better news is this car only has 18,000 miles on its 300-hp, 3.4-liter V-8 and the car came with plenty of service records indicating it was well-kept. Those tiny rear seats mean that your (small) kids or a dog or two can also join in the fun.
1968 Marcos 1500 GT
Show up to your local cars and coffee in a Marcos GT and you'll be getting way more than $34,000 worth of attention. These swoopy coupes are eye-catching and feature bonded fiberglass/plywood monocoque chassis, which are lightweight if not supremely durable. Just eight 1500 GTs were said to be delivered to the U.S. from their native England and this one is powered by an 85-hp, 1.5-liter Ford Kent engine.
1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000
For less than the price of a new Giulia sedan, you could be cruising in a classic Alfa Romeo instead. This 1974 GTV 2000 is from the model's final year of production and has the largest engine fitted to the original GTV at 2.0-liters. With around 130 hp, a compact rear-drive, two-door, four-seat configuration and styling by Bertone, there's not much not to like about this one. Better yet, running costs are generally affordable and this one has cool GTA-style alloy wheels.
1971 BMW Bavaria 2800
We get it: you want a cool classic sports car, but with kids that's just not practical. Enter the BMW Bavaria. BMW does (did?) sports sedans very well and the Bavaria is no exception. Essentially a longer wheelbase CS Coupe, the Bavaria powers its rear wheels with a 2.8-liter straight-six engine paired with twin carbs for about 168 hp. While Bavarias were most commonly sold with manual transmissions, this one has a rare-ish three-speed automatic—perfect for low-stress weekend outings with the family. And all for about one-third what a comparable coupe would cost.
1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud 1 Saloon
The least expensive new Rolls-Royce you can buy in 2020 will cost you over $300,000 before you start tacking on options—and anyone with the money can easily buy one. But for less than $34,000 you, an enthusiast of great taste but meager bank account, could one-up the nouveau riche in your classic 1956 Silver Cloud equipped with a W.O. Bentley-designed straight-six that had been upped to 4.9-liters by the time this car was built. This Silver Cloud's original owner served in the British Royal Navy, the retired admiral keeping the car in London until his passing. From there, it was sold to a Canadian owner who repainted the Roller in its original Tudor Grey over Shell Grey paint scheme and rebuilt the transmission (a GM Hydramatic unit). Just 2,238 Silver Cloud 1 models were built, putting you in rare company.