If you’ve ever wanted a collector car but thought you would never be able to afford one, think again. There are a number of factors that can cause a car gain collectible status and in-turn its price to increase. Whilst a $10k budget (probably) won’t buy you a concours ready collector car it can still buy you one that will turn heads. For those in Europe, they’ll be a similar post soon.

1. Chevrolet Corvair

Chevrolet Corvair

The Chevrolet Corvair was produced from 1960–1969 with two iterations during that time. The two-door coupe and convertible models are most popular. Project cars can be picked up for $100’s but even examples in excellent conditions can still be found for less than $10k.

2. Ford Thunderbird

Ford Thunderbird

The Ford Thunderbird was manufactured over eleven model generations from 1955 through 2005. The 50’s versions have sold for up to $660k. Convertible models from the 60’s can also attract 6 figure sales but it’s not uncommon to find the 2 or four door hardtops available in great condition selling for significantly less than $10K.

3. Mercury Cougar

Mercury Cougar

Mercury Cougars were produced ‎in two runs between 1967–1997 and 1999–2002. First introduced just after the Ford Mustang they were never as popular or as desirable. Rarer models can be hard to find with large price tags, though many of the first run versions in good condition are available for well below $10k.

4. Datsun 240Z

Datsun 240Z

Inspired by Jaguar XKEs long bonnet, the Nissan S30 (sold in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady Z and in other markets as the Datsun 240Z), was the first generation of Z GT two-seat coupes, produced by Nissan Motors between 1969–1978. For several decades these were not very desirable, though there has been a recent uptick in interest for these cars making them just a little harder to find in good shape. With patience you should be able to find one in good condition below $10k, but prices are likely to rise quickly in 2017.

5. Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

The ultimate collectible? Still in production today, the Mustang - a car first produced in 1964 - is arguably the most recognisable collectible car. Given the long production run and variety of models produced there are thousands of examples on the market to choose from in good condition below the $10k threshold.

6. Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet Impala’s are the most desirable full size Chevrolet’s from the 1960s. It’s production has been stopped and started a number of times since its first release in 1957. The first run from 1957–1985 are the cars considered as collectible today. We’ve got over 3000 historic sales recorded, many of which changed hands for less than $10k.

7. Buick Skylark

Buick Skylark

Buick Skylark’s were produced in three runs from 1953–1954, 1961–1972, and 1975–1998. The first two production (1953–1954, 1961–1972) runs currently hold collectible status. Some can sell for well in excess of 10k, although don’t despair as many versions of the Skylark can be bought on a $10k budget.

8. Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette is perhaps the most traded collector cars of all time – we’ve got a database of over 20000 sales recorded. Still in production today the car was launched in 1953. Their continued popularity has led to their abundance on the road. This is a good thing for collectors as supply even for older models is relatively high compared to other classics. Many Corvette’s produced in the 70’s can still be bought for below $10k.

9. Pontiac Firebird

Pontiac Firebird

Another classic muscle car on our list, the Pontiac Firebird was produced from 1967-2002. The 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s models are the most sought after by collectors. The later models (70’s and 80’s) can be found in abundance for sale at around $10k in good condition.

10. Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The only European car on this list. In production from 1955 to 1954, there were almost a half million of them made! These cars have seen a recent renewed interest from enthusiasts and collectors due in part because of their availability and value. Given the number that rolled off the production line you can still find some versions in fair condition below $10k. You might have to move quickly though as supply is likely to decrease in the coming years with demand continuing to skyrocket.

Still looking?

View 70k+ cars that have sold at auction below $10k and start your search for the next must-have collectable.