n case it hasn’t occurred to readers yet, I love cars. I love everything about them. From driving them to looking at them, writing about them and especially owning them. While a majority of the cars in my burgeoning collection are modern, for the past twenty-five years I have been the proud owner of a vintage 1971 Mercedes 280SL “Pagoda” roadster – a car that ignited my love for classics.
I have a strong desire to add more vintage cars to my stable, but what has stopped me from doing so are the exorbitant prices these old cars tend to have. With big-block Mopars fetching six-and-seven figures and Corvettes earning staggering prices, it can be hard to find enthusiast cars in the right condition at the right price.
I’m happy to say though that it’s not impossible – if you know what to look for.
Using the Hagerty Valuation Tool – a classic car value guide that uses detailed data and Hagerty expertise – I selected ten great-looking-and-driving older muscle cars that you can buy for under $25,000.
For my search, I considered cars that would be rated a three on the Hagerty Condition Rating scale. A “three-car” is considered to be in “good” condition and is “not used for daily transportation but is ready for a long tour without excuses. The casual passerby will not find any visual flaws.”
Let’s get started!
1967 Mercury Cougar
Average value: $19,000
The Ford Mustang, released mid-1964, is undoubtedly America’s favorite and most ubiquitous classic car. Prices for Mustangs, especially the high output versions, have reached daunting price levels, but there is a mechanically identical alternative with its own flavor and style: the Mercury Cougar.
In 1967 the Cougar gave Mercury its own pony car to compete with the Camaro, Firebird, Barracuda, and others. Aside from its three-inch longer wheelbase, the Cougar was a virtual copy of the refreshed model-year Mustang. It was offered exclusively as a coupe in either a base configuration or a luxury version, the XR-7. Engine options ranged from a 289 cubic-inch V8 to a 390 cubic-inch four-barrel V8.
Either configuration had the option to add the GT package which included upgraded brakes, tires, exhaust, and upgraded suspension components.
Other stylish features of the car included hidden headlights, an elegant grille, and sequential taillights.
For the muscle car fanatic, the only model to consider is one fitted with the GT package because of all the performance options. A fully optioned Cougar XR-7 GT in a “good” driving condition is valued at $19,000.