First of all, don’t worry. It’s not like any of these affordable classic cars is going to increase in value overnight just because we believe they deserve more recognition. Thing is, however, they might just do that in the near future. After all, we’ve all been witnessing a sort of vintage classics renaissance these last few years or so. And while most of us can pretty much chalk off a vintage Ferrari, Lamborghini or even Plymouth ‘Cuda in fine condition for that matter, there are certain classics that are still reasonably priced and within average Joe and plain Jane’s reach.
Precious few cars are born with that classic car moniker and you know they’ll be as expensive as they come one day. Hell, they’re almost exclusively highly priced from the get-go. Needless to say, we’re not interested in such cars here. What we’ll focus on here are models that have become classics over time. And those that have somehow managed to fly under the radar at the same time. In other words, here are 10 criminally underrated classic cars that won’t break the bank if you decide to pursue them. At least not initially. Don’t forget the maintenance and other issues old timers are plagued with.
1. 1958-1959 Ford Fairlane
When it comes to classic cars from the fifties, Chevy Bel Air is often the way to go. One of the most beloved American classic cars, however, has a steep price tag. Even if it isn’t in mint condition. The alternative is equally astonishing 1955-1957 Ford Fairlane which goes for twice as less than Bel Air on average. But if you’re really trying to hit that sweet affordable classic car spot, you should go with second generation Fairlane. 1958 and 1959 models cost around $9,500 on average with concours pieces reaching $18,000 and fair running condition models being available for less than $6,000.
Although second generation Ford Fairlanes sport more contemporary design than much beloved mid-fifties cars, they’re still vintage design classics in every sense of the word. In fact, people loved the new low-finned tail-lights and quad headlights so much that Ford managed to outsell Chevrolet for the first time since 1935. Powertrain lineup consisted of standard 223ci 6-cylinder, 292ci V8, new 332ci V8 in two different tunes (2-barrel with 240 hp and 4-barrel with 265 hp), and new 352ci V8 making 300 horsepower. 1959 models even received the 350-horsepower 430ci V8.
Of all the second generation Fairlanes, Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner has to be considered the most stylish offering. Also called Skyliner Retractable Convertible, it featured self-storing metal top which attracted crowds whenever it roamed back in the day. These were also the most expensive models, not only in Fairlane’s lineup, but offered by the Blue Oval overall. Sadly, they’re also rather scarce today.