BUDGET CLASSICS

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE RICH TO OWN A CLASSIC AND HERE’S PROOF

Though the utterly lunatic prices we saw for apparently gold-plated local classics have eased off a little, there’s no doubt the numbers for classic cars can seem downright scary. It shouldn’t be that way. you expect to pay a premium for some machinery, but there should also be an entry level. And there is.

These aren’t the headline cars, the ones that score ‘ooh aah’ stories in mainstream media for being roughly the price of a house. No, we’re talking toys that are often overlooked, even though they have a hell of a lot to offer.

You can, on a modest budget of $3k and up, get something that will bring a lot of joy. Sure you might need to get your hands dirty as you fix a few issues, but that’s part of the fun.

Pretty much the entire country has some sort of concessional registration, or club permit, for classic cars. It means you can’t use them every day, but the cost of ownership is much lower. In most states, the starting age is 30 years, while in Victoria it’s 25.

So, we decided to have a look at what’s out there, aged 30-plus, with a max budget of $30k and preferably much less. There’s plenty, with a fair few glamour models among them.

We bring you three real-life stories of humble classics – one a reader resto with an inspiring tale behind it, and two of our many staff cars. You’ll also see we’ve cut the team loose to see what they’d spend their hard-earned on. Enjoy...