The Best Vintage cars for Beginners: Top 5 Models

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  • Post last modified:August 31, 2022
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  • Reading time:7 mins read

When you hear the term – classic car, what comes to mind? The rare million-dollar, 1 of 5 Lamborghinis, or Ferraris that won the first F1 races? Well, although they are pretty much the face of the vintage car genre, they are in fact only a small part of the market.

There are tens of other vintage car models that are much less rare and expensive. In this article, we examine 5 such models that would be perfect for beginner vintage car enthusiasts.

Top 5 Vintage Cars For Beginners

1. First Generation Ford Mustang

The vintage car scene in America is dominated by three so-called muscle cars – Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Charger. Following frequent portrayals in Hollywood movies in the 20th century, these cars have become significantly popular among the population.

One recent example is the striking blue ‘69 Mustang that Tommy Egan drives in the hit TV series – Power. Produced between 1964 and 1973, there are more than enough versions of this car to fill whatever your preferences are.

If you want a high-performance Mustang, you only just need to be content with paying higher prices. But if the classic aesthetic is all you’re looking for, there are many lower-performing versions that you can get on the market. And since it was mass-produced, there is no shortage of Mustang’s in the market, there will also be one (or dozens of options) available for you to buy.

Another advantage of the Mustang being mass produced is that there is a sufficient supply of spare parts. So, you would not have to worry about going to the ends of the earth, or breaking the bank, to replace a burst tailpipe. With less than $10,000, you can own a Ford Mustang.

2. First Generation Chevrolet Camaro

The first generation Camaro was a direct competitor to the Ford Mustang, back in the 1980s. General Motors produced it between 1979 and 1981 when it saw how much buzz the Mustang generated. And as expected, the Camaro caught on quite quickly. It has also featured in many notable movies, most recently in the Fast & Furious franchise.

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And as a result, the Chevrolet Camaro, with its iconic front grille and body lines, is one of America’s most recognizable cars today. Thankfully, it was also mass-produced, so there is a significant supply of units, spare parts, and mechanics out there today.

However, it is a little pricier than the Mustang; you would need around $15,000 to buy one.

3. First Generation Dodge Charger

The third horseman of the American muscle car trifecta, the 1966/67 Dodge Charger is another vintage car that has a long and illustrious record of appearances in Hollywood movies. Although not as flashy as its later models, the 1969 Dodge Charger can crank out speeds of up to 200 mph, going from 0 to 60 mph in only 5 secs. All are powered by a 4-speed manual engine producing 425 hp.

The car is significantly pricy and can cost as much as $20,000. However, if you are not looking to spend that much, you can always choose later models.

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Dodge is only going to stop making the Charger model in 2023. So, there are plenty of other models from the 70s, 80s, and 90s that count as vintage cars but aren’t as pricy. Also, since it’s an ongoing make, you will also find that its spare parts are relatively easier to come by.

4. Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle’s early history is tangled with Nazism, as it was developed in Hitler’s attempt to create a “car of the people”. However, it quickly shook off such nastiness, and truly grew into place as the preferred car of the European and American people alike.

Unlike other cars on this list, the Beetle does not have the usual vintage car look – long body, and pure charm. But, it is still a vintage car quite alright. And an advantage of its unusual look is that it costs less than the more usual-looking classic cars. Besides, since they were mass-produced to be functional vehicles for the middle class, they are remarkably reliable. Also, over 30 million were produced, so Beetle spare parts aren’t in short supply.

The perfect entry-level car for someone looking to get into vintage cars, they are significantly cheap – costing as low as $2,000.

5. Plymouth Duster

Although its name doesn’t really strike a chord at first glance, the Plymouth Duster is yet another popular and iconic American vintage car. Designed and produced in the ‘70s, lightweight, and cheaper than most other muscle cars that were available at the time, it was an instant hit in the market.

The Plymouth Duster was originally designed as a coupe version of the Valiant – another make of Plymouth cars. Unlike the Valiant sedan, it had only two doors and a semi-fast back, and so a classic sports car was born. It was instantly adopted by the younger folk at the time who popularised it.

The Duster came in 4 trims – the 5.5, 5.4, 3.7, and 3.2-liter engine options. The top trim, the 5.5-liter version, has a V8 engine that could crank out 275 hp and could go from 0 to 60 mph in only 6.2 seconds.

Although it was the cheaper option, compared to the other 3 major muscle cars, a Plymouth Duster could set you back more than $7,000.

Final words

That’s it – our list of “entry-level” vintage cars perfect for beginner classic car enthusiasts. 4 out of 5 of them are them are American cars and it’s not without reason. Being produced on American soil, they were closer to the market and thus, resonated quite easily with the audience.

However, these are not all the options available to anyone looking to exercise their classic car enthusiasm for the first time. There are a lot of cars out there, from different countries that are cheap and still offer the thrill of vintage cars. Japanese cars, for example, have become quite popular in the car scene. If you would like to check one out, visit here.

Dylan Miller

I am a Chicago native and regular contributor to "Locar Deals" and "Cars Cache". I have a master's degree in English, am an automobile content creation specialist, and have written professionally for a variety of automotive companies over the past few years. I write on a variety of vehicles, from high-end luxury cars to ten-year-old gas guzzlers and everything in between. And I love sharing valuable car buying tips with consumers from all walks of life.

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