When it comes to finding a 1970s classic car, the options are aplenty. If we start at the bottom fo the price range, we see a group of MGs, Alfa Romeo Spiders, Triumphs, Corvettes and more. As we get into the higher price range, the options begin to get broader. If your intention is to hold on to this piece of automotive history or to sell it at a higher price, finding a bargain is the best way to go. In addition, classic cars have become a solid investment opportunity, with prices skyrocketing in the past ten years.
While you might have been able to find a nice rubber bumper MG for $2,500 ten years ago, that same car will probably run you around $5,000-10,000 these days. In addition, the entrance of online car auction sites like Bring-A-Trailer, Vendue House and others, has helped to usher in a new era of buying cars. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at three classic cars from the 1970s that are still rather affordable.
At the top of the list for good reason is the classic MG. There’s a long list of reasons as to why these cars have remained so popular in the past several decades. While they may not be as powerful as other 1970s era cars (excluding the MG V8), they offer style and value that cannot be beaten. On the lowest end of the price spectrum, we have the rubber bumper MGs. These cars were made for the U.S. to help meet the restrictions surrounding safety that the government put in place. Because of this simple addition, these cars tend to be quite cheap with an average example going for around $4,000-$6,500.
The more popular metal bumper MG or MG GT, will likely run over $7k and up to $15k for a great example. Now, British cars are not well known for their electronics (thanks Lucas), but they are known for their great sounding, and fairly reliable engines. If you live in an area where its sunny, these cars often come with a convertible top for those special days. While prices are increasing, there are quite a lot of MGs for sale on the market, making them a top choice for investors and collectors alike.
Now, this one comes as a heavy hitter on the list. This British classic has no place being under $20,000 for a prime example. With a V6 and all the fun factor that comes with it, Triumph TR6s are an excellent choice for enthusiasts. While a great example may run in the $20,000 range, you can pick up a decent running car in the sub-$10,000s. These cars share a great deal of parts with its predecessor as well as the cars that came after, making parts more affordable than most.
In addition, some enthusiasts like to swap out the engines and replace them with larger, more repairable American power plants. Yes, this is against the law that TR6 owners live by, but these swapped cars can be quite enjoyable. The major issue with TR6s and any 1970s British car for that matter, is rust. Despite these cars being made in a country known for its rain, these cars will disintegrate if left unchecked. If you’re trying to buy a TR6, make sure you check all the usual places (panels, frame, window seals, convertible, etc). While repairing the engine or other components may be affordable, rust repair is one of the most expensive procedures to have done. With all of this in mind, Triumphs remain one of the great affordable 1970s classics.
If you’re seeing this on this list and wondering how a Corvette could be affordable, we’re referring to a few specific examples of this car. While early 1970s Corvettes can run a pretty penny, later 1970s cars such as the C3, can be purchased in the $10,000 range. These cars are simple to fix, unbelievably reliable, and cheap to maintain. Although they look incredibly fast and nimble in a parking space, don’t expect modern performance unless some major upgrades were made. This is not to say that 1970s Corvettes are slow by any means, but you might not want to race for pinks.
As far as 1970s cars go, Corvettes are a classic, and will remain that way for years to come. While the 1980s Vette’s are still quite cheap, late 70s examples are beginning to go up in price. With legendary styling and a slew of gauges, going to the grocery can be more exciting than ever. But, you must act quick because these cars are beginning to get rarer, despite a lot of examples still being out there.
In the end, my biased opinion is that 1970s cars are some of the greatest out there. After the 1960s where cars were relatively lacking power, a new era of technologically advanced cars came to be. These cars can be easily fixed by the home mechanic, and parts remain on the lower price side. With values skyrocketing every year, now could be the time to find a classic at an affordable price.