There’s a reason why a vintage Porsche 911, Shelby Mustang GT350, or E-Type Jaguar will command sums greater than your mortgage. Not all cars are created equal, and as a general rule, time sorts out the brilliant automobiles from the rolling appliances in the form of the open market. Strangely, though, some cars slip through the proverbial cracks and go for prices ranging from reasonably affordable to dirt-freaking-cheap.
Here are just eight of those cars, all of which are seriously undervalued despite possessing the depth of character normally associated with vaunted classics.
1. Chevrolet Corvair Monza
General value today: $12,000
Why it should be more: The Corvair is one of the most unique American cars ever produced. With an air-cooled flat-six engine (turbocharged in later models) mounted in the back, it had more in common with the then-new Porsche 911 than contemporary American muscle cars. Chevy offered the Corvair in a variety of body styles, but the Corvair Monza is the muscle car-esque coupe that would’ve been a classic by now, if not for an all-time PR nightmare when Ralph Nader claimed that it was “unsafe at any speed.”
The NHTSA exists in part because of this car, but if you’re interested in owning and driving a classic car, it’s a fine piece of machinery that by rights should fetch double what it does today.
2. Buick Reatta
General value today: $4,000-6,000 (coupe) or $13,000-15,000 (convertible)
Why it should be more: The oft-forgotten Buick is an outlier: it was a handbuilt two-seater designed to restore luster to the Buick name, and came with advanced features like a touchscreen dash… back in 1988. Today, there’s a small but fervent group of Reatta fans that rally around the car and support each other when the need for parts arises, and there’s even a Reatta-only salvage yard in Arizona that eerily stands as a memorial.