It’s safe to say that not all old cars are “old in the real sense.” Some of these so-called old cars can comfortably compete with the modern cars of today – especially when it comes to powertrain and body aesthetics. Matter of fact, some of the new cars that they produce today may not be able to match these old cars head to head.
It’s for this same reason that many rich people and top celebrities today keep a collection of these old and golden cars. Their plan – to wait until these cars become vintage and classic cars, thus ridiculously expensive, and later get them auctioned for an exorbitant price.
That’s why we see celebrities like Jay Leno, Ralph Lauren, Floyd Mayweather, amongst many others, buy a lot of old cars to keep in their collection. Even though a car is more of a liability than an asset, with what these guys do, one may need to rethink the liability part. If not, how can you explain the scenario where a car once bought for $30,000, scaled to be auctioned at $600,000 in 10-15 years?
In light of that, there are some old cars that may have cost a hundred grand back in the day, but not so many people remember them so vividly – though they are still automotive greats in their own right. In this list, we will highlight 25 of them, so read on.
25 1962 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 - $107,000
Jaguar Cars Ltd designed the Jaguar E-type model specifically for the market (North America) between 1961 and 1975. On mere look at this vehicle, and you’d be impressed with its beauty. Unfortunately, the E-type combines its beauty with low engine performance.
Thus, it’s surprising to see the E-type going for $107,000, even though the car made it to Daily Telegraph’s online list of 100 most beautiful cars of all time. The car had terrible issues with its disc brakes, monocoque construction, and rack-and-pinion steering. Sooner or later, car owners discovered that the company put more effort on its beauty than performance – thus it was erased from the minds of many.
24 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO - $100,000
In the 80s, Ferraris were the 'in' thing especially for blokes that loved the style and class that the cars represented. Up until today, a Ferrari makes a huge impression anywhere it enters. That’s why the 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO was priced at $100,000 at the time of launch, according to TheTruthaboutcars.
The car runs with a super twin-turbo V8 engine capable of getting the car to 200 mph, which was the perfect option for racing those days. Its competitor was the Porsche 959, which spent most of its time playing catch up.
However, its fame faded out as the manufacturer produced better and upgraded versions of the car, that made the 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO look like it never existed.
23 Porsche 944 Turbo - $100,000
It’s almost impossible to have a list of authentic cars and not have the Porsche 944 mentioned – especially during its days. One of the features of this model that caught the attention of many was its water-cooled engine – which was a first for the brand.
There’s a possibility that the rising tide of the 911 lifted other Porsche models off the mind of enthusiasts, or people crave the 911s for different reasons ranging from the styling to other particular features. Regardless of the reason, the price of this model goes for about $100,000, which makes it the perfect faded dream to many fans.
22 1989 Lancia Delta - $102,000
The reason why the automaker from Italy, Lancia, designed the $102,000 ’89 Lancia Delta was for rallying. Even though this model evolved over three distinct generations, it wasn’t sold in the U.S. However, this model made its way to the Geneva Motor Show in 1989 and was able to win the San Remo Rally.
This car uses a turbo four-cylinder 2.0 L engine that produces 215 hp. It also produces a torque of 232 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm. Better still, it can cover 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 137 mph.
21 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo - $102,000
According to Jalopnik, there’s no way you’d drive the $102,000 Porsche 930 turbo without it making a big impression. No doubt, the 911 models from the ’70s to ’90s are one of the most powerful coveted cars on the road. However, the air-cooled Porsche 930 is a model to look out for because it was a desirable and collectible model – especially the ones from 75 to 77 that used three-liter engines that worked beautifully.
The early versions of the Porsche 930 turbos could hit 60 mph in about five seconds – which isn’t bad considering the time the car was produced.
20 1960 Cadillac Eldorado - $104,000
If you’re the type that loves cruising, the classic Cadillac Eldorado may probably be a good option for you. The American manufacturer made only one version of the Eldorado from ’52 to 2002. In the early years, the model was the most expensive and luxurious car the company produced.
The car’s original form comes with air conditioning, a radio, cruise control, and air suspension. It used a V8 engine that produced 345 hp.
The design of the car thrilled car lovers during its days, but its engine made people rethink. That must have been the reason why it went out of trend in the early 70s without many noticing.
19 1956 Porsche Spyder 550 - $107,000
The 1956 Porsche Spyder 550 isn’t the original version. The company produced the original version from the years 1953 to 1955. The original version is quite expensive as it goes for about $5 million today. $5 million was the amount that Jerry Seinfeld bought the car for from Gooding & Co. auction. It appears that only 90 of the original models were built. Out of the 90, non-racing customers owned 43.
However, to avoid people from breaking the bank, the replica came into existence selling at $107,000. This car uses a four-speed manual transmission and a flat four-cylinder engine that produces 150 hp.
18 1981 Rolls-Royce Corniche - $115,000
The older shadow in 1971 was replaced when the Rolls-Royce came into existence with its self-righting suspension and innovative V8 engine. The experience in this classic car is wonderful because it’s big inside. The car has plush chairs upfront and stuffed bench seats at the rear.
The 1981 model has a slim steering wheel, a wide wood-polished dashboard, air conditioning, radio, an Ecstasy hood ornament, and a large grille. The Corniche uses efficient and capable brakes. However, the car’s transmission had a series of faults, which made it a “no-no” for many people.
17 2002 Qvale Mangusta - $117,000
Just at the beginning of the millennium, a manufacturer from Italy produced the Quale Mangusta in limited numbers. This car was meant to be a sports car, competing in the same space as the heavily priced Lamborghinis and Ferraris. The production of this car ran from the year 2000 to 2002.
This car came with Ford’s 4.6L V8 engine, which blended with a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission.
According to TheTruthaboutcars, the retail price was pegged at $117,000. However, the price of the car didn’t seem to match the body design and aesthetics – which were quite ugly.
16 2005 Gumpert Apollo - $105,000
If you’re particular about speed, then you’d love the Gumpert Apollo simply because of its outstanding speed. Thus, if you’re buying this car, then it’s certain you have settled only for its performance but nothing else. But this performance comes at a cost, with the car carrying a ton of mechanical issues.
Despite such issues, this car was capable of once breaking a record lap at Nurburgring, hitting a maximum speed of 225mph. At the time of launch, the Apollo was priced at $105,000, according to Carsforsale.
15 Aston Martin DB9 - $115,000
If you are a James Bond fan, then the Aston Martin DB9 should be the ultimate car buy for you. But despite James Bond being the biggest fan of the DB9 – at least on set, he would have sworn at some point that the manufacturers did not do full justice to the car.
Thus, the car didn’t impress that much, but still, it was a James Bond. According to Edmunds, the car had an initial price tag of $115,000, and a rich history to brag about today.
14 2003 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG - $113,000
The 2003 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG came with a supercharged 5.4L V8 engine that generated 500 horsepower every time the driver demanded it. This Benz was known to be the muscular S-class fast model. With $113,000, back then, you could get the car parked in your garage.
But today, the car is a little more of a shadow.
The car is forgotten by many because of its poor reputation and unreliability. Many of the first time S55 owners complained of the car breaking down abruptly on the road. Another major challenge was costly maintenance.
13 1999 Bentley GT - $120,000
When you mention a Bentley GT, the first thing that comes to mind is “Hip Hop” or “Rap music” of the early 2000s. Many rappers used the Bentley GT in their rap videos and bought them for their personal use. The 1999 Bentley GT was quite popular in Florida, more than any other car, even though it was expensive and still is – at $120,000, according to Carsforsale.
Many of the rappers loved the 1999 Bentley GT because of its luxury. But apart from that, the car had consistent issues with its shocks.
12 2002 Maserati Spyder - $100,000
Maserati, the car manufacturer from Italy, struggled to make a big impression in the automotive market by producing and releasing the Grand Turismo in 2002. Unluckily, they weren’t able to achieve what they wanted with the Grand Turismo. Thus, the manufacturer went ahead to release the Maserati Spyder.
The Maserati Spyder ended up becoming an FOA, “Flop on Arrival.” Even though the car was priced at exactly $100,000, according to Carsforsale, it wasn’t able to cover its terrible transmission issues.
11 2002 Rolls-Royce Phantom - $100,000
It’s surprising to see the 2002 Rolls-Royce Phantom in the list of cars that have been forgotten because most Rolls-Royce cars are built with detail and perfection. This is backed up by the fact that it usually takes around six months to assemble the car, before it’s released for purchase. However, it appears that the Phantom was given less of a treatment.
No doubt, the 2002 Rolls-Royce Phantom has superb craftsmanship and a fantastic luxury feel. Nevertheless, no one would envy you over the frequent issues that arise in the $100,000 car – plus, you’d need a fortune to repair the car.
10 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 - $102,000
The 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 is a $102,000 car that is quite fast, which is not surprising since Porsche is known for producing cars with a lot of emphasis on its powertrain. Also, the car has a five-star rating for its tactility. Above all, it’s quite gratifying and fun to drive.
However, with more power, comes more engine issues with the 911. Most owners complained of the engine stalling and overheating. Thus, the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 soon became a shadow of itself - even though it’s a fast car.
9 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost - $112,000
It’s disappointing to see another Rolls-Royce car model listed in this article. One would have thought that with its good name and brand, it would last for a long time - but that’s not the case. Instead, the $112,000 Rolls-Royce Ghost has lived up to its name as “the Ghost.”
But, before we put the car down totally, it’s important that we mention that this particular model did not fail to provide that luxury feel every Rolls Royce owner desires. However, the car was not that special, thus its legacy did not last for that long.
8 2006 Porsche Carrera GT - $111,000
It requires more skill to properly drive and handle the 2006 Porsche Carrera GT than most other Porsche cars. The automated-manual transmission of the car buttresses the above point. Thus, it’s proper to believe that the German manufacturer had something different in mind when they were producing it.
The engine was a high-performance machine, capable of churning out 312 horsepower, to a powertrain that was too wobbly to be controlled. According to Jalopnik, at the time of the launch, the car was going for $111,000.
7 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - $100,000
The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is a $100,000 car any wealthy enthusiast would love to have in his collection. However, there is one problem – many people don’t know that it even existed, talk less about getting the car in a collection. The car didn’t do well both in sales and performance when it was released.
The car has a ton of issues, which made it easily forgotten. It comes with a 5.0L engine that doesn’t quite impress when it comes to the soundtrack.
6 1986 Land Rover Defender - $100,000
The Land Rover Defender, also referred to as “project viper,” is a 1986 pickup truck that uses a 6.8 L V8 engine. This engine generated 430 hp. This vehicle had a six-speed automatic transmission, which made it heave and barrel along the road like a Mack truck.
The bodywork of the project viper was quite sturdy because it was made from an original first-generation Defender. However, the Defender had poor handling, which made it feel like a malfunctioned cargo plane even at its price of $100,000, according to Cars.UsNews. Many people felt it wasn’t worth the cost since it didn’t give the comfort needed.
5 1938 SS Jaguar 100 - $101,000
From 1936 to 1941, the British company SS Cars Ltd of Coventry, England, came up with the SS Jaguar 100. This model is a 2-seat sports car that has significance and an origin to its name. In the year that this car was produced, it was quite popular to name cars after animals. This was how the company came up with the name “Jaguar.” Hence, Jaguar was given to all new SS models.
The SS in its name represents Swallow Sidecar. Swallow Sidecar is the name of the previous owner, founded in 1922. The “100” stands for the car’s top speed.
4 2003 Lamborghini Gallardo - $114,000
The company from Italy produced the $114,000 Gallardo from 2003 to 2013. The car is one of the company’s first best-selling models that had the most returns. Throughout its production run, only 14,022 were built. The Gallardo got its name from a famous breed of fighting bulls.
The car had an aluminum space-frame body, and it used a 5.0 L V10 engine. The car came with a solid infotainment system which was quite an experience for music lovers. One good feature about the Gallardo was its doors, which could swing wide and smooth.
3 2012 Audi R8 - $100,000
If you had a spare $100,000 for a supercar, the Audi R8 would have done the trick for you in 2012. Apart from the fact that the R8 isn’t a compromise to drive, the performance of the car isn’t bad at all.
No doubt, the car measures on luxury but you won’t deny the fact that the interior is posh. It’s also fitted with Alcantara surfaces, leather, and loaded with technology as well to put your superhero game at its peak.
2 1999 Jaguar XK8 - $110,000
When the Jaguar produced the Jaguar XK8, they had the intention of returning to the mainstream luxury coupe market. This stunning ground-up cruiser has a 90’s quirk to it that gave it a unique look. The decent polish job and nice wheels contributed to the luxury feel of the car.
According to TheTruthaboutcars, $110,000 is the first requirement of owning the car - if for any reason you decide to buy it after reading this post. However, you’d have to bear in mind that buying this car would require you doing some restoration since you’d be dealing with a forgotten British masterpiece.
1 1980 Porsche 928 - $109,000
When Porsche discovered the issue that the 911 was facing, they decided to come up with the 928. It was necessary at that point for the company to do something different because they were making the same car for quite a long time. When the 928 came into the picture, it didn’t do justice as many would have expected – although it’s wasn’t that bad.
According to Jalopnik, if you have up to $109,000 today, you’d be able to buy this 1980 model. However, it’s best also to get the parts while you can because it may be quite difficult for you to find the mechanical components of a 38-year-old niche Porsche after some time.
Sources: Bloomberg, Jalopnik, Moneyinc