Sure you could get that loaded Honda Fit out at the dealership, but why not go for something a bit more interesting? Jalopnik readers have picked out a small selection of truly classic cars, all for 20 grand or less.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
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Photo Credit: George Thomas
10.) Porsche 911 964
Suggested By: Gimmi-Sagan-Om-Draken-Visiting-From-Negative-Earth
Why it's a steal: Nothing compares to an air-cooled Porsche. The '88-‘94 964 generation wasn't the prettiest Porker, but it was amazing to drive and built to withstand the apocalypse. They're nowhere near as adored as other 911s, so you can pick them up for cheap.
You can go 4WD, targa-topped, or automatic if you desire, but don't.
Photo Credit: Stéphane Rossignol
9.) VW Phaeton
Suggested By: Hadaken
Why it's a steal: A Bentley Continental Flying Spur will likely run you something around $80,000, and that makes some sense. You get the flying ‘B' up front and the huge grill, plus a lot of dead cow skin stretched over the interior.
You can buy the same basic car for a quarter of the price, as the VW Phaeton has the same chassis, engines, and just about everything else as the Bentley. You won't have trouble finding one of the 4.2 liter V8s for sale, but if you stretch your budget, you can get a W12, one of the most rigorously designed luxury cars in history.
Photo Credit: DocSnyder
8.) Cadillac CTS-V
Suggested By: dogisbadob
Why it's a steal: Most people who want a fast, showy luxury car spend whatever they have to get a no-options BMW. This is a mistake.
It's a mistake not just because it's the obvious thing to do, but it's because a first generation CTS-V offers MORE POWER. And MORE POWER is always better.
There's an eminently tune-able, Chevy V8 stuffed in the front of the rear-drive Caddy that will afford significantly greater burnout/drift potential than any low-rent Bavarian.
Photo Credit: Jeff Lee Photo
7.) Volvo V70R
Suggested By: Dwhite
Why it's a steal: While some of us will lay down rubber in any old leather-lined sedan, there are many of us who just want something fast, secure and comfortable with a lot of space. Nothing does that quite like the Volvo V70R, which has enough space in the back for a fully-grown moose, and the power to tear through mountain passes in the triple digits.
Photo Credit: Jesús Rodriguez
6.) Rolls-Royce Silver Spur
Suggested By: For Sweden
Why it's a steal: The idea that Rolls-Royce builds the greatest cars in the world just isn't true. They require constant attention, and maintenance is far from cheap. You can, however, still find an ‘80s Roller for 20 grand and you will never find any other car so respected, so imposing, and quite so luxurious for the price.
Photo Credit: dave_7
5.) Pontiac GTO
Suggested By: pauljones
Why it's a steal: It takes a lot of peace of mind to drive around in a Corvette and not feel like you're having a mid-life crisis. For everyone else, there's the Pontiac GTO. It's just an Australian Holden Monaro with new trim, so you get a big Corvette V8 up front, and a rear end that you can slide like it's on casters.
If you want big power without too much flash, go for the Pontiac.
Photo Credit: Dino Abatzidis
4.) Subaru WRX STi
Suggested By: Desu-San-Desu
Why it's a steal: The last of the purist Impreza WRX STis, the blobeyes and the hawkeyes, can just be found under the 20K mark, and you shouldn't pass them up. Subaru had to pack in tons of rally technology, from the boxer engine to the suspension to the four-wheel-drive capable enough to tow a semi.
Little else is faster at any price, let alone 20 stacks.
Photo Credit: Dale Walker
3.) Mercedes-Benz CL600
Suggested By: whateva
Why it's a steal: Few other cars say "get out of my way, I am Russian Mafia" quite like the 2003-2006 Benz CL600. It's an S-Class chassis with a two-door body stretched onto it for added screw-you opulence. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged V12 that will both produce 590 lb-ft of torque (with 493 horsepower) and completely destroy all of your savings in various repairs.
You can find the manic, supercharged CL55 AMG for about the same money, but that car doesn't have quite the waftability as the V12. Waftability is everything.
Photo Credit: WIS Photography
2.) Jaguar E-Type
Suggested By: Bonhomme7h
Why it's a steal: When you see that you can get a running, 90-percent-there Jaguar E-Type, arguably the most beautiful car ever made, every other car for sale starts to look like a cheap compromise.
If you can fit one with the straight-six engine out of a later Jaguar sedan, like the Classic Car Club Manhattan did, you'll have not only one of the prettiest cars ever built, but also one that handles like nothing else on the road and won't break down every ten minutes.
Photo Credit: James Tworow
1.) BMW E39 M5
Suggested By: Oliver O.
Why it's a steal: Perhaps the greatest all-around sports sedan, with a 400-horsepower V8, awesome rear-drive chassis, and an impeccable pedigree, could be yours for twenty grand. It makes the newest 2013 models look and feel fat, synthetic, and overworked.
It might be the best car in the world, and it's affordable. Buy one.
Photo Credit: Ed Kwon