Friday we asked you to define the term "classic car". Now that we've settled on a definition (we've included it below), let's help a Jalopnik reader out: what's the best sub-$10K cruising classic?

Summer cruising season's here and given the Carpocalypse, there's never been a better time to snag a crusin' classic for a steal-of-a-deal price.

And after we worked so hard on Friday to come up with the definition of what a classic car is — let's help answer this question straight out of the Jalopnik mailbag from reader Aaron who's looking for a cruiser for August's Woodward Dream Cruiser for under $10,000. Here's what Aaron's looking for:

"A few weeks ago my wife ran across an '87 Corvette for $5500 OBO. We decided that we've got enough money in the "rainy day fund" to afford something fun to drive to Woodward this year and decided to call the guy. Unfortunately, he said he didn't really want to sell it, his wife was making him list it due to the economy. Being the upright citizens we are, we decided not to pry the keys from the poor guy's hands. All this got us talking, we've got about $10K saved up and we're tired of walking up and down Woodward every year. What's your pick for the best (American-made) used sports/muscle car that we can get for out money?"


So what choices does he have? Well, let's look first at what we now call the five commandments of the classic car — distilled and edited from reader comments from Friday:

Jalopnik's Five Commandments Of The Classic Car

1.) Thou shalt be generally at least 25 years old.

2.) Thou shalt be stock. If though has been customized, it's a "custom car" not a "classic car."


3.) Thou shalt be a car, when originally produced, was quite rare.

4.) Thou shalt be visually engaging and/or interesting to both the owner and others.

5.) Thou shalt, at some point, begin to increase in value. If it will increase in value but has not yet began to do so — it's a "near classic car" and not a "classic car."


Given our commandments, we're going to be looking for something that's more of a near-classic rather than a "classic." Although, frankly, there may be some freshman cars from the first couple of years of the 80s that may fit the bill perfectly. Which is why we're sticking with our original answer from last week — the 1984 Mustang SVO. In fact, we found one on eBay Motors for $3,000 — black, California-owned, low mileage and limited ding-age.

What say you? Remember, let's help Aaron out, so give us a link to where you can find it for sale now at under $10,000.

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of The Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)