Things were much simpler when you were a little younger, a lot more naïve, and you thought the only criteria for buying a car was how cool it looked. That’s why last week I asked my readers to find their childhood hero cars for less than a $15,000 budget on eBay, and my inner child is grinning ear to ear.

10. 1988 Porsche 924 S


This entry level Porsche 924 was the little brother to the more powerful 944, but that didn’t mean it exuded any less ‘80s style. I’ll let irisfailsafe5000 explain:

I always loved the Porsche 924. I know it isn’t very fast but it’s cool as hell. They are way under budget. As far as I know they are reliable and easy to maintain. Here is the post of an S model for $8000 and just 45000 miles.

If I bought this car I would paint it green and add the new Porsche radio.

(Suggested by irisfailsafe5000)

9. 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible

This Chrysler LeBaron convertible wanted to be so much more than its K-car underpinnings. It was a fully-loaded convertible that was arguably more style than substance, and its looks, for a long while, aged like a ham sandwich on the counter.

However, just as some things eventually experience a renaissance, ‘80s quirk is back and there’s no better example of Americana from the decade than this impossibly cool drop top. Buy it and be the guy that gets it.


(Suggested by Goofnik)

8. 2008 Pontiac Solstice


This Pontiac Solstice was one of the last-ditch efforts for GM to keep the Pontiac brand alive. Fun fact - when an automaker knows that its days are numbered, it does every out-of-the-box thing it can to keep itself afloat. Case in point - a futuristic-looking, low-slung roadster that made no sense in Pontiac’s repertoire, but I’m glad it’s here. I’m double glad that it’s so damn affordable.

(Suggested by: Hammerfrog)

7. 1984 Toyota Supra P-Type


This Mark II Toyota Supra may not have Fast and Furious street cred, but it may just be the enthusiast’s choice for cheap skids. I’ll let My X-type is too a real Jaguar explain:

MK II Toyota Supra P-Type Manual, Not my 1st color choice, but this one is clean. For $7500 you have plenty left over for repairs it will probably need down the road. And yes I am old and remember these as new cars.


(Suggested by My X-type is too a real Jaguar)

6. 1994 Mazda RX-7


This Mazda RX-7 may just be the most beautiful Japanese car ever made, even if it does have the horrid rotary engine. Yeah, I went there. I’ll let weetstraw explain:

Easy...93 RX-7. $15K on the nose

Milage is a little high, but the car is barely modified, and was maintained by KD Rotary which is a big plus. They’ve been around forever and are well trusted. Racing Beat exhaust is a mature choice, and has new(ish) turbos.

To me, of the big four out of Japan at the time, it is the only one that holds up.


(Suggested by weetstraw)

5. 2006 Pontiac GTO


This Pontiac GTO might just be the best performance value on the used car market. It has power comparable to any Corvette, looks to kill, and an exhaust note to wake up anyone in a five mile radius. Owning one is a rite of passage for any car enthusiast. It’s an attainable, reliable and practical muscle car, and that in itself is worth the price of admission.

(Suggested by Shift24)

4. 1975 Mercedes 450SL


This Mercedes SL is the stuff of legend. I’ll let Hofmeister Kinky explain:

Bobby Ewing. America Gigolo. One of Mercedes’ all time greats. LOL BMW. Yes, my name is Hofmeister but there’s no denying the R107.

All manner of colors available under $15k with two or three pedals. Not quite concord but really good examples to be had at that price.

Looked great back in the day.

(Suggested by Hofmeister Kinky)

3. 1997 Jaguar XK8


This Jaguar XK8 is one of the classiest cars Jag has ever made, and perhaps its best blend of old and new in the modern age. It’s also one hell of a nostalgia machine, as sm70- why not Duesenberg? can explain:

A story goes with this one. I don’t recall it happening, but it has been told by my parents many times.

When I was probably four or five, my parents were taking me on a walk, likely in my Radio Flyer wagon, though our neighborhood. A lady was outside washing her red XK8 convertible. Apparently I called out something like “shiny car” or “fast car”. She thought that was adorable, and replied that if I could tell her what kind of car it was, I could drive it. My parents both started to warn her, but I yelled out, “It’s a Jaguar,” which I probably pronounced “Dag-war”. I didn’t get to drive it, but I had a hot wheels of one, and have always wanted one of those sleek machines.


(Suggested by sm70- why not Duesenberg?)

2. 2002 Porsche 911


This Porsche 911 is the sort of car that you can’t help but ogle. Even this slightly above budget 996 with its runny egg headlights looks unlike any other make on the road, and when you find out that its engine is located snugly in the back of the car, well, that makes it that much more special. The Porsche 911 is nothing but a fast VW Bug without its massive nostalgic following, and I hope that it continues forever.

(Suggested by El-Verde)

1. 1998 Acura Integra Type R


This Acura Integra Type R is the affordable pocket rocket that you fawned over in school because you knew a friend of a friend who had one. But you weren’t jealous or anything. Nope. Not one bit.

(Suggested by Nate007)

Tavarish writes and makes videos about fixing and modifying cars on the internet. Sometimes they actually run.

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