We all dream of going to a collector car auction with pockets full of cash and limitless potential. We dream of that feeling you might get when the hammer drops and you’re the new, proud owner of your ideal car. At an auction, there are beautiful cars left, right, up, down, and everywhere in between. There is something there for every taste and style—but what about those with a budget in mind?
While one might think it’s impossible to get a good deal on a great Chevy at an auction these days, there are still some inexpensive, cool cars rolling across the auction block that aren’t unreasonably expensive. We’ve put together a list of five vehicles that sold at January’s Barrett-Jackson auction for right around $15,000, to prove that good deals are still out there.
1990 Chevrolet Suburban Custom – $6,050
While it’s not really vintage or even a classic, yet, we couldn’t pass including this stellar 1990 Suburban because of its insane low price. It’s clear that at least three times that amount of money went into building it, and we definitely wouldn’t mind having this as our backup cruiser or inexpensive daily driver.
According to the Barrett-Jackson auction detail, this truck has gone through a complete restoration with all original GM sheet metal. The vehicle has never seen rust or an accident, and only has 1,740 miles on it since completion. It features a four-speed manual transmission, a brand new crate 350 cubic-inch small-block engine, a custom interior with six bucket seats and center console.
It’s definitely a unique looking truck and one that would make a great grocery-getter. While this truck isn’t technically a classic yet, it surely will be soon. With a four-speed, a V8, and an air bag suspension, for the price, it’s hard to go wrong. Heck, you can barely buy an engine and transmission for that price!
This is the least expensive vehicle on our list and it’s here to prove that an auction isn’t just for cars that sell in the six-digit-and-up price range. It’s a great truck for the price and we’d love to see it in our garage.
1968 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster – $12,650
Our next car rings in at a healthy $12,650, but for what you’re getting, that’s a screaming deal. This 1968 Corvette sports an original, retro paint scheme that is reminiscent of the 1980s race scene. Powered by a small-block Chevy 350 engine and a T-10 four-speed transmission, this race car was built for speed and is not currently street legal. It’s been a race car all it’s life, and as such, it is a clean and straight body with no fiberglass rot anywhere to be found.
While it isn’t street legal now, it wouldn’t take a motivated individual much to get it there. This would be an awesome retro cruiser, car show winner, or parade driver. We love the paint scheme and think this was a steal at only $12,650.
With an exposed rollbar, race slicks on all four corners, and a simple, no-nonsense interior, the build on this car represents a simpler time when the hobby was all about shaving weight and gaining speed. While it would be fun to race, it would be even more fun just to drive, and that’s why we love this car enough for it to land on our list of awesome, affordable cars.
1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 – $13,200
This white and red Camaro was the dream car of nearly every high school boy back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The iconic look of the Z/28 has become something of a legend in the classic car world, but these still haven’t hit their peak in value and this car sold for a modest sum at the auction.
This body style is poised to take the hobby by storm as the generation that lusted after these cars now have the money to buy them—price be damned! In the last decade, they’ve gone way up in value and show no signs of stopping. These are cool looking cars that give plenty of bang for your buck.
We love the color combo on this one, and the T-tops really complete the look. Again, powered by a small-block 350 cubic-inch engine and a four-speed manual transmission, this Camaro was built to drive. It’s a low mileage survivor car with only 75,000 original miles on it. It’s from the desert, so you know it’s free from rust. For the price, this car could be anything from an investment purchase to a daily driver, and anything in between. These are still really affordable cars for now, so take advantage of that while you can still pick one up while they are cheap!
1984 Camaro Custom – $15,950
While this beast shares a name with our last pick, it’s an entirely different animal. This car is far from stock, and it is a ready-built race car. If you want an inexpensive way to tear up the track, this would be it. You’d be hard pressed to build a race car for $15,950, even if you did all of the work yourself!
Powered by a supercharged 383 cubic-inch stroker and aTturbo 350 automatic transmission with a 2,600 rpm stall converter, you’re getting refined power straight to the Winters quick-change rearend and four-link rear suspension. This ’84 Camaro is ready to hit the track.
More than just track ready, this Pro Street car is ready for the street and ready to dominate shows all summer long. This is an interesting and unusual piece as we don’t often see an ’84 Camaro that’s been professionally made into a race car.
Along with all of the obvious exterior care, this car has been treated to an interior overhaul and features AutoMeter analog gauges, racing seats, and an HD radio with custom stereo for when you want to listen to tunes while crushing the competition at the track. We’d love to take this out for a cruise or out to the quarter mile.
1985 Chevrolet C10 Pickup – $15,950
C10 pickups have practically taken over the industry overnight, and this custom 1985 Chevy is a perfect example of why. The straight, clean exterior exemplifies the idea of what it means to be minimalist muscle, while the cowl induction hood and custom grille give it that extra flair that give it the look of a true muscle machine.
The powerplant driving this truck is a 383 cubic-inch stroker, linked to a Turbo 400 automatic transmission. It’s an easy-on-the-eyes cruiser with plenty of power to get you up to highway speed in a hurry. It’s also got a dual-exhaust for easy breathing, new brakes, new wheels, new tires, dual fuel tanks, all new interior, and all new glass.
This truck would certainly stand out at any show, and we’d be surprised if it wasn’t a trophy winner. It’s excellent styling and understated build make this a really cool truck, and at only $15,950, it was also a really good buy. If you look at this for its parts rather than the whole, you couldn’t build this truck for less than $20,000, so the buyer definitely got a good price on a great truck.
We think these five vehicles do a great job illustrating the fact that there are still good deals to be found at the auction houses. If you’re looking for a good car or truck with a budget in mind, make sure you make the next Barrett-Jackson auction and keep an eye out for cars and trucks like these that would make excellent cruisers for an excellent and affordable price.