As a child, what was your dream commuter car? Was it a muscle car, or a luxury car that aged like a fine wine? Unfortunately, a lot of classic cars lose their reliability as they age. Not all of them though.
Some classics have managed to weather the test of time and can still be seen on the road today. If an all-time classic automobile is what you want to get behind the wheel of today, then you need to know which ones you can trust. These are the best classic automobiles that you can still drive today without any worries!
The Foxbody Mustang Still Holds Its Power And Is Cheap To Fix
In the 1980s cars got boxy, and the Ford Mustang was no exception. The Foxbody Mustang was in production for the entirety of the decade, and has since become considered a classic. And unlike some aftermarket muscle cars, these horses still run with power!
Overall, Foxbody Mustangs have aged incredibly well. Maintenance support is widely available and inexpensive, too! All of this is great news for anyone who grew up dreaming of driving a muscle car. We may have just found you the perfect one!
The Beetle Is Cheap To Fix
We're starting this list off easy with the Volkswagen Beetle; one of the most unique looking cars ever made. The Beetle is a simple car. It doesn't come with too many extra features and it's easy and cheap to fix in a pinch.
If you want to own a Beetle, they can be found for sale with low mileage at a low cost. Maintenance is the key to keeping it running, although any experienced owner can tell you most repairs can be done at home with a few tools you probably have laying around.
The Datsun Z Is Just A Nissan In Disguise
For years, the Nissan brand of sedans was known in the United States as Datsun. The brand came to America in 1958, and rebranded to Nissan in 1981. During that time, the Datsun Z stood out as a reliable classic.
Still reliable today, the Datsun Z are good cars for cruising around on a lazy weekend with friends and family. They are also extremely cheap on the used market, with some sneaking below $1,000 if you're willing to put a little maintenance work in.
The Chevy Impala SS Is A New School Classic
The Chevy Impala SS made its grand debut in the '90s and 20 years later is an undeniable classic. The car was a new spin on the already classic Impala, so Chevy was basically betting with house money when they made the SS.
The 1996 model year Impala SS still drives great today and can be found on the used market for decent prices. Just know that the lower the mileage is, the more you will have to pay. The car might be old, but one with 12,000 miles was recently on the market for $18,500.
The Toyota Corolla AE86 Is Still Special
The Toyota Corolla is one of the most reliable cars of all-time, but only one model is a true classic; the Corolla AE86. The '80s era hatchback received a surprising second wind of life after the racing video game Initial D came out in the '90s.
There's really not much else to say about the Corolla. The AE86 is as reliable as any model you see on the road today and can be bought on the secondary market for a fair price. Just don't take it street racing!
The Jeep Cherokee XJ Is Weatherproof
Looking for a cheap alternative to buying a brand new Jeep Cherokee? Have you considered dipping into the iconic car's past for a used Cherokee with an XJ body? The car was designed with a unibody and comes stocked with features, too!
This car is especially perfect for anyone who lives in a bad weather city. They are tanks that even the strongest gusts can't blow off the road. A used model from 1995 can be found for under $5,000.
The Mercedes Benz E-Class Isn't Like Other German Cars
Aside from a few BMW models (that we'll get to later), most classic German cars have poor reputations for quality. The Mercedes Benz E-Class is not one of the of those cars and will get you from point A to point B over and over again.
If you're okay with buying a used car that has a little extra mileage, E-Class cars from the mid-80s cost just under $10,000. For a car that should run for 250,000 or more miles, that price doesn't seem too high to us.
The VW Van Is More Than A Generational Thing
One car that defined an era was the Volkswagon Bus. Beloved by generation after generation, the Bus was produced by the company from the '50s until the '90s. It is one of the most popular cars ever made, and one that is still in high demand today.
Made to last, finding a VW Bus in good condition is easy. Fighting off the hoards of other people trying to buy it first is the hard part. The good news is that VW has heard the demand for the Bus and are launching a newly redesigned one in 2022.
The Toyota MR2 Is A Roadster Still Worth Owning
In 1984, Toyota released their first MR2. The fun to drive roadster was an instant hit and went through three generations of models before being shelved in 2007. The first generation MR2 is a great classic to drive today if you can find it on the market.
Underneath the hood, the MR2 shared an engine with the Corolla AE86, but everything else about it was different. If you find one of these old school roadsters for sale with a leather interior, the answer of whether or not you should buy it is yes.
The BMW 2002 Is A Reliable Blast From The Past
It might have 2002 in the name, but this classic BMW was actually produced from 1966 until 1977. The body is one of the most recognizable that the German automaker ever produced and is always a welcome sight on the freeway.
Like any luxury car, you won't find this one cheap on the used market, but spending $14,000 on a BMW with 36,000 miles on it sounds better to us than buying a brand new one for $40,000 to $50,000.
Now's The Time To Buy An E30
The BMW E30 has a more modern look than the 2002 and can be found for less money on the used market. For now, that is. In recent years, the popularity of the still reliable classic has forced a rise in prices.
Recently, a 1987 model year E30 was sold for $14,000. It had around 75,000 miles. If this is your dream car, the time to buy is now before that price tag moves up to $20,000 or even $30,000!
The Saab 900 Drives Better Than It Looks
The Saab 900 is admittedly not the prettiest car on this list, but don't tell Saab enthusiasts that. They love this car, and have single-handedly made it a highly sought after classic. It's also happens to be incredibly reliable.
The Saab 900 comes in a hard top and convertible version, so you can have your car "made from jet parts" in a variety of was. Secondary market pricing is wallet friendly, too, with some older models selling for as low as a few thousand dollars.
Pontiac Firebirds Are Still A Hot Ticket
Pontiac Firebirds make this list for one reason. Anyone who fell in love with the classic car when they came out probably kept theirs in incredible shape. If you can find one of these on the used market, then you've hit the jackpot.
Using the same body at the Chevy Camaro, the Firebird was the cheaper and more reliable option for auto buyers. These days Pontiac might not exist, but you can still find Firebirds flying down the freeway everyday.
The Geo Prizm Is An Odd Duck
The Geo Prizm has an odd reputation. Incredibly reliable, these cars can last through several owners without breaking down. Because of this, they have become minor classics in the auto world. That doesn't mean everyone likes them, or even recognizes them, though.
At its heart, the Prizm is the same car as a Toyota Corolla. The Corolla, unlike the Prizm, is instantly recognizable. You know for sure when one passes you on the freeway. When a Prizm does the same, you probably don't notice at all, which is fine for owners of these unbreakable classics.
The Mazda Miata Is The Perfect One Person Car
Technically you could fit two people into one Mazda Miata, but it would probably feel cramped. The first generation Miata is a true classic and one of the most reliable cars on this list.
If you prefer flying solo, this is a great commuter car and can be found at a great price. And because it's small (but still powerful), it's not a gas guzzler like some other cars we've listed. A used 1990 model year Miata with less than 100,000 miles won't break the bank either.
The Datsun 510 Is Roomier Than The Z
Just like the Datsun Z has become known as a go to commuter classic, so has the Datsun 510. It's very reliable, and has more interior space than the Z, making it a perfect family car.
The 510 was released in the United States as the Datsun 1600 in 1968 and was sold until 1973. At the time, Autoweek named it "the poor man's BMW." Since then, it's reputation for reliability and accessibility has made it a must have for car collectors.
The 240 Is One Of The Best Volvos Around
The most iconic Volvo model ever made is still one of the most in demand. Even though the automaker stopped producing the 240 over two decades ago, fans just can't get enough of the reliable beast.
It's not just reliable, though. The Volvo 240 is also rugged and ready to take on any situation. It's packed with plenty of space for friends and family and requires minimal maintenance. Most repairs you can even do by yourself in your garage!
Drive Over Any Mountain With The Toyota Land Cruiser
Sports utility vehicles are fun to drive, especially older ones. One of the best of the best was the Toyota Land Cruiser, which can take you safely through any terrain. And when you get back home it won't need repairs.
When looking for a classic used Land Cruiser, make sure to find one rust free for maximum reliability. In excellent condition, a 1987 model could cost as much as $30,000, but if you don't mind putting some leg work in, this amazing monster can be found much cheaper.
The Porsche 911 Is The Company's Baby
When you get a classic Porsche 911, there's a good chance you will be in and out of the shop a lot. So why did we include it on this list? The aftermarket support for the 911 by Porsche is second to none.
It doesn't matter how old your model is, the automaker has you covered for any repair you might need. You did pay for a luxury vehicle, so you might as well be treated like royalty when it needs to be worked on.
The Honda CRX Is The Only Car You Need
The first Honda on this list is also one of the most legendary. The CRX was the company's attempt to create a trendier car. The modern look (at the time) was a success, and Honda made sure not to sacrifice brains for beauty.
Under the hood the CRX was a Honda all the way around. Treat it nicely and it will do the same for you, always getting you to where you're going and making sure you get back home safely, too.
The Mercedes-Benz W123 Is Classic And Practical
A downside of older cars is the lack of modern, functional features... things that make everyday driving more comfortable. But luckily for drivers of the Mercedes-Benz W123, you won't be giving up much at all with this one. Produced from 1976 until 1986, the W123 model is well-engineered and reliable.
This car was designed with power steering, increased power output, and new four-cylinder petrol engines. On top of that, the interior is beautifully designed with leather upholstery, wood trim, powered locks, sunroof, air conditioner, and more. It’s no wonder that it was the most successful Mercedes of its time, selling 2.7 million cars before the W124 hit the market.
Mid-Engine Sports Car That's Good On Gas: 1977 Fiat X19
The Fiat X19 received excellent reviews when it was first introduced to consumers in 1972, and we're still behind it today. This two-seater sports car is practical for daily driving today, primarily due to its exceptional handling and desirable gas mileage, at 33 mpg.
The Fiat X19 is a mid-engine sports car with classic finishes, but comfortable too. Drive it as a convertible, or throw on the hardtop. It’s safer than some classic models, meeting the late 1960s U.S. safety regulations.
The Chevrolet Corvette is "America's Sports Car"
We wanted one then, and we still want one now. The Chevrolet Corvette drives like a dream, making this model an ideal classic to use as your modern-day daily driver. One of the most iconic American cars in history, the Corvette has been in production for over 60 years.
The second generation of the Corvette, produced from 1963-1967, might be your best bet if you're looking for a classic you can regularly take out of the garage. This is the Sting Ray generation that introduced independent rear suspension, solving reported handling problems from the first generation.
Sleek and Fast: The Ford Thunderbird
If you're seeking some serious nostalgia, get behind the wheel of a Ford Thunderbird. There’s something so pure about the body style, especially the third generation, representing the early ’60s era of American cars to a T.
This car offers plenty of power, built with a V8 engine producing 300 horsepower. Depending on the year and generation, there are many variations of the Ford Thunderbird, ranging from four seats to five, and four doors or two. Whichever flavor you pick, the Thunderbird is a winner.
The Ultimate Sports Car: 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto
One of the loveliest designs ever to emerge, the Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto was a sensation. It was one of the first cars to offer crumple zones in the front and in the rear, making it safer for modern-day driving.
Thanks to that feature, the sports car became a legend right off the bat. The 109 horsepower and 1570 cc engine featured twin Weber side-draft carburetors and dual overhead camshafts. For a car that came out in the late sixties, this car had a good run. The last Spider manufactured was in April 1993.
Who Can Resist the 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible?
The '60 300F was perhaps the most dynamic iteration of Chrysler’s "Letter Series." As the first of the 300 models to use unibody construction, it was both lighter and more rigid than its predecessors. Additionally, the car also featured a four-place seating with a full-length center console, which contained the switches for the power window.
What’s more interesting is that the front seats swiveled outwards when the doors were opened to make it easier to get in and out.
The 1961 Jaguar E-Type Is Still Fast
Enzo Ferrari proclaimed this to be the most beautiful car ever made. This car is so special, that it's one of only six vehicle models on display at the New York City Museum of Modern Art. You’d be lucky to have one of these in your garage.
Production on this particular car lasted as long as 14 years, a span which lasted from 1961-1975. When the car was first introduced, the E-Type Jaguar was powered by a 268 horsepower 3.8-liter with a six-cylinder engine. That gave the car a top speed of 150 miles per hour.
1962 Morris Garages (MG) MGB is an Icon
The MG was released in 1962 as the follow-up model to the MGA. It was light, fast, and, and affordable, making it very desirable at the time. Although seemingly underpowered (rated at 95-horsepower), the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine provided plenty of torque.
The four-speed manual transmission came with an optical electric overdrive feeding the rear wheels. This is easily one of the most popular sports cars ever made, and it's no surprise why the MGB is a certified icon to this day.
Muscle Cars Are Always Fun: Pontiac GTO
There are still plenty of Pontiac GTOs out there on the road today. In 1968, this car was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year. Originally produced from 1964-1974, the mode was revived from 2004-2006.
In 1965, 75,342 Pontiac GTO’s were sold. This is the year that desirable options were added, like power steering, metallic brakes, and rally wheels. It was on par with the best during the muscle car era, and if that’s your thing, the Pontiac GTO may still be a good option today.
A Tiny Classic: Austin Mini
City folks, what do you think about this one? Sure, you could get a Smart Car that fits anywhere, but wouldn't you rather drive one of these? The Austin Mini is compact and offers 30 mpg. Get from the 'burbs to the beach and find parking easily in this cutie.
You can still find an Austin Mini for between $9,100 and $23,800. British Motor Corporation built this version of the model from 1959-1967.
The Chevrolet Bel Air Will Make Anyone Envious
Produced from 1950-1981, the Chevrolet Bel Air is a cultural icon among classic American cars. While other car manufacturers played with the 'non-detachable hard-top convertible' look to no avail, the Bel Air pulled it off seamlessly. The liberal use of chrome, both on the exterior and interior of the car proved to be desired by drivers and auto enthusiasts.
The full-size body style makes it practical as a daily driver, and if you’re looking for added power, the 1955 model features a V8 engine option. The new 265 cu in (4.3 L) V8 engine that year was a winner, with a modern overhead valve high compression ratio and short stroke design.
The 1960 Dodge Dart Was Wildly Popular
The first Dodge Darts were released for the 1960 model year and were made to compete with the Chrysler Plymouth, which Chrysler had been producing since the 1930s. They were designed to be a low-priced car for Dodge and was based on the Plymouth body although the car was offered in the three different trim levels: Seneca, Pioneer, and Phoenix.
Sales for the Dart surpassed the sales of other Dodge vehicles and gave the Plymouth a serious run for its money. Dart sales even led other Dodge cars, such as the Matador, to be discontinued.
Looking for a V8? The 1969 Maserati Ghibli Has It
The Maserati Ghibli is the name of three different vehicles produced by the Italian car company Maserati. However, the 1969 model fell into the category of the AM115, a V8 grand tourer which was made from 1966 to 1973.
The Am115 was a two-door 2+2 V8-engine grand tourer. It was ranked by Sports Car International as No. 9 on their list of the Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. The car was first revealed at the 1966 Turin Motor Show and was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. This is still a beautiful and fun car to drive today.
1960 Ford Falcon is an Absolute Classic
We wish that we saw these on the road more often. The 1960 Ford Falcon was a front-engine six-passenger vehicle that was produced by Ford from 1960 until 1970. The Falcon was offered in numerous models from four-door sedans to two-door convertibles. The 1960 model had a lightweight 95 hp (70 kW), 144 CID (2.4 L) straight-6 engine with a single-barrel carburetor.
It also had a standard of a three-speed manual or a two-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic transition if desired. The car did extremely well on the market and variations of the vehicle was produced in Argentina, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mexico.
The 1968 Dodge Charger R/T is a Beast
The 1968 model is one of those muscle cars that has withstood the test of time. It's the type of car that imposes an image of fear and star quality all in one incredible package.
With a fascinating design that features the now famous hidden headlight grille, the curvy body, the refined tail, and the prevalent use of chrome on the car, the Charger R/T was in a class of its own. While other muscle cars at the time came out with a dynamic profile or powerful engine, nothing could compete with the Charger R/T.
Drive The Sleek Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
If you're interested in another Volkswagen classic, then the Karmann Ghia is the vehicle to aim for. This car went into production starting in the mid-'50s and stopped during the mid-'70s. It's for sure a stylish choice if you're looking into Volkswagens.
The biggest downside would be the underpowered engine (36 horsepower to 53 horsepower). However, if you're simply cruising around, then you should be fine. The pricing on these cars can range between $4,000 and $21,000.
Volvo P1800: The Tourer
If you want to know how durable a car is, then try and drive it over three million miles on the same engine and see if it makes it. Long Islander Irv Gordon did that with his 1966 Volvo P1800S when he drove it to every state in America, except Hawaii.
The car isn't a speed demon since it only has 100 horsepower, but it is super reliable. The real draw here is the durability and sleek body.
Cruise With Style
This Mercedes-Benz could be the most elegant on the list. Nicknamed the "Pagoda," not only can you drive it all the time, but you could also arrive at a fancy restaurant and have people thinking you are very important.
The best part about this older vehicle is the mileage you can put on it. You can easily travel up to 250,000 miles without needing to rebuild the engine. That's quality that excites us to the third degree.
It Might Be Small, But It's Worth It
Volkswagen constructed the Golf as a replacement for the Beetle. It utilizes front-wheel drive, and it cools down with water. Now, the Golf is on its seventh generation, but the VW Golf MkI is the classic you need in your life.
Just like the Mini, the Golf is a design icon (designed by Mr. Giorgetto Giugiaro) and it has a great package that includes a tight engine and transaxle that gives you more passenger room. On top of all that, it's just a real joy to drive.
Some might view this vehicle as stodgy, but many others think the 242 Coupe is highly stylish. They also feel it's reliable and withstand any type of weather. Isn't that what we all want?
They're built like military tanks which makes them even more reliable. With some added upgrades, you can turn this into the car everyone loves to look at, getting rid of the suburban vibe that it gives off.