5 Creative and Affordable Ways to Own Your Dream Classic Car

Sebastien Bell
by Sebastien Bell

Spring has sprung and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for the wildly wealthy to spend a little dough at automotive auctions.

With a few fine examples coming up in early April, it’s a fun time to set yourself an imaginary budget and shop for all the gorgeous classics you can’t afford.

But why settle for just dreaming? Since our youths toys, posters, and movies have all been there to let us own a slice of the automotive dreams that may never come true. So here are our favorite creative ways to own some of the best cars rolling across the auction block at Mecum’s Houston auction (April 6-8), Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction (April 6-8), and RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba auction (May 27).

1931 Ford Model A Custom Coupe

The hot rod that started it all. This 1931 model A comes complete with a flathead V8, dual carbs, and period correct Edelbrock heads. It’s a beautiful, tastefully done hot rod that shows off the best of what crazy car folk were doing nearly a century ago and, if we’re honest, that’s why we can’t afford it. But luckily, LEGO’s got you covered. Admittedly, the toy version has more of an American Graffiti vibe than the real one, but that’s okay because this is LEGO, so the power to change it is in your hands. And anyway it comes with a Ford Raptor tow car as a bonus.

1972 GMC Sierra

But what if you want something with a little more movement? Sure, building LEGO is great, but then it’s done. What if you want to do some racing, too? That’s where RC comes in. No, not the cheap RC cars you get at Toy’R’Us, but real, fast, capable RC cars. With the popularity of classic trucks on the rise, this is the perfect way to get a piece of the muscle truck lifestyle without the expense of a really good classic. A classic like this squeaky clean ’72 GMC Sierra for sale in Palm Beach. Instead of going broke trying to buy that one, just go to your local hobby store and buy this 1972 Chevy C10 body. OK, they aren’t quite identical, but it’s close enough and I doubt you’d ever take the full-size truck off any sweet jumps like you’re sure to do with this RC car.

1974 De Tomaso Pantera

Maybe you aren’t into building, and all you really want to do is look at a beautiful Italian design. A beautiful Italian design like the 1974 De Tomaso Pantera’s, selling at Mecum’s Houston auction on April 8. That sultry body hides a red-blooded Ford Cleveland V8 engine and this remarkable example has never been restored. As such it’s sure to attract a lofty price. So save some money and buy this Yellow Pantera painting from automotive-art.com instead. Owning classics is a nightmare. If what you really want is to look at a classic, this painting lets you do that for only $75 and it’s 100 percent guaranteed not to leak oil on your garage floor.

1968 Ford Mustang

Sometimes you want more out of a classic than just to look at it, though. Sometimes, you want to feel like Steve McQueen. Or better yet, Frank Bullitt. And sure, you could spend all kinds of money buying this 1968 Bullitt Mustang replica, drive it down to San Francisco, and terrify the locals as you run by the same Beetle four times, but that sounds like a lot of work. And there’s a better way to feel like Frank Bullitt. By watching Bullitt. Like the Mustang, Bullitt is a lot better in your memory than it is reality, but by buying the movie you’re saving a lot of money.

1930 Alfa Romeo 6C

This particular Italian masterpiece is being sold in Italy, on the banks of Lake Como, a place most of us can’t even afford to think about for too long, so you know that this 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Spider by Carrozzeria Sport S.A. is beyond your budget. Why not build your own, then? Cycle karts are an idea almost as old as full sized cars, and the reason for their resilience is because they’re fun, cheap, and easily made. With little more than a 200 cc engine, a little metal, and a friend with a welder, you can make your own cycle kart for less than the price of a good vacation. Make it an Alfa, a Bugatti, or any of those great pre-war grand prix cars and pretend you’re a dashing duke who owns a little piece of land his family’s had since Charlemange’s days.

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Sebastien Bell
Sebastien Bell

Sebastien is a roving reporter who covers Euros, domestics, and all things enthusiast. He has been writing about the automotive industry for four years and obsessed with it his whole life. He studied English at the Wilfrid Laurier University. Sebastien also edits for AutoGuide's sister sites VW Vortex, Fourtitude, Swedespeed, GM Inside News, All Ford Mustangs, and more.

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