Affordable Classics

1966-70 Datsun 1600/2000 Sports

While the Brits were still making do with finicky overdrive units, the Datsun 2000 had a five-speed gearbox designed by Porsche   For a long time after WWII, Japanese products were viewed by American consumers merely as cheap copies of Western goods. Conventional wisdom held that a Nikon was a […]

1967-69 MGC

The MGC was the first in a string of half-baked ideas that turned the British motor industry into a historic-preservation trust Few cars have taken more of a beating right out of the box than the MGC. Already incensed by BMC’s premeditated murder of the Austin-Healey 3000 in favor of […]

1966 Jaguar E-Type Series I 2+2 Coupe

The rear seats won’t accommodate anyone bigger than munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz”   What was an E-type owner to do when little Nigel and Fiona came along? Grace, pace, and space was how the marketing blokes in Coventry described the new “family” E-type 2+2 coupe that bowed as […]

1969-73 Opel GT

Over 70,000 GTs were peddled in the U.S. from 1968 to 1973. The history of captive imports is a tale of ill-starred orphans. If you recall the Plymouth Cricket (née Hillman Avenger), Plymouth Fire Arrow, (aka Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste), or the Ford Sierra sold here as the Merkur XR4ti (complete […]

1966-67 Oldsmobile Toronado

How can muscle car collectors overlook anything this big? The 1966 Toronado was America’s first front-wheel drive car since the Cord 810, 30 years earlier. It was certainly Oldsmobile’s (and possibly GM’s) last stylistic tour de force. The post-1967 years became increasingly unfriendly to this type of individuality as committees, […]

1961-1972 Volvo 1800

Enough pipe-smoking, record-keeping professors bought 1800s to assure a decent supply of well-maintained examples In 1961, Volvo was Swedish for “stodgy,” and a sports car from these practical folks in a cold climate seems about as likely as tailfins on a reindeer. But that’s what happened-right down to the fins.Volvo […]

1964-1970 Maserati Mistral

If you decide to restore a Mistral, forget the scuba gear and go find Alvin, the Titanic submersible. You will be that far under water The cold wind that gave its name to Maserati’s 1964 Mistral spells the end of summer in the south of France. The model heralded an […]

1972-1976 Jensen-Healey

Rust is a concern, almost as if the factory took perverse pride in building the most horribly corrosion-prone bodies The 1970s have been called “the decade without quality control,” and alas, the Jensen-Healey was a product of that era. While it should have taken the sports car world by storm, […]

1970-1977 Mercury Capri

With the exception of a few fake side vents and one character line too many, the Capri was handsome and looked the part of a 2/3-scale pony car “The Sexy European” was how FoMoCo billed the Capri for its U.S. launch in 1970, as if it was peddling Sophia Loren […]

1971-81 Alfa Romeo Spider

Two ways to view the Spica fuel injection system: “diabolical” or “misunderstood” Universally regarded as two of the best open sports cars of all time, Alfa Romeo’s 750-series Giulietta Spider and 101-series Giulia Spider of the late 1950s and early ’60s were a tough act to follow. To remain the […]