Affordable Classics

Care to Place a Bet on the Fiat 500?

Fiat just can’t seem to catch a break in America. The company made headlines back in 2010 heralding a splashy return to our market with the diminutive 500 hatchback. Coming about 10 years (plus or minus) after the successful return of the VW New Beetle and the reimagined MINI Cooper, […]

Fun With the Poor Man’s XKE

There aren’t many sleepers in the collector car world with the endearing qualities of the Triumph GT6. It’s a British child of the Swingin’ Sixties, it’s rarely seen, it’s a crowd-pleaser and it’s just a plain hoot to drive. If you fit in it. Produced for just seven years through […]

Fiat/Bertone X1/9

An X1/9 Sold for What?

Arecent result from the Bonhams Padua auction on October 28, 2017, caused a bit of a stir here at the “Affordable Classic” desk. Actually, it wasn’t a stir, but more like a big messy spit-take, a coffee-spewing, head-shaking explosion of disbelief. A late-in-the-run 1988 Bertone X1/9 1500 coupe went out […]

1975 Bricklin SV-1 coupe

Swingin’ Gullwing

If you were to think of a sports car that epitomized the mid-1970s, the Bricklin SV-1 would be the perfect choice. The car was the brainchild of Malcolm Bricklin, a somewhat eccentric auto-industry executive whose resumé includes bringing Subaru to North America. His idea was to build a much safer […]

A Cheap, Fast, Fun Porsche with a Catch

The 996 is the pit bull of 911s — but not in a dispositional or aesthetic sense. However, like the odd pit bull that inexplicably snaps, the 996 can be a car that’s perfectly fine — until it’s not fine. An infamous bearing The source of the Porsche 996’s reputation […]

Sifting the Auctions for Hidden Gems

The old saying of “Can’t see the forest for the trees” also applies to good deals at the Monterey Car Week auctions. Despite auction houses working to get high-end cars for record-setting sales prices, there are inevitably a few consignments that don’t fare as well as hoped. Throw in car […]

A Cheap, Fast, Fun Alfa Romeo

Picture a sunny summer afternoon on the Pacific Coast Highway north of Santa Cruz, CA. It’s the late 1980s, and two new sport sedans are cruising to the spot where a passing lane opens up. The challenge is to be ahead of the other car by the end of that […]

Not Quite “Magnum, P.I.” Grade

You look in the mirror one morning and instead of your own bleary eyes and grim, pre-work mug, you see Tom Selleck. It’s not the grizzled old Tom — it’s the dashing young Tom of “Magnum, P.I.,” as he casually vaults into that Ferrari. Owning one of those would change […]

A Great Beater Sports Car

This First World question is posed to me frequently: Which Mercedes-Benz convertible should I purchase as my daily driver? It’s a tough question. High-quality examples of the Mercedes-Benz R107 are seemingly doubling in value overnight. The R129 Series is doing what it was designed to do, which is spray hydraulic […]

Shedding Its Former Life

Necessity being the mother of invention, and Brits being a nation of inveterate tinkerers, gave us “Men in Sheds” — a breed whose inventor/engineer mentality has won fame for fashioning functional devices out of parts that have no business near each other. Thus, it was natural that redundant cars would […]