Say a classic sports car, and people are ready to stretch out an arm or a leg for a good classic ride. The kind that could give them all the feel they always wanted from a sports car in terms of looks, speed and power. And there are a lot of amazing classic sports cars that collectors covet because they are the best and rarest of the bunch.
On the flip side, there are also classic sports car collectors to avoid as they have a less than stellar reputation, are rather boring to boot, or were simply the worst example of a sports car ever made. Some of them did not live up to their heritage while others did not live up to the power expected of a sports car. So if you find any on one classic car mess and feel the price is ridiculous, first get to know the classic sports car and its weaknesses before you decide to adopt it for your garage.
ten 1969-76 Porsche 914: not a boxer
Porsche and Volkswagen had agreed to share the platform to give birth to the 914 but it turned out to be nonsense. He came with Porsche badges but never got sharper under acceleration than his other siblings. With around 100 ponies on board, the 914 clocked 0-60 mph in an excruciating 13 seconds.
Despite being an affordable classic sports car, the Porsche 914 is little respected by car collectors. Prices have come down dramatically over the years and it’s easy to find one in perfect condition for $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 if you’re still interested in buying. Although we don’t know why.
9 1984-88 Pontiac Fiero: Capricious Sports Car
Known as the first mass-produced mid-engined sports car in the United States, the Pontiac Fiero ruled for a few years after its debut in 1983. After that, buyers realized, to their dismay, that these sports cars classics were a bit temperamental.
It’s a polite way of saying it had many problems with its suspension, cooling system and maintenance. Around the same time, the Honda CRZ kicked in, slashing Fiero sales for good reason. Approximately 370,000 Fieros were sold during a five-year production run and they are little sought after in the vintage car market.
8 1981-94 Maserati Biturbo: Worst Classic Sports Car
Maserati is a household name in the automotive world today, but by the late 1980s the Biturbo had almost ruined it. The classic Biturbo sports cars were offered at a lower price so that they could face other more popular rivals head-on.
But things turned against them as the quality was compromised and after a few years buyers started to come back to Maserati with several issues. It might be a Maserati but nobody cares it’s cheap on the classic car bazaar considering the V6’s meager 196 horsepower.
seven 1975-81 Triumph TR7: shaming British roadsters
The TR7 can best be described as a doorstop shame on the name of classic sports cars from Britain. It was the last Triumph on American soil before their departure in 1984. Why? The TR7s had quality and reliability issues as more than a few mechanisms were not functioning properly.
From its stumbling carburetors to its fragile timing chains, weak oil and water pumps, leaky sunroof and not-so-concealable headlights, nothing has worked well for the TR7. This is why car collectors avoid TR7s and they are very cheap in the classic car market.
6 1956-74 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia: Sports car based on the Beetle
The voluptuous Karmann Ghia borrowed most of her foundations from the love bug Beetle. It was more advanced and offered a lot of style at the time. Around 450,000 Karmann Ghias were built in total, including the convertible trims. So there is a lot to buy.
However, this sophisticated-looking classic sports car hid a flat 4 engine under its curved hood that could only spew 34 to 50 horsepower, depending on the model year. A mint condition 1969 Karmann Ghia sold for only about $ 20,000 this year at Barrett-Jackson.
5 1962-81 MG MGB: a small success from Morris
With over half a million units sold over its lifetime, the MG MGB was one of the most successful British roadsters of the 1960s, but also one of the least reliable. Still, it was a commercial success at the time as the cute little car provided a lot of fun for people who liked to have their hair blown in the wind.
Still, its value has declined in recent years in the vintage car market as vintage car collectors have avoided it. It’s finicky and spits out all 70-95 horsepower, which makes it a not-so-exciting ride.
4 1974-76 Bricklin SV-1: Problem sports car
Cut in the shape of a wedge-winged seagull, the Bricklin SV-1 was short lived. Mainly because it experienced a lot of quality control issues right after its release. To make matters worse, the company doubled the price of the car, even though it had a penchant for fire. This and other reasons quickly helped the car reach its death gate.
Less than 3,000 Bricklins were sold between 1974 and 1975. It is a rare collector’s classic sports car, but the classics market looks sad and some of them are selling for as low as $ 25,000.
3 1976-88 Porsche 924: another abandoned Porsche
The Porsche 924 was next after the 914 and was a water-cooled (gasp), front-engine (faint) “sports car” built from leftover VW and Audi parts. For Porsche purists, this was betrayal of the worst kind. For simple sports car enthusiasts, it’s been watered down, making all 95 horsepower withered from a 2.0-liter four-pot.
That said; it behaved very well, but since it looked like a VW disguised as a Porsche, we didn’t think much about it. So, or now.
2 1960-69 Chevrolet Corvair Coupe: “Dangerous at any speed”
Once Ralph Nader called rear-engine, rear-suspension Chevrolet Corvair ‘dangerous’, it’s kind of stuck with buyers. Although later it was proven that the Corvair was no more dangerous than any other car of its given temperament.
Later, no one could even tell if the Corvair was more dangerous than any other car of its day, regardless of construction. But it was called a death trap and the nickname stuck. Fortunately, Corvair’s unsavory reputation led to the founding of the NHTSA, so Chevrolet’s misery did some good. But it also means that there are no takers for this classic sports car.
1 1958-71 Austin Healey Sprite: Undernourished British Roadster
Small open sports car, the Austin Healey Sprite was a typical British roadster and later became a rebadged MG Midget. It was tiny, had insect-like features and proportions and despite its vintage-classic appeal, it remains an underperforming on the classic car bazaar. One sold for around $ 20,000 at Barrett-Jackson, for a model in perfect condition.
It was light and underpowered and maybe was enough for thrills back then, but it’s slow even by the standards of classic sports cars today. No one wants that classic bug-eye anymore.
Sources: Motor1, Classic.con, BringaTrailer, Hagerty, Barrett-Jackson
As JDMs and muscle cars are among the most ubiquitous sports cars, rarer examples can be worth a fortune.
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