The smartest way to buy a classic car is to use someone else's money.
And with that in mind, I have been lucky enough to help my neighbor shop for a replacement classic for the past month or so.
He, like me, sold a nice 911SC to get a larger sedan. But unlike me, he wanted something modern. His budget, $10,000 or less. Let's review the shortlisted options.
1988 E28 M5. The original sports sedan. 252HP. Straight six. Great boxy lines. It is really surprising that you can still get a decent, not perfect, but a good driver for less than $10k. Mark my words. These will double in value in three years. Great if you like black, as that is the only color they came in.
Quattroporte III. Let me just say, that this neighbor's favorite car ever is the Citroen SM. That should give you a little insight into his proclivities. So, a Q-III is not that far a reach. Lovely V8. American transmission. No tricky hydraulics. And the swankest interior of any car built. Ever. You can almost hear the cocaine being snorted off the pleated seats.
Mercedes 500E. Built partially by Porsche in 93 and 94 when they were near bankruptcy, this Benz looks like a 300E to the untrained eye, but is so much more serious. Recaro seats. 2+2 seating. Flared bodywork. And a robust 5.0 litre V8 with 326HP.
Finally, E34 M5. Not quite as attractive as the E28 but still a rare, impressive sight. The looks are forgiven with a 7,000+ RPM six that puts out 340HP mastered by a the fluid 5-speed Beemer fans know and love.
So, a couple of straight six options. A couple of V8 options. All built in low numbers for a dose of exclusivity. All possessing great marque history. All a safe place to park some funds for the foreseeable future.
And, we(he) bought one of these today. Will reveal which one tomorrow.