Some entries on this list come with tuned-up chassis and suspension to facilitate smooth handling and offer maximum comfort on the road or the track. If you need a grand tourer in your classic car collection, here are eight that you can afford without breaking the bank.
8 1989 Jaguar XJ-S – $10,213
Jaguar introduced the XJ-S as a replacement for the beautiful E-Type sports car in 1975, but from the first look at the XJ-S, buyers felt it was too big, too ugly, and actually a grand tourer. But the move to build a new sports car based on the XJ6 chassis was largely influenced by improvements on rivals like the Porsche 928 and Lotus Elite.
The luxury XJ-S coupé gets its power from a 218 cubic inch line-6 engine with a 5-speed manual transmission and puts out 221 horsepower. Thorough maintenance will ensure that the repair cost of the Jaguar XJ-S does not bite too hard. You can get a decently used 1989 Jaguar XJ-S for just over $10,000.
7 1981 Volvo 262C Bertone – $11,811
In 1977, Volvo introduced its very first luxury coupe, the 262C, which is based on the 200 Series. Volvo teamed up with the Italian design house Bertone to transform the 262 into a personal luxury coupe with standard amenities like power windows, a full leather interior, central locking, and alloy wheels.
The 262C Bertone was equipped with a fuel-injected B27F overhead-cam V6 engine built by Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo. The 2.7-liter PRV engine works with either a 4-speed manual transmission or a 3-speed automatic and pumps out 127 hp and 150 lb-ft. An example of the 1981 Volvo 262C Bertone, which classic collectors like David Bowie sold for $216,000 can be yours for just about $11,000.
6 1987 Porsche 928 S4 – $15,000
Meticulously designed to stand the test of time, the 1897 Porsche 928 S4 was a symbol of luxury in the late 80s and early 90s. Featured in blockbusters like the Risky Business and Scarface, the Porsche 928 S4 drives pleasantly today as it did thirty-five years ago.
Under the hood lies a big 5.0-liter V8 that cranks out 320 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque in conjunction with a 4-speed automatic transmission. When Porsche first released the 928 S4, it was going for nearly $70,000, but today the classic coupe can be yours for just about $15,000.
5 1992 Subaru SVX – $12,500
Who would have thought that one of the best sports coupes in 1992 would be from Subaru when big leagues like Nissan, Toyota, and Honda are at the top of their game? The Subaru SVX is a two-door front-engine sports coupe that was in production from 1991 to 1996.
Subaru made a grand entry into the luxury/performance market with the SVX, which can perform sports-car gymnastics without a stiff, spine-snapping ride and is just as comfortable as a luxury sedan. Here’s a neatly used 1992 Subaru SVX offered for $12,500, which is less than half the price of when it first came out.
4 1993 Lexus SC300 – $6,700
Although many know Lexus as a luxury brand, it has had a performance side even way before the introduction of the LFA supercar. The Lexus SC family was launched in 1992 as the luxury brand’s first sports coupe car and just like the Audi TT, its curvy exterior gave it a modern look, but the engine is actually the real deal.
The Lexus SC300 comes with a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that makes 225 hp at 6,000 rpm and 210 lb-ft ta 4,800 rpm. This is the same engine that the first-generation LS300 is equipped with, so it’s basically an Mk4 Toyota Supra motor. For just $6,700, you can add the 1993 Lexus SC300 to your class GT collection.
3 1994 Maserati Ghibli II – $11,750
The excellent performance of the 1994 Maserati Ghibli in addition to its adaptive suspension and great balance, makes it a steal for $11,750. Weighing about 3,000 pounds with a length of 166 inches makes the Ghibli a delight to drive on the road or the track.
Although some may say the ’94 Ghibli’s styling is subpar, especially given Maserati’s reputation for head-turning designs, the interior luxury amenities compensate for the exterior’s shortcomings. Under the hood of the ’94 Ghibli II, Maserati mounts a 2.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts out 302 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque.
2 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT – $17,980
It’s quite sad that the Mitsubishi 3000GT, especially its VR4 trim, was never really well received like the likes of Acura NSX and Toyota Supra. Mitsubishi marketed this front-engine four-seater coupe as GTO in Japan and to the rest of the world as the 3000GT.
The nimble handling and luxurious interior of the Mitsubishi 3000GT deserve commendation. Power is not lacking in the ’94 3000GT with a 3.0-liter V6 engine that cranks out 320 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque. Find a clean 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT for just $17,980 here.
1 1995 BMW 840Ci – $8,500
If you can’t think of splashing six figures on a V12 GT, then you might want to consider going for the next best thing in the line — the V8 two-door coupe. BMW unveiled the 840Ci or 8 Series (E31) at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1989, and it traces its origin to the beautiful coupes of the 30s.
Built from 1989 to 1999, the 840Ci touts relatively nice performance for a pocket-friendly grand tourer. The ’95 BMW 840Ci has got that retro-styled wedge-shaped look that still looks good to date. Power comes from a 4.0-liter V8 engine that puts out 282 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Here’s a damage-free 1995 BMW 840Ci that was sold for $8,500.
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