9 Cars From Monterey That Maybe, Just Maybe, You Can Afford

Imagine this situation for a moment. You’re a car collector or dealer who brought a bunch of premium examples to Monterey Car Week to sell. Dollar signs are in your eyes. A room full of bidders hungry for your cars will soon pay way too much for the privilege of owning your collection. The car is put up for bid and, nothing. There isn’t any interest. These people will purchase nearly any collectible car, except yours it seems. Dejected, you slink back home, having lost the pride and profits of a bidding war. You leave the car on the auction house website, though, in case someone might want to buy it eventually.

Wouldn’t you be willing to take a lower bid than you would have when the live auction was happening? Sure, multiple records were set for the top end cars, but only around half of the cars with a market value of $25,000 and up had bids above market value. That means half of them didn’t. Yes, we know that in reality, none of us can/will buy any of these cars, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. For all the most famous cars on any auction weekend, they sold, so it really is impossible for us to buy them. These nine, however, and still up for grabs.

1. 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra

This was the car that made Carroll Shelby famous. Its light weight and impressive V8 carried it to racing success. In that vein, this example has been restored back to its original look and is ready to be driven all over the world. Would you drive it across the country? We know we would. 

2. 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton by LeBaron

1933 Chrysler CL Imperial

In today’s emissions-conscious world, it’s hard to find something with V10 power, let alone V16. This gorgeous classic Chrysler had a Cadillac V16 engine swapped into it a year after it was produced that it retains to this day. Classic style and big power? Sign us up.

3. 1988 Lamborghini LM002

1988 Lamborghini LM002

Luxury SUVs are all the rage now, with the Lamborghini Urus being one of the most exotic examples, but it isn’t the company’s first foray into the off-road world. Using the same drivetrain as the Countach, it produces 444hp and 396 lb-ft of torque, all while giving its driver and passengers the luxury you would expect. Imagine rolling up to King of the Hammers in this.

4. 1968 Porsche 908 Works “Short-Tail” Coupe

1968 Porsche 908 Works Short-Tail Coupe

Normally we would never buy a car that had been in a major wreck, but we’d make an exception for this one. The 1968 1000 km race at Spa was plagued with intense downpours that made for almost no visibility. Soon after driver Jochen Neerpasch swapped into the car on lap 32, it slid off the road on the downhill esses at Malmedy, colliding with a pole and rendering Neerspasch unconscious. You can’t tell now, however, as it’s been beautifully restored.

5. 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Coupe by Touring

1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500

Following the destruction of its factories in World War II, Alfa Romeo changed course, becoming an automaker for the common man, rather than a producer of expensive coachbuilt cars. This 6C 2500 Super Sport, one of only 383 produced, displays the new direction, along with the triangular grille design that that would be used for years to come.

6. 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale by Bertone

1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

If you could buy a classic rally car with less than 5,000 miles on it, would you keep it as an investment or take it out on the open road? This Lancia was made to stay compliant with FIA Group 4 rules and has only been driven 6,440 km since it rolled off the production line. We know what we would do.

7. 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta by Pinin Farina

1953 Ferrari 250 MM

If you’re a fan of classic European car enthusiast magazines, you may have seen this car before, as it was featured in a bunch of them over its long racing career. The 15th of 18 Pinin Farinas and one of 31 250 MMs made, it’s still race-ready and qualified for a number of classic rally and touring events around the world.

8. 1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30

1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30

Made to commemorate Lamborghini’s 30th anniversary, this Diablo sports the rare Nero Metallizato color instead of the metallic purple that most of the anniversary cars have. We think that this color holds up better to the test of time. Another extremely low mileage car, it also presents the problem of whether to keep it as an investment or take such an immaculately kept specimen on the road.

9. 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster by Fleetwood

1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S

This car is an icon of early America cinema. It was commissioned by Rudolph Valentino, one of the most famous stars of his time, only to have him suddenly die before it could be delivered. In its modern form, it’s a highly prized showcar and two-time Best in Class winner at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

While we can dream about being able to buy these cars, there were far more that we know we can't afford.

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