Exotic cars don’t have to be out of reach of the working person. In fact, a modest salary can pay for some exotic performance cars quite easily. Driving it on public roads might be tricky, what with insurance, gas prices and ever-waning reliability. However, if what you’ve always wanted is an exotic performance car, look no further than these three fine specimen. The glaring question is, how much is it to run these cars after you buy them? What about reliability and insurance? One of these entries may surprise you in more ways than one.
1998 Ferrari 456 GT: reliable?
It may surprise you to learn that it’s possible to buy a Ferrari for less than $60,000. The 456 GT had a 5.5-liter V12 mated to a manual or automatic transmission, developing 436 horsepower for the rear wheels. Gas mileage is buried 6-feet-under ideal, but that’s not why people buy Ferraris. The 456 GT was the most expensive car in Ferrari’s lineup at the time, but now you can get one for $51,995 off of Cars.com.
A bonus point goes to the Ferrari 456 GT in the way of reliability. With proper maintenance its V12 can last past 100,000 miles without having to rebuild the bottom end. The self-leveling rear end, might warrant some attention, as well as the inlet manifold gaskets and the engine mounts.
2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage: modern and satisfying
Current Aston Martin Vantages have a $139,000 starting MSRP. They have the 4.0-liter V8 that pumps out 503 horsepower, have manual transmissions, and are rear wheel drive. It sounds like a lot of money. The V8 Vantage from 2007, however, goes for dirt cheap, and it’s everywhere. Take one look at Auto Tempest and you’ll trip all over the many that are for sale. It had a 4.3-liter V8 that made 380 horsepower, had a manual transmission, and weighed about the same as a modern Vantage at 3,595.
According to Carbuyer.co.uk, the V8 Vantage enjoys surprising dependability. No major recalls have been issued, and owners can even take it out to the track if they want to. Regular maintenance seems to be part of a predictable routine.
1986 Lamborghini Jalpa: interesting but slow
It’s tough to find a Lamborghini for less than $90,000 that works. Granted, the Jalpa might not be the ideal candidate to roll off of the fighting bull’s assembly line, but it still counts. The Jalpa lasted nine years preceding the Gallardo. It used a 3.5-liter V8 that made 255 horsepower, mated to a manual transmission. The power went to the rear wheels, and the engine was mid-mounted.
The Jalpa wasn’t fast. In fact, it was the slowest of its class according to Car and Driver. Against the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Ferrari 328 GTB, and the Lotus Esprit Turbo, the Jalpa was slowest in acceleration. Buying the car today doesn’t present problems that are too horrendous. The fenders can rust easily, and the brakes will overheat, but otherwise it’s about as solid as you can expect, maybe moreso, an Italian car from the 1980s can be.
It’s between the Lamborghini and the Ferrari
Not only are these cars exotic, they’re also relatively cheap, reliable, and fun. All of them have manual transmissions, they’re all rear-wheel-drive, and they will each turn heads. The Lamborghini could be considered the most interesting and simultaneously the most expensive, while the Ferrari might actually be the smartest choice.