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Cars, like fashion and even food, go through cycles of trends. What is popular today isn’t always what was popular yesterday. As aging car collectors and enthusiasts are selling their cars and getting out of the game, there aren’t always enough young people with the same taste to buy what the older generation is selling. This means a buying opportunity is on the table. Here are a handful of cool vintage cars from the last Mecum Auction in Dallas, TX, that all sold for less than $20k. It probably won’t exactly help get a car to take the family on a road trip, but who knows, maybe it will. 

Are vintage cars getting more expensive? 

1965 Ford Mustang
1965 Ford Mustang | Mecum

In many cases, certain vintage cars are skyrocketing in price alongside regular used cars. Vintage Porsches, pickup trucks, some JDM, and others are showing no signs of getting cheaper, but that isn’t true for all vintage and classic cars. No, some are starting to fall between the generational gaps in taste and relevance. 

These are some of the cheapest cars sold at Mecum

1949 Ford Deluxe in green is a cheap vintage car sold at a Mecum auction.
1949 Ford Deluxe | Mecum

Right off the top, the most recent Mecum auction saw a beautiful 1949 Ford Deluxe Coupe sell for only $13,750. I know it’s not quite as practical, but you could spend more than that on options for a 2024 Ford F-150. This isn’t a throwaway car, either. The ‘49 Ford marked a major shift in the way cars were designed. Before this model, many cars still had large protruding fenders, sideboards, and buggy headlights, all of which had never considered aerodynamics. 

Another sweet classic that crossed the block and finished for less than $20k is this amazing 1970 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe. For $16,500, someone just got a screaming deal. This Corvette shows 90,000 miles on the clock. While that’s not exactly low mileage, the car has all of its original running gear and a manual gearbox

A 1965 Ford Mustang also snuck out for only $15,400. Granted, this Mustang doesn’t have any of the cool options like a V8, manual transmission, or anything else that makes them collectible. Even still, good luck finding a better-looking classic car in this good of shape for less than $16k. 

Lastly, a beautifully restored 1939 Ford Tudor Sedan sold for an amazing $16,500. This car is not only extremely lovely to look at but it has been completely gone through. The restoration must’ve cost more than the selling price, not counting buying the actual car. 

Some of the cheapos weren’t that cool 

1970 Chevrolet Corvette
1970 Chevrolet Corvette | Mecum

While some very cool classics sold cheaply, some of the cheapos were slightly less timeless. There were a slew of ‘90s Camaros, an I-ROC Z, and a 2014 Dodge Charger. While these cars aren’t quite as exciting as the classics, they are still a pretty good deal, considering you can’t buy a modern used car any cheaper. And considering that they were a Mecum, we can assume the vintage cars under $20k were all in better-than-average condition. 

It’s funny that as the normal car market continues its descent into madness, the previously hobbyist car auctions – where cars often go for a premium – are slowly turning into a good place to buy a normal car for normal people. Funny how things work sometimes.