First there's all the Toranas that I DID own but sold.
Then there's the E49 Charger that I could have had in 1986 for $3,800.
Or the Phase 3 GTHO around the same time that I could have had for $4,500.
I turned them up, as not being that tall a bloke they were uncomfortable to drive.
the former is now a couple hundred grand, and the latter a few hundred grans more.
I kind of wish we got air conditioning in our 2003 Tracker, but really I haven't considered buying anything all that exciting over the years. 3 out of the 6 cars we've owned were free so its hard to regret those ones!
I've got two that I regret not buying.
In 1990 I could have bought a 1989 Turbo Trans Am (the one with the Grand National engine) 20k miles for $16,000 (sticker for $30,000 new).
Then in 1993 I bought a new Z28, I wasn't real happy with it. I was thinking about trading it. The local Lexus dealer had a 1993 Supra Turbo, 6 speed that I could have traded for my car plus $3000.
I wish I had a do over on those.
Passed on a fully restored 1970 Plymouth (roadrunner) Super Bird (440-4v automatic) in my area for $36,000 back in 1996. It was a stretch for me but I could have swung the cost. The car had no weaknesses. I also knew they were selling for $100K back in 1990 so the drop into 1996 was quite severe. It eventually went up to $120,000 in 2007...and has returned to that approximate level today.
Rather than that Superbird, I ended up buying a restored 1970 Challenger R/T 440-6 for $19,000. It was the best available, high end Mopar in my area in 1996. I only owned it for 3 months when I got tired of all the nit pickers telling me what was "wrong" with it...or what corrections should be made to it...lol. Got tired of all that [censored] even though it was winning best in class at most shows I went to...and some best of shows. Ironically, those same people who told me I paid too much, were later telling me they would have paid more for it after I sold it...lol. It jumped in price thousands every year from there to a high of $95,000 in 2007. Last I saw of it a couple years ago it traded hands for $65K. In the right markets, you can buy worthy cars that will increase in value nicely w/o doing anything but minor care and maintenance.
Other cars I passed on for dumb reasons when they were still very cheap back in the mid-1990's. These were all nice, show worthy #2 cars.
1969 Plymouth Hemi 426 GTX 4 speed convertible (1 of 36 built) $35K
1969 Plymouth GTX 440-4v automatic with 7K original miles $14K.
1970 Plymouth Cuda 340 automatic with 22K miles - $12K
1969 Plymouth Roadrunner 383 automatic - nut and bolt restoration to #1 condition $12K.
Haven't been driving/alive long enough to have seen deals like some of you... but I love weird cars so here's one:
Missed out on a gorgeous and rust free 1991 Cadillac STS in bright red. This was GM's answer to the "euro" invasion of luxury cars in the early 90's. If you haven't seen one, look it up. It was a HUGE upgrade over the standard Seville, and cost a pretty penny. The guy wanted $1,300 for it. I have yet to see one in as nice of shape as this one. Still kicking myself.
Edit: added a picture for fun. This car looked 85% as nice as the one in the stock photo. Same color. The rims needed a polish, that's about it.
Way back when, in 1980, a 1965 Lancia Flaminia convertible.
$3500 asking, so probably could have gotten it for less.
Also, an old Maserati inline six 3500GT for the same money.
Bought an MGB for the same dollars instead, probably a far more practical choice in terms of reliability, parts availability and ease of repair.
This artifact of my youth still sits in the back of our garage.
I wonder whether I would have actually been able to keep an aging Lancia or Maserati running long enough to have gotten to the promised land of high values?
The MG was an okay daily driver when I was young and easy to diagnose and fix.
This would not have been the case with an old premium Italian car.
and now in hindsight, you're kicking yourself.
1985 Nissan 300zx Turbo.
I think the 84-89 Z31's were the best Z cars. They were engineered perfectly. I almost bought an 88 300ZX turbo years ago. Black with black leather,auto,t-tops,digital dash,loaded with everything!! Low miles. I would love to find one now. Here's a white one in mint condition. Check out the video at 1:20,it's got an oem oil temperature gauge,and at 1:57 they show the oil spec sticker.
2001 Acura Integra Type R. Went in to trade my Integra GSR on a brand new 2003 Acura RSX Type S. Unbeknownst to me, they had a mint 2001 ITR Phoenix yellow in the showroom with 105 miles on it. I bought the RSX for comfort. Regretting it ever since.
Some come to mind:
1.) I was young and working as a mechanic when I was sent over to East San Jose to look at a car in a body shop. It was going that day for back owed fees and charges. It was "in the white" (bare metal) but all there. I scrambled among all my friends and relatives and could not raise the coin ( ). It was an Auburn Boat-tailed Speedster with a Blower ... Sold for a little over $3K ...
2.) 1963 Merc Marauder fast-back coupe. 390 4-speed car with electric windows and no A/C. Dark gray exterior and red leather interior with buckets. Drop dead gorgeous and fast. Prolly $500 more than I could raise ... I already had a 4-speed Merc, but not a fast back (Daytona roof line). Even mine was/still is one of my favorite remembered cars
3.) Again, working a the local foreign car lot when in rolled a used high mile Ferrari 2+2. Before I cleaned and detailed that car, I made an offer (circa 1968~ ) $4K. They laughed, but let me drive it to lunch. It was leaking oil in a lot of places, but ran like a dream. I have wanted that car ever since ...
4.) We go to europe to visit family every few years. I was/am blown away by the diversity of cars in Holland. First time I saw a Ford Ka I wanted one. Not the current mini-Focus, but the older turtle car. Too new to import to the USA, and especially Cali
But the idea of simple small cars that get good mileage and carry 4 has always been something I like. If it ain't fast, it better be practical in some way ...