Note that I didn’t say “dream.” These are three cars I hope to own within the next five years and I’ve been aggressively saving to afford them. It’s actually a four-car garage because I have a 1999 Suburban for winter duties. I’d drive a classic year-round but Toronto salt is just too brutal for classic cars.

1969 Corvette 427 coupe

My absolute dream car. Has been since I was 10. I was shocked to learn that you can pick these up in driver condition for under $20,000. It has to be a ‘69, it has to be a four-speed and it has to be a coupe. I’m hunting for one with the “low compression” 390-horsepower 427. It’s a strong engine but low-strung so it’s more able to be taken on long trips without overheating and hopefully it’ll need less maintenance. Preferably in blue or Daytona Yellow with black interior. Wide Goodyear white-letter racing tires and white ceramic-coated sidepipes will complete the look. Selling the ‘69 Newport will partially fund this car.

1969 Fiat 124 Sport Spider

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I really like these. It has to be an early car and the ‘69 has a number of small differences to the ‘70. The ‘68's weren’t imported into Canada as far as I know. You can pick these up around $5-7k all day long and I think they’re a great bargain. Revvy little 1.4L DOHC I4 designed by Lampredi and a body that, I think, resembles the ‘65 Ferrari 275 GTS. Even though it’s a cheap foreign car from the 60's, it has disc brakes and a 5-speed to make it more livable in modern traffic. This would be a great date car.

1972 Jaguar XJ12

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If you want a classic V12 and have less than $100k to spend, there’s really only one option. And I need a V12 in my life. This will likely end up being the most expensive car of the three and the most involving from a modification standpoint. Part of the problem is that the glorious 5.3L SOHC V12 was only available in the short wheelbase XJ platform for one year, 1972. After that, only a long wheelbase XJ12 was offered. I’ll also have to swap the three-speed auto for a 5-speed. And given the reputation of these engines, I’d like to go through it top to bottom with a full rebuild. It would be a fairly mild build but four downdraft Webers would have to be included.

So there you have it. That’s my “affordable dream garage.” What’s yours?