Here\u2019s How to Have Lots of Fun for Average Money

With new-vehicle production limited thanks to several factors, RBC analyst Joseph Spak says the average new-car transaction price has now hit $38,500—up a whopping $4000 over last year. How much fun can you have for an “average” spend? Between some great new cars and a little help from our Bring a Trailer colleagues. plenty!

(Don’t forget, kids, Father’s Day is coming up…)


Price: $34,750

Alfa Spider prices are all over the map. On Bring a Trailer you can spend as little as $2,500 on a project car and as much as $70 grand-plus for a mint-condition beauty. This 1967 Duetto just sold for a price where lots of Duettos seem to be clustering at the moment.

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Price: $36,395

BMW’s 230i has a fantastic turbo-four and one of the liveliest chassis in the biz.

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Price: $38,190

The CT5 is a good-looking sedan that rides softer than its German rivals, but is $3 to $4 grand less expensive.

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Price: $38,695

Howling V8? Check. Six-speed manual? Check. Terrific steering? You got it. This is a lot of car for the dough.

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It’s hard to believe you can get a 6th generation Corvette for this kind of money. They will not last at this price.

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Price: $37,315

Driving a Pacifica is fun? Depends on your definition. But there’s no arguing the Pacifica’s capability is off-the-charts, and the car is one of the great automotive bargains.

More on the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica

Price: $36,000

Like Alfa Spiders, ’60s Bronco prices swing wildly. Dig around hard enough and you should be able to find a nice example in the $38,500 wheelhouse.

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Price: $37,000

This Lightning just sold for that price with only 3,000 miles on its ticker. The bargains are out there!

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Price: $37,315

All Mustangs are pretty much fun to drive but like the Camaro, you want the V8 and manual transmission.

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Price: $39,645

That price is for the 2.0-liter turbo four Sport, not that there’s anything wrong with that: The G70’s chassis is well balanced and the cockpit is decidedly upscale.

More on the Genesis G70

Price: $38,890

Somehow Honda has managed to squeeze 306 hp from the crazy looking Type R’s 2.0-liter turbo four!

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Price: $38,500

Back in the day called the S2000 a perfect example of what makes Honda, Honda. This one-owner S2000 with just 12,000 miles recently sold on for exactly the average new-car price.

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Price: $33,000

CJ-5s are awesome and the prices are going nowhere but up.

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Price: $38,395

The Sport S trim comes standard with the 285-hp V6 and a six-speed manual transmission. Perfect.

More on the 2021 Jeep Gladiator

Price: $37,000

What’s cooler than tooling around (quite slowly) in an old Land Rover? Not much, and plenty have sold on for around our $38,500 bogey. The two door Series 88s are cool, too.

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Price: $38,500

Porsche 912’s, built from 1965 to 1969, are nice drivers for a lot less money than a 911, though like all Porsches the prices are rising fairly quickly.

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Price: $33,000

You can enjoy the sunshine in a very nice 968 convertible for the average new car price but hurry, before the price starts to skyrocket like every other old car seems to be doing.

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Price: $37,000

The new Supra is cool, no doubt, but a Gen 2, built from ’81 to ’85, is even cooler.

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Price: $36,500

This EuroVan on had just 14,000 miles on it, and was equipped with the Weekender package, which includes a Westfalia pop-top tent, a flat-folding rear bench seat, a table, and curtains. Sweet!

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Price: $37,940

The GTI’s turbo four is one of the best engines in the car business. It pumps out 228-hp and the throttle response is instantaneous.

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