Some sixteen year-olds, bless their hearts, just aren’t content to drive a late-model econobox, understanding even in their youth that life is too short to drive a boring car. With these kids in mind, we recently invited you to suggest the best vintage car for the teenage enthusiast. Most sane, frugal parents are not going to hand their freshly-licensed teen the keys to Dad’s ’67 Stingray but that doesn’t mean that a stylish vintage ride is out of the question. Young drivers can have a lot of fun for under $10,000 and to prove it, we’ve compiled our list of the ten best classic (pre-’90) cars for the teenage enthusiast. We’re confident in our rankings but also certain that you’ll use the comments section below to let us know where we’ve erred.
#10 Jaguar XJ-S
Produced from 1975 to 1996 and available with either an inline-six or a V12 engine, this car will give you your first taste of stylish grand touring. Granted, efficiency and reliability were words seldom associated with the XJ-S–rest assured that even if you don’t buy one, you can always visit your friend’s Jag at the local mechanic’s shop–but if you’re looking put on airs in the high school parking lot, this is the car for you.
#9 Chrysler Conquest/Mitsubishi Starion
Make reference to Mr. Jackie Chan’s black Starion Turbo in the 1984 film “Cannonball Run II” and you’re likely to get nothing but blank looks from today’s sixteen-year-olds. And yet, with engines that offered anywhere between 150-197 horsepower–and with a body that epitomizes 1980s styling–the Starion/Conquest siblings offer a fun driving experience that’s unlikely to get a young driver into too much trouble. The challenge, as with many of the cars on this list, is finding one in acceptable condition.