Handing my son an iPhone is never a good idea.
That’s mostly true because he’ll spend hours downloading and playing car racing games. His latest game involves buying rundown classic cars, racing them, and earning money to spend on restoration. It’s a cool concept, and the game has introduced him to classics he wouldn’t otherwise have known, including the ’67 Chevy Impala and ’72 Mercedes-Benz 280SL.
One car, though, he knows very well. The 1965 Jaguar E-Type has been a favorite since he first saw one at about 6 years old. Seeing it in the game for $129,000 sparked an interest in a real-life search for what the E-Type commands in today’s market.
Which is the other reason handing my son an iPhone isn’t a good idea.
As far as cheap classics go, the Jaguar E-Type can be a good buy. Yes, fully restored or pristine original versions can sell for well over $100,000, but put an iPhone in my son’s hand along with the will to find a cheap one, and it doesn’t take long to start looking at cars for under $20,000 in need of restoration.
“Hey Dad, let’s restore one of these! It’ll be fun,” he said.
I sat next to him and, I admit, briefly entertained the idea. I could picture being in the garage with my son, tinkering with the car and slowly bringing it back to glory. Then reality hit and I remembered that I don’t know the first thing about restoring old Jaguars, nor do I have the budget to take on such an ambitious project.
What might be a possibility, someday, is a classic car that doesn’t need extensive restoration and isn’t too expensive to maintain. A list from Hagerty had five collectible cars for under $15,000, any of which would be a great investment in father-son bonding.
My dad owned two cars on the list, a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado and a 1967 Mercury Cougar. I have fond memories of both, but these days my personal choice would be the 1997 Jaguar XK, a semi-reliable and ultra-sexy car that could pass as a poor man’s Aston Martin.
What car would you like to restore to its former glory?