Car Sport Spare Part

10 Proper American Sports Cars That Are Surprisingly Cheap To Own And Maintain

Ah, yes, the American sports car. Big V8s, burnouts, and muscle all come to mind when one thinks of proper American sports cars. However, these cars are increasing in price with every generation. This makes it difficult to purchase one if you’re on a budget. If you’re looking at used cars, you don’t want to be stuck repairing the car every week.


Many Japanese and European sports car brands are reliable and affordable. What they often lack are the muscle-car grunt and pure power that American sports cars have. If you want pure muscle for crazy burnouts, American sports cars are for you. Some won’t break the bank and are true to the American standard. Here are some sports cars that fit that description.

10 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 ($13,883)

Chevrolet-Camaro_Z28-2014
source:netcars

The Camaro is an iconic American sports car. A base model gets you a 3.6-Liter V6. If you want max power, the Z/28 is your car. With this trim, you get a 7.0-Liter LS7 V8 that puts out 505 hp.

Related: 12 Used American Cars We Wouldn’t Touch With A 10-Foot Pole

In terms of reliability, the GM LS engine is one of the most reliable NA power plants around. It being a V8 means more money on coil packs. The six-speed manual adds to the reliability of the car.

9 2014 Dodge Challenger ($20,000)

A silver and black 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 Silver
Dodge

We all love the 800-hp Dodge Challenger Demon. However, if you don’t have $100,000 to spend, the 3.6-Liter DOHC V6 makes 306 hp. This Dodge Challenger is a great option if you’re looking for a RWD burnout monster.

This year of Challenger has a particularly reliable engine. Dodge solved a host of issues with the Pentastar engine in 2011. Improving on the already reliable engine.

8 2018 Ford Mustang ($20,000)

2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 50th Editon
via Mecum

The Ford Mustang is the king of American sports cars. You can pick up an almost new V6 2018 Mustang for under $20,000. You can opt for a cheaper V8 version 2006 Mustang. However, they are difficult to drive and less reliable than the 2018 Ford Mustang.

The EcoBoost engine is a tried and tested power plant. By the time 2018 rolled around, Ford worked out all the kinks and was able to put more power through it.

7 Chevrolet Corvette C4 ($7,000)

Yellow 1987 Chevrolet Corvette C4
Sicnag Via Wikimedia

If you’re really on a budget, a RWD 5.7-Liter Corvette C4 might be a good option for you. You can pick up a Corvette C4 for under $10,000. Of course, any pre-2000s vehicle will have to be checked thoroughly for rust and issues.

One thing you won’t have to worry about is maintenance costs. Parts are readily available for all versions of the C4. The GM platform also means that swapping the engine for an LS is easy.

6 2008 Saturn Sky ($12,000)

2008 Saturn Sky Redline Sports Car
Via: Mecum

Saturn was pitched as a GM brand to compete with cheaper and more reliable Japanese imports. By the time 2008 rolled around, their funding was cut and was forced to rebadge other GM cars.

This turbocharged straight-four convertible is a rebadged Opel GT. It makes plenty of power, 177 hp with a weight of 3000 lbs. The Ecotec engine is also low maintenance, only requiring regular services.

5 2006 Pontiac GTO ($15,000)

A silver 2006 Pontiac GTO parked
Pontiac

The success of the Holden Monaro meant GM had to bring the car to the North American market. This would become the Pontiac GTO. A 400 hp LS2 engine powered this beast. However, sales would not meet the company’s expectations and the car remained unpopular.

Related: 10 Fastest RWD Cars For Under $20,000

This Pontiac GTO falling under the radar means that car fans can pick up what is essentially a C6 corvette for under $15,000.

4 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 ($10,000)

Chrysler Crossfire - Front
Chrysler

The Daimler-Chrysler merger of the early 2000s meant that many Chrysler vehicles ended up with Mercedes engines. The Crossfire was built on a last-generation Mercedes convertible platform.

By the time the Crossfire was released, the supercharged Mercedes-Benz M112 V6 engine had 8 years of road testing and development. The hard-top SRT-6 version avoids a lot of the convertible issues that Mercedes had with their platform.

3 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am ($6,000)

1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA parked
Via Johannes Maximilian / Wikimedia

In the late 60s, GM needed a sports car to compete with the Mustang. So, the Firebird was born. The third generation came with a wide range of engine options. The top-of-the-line model, the Trans AM, is powered by a 5.7-Liter Chevrolet V8.

At stock power, this small-block Chevrolet V8 is reliable, even though earlier versions were not. You can find a well-kept firebird for under $10,000 and pocket the spare change for extra mods.

2 Dodge Viper ($20,000)

1996 Dodge Viper GTS
via Jay Leno’s Garage

The Viper has no safety net. Designed with racing in mind, the early viper had no A/C or exterior door handles. Of course, these were added later, but the purist racing mentality remained with the car. The 400hp 8.0L V10 was developed in partnership with Lamborghini.

The engine is a bespoke Dodge product. However, because the Viper is almost the same car 20 years later, parts are available everywhere. It also shares transmission and drivetrain components with other Dodge products.

1 Pontiac Solstice ($8,000)

2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
Via: Mecum Auctions

Towards the end of the Pontiac brand, GM produced some crazy cars in their attempt to right the ship. The Pontiac Solstice uses an Ecotec straight-four engine that makes around 177 hp. That power in a 2,877 lb package gives the Solstice a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds.

Related: 10 JDM Sports Cars That Will Last You A Lifetime

The styling is subjective. It was an exterior that divided opinions when it launched. However, if you’re willing to overlook that, the maintenance costs and reliability are second to none.

Sources: Manufacturers Pages, Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Owners Forums

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