Owning the Supercar From Your Childhood Isn't Out of the Question
If you grew up in the ‘70s and were a bit of a car fanatic, it’s likely that your childhood bedroom was adorned with images of Ferraris and Lamborghinis. As a kid you dreamed that one day you could own one, but fast-forward forty years and that dream might not be too far-fetched. Buying (or even finding) a Countach, Stratos, or M1 might be out of the question, but check out these pinups that just might fit the budget. Lotus Esprit S1
By the mid ‘70s, the Lotus Europa and Elan were beginning to show their age quite badly, so Lotus needed to come up with a new model fast. Luckily they tasked Giorgetto Giugiaro to design the new car, and he came up with the Esprit. Critics lauded the Esprit’s point and shoot handling, but its underpowered 140 hp, 2.0L engine failed to impress. In 1980 the Esprit gained a turbocharger, which added speed to the nimble package.
PHOTOS: Check out more pics of the Lotus Esprit
Finding an Esprit for sale shouldn’t be too hard. Prices range significantly due to the long production run, but if you haggle a bit, you could take home a decent Esprit for between $12,000 and $24,000.
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS
If you’re looking to get into a Ferrari, the 308 is your gateway drug. Built from 1975 to 1985, the heart-wrenchingly pretty 308 GTB boasts a 2.9L V8 mounted in the middle, producing 240-horsepower. Coveted early models sported fiberglass bodies and carburetors, which gave way to steel bodies in ’77 and fuel injection in ’80 (GTBi).
PHOTOS: Check out more pics of the Ferrari 308 GTB
Ferrari manufactured just over 12,000 308s, so finding one takes just a few clicks of the keyboard. Expect to pay between $35,000 and $50,000 for a clean model. With those looks, how can you afford not to?
De Tomaso Pantera
Consigned by Ford, styled by Ghia, and built in Italy – the De Tomaso Pantera ranks up there with the ‘70s supercar elite. Underneath the mesmerizing Italian body beats a 5.8L Ford V8, good for 310-horsepower and a top speed around 160mph. Admittedly, reliability and overheating were issues on the early models.
PHOTOS: Check out our galleries for the De Tomaso Pantera
Ford planned to import 10,000 Panteras into the US, but ended up cutting the cord after around 6,000 models made it across the Atlantic. That didn’t stop De Tomaso from building them right up until 1991 for European markets though. Prices range from $40,000 to $55,000 for a solid Pantera, with restored versions commanding at least a $15,000 on top of that.