The Lotus Esprit was built for nearly 30 years, which means there are plenty of different versions to choose from. Some are more expensive than others, but the cheap ones cab be found for well under $30,000.
The Honda Beat is a Kei car convertible only offered in Japan when new. It’s now old enough for to be imported to the US, which means enthusiasts here have another choice for affordable mid-ship fun. The engine is a tiny three-cylinder with a 9000-RPM redline. This one’s on eBay right now for $5800.
Mazda Autozam AZ-1 / Suzuki Cara
Now that the AZ-1 is eligible for import into the US, it’s becoming highly desirable. The car’s mid-engine layout and gullwing doors combined with its tiny footprint make it a joy to drive. Prices are hovering around $10,000-$15,000 now, but expect those numbers to climb over time. This one can be yours for just under $13,000.
Of course the MR2 is on this list. Go on Craigslist anywhere and odds are you’ll find one for about the same price as an old Miata. Plus, thanks to that Toyota reliability, you won’t have to worry about dumping money into keeping it on the road. This first-gen example is just $5700 right now on eBay.
Okay, hear us out. The Fiero might not be known for its driving attributes, but there’s not a ton cheaper you can buy that has its engine mounted in the middle. Plus, it looks pretty cool. This white one’s in perfect condition, for sale for under $10,000.
Fiat X1/9s are getting harder and harder to come by nowadays, but running and driving examples can still be found for less than $10,000 if you know where to look. For a mid-engine Bertone-designed targa-top classic, that sounds like a deal to us. This one can be yours for just $5450.
The 348 is one of the cheapest used Ferraris you can buy. It’s certainly not the most iconic car to come from Maranello, but it’s still a mid-engine Ferrari, after all. That means a gated manual transmission and a V8 behind the passenger compartment. This one is on eBay right now for an absurd $25,000.