Top 7 Best Project Cars Under $5k For 2023

Getting a project car is your dream car journey’s most stressful and exciting part. The best project cars that come under $5k include a familiar feel and balance of motivation. The project cars look excellent, last a long time, drive well, and are easier to maintain providing more value for the money that you have invested in them.

According to the enthusiast’s excellent project cars have more common factors such as ease of work, strong aftermarket support, and possible improved performance. In this article, you will see the best project cars that come under $5k that you can buy easily.

7 Best Ever Project Cars Under $5k

Here is the best picked 7 project cars that you can buy under $5k.

Also See: 12 Best American Made Sedans

#1. 2001 Ford Mustang GT

Project car under 5k to buy
  • Price: $2,288
  • Horsepower: 260 hp @ 5,250 rpm
  • Torque: 302 lb.-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Ford Mustang has been leading the domestic automotive industry for more than a century. The company receives a lot of demand for making cutting-edge cars. It is popular as the best project car under $10k.

It is one of the well-known vehicles, for the best car which creates an impressive build. Many tuners have a cheap entry point and learn to light mustangs. This is a great car to modify. It is easy to find the parts of this car so that is why they are under $5k.

It comes with a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 that manufactures just 302 lb-ft of torque at 4000 RPM and 260 hp at 5,250 rpm. The good thing about this car is that it is worth almost nothing now.

#2. 996 Nissan 240SX

Project car under 5k to buy
  • Price: $2,288
  • Horsepower: 155 hp @ 5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 160 lb.-ft @ 4,400 rpm

Nissan brings in Nissan in the North American market. It is a sports coupe with a rear-wheel-drive setup and manual gearbox, making it a prime example of a project car under$5k for those searching for more performance at a lower price.

It has a lightweight chassis along with excellent drift management. It features pricing, simplicity, swap options, chassis science, aftermarket tuning parts, cargo capacity, and buildability.

It is available with a high horsepower 2.4L engine. It features a larger 19×10-inch in the front and the rear, and both feature a positive offset of 25mm. These cars drive nicely, look fabulous, are easy to control, and last a long time.

#3. 1994 Honda Civic

Project car under 5k to buy
  • Price: $2,288
  • Horsepower: 92 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 97 lb.-ft @ 4,500 rpm

The honda civic came to the US in 1973. It is one of the most successful and popular cars in automobile history. The reason behind its success is that there have been 11 generations of civics. After this, the wide availability and low cost of parts made it one of the most widely built project cars.

Car modification is one of the most critical parts of manufacturing any project. so, this is the main requirement for any vehicle to be considered perfect for a project. It is an excellent project car for experts and buyers alike, which is one of the most phenomenal project cars you can buy for under $5k.

#4. 1991 Mitsubishi 3000GT

Best project car under 5k
  • Price: $2,288
  • Horsepower: 222 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 201 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

Are you in search of a car that is easier to work on? The Mitsubishi 3000GT is one of the best choices for people who like project cars. It is one of the most iconic and unforgettable fun-to-drive and mid-range project cars in terms of driving satisfaction, reliability, and affordability.

The GTO’s engines were either naturally aspirated or were also functional with active aerodynamics, four-wheel steering, adaptive suspension, and permanent all-wheel drive. It is a great-looking classical project car that comes under $5k. The Japanese sports coupe comes with naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 cylinders that develop 222 hp at 6,000 rpm, 26.4 mpg fuel consumption, gain 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, and 203 lb.-ft of torque at 4,500 RPM.

#5. 1995 Lexus SC 400

Project car under 5k to buy
  • Price: $2,288
  • Horsepower: 250 hp @ 5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 260 lb.-ft @ 4,400 rpm

The Lexus SC 400 debuted in the US on the 1 June as a 1992 model. Its engine fits behind the front axles, making it a rear-wheel-drive, front mid-engine vehicle. 1995 Lexus SC 400 is relatively super reliable and rare.

It provides 250 horsepower from a 4.0L V8 engine, which makes it the most capable project car. Notable SC400 CONFIGURATIONS LIKE 260 LB-ft torque capacity, 105.9-inch wheelbase, and 4-speed automatic transmission. It’s the best travel project car and it is very comfortable and comes under $5k.

#6. 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Best project car under 5k
  • Price: $2,288
  • Horsepower: 116 hp @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 100 lb.-ft @ 5,500 rpm

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the best fun-to-drive and affordable cars in the US market today. It is one of the best choices for a cheap project vehicle. It is the best project car because it drives well, looks great, is easy to maintain, offers more value for your invested money, and lasts long.

With driving satisfaction, affordability, an excellent track record of reliability, extensive aftermarket services, and low cost of ownership, the Miata is the best affordable choice under $5k.

#7. 1992 Toyota MR2

Best project car under 5k
  • Price: $2,288
  • Horsepower: 200 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 2200 lb.-ft @ 3,200 rpm

The 1992 Toyota MR2 is a mid-engined, two-seat, rear-wheel-drive sports car made in Japan. The Toyota was marketed worldwide from 1984 to 2007 for three generations. The MR2 Toyota Design Project delivers good fuel economy and is fun to drive. These include driving satisfaction, low maintenance costs and dependability.

The 3S-GTE produces 200 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 RPM and 200 hp at 6,000 rpm. It is a budget-oriented best-project car.

FAQs About Best Project Cars Under $5k

Q. What is the easiest project car to work on?

The 1996 Nissan 240SX is the easiest project car to work on. It is easily affordable and simple.

Q. What is a good first car under 5000?

1996 Nissan 240SX is the first car under $5k. It has various amazing features which makes it to be on first while placing the best project cars under $5.

Q. Is it worth having a project car?

Yes, it is worth having a project car as it is very fun to drive.

Q. Does Project CARS need insurance?

Yes, you need to have project car insurance. If your car is registered, then you need to have insurance.

Q. What engine do Project CARS use?

The madness engines are used by the project CARS.


Above is the best project car available in the market. You can choose any car according to your needs and wants. This article is for both experts and beginners which is helpful in choosing the best project car. The best part is that it can be adjusted to suit your driving style. Whether you want to change the look or make it faster, you can choose any of them.

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