Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

The cheapest production car on sale in the US is Geo Metro. That's a good deal, but the following nine were even cheaper. This is the list of top 10 budget cars at their best.

List of 10 cheapest production cars ever sold in American

10. Crosley Convertible - $300

9. Subaru 360 - $1,297

8. Toyota Corolla (1st Generation) - $1,575

7. Tata Nano - $2,598

6. Chevrolet Chevette - $2,899

5. Banner Boy Buckboard - $3,152

4. Yugo GV - $3,990

3. Peel P50 - $4,420

2. Fiat 500 Topolino - $5,434

1. Geo Metro - $5,995

Detailed information on 10 cheapest production cars ever sold in American

10. Crosley Convertible - $300

Photo: Mecum Auctions
Photo: Mecum Auctions

Crosley was a small, independent American manufacturer of subcompact cars, bordering on microcars. At first called the Crosley Corporation and later Crosley Motors Incorporated, the Cincinnati, Ohio, firm was active from 1939 to 1952, interrupted by World War II production. Their station wagons were the most popular model, but also offered were sedans, pickups, convertibles, a sports car, and even a tiny jeep-like vehicle. For export, the cars were badged Crosmobile.

About as basic as a car could possibly be, the Crosley Convertible weighed less than 1,000 lbs, and was powered by an equally small 2-cylinder motor. Tiny enough to fit into a department store, Crosley sold them alongside his radios and other appliances, finding moderate success and expanding the lineup of dirt cheap micro-cars, including the sporty HotShot and Jeep-like Farm 'O Road. Sold with a hilariously low price of $300 in 1939, the Crosley Convertible cost the equivalent of just $5,585 in today's money.

9. Subaru 360 - $1,297

Photo: Secret Classics
Photo: Secret Classics

The Subaru 360 is a rear-engined, two-door city car manufactured and marketed from 1958 to 1971 by Subaru. As the company's first automobile, production reached 392,000 over its 12-year model run.

Noted for its small overall size, 1,000 lb curb weight, monocoque construction, swing axle rear suspension, fiberglass roof panel, and rear-hinged doors, the inexpensive car was designed in response to the Japanese government's light car or Kei car regulations and its proposal for a larger "national car," both intended to help motorize the post WWII Japanese population. The 360's overall size and engine capacity complied with Japan's Kei car regulations.

While cars from the 1960s weren't exactly safe, the 360, introduced in 1968, made its contemporaries look like bank vaults in comparison, and its sales were cut short by a well deserved "not acceptable" safety rating by Consumer Reports. Undercutting other cheap cars of the '60s, Malcolm Bricklin brought the 360 to America with a base price of $1,297 in 1968, which is the equivalent of $9,645 in today's money.

8. Toyota Corolla (1st Generation) - $1,575

Photo: Global.toyota
Photo: Global.toyota

Much like the Civic, the Corolla is a small and efficient Japanese import still in production fulfilling the same affordable role, and is today among the best selling cars of all time.

Also like the Civic, the Corolla built on Toyota's previous, less successful cheap cars. Debuting the Corolla in Japan during 1966, and brought to America for 1968, the Corolla went head to head with the most popular cheap and efficient option of the time, the VW Beetle. Beating it in price, the Corolla found initial success with a more comfortable and spacious interior, more modern (for the '60s) design, and decent performance, thus starting the legacy of perhaps the most iconic nameplate in the affordable compact car segment. Sold with a base price of $1,575 in 1968, a first-gen Corolla cost the equivalent of $11,713 today.

7. Tata Nano - $2,598

Photo: Internet
Photo: Internet

The Tata Nano is a compact city car that was manufactured and marketed by Indian automaker Tata Motors over a single generation, primarily in India, as an inexpensive rear-engined hatchback intended to appeal to current riders of motorcycles and scooters — with a launch price of one lakh rupees or US$2500 in 10 January 2008.

Tata Motors projected production figures of 250,000 annually at launch. This was not achieved, and various factors led to decline in sales volume, including delays during the factory relocation from Singur to Sanand, early instances of the Nano catching fire or the perception of the car being unsafe and lacking quality due to cost cutting. Actual sales reached 7,591 for model year 2016-2017. The project lost money, as confirmed by former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry and by 2017 Tata Motors management.

Read More: Top 14 Cars - Cheapest in India

6. Chevrolet Chevette - $2,899

Photo: CaraForSale
Photo: CaraForSale

A car remembered by many, but fondly by few, the Chevette was GM's attempt at catching up to the growing field of cheap, efficient small cars that had taken hold in America after the Oil Crisis.

Initially competing with the Pinto using the less dramatic, but equally fault-riddled Vega, Chevy introduced the Chevette for 1975. A light and barebones compact hatchback, the Chevette was slow, unrefined, and ugly, but at least got some good gas mileage. Sold with a price of $2,899 for the most basic "Scooter" model in 1977, the lowest spec Chevette cost the equivalent of $12,385 in today's money.

5. Banner Boy Buckboard - $3,152

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Not a whole lot is known about this specific vehicle, besides, of course, the very affordable price tag. Produced in the 1950s by Banner Welder Incorporated out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the vehicle was a take on the Shawmobile.

That Shawmobile was a two-seat buckboard vehicle, which was the passenger wagon usually featured on horse carriages. The 241-cc engine helped the vehicle get to a cruising speed of 20 mph and a top speed of 30 mph. Eventually, these engines were added to bikes in an attempt to convert them into motorcycles.

The Banner Boy Buckboard was eventually sold as the American Buckboard or the Bearcat. McDonough Power Equipment eventually took over production, producing their “Model 60” from the 1940s through the 1960s.

4. Yugo GV - $3,990

Photo: DriveZing
Photo: DriveZing

Sharing its North American origins with businessman Malcolm Bricklin, the Yugo served a similar purpose to the 360 - offering the cheapest no-frills car possible in America.

Looking like it came straight out of the '70s, the Yugo was a Yugoslavian made vehicle based on the Eastern-Bloc classic Fiat 127. While the Yugo received some minor design changes from the 127, it was still about as basic as a car could get, and was sold as such throughout the '80s and '90s. A piece of '80s nostalgia thanks to how hilariously bad it was, the Yugo did see initial sales success thanks to a base price of $3,990 in 1985, the equivalent of just $9,597 today.

3. Peel P50 - $4,420

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally made from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man. It was listed in the 2010 Guinness World Records as the smallest production car ever made. The original model has no reverse gear, but a handle at the rear allows the very lightweight car to be maneuvered physically when required.

Designed as a city car, it was advertised in the 1960s as capable of seating "one adult and a shopping bag". The vehicle's only door was on its left side and equipment included a single windscreen wiper and one headlight. Standard colours were Daytona White, Dragon Red, and Dark Blue. The 1963 model retailed for £199 when new (about £6,600 in 2019, or US$8,500). The company produced 50 P50s and only 27 are known to still exist, one of which was sold for a record US$176,000 at a Sotheby's auction in March 2016.

2. Fiat 500 Topolino - $5,434

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The Topolino was one of the smallest cars in the world at the time of its production. Launched in 1936, three models were produced until 1955, all with only minor mechanical and cosmetic changes. It was equipped with a 569 cc four-cylinder, side-valve, water-cooled engine mounted in front of the front axle,[ (later an overhead valve motor) and so was a full-scale car rather than a cyclecar. The radiator was located behind the engine which made possible a lowered aerodynamic nose profile at a time when competitors had a flat, nearly vertical grille.[ The shape of the car's front allowed exceptional forward visibility.

Rear suspension initially used quarter-elliptic rear springs, but buyers frequently squeezed four or five people into the nominally two-seater car, and in later models the chassis was extended at the rear to allow for more robust semi-elliptic springs

1. Geo Metro - $5,995

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

A tiny car mostly remembered as a joke, the Metro was essentially a re-badged Suzuki, sold under GM's Geo brand created for captive imports, and was a success thanks to a dirt cheap base price.

Derivative of the Suzuki Cultus, and made at GM's CAMI factory in Canada, the Geo Metro was introduced in 1989, and puttered around through to the mid '90s before becoming a Chevy model. Dirt cheap, no-frills, slow, but incredibly efficient, the Geo Metro was an iconic little hatchback of the time. Sold with a base price of $5,995 in 1990, a Geo Metro cost the equivalent of $11,871 in today's money.

***READ MORE: Top 15 Most Expensive Cars In The World 2021/2022

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