If you're looking for a Mopar to buy, build, and enjoy but don't have the budget for a muscle-era Charger, Roadrunner, Challenger, or 'Cuda, don't fret-there are plenty of Mopars that are either project-ready, or turnkey cruiser-ready.

We scanned the available vehicle ad sources to see which Plymouths, Dodges, and Chryslers fell in a range peaking at around $10,000 for one that's more project-ready than road-ready, or $15,000 for a turnkey vehicle-but our research found plenty of Mopars well under those peak prices.

So, here are our picks . . . remember to look out for rust, collision damage, and missing parts when you search, whether online or in person:

1 - '65-'78 C-Body

Big, huge . . . and surprisingly affordable, especially the turnkey ones advertised for sale for well under ten grand. They all have a 727 Torqueflite automatic, an engine no smaller than a 318- or 360-inch LA small-block, front torsion bar/rear leaf spring suspension, lots of features (especially on the high-end VIPs, Monacos, and New Yorkers), and a trunk roomier than many big-city apartments.

Thanks to that trunk, its surrounding sheetmetal and what you can put in it, C-Bodies are serious competitors in burnout contests. Just light up the rear tires and the engine's torque-and the weight of the body's rear overhang-does the rest.

Keep an eye out for ones with factory bucket seats and console shifters, including Plymouth Sport Furys, Dodge Polara 500s, and Chrysler 300s. As for C-Bodies with the factory police package . . . ask Elwood Blues sometime!

2 - Non-muscle '61-'76 A-Body two-doors

A lot of people think Dodge and Chrysler-Plymouth dealers' lots were filled with only Duster 340s, Roadrunners, GTXs, Dart GTSs, Super Bees, Coronets, and Charger R/Ts way back when. Outside of "Mr. Norm's" Grand Spaulding Dodge in Chicago, and some other dealers that specialized in high-performance cars, most Mopar stores had lots of "Civilian" cars, especially those on Ma Mopar's smallest domestic platform: the A-Body.

Many were built with option packages that included a Torqueflite at no extra cost-think Gold Duster, White Hat Special Darts and any car with an A06 code (the Easy Order Package) on its fender tag. Once these cars arrived at a dealer, they didn't stay long, as buyers snapped them up ASAP.

Other A-Bodies to look for include the base Duster/Demon/Dart Sport and the Dart Swinger/Valiant Scamp hardtops, all ideal for adding big power under the hood. You want an upscale A-Body? Check out the '74-'76 Valiant Brougham and Dart Special Edition, which included velour seats, cut-pile carpeting, and more acoutic insulation among their standard features.

3 - Non-muscle '62-'79 B-Body two-doors

Same deal here with the midsize Mopars. Dealers' lots and showrooms had plenty of Slant Six or 318-powered Belvederes, Coronets, and Satellites equipped with White Hat Special, A06 Easy Order or A08 Luxury Equipment option packages back then, which included a Torqueflite at no extra charge. '68-'74 Chargers were in on the package deals too, with 318, 360, or two-barrel-equipped 383s/400s under the hood.

Though base-trim Savoys, Belvederes, and Coronets have been discovered by the "Hemi tribute" builders, you can still find Slant Six or 318-powered ones if you keep looking. A mid-'60s Belvedere, Satellite, or Coronet with a 361 makes a great RB or 426 Hemi swap candidate, thanks to the B/RB K-member that the original engine sat on.

Also worth looking for: Luxo versions, including the Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus, Dodge Charger SE (especially the '73-'74 ones with the triple-glass "opera windows" in the C-pillars), and "the new small Chrysler" introduced in '75, the Cordoba.