Coffee Brake: Future Classics
For this week’s Coffee Brake (where the beans are in the sink and the cups are roasted) I invite you to put on your swami hat and play a little game called predicting the future. What inexpensive car, for sale in dealer lot today, will be a future classic? It would be easy for all of us to simply point at some fancy limited edition Ferrari and predict it will be a future classic, so instead we will limit the hunt to affordable cars. What is affordable? You make the call.
I’m going with the $35k Volkswagen Golf R because it has all the makings of a future collectible. First, VW has a huge collection of younger fanboys who are going to have a 401k and disposable income someday. Like the madness that happens in big tent auctions with muscle cars today, those same folks will drop massive coin on the dub of their dreams….not now, but sometime in the future. Add that pent up future demand to a limited production run, and the Golf R (and both previous R32 generations) is going to be worth something someday.
What do you think is going to be a future classic? Comments below.
I've got two. For the rich folks, the M235i, a car which returns to BMW's roots. For the rest of us, the Fiat 500 Abarth.
Golf R Volkswagon
K2arnac predicts that this will be a future classic, something like the VeeDub 21-Window. Unfortunately, it will have a tendency to try to run small children over, which many people will see as unlucky.
400 hp, RWD, near 50/50 balance, 0-60 in <5 seconds, great steering, and room for the family.
Internet fanboys demand it, GM builds it, and nobody buys it.
holy resize baman!
my apologizes to the internet.
"Internet fanboys demand it, GM builds it, and nobody buys it."
Yep, just like the time before it and the time before that. I gotta give them credit for at least trying, though.
Yes — This is a winner.
It would have been helpful if you posted what model car this was. The Chevy SS (Sport Sedan).
I do agree, though, this car has not sold and never will in large numbers. Did they come out with a manual version of it yet? I remember people being angry when it debuted that it was automatic only.
Yep. Manual shifty is up next for the SS.
And the magneride shocks. Just before GM Holden in Australia shuts down. I may trade a BMW or two for one.
And for what it's worth I think all the Australian GM product sold in the US – the GTO and the G6 – all fit this category, at least all the V8 examples.
Did I say G6? G8! Time to put away the wine, the G6 (and G5) was a turd.
There are two Pontiac G6 models that have potential; the Final 100 fleet cars and the GTP convertibles. Both are significant, historically for the former and technically for the later, somewhat similar to the Ford Skyliner. Which begs the question, will modern retractable hardtops capture future collector interest? Based on what I've seen in the market, no; nobody really cares. So don't squirrel away your Eos, PRHT or SLK just yet. K2arnac has spoken, though he really has no idea about what.
I also submit to you that by GM changing to the alphanumeric naming scheme for PontyPonty, this is further proof that such an idea is stupidity and that it never creates more sales at the dealerships with the poopy public. "Grand Am" or "G6"…Joe Citizen and Joan Public didn't find that appealing in the least, clearly.
Depreciation on the G6 was/is ridiculously low. These cars maintain a surprising amount of value over time, even though they weren't that expensive to begin with. Here's the TCO for a 2009 GXP Coupe.
The GXP Convertible would most likely suffer a little more depreciation, so tack on a conservative $200 each year to those numbers. It probably wouldn't be that much, but let's just be safe so we can compare apples to apples. Or in this case, pie to strudel. Compare those numbers to another randomly chosen four-seater retractable hardtop, the 2010 BMW 328i Convertible.
Let's see, I've got the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers…I'm all ready for the flames.
maybe it's just me failing before the greater insight and design appreciation of the great K2arnac but………I think the Holden derived Ponchos are nothing special. A modern design blob imhoho
Pontiac Solstice Coupe.
GXP coupe is certainly going to be worth something someday.
I've seen them advertised for $40K already
I'm going to fall off a log here and say the ND MX-5 will be thought of as a classic. It will be thought of as the model where Mazda went back to what was good about the original NA, in a day when cars were getting bigger, heavier and more complicated, it was smaller and lighter than the model it replaced.
I think the NB will be thought of as a warmed over NA and not a classic, and the NC as overweight and bloaty and not a classic.
Second that. As investments go, gold is gold.
in the year 2040, the fiat 500 will be fondly remembered as the first fiat sold in the US by FCGMFA (Fiat Chrysler General Motors Ford Automobiles)
FCGMFA which will be renamed:
Fachrygemotfo Autofarhstradotomobiles! ( World cars must have some "world name" no?)
probably stretches bounds of affordable, but
Definitely a future classic. The 246 Dino of the early 21st century.
Laugh now, pay later:
Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet.
Tour the wine country like a boss– erm, the boss's wife, which is how it came to be in the first place.
Just be sure not to go down any unpaved roads with the top down…
I'll see your ragtop Murano vomit-bucket, raise you a Suzuki XC90, and if you come up with something to top that I'll throw in an Aztek.
Fastback SUVs are bad enough in themselves, the X6 is almost enough to make me swear off BMWs forever. But a fastback SUV convertible puts the bar up to Brobdingnagian levels.
Too bad we didn't get the RSi. Instead, the Volkswagen Beetle Black Turbo Launch Edition will have to do as a potential future classic. Chick car or no.
I doubt 600 people had any reservation.
This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Toybaru twins.
This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cleaning up all my entries that missed the currently-in-showrooms classification.
New? Tesla Model S? Not exactly affordable.
Focus ST? Not sure.
Trying to think of something that really matters…uh…uh…
Can't believe no one has mentioned the coolest Cadillac ever: CTS-V wagon. 556 hp, six-speed manual all packed into a tastefully aggressive midsize shape. I doubt they will get any cheaper than they currently are, and we'll probably never see their like again. Worth swapping a kidney for.
True, it's a blast but per the rules it's no longer in the showrooms unless you can find a leftover, and 'affordability' is debatable.
My mistake, I didn't read the rules closely enough. Hmmm, how about a BMW M6 gran coupe, with a rare-as-hen's-teeth six speed? Or a M-B CLA45 amg?
Or domestically, any mopar equipped with a hellcat? Preferably in sublime green.
My first thought was the heckkitty, too. But it's not even remotely affordable, nor are most of the cars that have been listed. DT really made this a difficult one, with no definition of "affordable". My guess would be $40K and under.
I also think, unfortunately, that most of these cars (even the rare ones and the special editions) probably won't end up future classics to anyone other than fanboys and fangurlz – if those will even exist in the future, say 40 years or so.
I must have woken up on the grumpy side of the bed today…
Porsche Cayman. OK not cheap but not a super car either. Best looking Porsche ever. Very fast. Produced in low numbers (compared to these other cars). Respected brand. They even got the engine in the right place.
Deep Thoughts by K2 Mystery Car
Who are the collectors of future classics? Why, the youth of course. So, given their immersion in technology and specifically video games, could vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition hold appeal to them? That's a tough call. When I was a 'yute (yes, we had fire and the wheel), we wore band tshirts like flags of honor. I don't see that sort of thing in today's kids (other than slavishly co-opting the bands we loved back in the day; see, The Crimson Ghost/Fiend Skull of the Misfits) but that just may be a sign of who I'm coming in contact with. Still, would a vehicle like the special edition video game tied-in Wrangler (and other vehicles like it) be worth something special to them? Only time will tell. Or, you will tell me…
Do you think "collectors" will look down on it because it is a 4 door? I think the 2 door looks like a proper Jeep and the 4 door looks ungainly – like they squeezed the extra doors in so FCA could make some more money to prop up FIAT in Europe.
Possibly. Special editions aside, keep in mind that these are not even remotely rare vehicles. My prediction is that the car itself will not be desirable, it's the connection to the product product placement (in this case CoD). Also, the Wrangler is a less than utilitarian vehicle for a DD. At least with four doors, some of that is assuaged. Witness the sudden boom in sales when that door-count came onto the sales floor. Suddenly, you've got salary men and soccer moms everywhere driving them.
We took a walk on a local university campus today, emptied out for the summer. Guess what sort of "cool" cars were still there in the parking lot, probably driven by kids there for summer classes? A new-model Challenger, a murdered-out Dart and about a million Elements. That's what caught my eye amongst all of the Camrys, Accords and Corollas. Wild stuff. Though I did see a pretty sweet custom IS300 that I rather liked.
Oh, forgot to mention the bloody Holland and Holland Range Rover, too. Even my wife said, "What is that?" That green and silver paint job was gorgeous. Must have been a visiting father of a student or something.
BMW 128i M-Sport
NA Inline 6 230hp/200 torqs
~3000 lbs when replacing rims and runflats
I was just thinking it's odd that no BMW's have been mentioned thus far. So much for the Ultimate Driving Machine…
My take is that BMW MSRPs are too high…if you stick to El Jefe's $35K or even my higher $40K, the choices become fewer and less appealing as BMW future collectible classics.
Or BMW has lost the plot when they became common as Lays potato chips and their designs became strange. Seen that 3.0 CSL homage they showed at Villa d'Este? Ugh…
Possibly. But I still think there are plenty of them that could be future "classics", especially anything with an M badge on it.
Most current BMWs are either high-volume models or low-volume-for-a-reason models.
About the only ones that go out the door in smallish numbers that I can see being treasured in the future might be the sportier 1s and 2s, the 3-series wagons, and even the cheapest of those isn't exactly cheap these days.
I remember what seems like not that long ago (the mid-80s) passing up a VW Karmann Ghia for a little over two grand and thinking to myself, "Nobody wants those old, slow-@$$ed, raggedy German cars. Why would I want one when I can get this cool little $500 Vespa scooter and live out my Mod dreams?" It's hard to tell what's going to click with future collectors and what isn't at the lower spectrum of the original MSRP scale. Maybe all of the cars we came up with will be hot as pancakes. Or maybe they won't.
Yeah, my impression as well is that the M cars are beyond the affordable threshold that Vince has set. Not sure about those "M Performance" models.
I know it's some seven months early but the 2016 Ford Focus RSmay be a contender…
I agree, Anon. That and whichever Civic Type-R we're getting could be instant classics. I see the Focus ST/Fiesta ST more as cult classics like the Omni GLH.
And therein lies the rub. Are we (DTers) picked cars that we would like to become future classics or are we picking cars that we think will become future classics? Most of the cars we've come up with are "cult" cars, as you mentioned. I know this usually leads to such things but if we look at the past and which cars have become desirable collectibles, it's most likely none of these. There's very little current value in an SVT Focus for example, even if that car is great for what it is.
I don't know if I agree with the assertion that we, the unwashed masses that make up the DT nation are that much different than the "collector". I think in 40 years we will be pretty spot on with our predictions excepting that Ford Transit thing. The reason the VW Van is not the vehicle, but what was done with (and in) the vehicle. I don't think the Ford will do much other than schlepping kids.
I hear you and I'm not disagreeing with you that we aren't perfect examples of collectors. We are. But that's now. If we look at collectors today (you and I included) they're dudes and dudettes roughly aged between 40 to 70 years old. We're the folks with the interest, desire, memories and most importantly, the money. We are at fault for the current prices.
So the cars that have been picked for this DT Coffee Brake are not future classics, they're classics now.
And you're typically talking about cars that are 40 years old or older. I think it's worth distinguishing between a bonafide collector car and a very special used car. I might be getting my DTers and their cars confused (correct me if I am) but DoctorDel's spectacular first gen convertible Camaro is a good example of the former and Kaibeezy's brilliant 540i the latter.
If we want to talk future, I propose that we must look at the future collector. Now you're talking about kids that are 10 to 20 years old now. I've enjoyed hearing what your son thinks of certain cars. It surprised me, in fact. Those are the folks that will be buying future collectibles, not you and me. Certainly not me; I'll most likely be dead from old age despite the advancements in science.
Time will tell if the Transit Connect is a future collectible and I wouldn't count it out. Remember when microcars were disposable? Not too long ago. Now they're hot, hot, hot. Your beloved Dino 246 GT has always been worth money but they're going for half a MILLION dollars these days! Additionally, a couple of DTers have floated the idea that bizarreness might indicate future collectible value. I think they're on to something. The Amphicar from your blog is a great example. Does that indicate that a Nissan Cube, Toyota iQ and the Transit Connect will be a future classic? Who knows?
For collectability: the Nissan Leaf! Why, because its battery technology will be ancient. In 20 years, it will be the equivalent of a 1902 electric postal vehicle. It will be driven to car shows with people staring in amazement that its batteries still hold a charge and that people were actually willing to ride around in it. It has only two useful functions, single occupant hov access and choice parking places in underground CA parking garages that currently have free charging! But, that's collectability, instead of desirability.
For desirability, what is now ubiquitous but will be crushed to death due to changing trends our failure to notice that its becoming scarce? Any decent Mazda Miata or Honda S2000. Their size will keep them usable and their fuel efficiency will make them (barely) affordable to drive. In the event we ever wake up and convert to CNG, they have just enough trunk space to hold a decent amount of fuel for top down driving fun and conversion kits should be available because of their popularity.
I see – well, maybe (maybe) the Leaf, but definitely the Tesla Model S and probably the Fiat 500e and maybe the next generation of Spark EV if it's not so rude as the current one – as being 'upgradable'. They are quicker than most of their infernal-combustion competitors, the first two are selling in large enough numbers as to attract aftermarket battery vendors as technology improves.
The Honda S2000 is absolutely a future collectible, but it's gone from the new market so I didn't float it here.
Honestly, I wonder if any of today's cars will even be running long enough to become true classics. In many cases, the failure of just one critical electronic module will render them non-op. Electronics are not things that tend to continue to be available as replacement parts (ask anyone who has tried to get a 10-year old major home appliance repaired).
So, I guess I vote for: None of the Above!
Good point, Bobinott. But if there's a will, there's a way. As electronics grow more and more prevalent, the knowledge to manipulate them will become more and more imperative. My unscientific guess is that folks will figure out how to deal with them. And any physical parts that are no longer made will just be printed up on a 3-D printer.
Now, where's my jet pack? I was promised a jet pack!
Cool book, BTW. I highly recommend it.
I agree. Look at the emulators of classic video games. You can get a software emulator like MAME and then download the ROM images of your favorite game (Frogger, Missile Command, Battle Zone, Jungle King, etc.) and run them in all their 80's glory on a Raspberry Pi. I can imagine some sort of Raspberry Pi like thing where you could install the images of operating system of your 2000's car and replace any modules that have gone bad. You can also use your 3D printer to manufacture the necessary connectors to connect it to the wiring loom.
G, would you agree that what you're talking about it really for our generation? We're interested in the nostalgia factor. But, other than a brief novelty interest, wouldn't you agree that today's generation of kids is much more interested in realistic video experiences like Call of Duty? That must surely be a factor in determining future classic cars desireable 40-50 years from now.
A car to them will probably be this:
No doubt. That's what I'm sayin'!
In that case I think we need a meteor strike to wipe out most of mankind so whoever's left can start over, because we've failed.
Cars will be for occasional use only. What would a person need them for when they interact virtually with the world around them? Even vacations would be cheaper and easier…much less work. No need to get in a car and drive to a location.
Drones (automobile or otherwise) will deliver whatever they'd need. Should they be enthusiasts like those old timey DTers of yore, they'll just dial up whichever fabulous virtual automobile they want at the moment, customize it to whatever they feel like and take it for a spin. The technology will make the experience seem so complete that the desire for the real thing will be moot.
I don't like it either.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil…the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
This has nothing to do with whether or not the Evo and STI will or won't be future classics. It's just interesting to look at the first year depreciation.
2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR
2014 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Subaru Impreza WRX STI
The STI probably, the latest-generation Evo is…I dunno.
The Veloster Turbo is a good example of a car I'd like to see become a future classic but it most likely won't.
Another good example of a good relatively inexpensive car that most likely will never be considered a classic, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec.
Audi TT Coupe
Audi A5 Coupe
2015 Nissan 370Z Coupe
Ford Mustang Convertible
Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Cadillac ATS Coupe
Mercedes-Benz C250 Coupe