• Jun 29, 2005

Classic Ford Mustang Boss 429Everyone knows a classic when they see one, right? At least they know of those cars that are universally accepted classics such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, and most of the other exotics autos. So what's going to be the classic car of tomorrow? In the past the Chevrolets, Fords, Buicks, and Plymouths of 30-40 years ago were not meant to become future classics, but some of them have actually earned a spot among the Ferraris and Aston Martins at shows and classic car auctions around the world. Will any of the less collectable cars of the 1980s and 1990s make it?

There are so many different definitions of what a classic car is. Some would put specific age limits on the definitions, and others would say that only special variants would qualify for classic status. In my hunt for the ?perfect? definition, the best that I could find stated that a classic car is ?a car that retains its appeal after it is no longer produced.? I would say that the ?appeal? of a car is determined by the individual. I mean, some people find a Ford Tempo ?appealing?. To me a classic car is one that stops depreciating in value and either levels off or begins to appreciate over time. The value increasing because of demand ties into the definition that the classic cars have appeal long after they are no longer produced. The goal is to catch these cars when they?re at the bottom, before they become more valuable. Of course, values do vary from year to year, so like any potential investment there are risks.

Anyway, here?s a list of what we would qualify as potential future classics:
BMW 3-Series (E30 1984-1991)
Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird
Chevrolet Impala SS (1994-1996)
Chrysler Shelby K-Cars (Omni GLH, etc)
Ford Mustang
Ford Fairmont
GM A-Bodies (RWD models, such as the El Camino and Malibu)
GM B-Bodies (other than the Impala SS)
GM G-Bodies (Buick Grand National, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, etc)
GMC Syclone and Typhoon
Honda CRX
Mazda Miata
Mazda 323 GTX
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
Mitsubish Starion
Mitsubish 3000GT VR-4 (and cousin Stealth R/T)
Nissan 240SX (S13 and S14)
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan Sentra SE-R
Toyota Corolla GT-S(the famous AE86)
Toyota MR2
Toyota Supra (last generation)
VW GTI (personally the MKI and MKII)

This is just our list of cars that are ?appealing.? The value of these cars will more than likely stabilize in the next 5 to 10 years. Granted, some of the cars are special variants, and many may fall into obscurity instead of becoming more popular. That is the risk of this kind of list, but what do you think? We would love to hear your opinion.





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  • 82 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      #3, that's it. I thought about the newer rally inspired cars, but we were focusing on the 1980s and 1990s.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Agreed. The Toyota Supra MKIV Twin Turbo has already acheived "classic" status in my eyes. The prices of these cars sell for almost the same amount of money they cost brand new.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Some of these have been mentioned, but here's my list: 1st and 2nd Generation Civics Early Preludes Civic VX models Civic CRX HF Subaru Brat Subaru XT (the "wedge car") Subaru SVX Ford SVO/SVT models VW Corrado VW Scirocco VW Golf R32 VW buses, especially the Synchro and camper conversions VW Phaeton W12 (when the prices come down in 10-15 years) Corvette ZR1 Alfa GTV-6 Dodge Omni GLH Impala SS (90s version) Mercury Marauder Lincoln LS (V8 models) Lincoln Blackwood early Lexus LS400 and Infiniti Q45 BMW 633 & 635 Buick Reatta Cadillac Allante Chevy El Camino (late models) Chrysler Crossfire Chrysler TC any Daihatsu Dodge SRT line, especially the SRT-8 Charger and the SRT-10 Ram Ferrari Testarossa (used to be able to find some in the $20-25K range - damnit) Fiat X1/9 Porsche 924 & 944 Turbo T-Bird Supercoupes Taurus SHO (esp Yamaha engine versions) Ford Bronco (OJmobile) and Bronco II Geo Metro convertible Geo Storm wagon GM EV1 GMC Cyclone and Typhoon Honda Element Honda Insight Honda Prelude 4WS Isuzu Impulse Isuzu Amigo Jag XJ12 Jeep CJs Jeep Commanche Jeep J10 and J10 trucks Jeep Scrambler any right-hand drive Jeeps, esp. postal vehicles Land Rover Defender Lotus Elise early Maserati Quattroporte certain Mazda 323s Benz Kompressors Benz G500 Merkur XR4Ti Nissan Pulsar NX Nissan Axxess Olds Custom Cruiser (mid 90s) aka "the Land Yacht" Olds Aurora Plymouth Scamp/Turismo with truck bed Plymouth Arrow/Sapporo Pontiac Fiero (esp GT) Pontiac Aztek (hard to believe, yes) Renault Fuego Saturn PW (postal wagon - right hand drive) Scion xB Subaru Justy with CVT Suzuki X-90 Toyota MR2 (esp turbo) Toyota Land Cruiser Toyota Prius (1st Gen) some Toyota Supras Volvo 240 any Yugo any Checker 1980 Chevy Citation Datsun 210 early Dodge Colt (http://www.rareads.com/scans/7610.jpg) Ford Pinto Ford Country Squire (w/fake wood paneling) Ford Ranchero many International models pre-Civic Hondas Isuzu I-Mark 70s Mazdas MG Midget MItsubishi Starion Olds 442 (80s) certain Opels Plymouth Trail Duster Plymouth Reliant K (first year) Trans Am 6.6 Renault LeCar all early Toyotas, Saabs, Volvos, Datsuns Triumph TR7 Volkswagen Type 3 Volkswagen Thing --- A lot of people keep mentioning the Grand Naitonal/GNX, but they're already pretty spendy. And for those who doubt whether Japanese cars can be "classics", take a look at the prices for some of the earlier Hondas (in good shape) go for on eBay.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Excuse me, but since when did Japanese cars start making it onto Classic Car lists? From lofty Lexus to lowly old Datsuns, Japanese cars have alway been excellent appliances. That may make them great used cars for knocking around, but I have yet to encounter a single one that inspires automotive lust and collector passion of the sort that surrounds vintage Mustangs or Jaguar XKE's. I attend Barrett-Jackson, RM, and Kruse Auctions regularly and there is basically zero representation of anything Japanese, so I'm not alone in this opinion. But hey, eventually some Japanese models could one day move from the ranks of great used cars to the lists of desired collectibles. I just don't see it happening for another 20 years or so - when the current crop of excellent BMW and MB challengers achieve vintage status.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Saab 900 Turbo and SPG, they look different, and are a lot of fun to drive.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I can't believe you left off the 3rd gen RX-7! 10 years later, its still a head turner, and it was the style that everybody copied....or maybe the shape was just a foregone conclusion for the time period. I also can't believe you left off the Audi TT...nor can I believe the SC 300/400 didn't make it. Otherwise, great picks.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Im glad you mentioned Tempos in your article. As the owner of a sweet 89 Tempo I know its a classic in the making. Its also educational. I taught my son the word "crummy" and "rust" with that gem.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm surprised that no one has put the Hurst Olds on their list. I'm talking the one from the 80's, don't remember what year that was. I saw the Fiero mentioned in an earlier comment, but I think it's only the V6 version, there were too many of the 4 cylinder ones made I think. Your list missed another 'v' make. What about the intercooled Volvo turbo's of the 80's particularly the 740's. Also from Volvo the Bertone coupe's (both the 262 of the late 70's and the 780).
      • 9 Years Ago
      Very interesting thread indeed. Two Porsches missing from the list (though one was mentioned in the comments a few times): 944 & 928... Both watercooled models, both I find timeless in design. Chrysler Crossfire? Looks like a 2005 version of the 944 IMO.. The 944 never had the raw power needed to push it to most memorable porsche, but the handling is incredible. Turbo model (951) adds some ooomph, still commonly used as track cars. The 928 is a beast - 320bhp before any mods. Plus, any car bad ass enough for Tony Montana does it for me.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I would also add the 92-95 Olds Cutlass Supreme convertible. They are already going for almost 10 grand in good shape. Also would add the 97 Cutlass Supreme for being the last one. Still questioning the Fairmont..LOL
      • 9 Years Ago
      Great piece, I was just thinking about this the other day. No one has yet mentioned the behemoths that will be of that long, lost era of cheap fuel. I think the Gen1 Explorer, Excursion, Suburban, and the O.J. Bronco will be very popular with a certain crowd one day. I agree that the Grand National is already a classic and I forgot the Impalla SS, a sure classic. Id add the Gen1 Aurora, the last great of the Oldsmobile brand and a styling knockout. The E36 3-series M3 is possibly my favorite car. The Gen2 Acura Legend 6spd Coupe is another personal favorite. The Gen3 RX-7 was somehow left off while all its contemporaries made it. Every 911 is a classic in its own way (the same way as a Corvette), but the 944 is an interesting case. The styling was so well done that they still dont look classic despite their advanced age.
      • 9 Years Ago
      i believe that some of the confusion on what is a classic car is the confusion about the terms. terms that identify many of the cars mentioned above have to do with classic cars, antique autos, vintage autos, collector cars, specialty interest, muscle cars and pony cars. each category has its own definition. you can read about it here: http://www.greatoldcars.com/definitions_of_automotive_eras.htm
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