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Speculation of the future classics


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#1 Snakedriver

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:35

Greetings All,

 

My wife and just bought a 2009 Lotus Elise Type 25.  That's the Jimmy Clark 40th Anniversary Edition.  We both even before we met were at some point looking to get an Elise.  That time came and we ended up with a really sharp machine.   And make no mistake a Lotus.  The day I picked the car up the seat belt trim piece promptly fell off as soon as I grabbed the seat belt!  Collin Chapman would have been proud.

 

The more I drive it the more Im just overwhelmed with how marvelous this car it really is.  I often speculate if this isn't THE car that folks 20 years from now will say they "could have/would have/should have" collected, bought, owned, ect, ect... 

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

Leo



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#2 Jackmancer

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:59

I'm sure the Audi TT will be a future classic. Timeless design from 1998.



#3 elansprint72

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:57

Nostalgia:  a wistful or sentimental longing for places, things, acquaintances, or conditions belonging to the past.

 

Have you tried posting on a clairvoyant forum?   ;)



#4 Snakedriver

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 15:00

" Questions are always welcomed; variety is encouraged."

 

So much for that!

 

Leo



#5 kayemod

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 16:00

I often speculate if this isn't THE car that folks 20 years from now will say they "could have/would have/should have" collected, bought, owned, ect, ect... 

 

 

We've had threads like this before. They plod along quite amicably until someone has the effrontery to suggest something with four wheels that emanated from the Far East...



#6 Snakedriver

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 19:28

I guess my intent is not so much...Oh that car is worth this and that car is worth that...My daydreaming was something to the effect of 20 years or so from now are folks going to talking about vintage racing an Elise, or comparing a GTO to that of a...I don't know...A Veyron or McLaren?

 

I hear folks tell stories about Ford dealers that couldn't give Cobras away in 1969 and 1970...Are there any of those out there right now?

 

Leo



#7 TimRTC

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:57

The simple answer - a car with the least electronics.

 

You see it in train and aircraft preservation - modern equipment is far more costly and complex to preserve due to the mass of electronics contained within and the difficulty of obtaining spare parts.

 

No point buying a vintage Mercedes SLS in 50 years time when you discover that none of the electronics works and no-one has any idea how to even start the car, let alone drive it. I imagine vintage car mags of the future will be more about simulating and substituting electronic components than oil changes or engine maintenance.



#8 Snakedriver

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:18

Tim,

 

I agree.  In fact you can see that today.  I have a Mercedes 190e 16v 2.3 with that semi-electromechanical fuel injection.  Troubleshooting and tuning seems to be a lost art and many are switching over to after-market FI kits.  There is at least on Cosworth Mercedes with Weber carbs! 

 

I would assume that cars that share common electronics (Lotus/Toyota) or have a strong following (Subaru) will have an advantage in remaining on the street.  But time will tell.

 

Leo



#9 ray b

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:02

cars with names and stickers like a ''Jimmy Clark 40th Anniversary Edition''

 

will not be large premium over the normal version UNLESS it has real performance differences

not just paint and trim plus stickers 



#10 sterling49

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 18:30

Greetings All,

 

My wife and just bought a 2009 Lotus Elise Type 25.  That's the Jimmy Clark 40th Anniversary Edition.  We both even before we met were at some point looking to get an Elise.  That time came and we ended up with a really sharp machine.   And make no mistake a Lotus.  The day I picked the car up the seat belt trim piece promptly fell off as soon as I grabbed the seat belt!  Collin Chapman would have been proud.

 

The more I drive it the more Im just overwhelmed with how marvelous this car it really is.  I often speculate if this isn't THE car that folks 20 years from now will say they "could have/would have/should have" collected, bought, owned, ect, ect... 

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

Leo

A lovely drivers car, make no mistake, but if you had just bought Jim's Elan or one of his race Cortinas..............  ;)



#11 David Birchall

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 19:10

I would think that having "The Jim Clark Edition" might add  a thousand or so but not much more. I work now as a classic car appraiser.  My thought is: Is there going to be a collector car market in twenty to thirty years?  I have serious doubts.  The generation following us has some interest in cars but less than us and  the generation following them appears to have none-that is a major concern if you think that buying a high priced classic car is going to be a good long term investment.  Perhaps this isn't nostalgia but it certainly should be of concern to us!


Edited by David Birchall, 21 October 2013 - 19:11.


#12 arttidesco

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 23:19

I too am concerned that there will not be much of a classic car market 40 years hence, I guess the technology by then will appear as old skool in the future as the horse does to us. That is not to say there are no young car enthusiasts, but very few and even fewer who have any involvement in engineering and have any idea how to keep their treasures on the road without paying through the nose. I'm sure the £1 million plus market will remain safe and well catered for so long as some remnant of the chaos we call civilisation endures, but it's the rest I fear for. The Scoobie Doos and Evo's seem to be popular amongst Sprinters as do MG  ZR 105's, Peugeot 106's and Renault Clio's. But I agree with the TT being so heavy and well built it is probably the Lotus Elise from this era that is most likely to thrive 20 to 40 years down the line.



#13 Peter Morley

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:08

I would think that having "The Jim Clark Edition" might add  a thousand or so but not much more. I work now as a classic car appraiser.  My thought is: Is there going to be a collector car market in twenty to thirty years?  I have serious doubts.  The generation following us has some interest in cars but less than us and  the generation following them appears to have none-that is a major concern if you think that buying a high priced classic car is going to be a good long term investment.  Perhaps this isn't nostalgia but it certainly should be of concern to us!

 

I agree that city dwelling youngsters who are more tempted to fly somewhere for the weekend rather than go for a drive aren't going to develop an interest in old cars (or even new ones, many don't own cars) - and the way everything is being dumbed down (regulations as well as the cars themselves) means that driving will become less of a skill and even less pleasurable which is not going to increase the number of enthusiasts.

But there are youngsters who are interested in cars, racing and so on and you only have to look at the number of track days to see a glimmer of hope.

 

The future of old cars, steam trains etc has been discussed many times and the worry that young people don't remember the originals turned out to be unfounded - look at how popular the London to Brighton run is (and huge numbers of young entrants) and there are very few people around who remember seeing them in period.

 

As you say the idea that a high priced classic car is an investment is questionable - and now that houses are starting to sell again I think the slow down in affordable (e.g. those that cost similar amounts to current) cars will be pretty rapid.

But the really expensive stuff is different - people spending millions on cars (paintings or whatever) have plenty of money left over and the numbers who have that kind of money is increasing rapidly (these days we talk about the number of billionaires in the way that we used to talk about millionaires not so long ago), so, as with shares, as long as they can keep attracting new investors such investments are relatively safe.

 

As far as the original question goes, electronics (+ air bag type rubbish) has to be a problem long term, but as with the more recent F1 cars it turns out to be pretty cheap to replace an old ECU system with a much better current one so keeping them running will be possible, but keeping them original might be difficult.

But then how many computer controlled cars are going to appeal to enthusiasts in the future anyway - if I wanted a car that drives itself I'd get a taxi...

 

A Ferrari analyst has suggested that no recent Ferraris will ever be collectable since they make far too many of them, the same applies to Porsches, Astons etc - some very limited production cars will have some appeal, like a Lexus LFA if you can keep it running!

The upside of the huge production numbers is that there will be plenty of cars to break for spares so it will be possible to throw a bunch of second hand ECUs at a car in the hope of finding one that works.

 

Another analyst did suggest that one thing that will increase in the future is the popularity of automatic cars, given the current trend towards automatics many drivers in the future will have no experience of manual cars, so the 3.8 manual overdrive Mark 2 Jag might become less desirable than an automatic one!

 

Ultimately I agree that the Lotus Elise is one of the outstanding recent cars and will remain popular, similarly Honda S2000, MX5 is the modern MG Midget/MGB and Nissan Skylines, Evos & Scoobies are the dream cars of many youngsters and well enough catered for that they will be running for many years to come. But the huge numbers produced will limit their values.

 

BUT, the old cars that are popular today is clearly connected to the current company - Bugattis values increased when Audi stuck a Bugatti badge on something, Aston Martin values increased when Ford gave Aston the kiss of life, current BMWs are popular so the collectors have discovered an old BMW that is OK and consequently shot up in value. The Ferrari PR machine is so good that many otherwise sane people believe them to be the most important car company ever...

Lotus has never been a widely sought after name and their current sales aren't promising, so will they be around in the future and if they aren't that does not bode well for their values - not that they were ever likely to be huge.



#14 Snakedriver

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 13:35

That's a good take on the question Peter.

 

As far as the Jim Clark sticker job on my car goes, I mentioned that just to paint the picture...LOL

 

Leo



#15 David Beard

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 15:05

Lotus has never been a widely sought after name and their current sales aren't promising, so will they be around in the future and if they aren't that does not bode well for their values - not that they were ever likely to be huge.

 

Not sure about that...

 

http://www.carandcla....uk/car/C413054



#16 Peter Morley

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 15:38

That's a good take on the question Peter.

 

As far as the Jim Clark sticker job on my car goes, I mentioned that just to paint the picture...LOL

 

Leo

 

At the very least the Jim Clark sticker job should make yours easier to sell and therefore a bit more valuable.

 

Following the Lotus theme I think that Lotus Carlton's should take off soon as might Thema 8.32s...

 

I have discussed the idea of a collection of the racing labelled road cars - e.g. Clio Williams, Renown MX-5, which at one time would have been interesting but recently Renault knocked out so many they've rather spoilt it and Williams (ish) produced rather too many Clios...



#17 Peter Morley

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 15:47

Not sure about that...

 

http://www.carandcla....uk/car/C413054

 

I don't follow - there are more Lotus Elites for sale than Lotus can sell of their current cars?

 

If the Elite had been made by one of the trendy makes, how much would it be selling for - imagine if Ferrari (Aston etc) had made something that was far more advanced than pretty much anything else available at the time what price would they be making these days?



#18 fbarrett

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:39

Honda NSX and S2000

Citroen 2CV

Porsche 928

Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG and C43 AMG

Saab Turbos

and those recent little Volvo two-door thingies...



#19 packapoo

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 04:12

We've had threads like this before. They plod along quite amicably until someone has the effrontery to suggest something with four wheels that emanated from the Far East...


Lotus - Proton (Malaysia). Far East....getting close?

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#20 TimRTC

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:50

That is not to say there are no young car enthusiasts, but very few and even fewer who have any involvement in engineering and have any idea how to keep their treasures on the road without paying through the nose.

 

I think this is the problem. Not that young people don't like cars - no shortage of young faces at car events, particularly performance events.

 

However, many modern cars are designed in such a way that the owners are discouraged from actually opening them up and tinkering (see my comment above about electronics - there are as many car electricals shops these days in the Yellow Pages as actual maintenance places). Most garages now are happy to offer a complete service to the car, even for minor issues, so that people never really need to actually ever get their hands dirty. 



#21 Peter Morley

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:54

Honda NSX and S2000

Citroen 2CV

Porsche 928

Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG and C43 AMG

Saab Turbos

and those recent little Volvo two-door thingies...

 

2CVs are already expensive, you don't much for under 5 grand in France these days and lots are far more expensive than that.



#22 Charlieman

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 21:03

As far as the original question goes, electronics (+ air bag type rubbish) has to be a problem long term, but as with the more recent F1 cars it turns out to be pretty cheap to replace an old ECU system with a much better current one so keeping them running will be possible, but keeping them original might be difficult.

But then how many computer controlled cars are going to appeal to enthusiasts in the future anyway - if I wanted a car that drives itself I'd get a taxi...

 

A thoughtful post in total, Peter, and I will reserve my comments to car electronics. I'll limit this one to road based car electronics, although some principles apply to pure racers. 

 

Practical application of electronics in a car coincided with the development of the microcomputer. Everyone knew that it was possible and that it might be good -- and some adventurers had experimented -- to measure and meter engine and chassis behaviour. Tech all came together with microchips (compact silicon processors wrapped in plastic or ceramic) and electronic measuring devices. Thankfully, the manufacturing world followed similar thought, creating machines using 1970+ electronics technology which are required to work today. Consequently, you can buy a NOS Z80 processor, logic unit and RAM, or you can create a programmable device that works the same way; and you can buy a meter which might be programmed to behave like an old one. In theory, an electronic device of the period can easily (but expensively) be reverse engineered; an engineer can even copy flaws in the original implementation. First generation devices were independent modules; they largely did not depend on inputs from others.

 

I cannot give examples of first generation device cars sold to consumers because they were intended for test engineers. The William Towns Lagonda might be an exception.

 

Second generation systems use programmable chips. Lots of them, with functions which share input/output. Shared input/output makes it much more difficult to reverse engineer. At the time, it was perceived that you could make a logic unit or programmable chip which your competitors could not copy. That was true at the time, but today you can make a copy. Given money and a functional chip, you can copy it. If your car is unique or you do not get on with fellow owners, copying every chip is a consideration.

 

Top BTCC cars in the 1990s typically comprised eight or so 8-bit processors and a similar number of 16-bit processors. They can be fixed up to race in original trim. It may be cheaper to permit inauthenticity and to acknowledge that historic racing is intended to be light hearted.

 

For third generation electronic systems, it is unimportant that they might be copied.



#23 Bob Riebe

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 18:35

The early Japanese V-8 full size luxury sedans, U.S. legal, are already  becoming collectors items and they did not come out all that long ago.



#24 kayemod

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 18:59

The early Japanese V-8 full size luxury sedans, U.S. legal, are already  becoming collectors items and they did not come out all that long ago.


Not in Europe, they were never sold here were they?

#25 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 03:57

Mercedes-Benz  R107 class, particularly the 560SL.  Built like a bank vault, very little in the way of electronics, not too floaty for a luxobarge.

 

:up:



#26 john aston

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:01

The Lotus Elise is undoubtedly the car which rescued Lotus and , far more than any other since the Europa , espoused Chapman's original philosophy.  The styling may be slightly derivative - but if there are echoes of Dino 206SP that is no bad thing. Snakedriver is right to be proud of his car and I have no doubt that early Elises are already on their way to classic status.The only other car in production which is more Chapmanesque is the Seven- my own example  is a car which ,every time I drive  gives me a massive sense of privilege and an acute awareness of the ACBC dna.



#27 hogstar

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 20:06

The Ferrari 355, arguably one of the prettiest cars ever made, will continue to appreciate and I can see them making well over £100k in ten years time. You have to be able to afford and run one of course! Remember when you could get a Dino for £20K? I rest my case. 



#28 LotusElise

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 21:05

Nostalgia is often evoked by things that were "cool" or desirable in your formative years. This explains my generally misplaced fondness for Ford Capris, Toyota Celicas and Triumph TR7s. They were driven by mystique-laden people like my much older cousin's boyfriend, the posh foreign family up the road and my wealthy friend's dad.

 

I can imagine quite a lot of hot hatches from the 90s and early 2000s becoming quite sought-after. Early hybrid vehicles will also retain their slight exoticism, especially as they become more commonplace and less distinctive.



#29 Peter Morley

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:29

The Ferrari 355, arguably one of the prettiest cars ever made, will continue to appreciate and I can see them making well over £100k in ten years time. You have to be able to afford and run one of course! Remember when you could get a Dino for £20K? I rest my case. 

 

Definitely one of the best cars they made for a long time, but they made nearly 12,000 of them compared to 4,000 Dinos.



#30 Duc-Man

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:39

8series beemers. You don't see them too often and you can get them pretty cheap these days, compared to how much they asked for back in the day.

Second generation Audi Coupé and the convertible of it

Mercedes CLK (C208)

Alfa 156 and 159

Mazda RX7 & 8

Renault Twingo

Citroen XM

Ford Scorpio mk.II

Volvo 850 (I would love a T-5R station wagon)

Anything that was in production before 2000 will possibly be running in the future. Most cars that came out afterwards will just disappear due to electronics overkill and waaaay to much gigantic plastic parts on the body IMHO. Where will you find a front bumper for a Nissan Juke in thirty years from now?

 

Definitely one of the best cars they made for a long time, but they made nearly 12,000 of them compared to 4,000 Dinos.

 

The number of cars build doesn't matter. How often do we see a 1st generation 3series BMW from the 1.3millon cars they made of that model?

Same goes for any other everyday car from the late 70ies to late 80ies. They just vanish from the streets.



#31 xj13v12

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:44

My E-Type cost the same (30 years ago) as a new Holden Commodore V8. Value today probably a little more than a new Commodore with the works whatever that is. Yes there are costs along the way but the 1983 Commodore is worth about $1.50 today. I was glad when all the speculation went out of the classic market when the bubble burst in about 1992. Inflated prices stopped genuine buyers - someone who really wants a certain car to keep and drive. Buying as an investment only misses the point. I also don't think much of concourse restorations that cost as much as the car's market value.



#32 arttidesco

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 14:55

Not in Europe, they were never sold here were they?

 

The F1, Flagship 1, project which became the Lexus LS 400 came out in the UK late 1989 early 1990 IIRC, a bloke across the industrial estate from us had one.