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Will Cars of Today Become Classics?


Mckrack

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Hello folks. The title Will Cars of Today Become Classics is the title of an article in todays edition of the Wall Street Journal. The Home and Family Section Page D5.

The article basically discusses which cars today may be considered classics 25 years or more from now. There is mention from Rob Myers founder of RM Auctions that he feels that the Datsun 240z could find favor in the future as attainable vehicles. I am somewhat unclear as to this statement because this has already been happening for a lot of years.

You may be able to google WSJ and read the article. It's somewhat interesting. Just thought I would let you know.

McKrack

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'Classic' is highly subjective. I'd consider the Z a classic, but someone writing for the WSJ is probably thinking along the lines of rarity, value / price, and probably popularity most of all. These are the same people that'll drool over a line of 10 nearly-identical '57 Bel Airs at a hot rod gathering.

Modern cars as classics? Maybe...cars are now built more for immediate value / impression than they are longevity. 'Classic' implies withstanding the test of time, it the attitude toward motor vehicles is increasingly 'Use 4-7 years, discard'. Cars older than 15 years are now coming under fire as gross polluters and clunkers, regardless of how well they're maintained.

As far as styling goes, there are a number of vehicles that have classic potential, the Chrysler 300 being a good example. Much of their impact on the automotive industry should be considered, as well. The PT Cruiser, New Beetle and New Mini are good examples.

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I agree with wingnut whole hartedly. I purchased a new Honda S2000 in late Sept of '99 with the hopes of re-living the driving joy of the 240Z I owned in H.S. The deal maker for me was the fact that this car was one of the first 500 built. I immediately thought of the '69 year production Z's.

The car is a blast to drive and only has 20k miles after 8 years. However, with these cars, even the low VIN's are valued no different than the newer models.

Honda really hyped up these cars when they were introduced and gave buyers the impression that this was to be a very limited production car. After 8 years of production, I guess I was fooled.

Oh well, I still have my Z

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Which ones will be classics in a few decades? Opinions please.

I agree WingNut about the Chrysler 300. That gorgeous piece of machinery brought Chrysler out of a rut they seemed to be in full of ugly cars. (They didn't realize they were sitting on a four-lettered gold mine: "HEMI") The same with the Dodge Magnum. And as much as I dislike the P.T. Cruiser, I think it will always be remembered. I have mixed feelings about the new Mustang. People are always going to love the 350Z and the MR2. Anything Mazda with the rotary engine is going to be a classic because it's so different. And for my sake, I hope some one decides the DeLorean is cool so it's value will go up. LOL

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I've always wondered this samething too. In my opinion, some will and some won't. Who would a want a Ford Taurus 30 years from now? Cars like you mentioned the Chrystler 300, current generation Mustang ect, for sure cars like that I can picture people collecting and obtaining them and using them as collector vehicles decades from now.

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Which ones will be classics in a few decades?

How many will still be running in a few decades? I know overall cars are much more reliable now but with all the electronics and regulations on them are people really going to be able to keep them going? A bit of duct tape and bailing wire will keep a Z on the road for quite awhile. Try that when the computer controlled thingymajig goes haywire and they aren't available anymore.

I know different states have different smog laws but that would seem to be a limiting factor. It could get very expensive trying to keep up all the systems so that they'd pass smog year after year.

The cars mentioned above definitely have the uniqueness and character to stay, however as mentioned 'old' cars are now looked at differently. Each new model year has to be bigger and faster than the last. We have Toyota Camrys that will do 0-60 in around 6 seconds. Does that seem ridiculous to anyone else? Yes, many of us try to make our Z's faster but the ongoing quest to get family cars to have so much HP that it is really useless just baffles me. Will anyone value a 2005 Chrysler 300 when the 2012 model has 650 HP, 23 airbags, 18 speaker 2,300 watt sound system and can not only park itself but will also feed the parking meter? Does the 350Z have the styling to last? Each year will find faster and better versions of it so will people value the early ones?

I like the Z because it has style that you can't come close to without spending well over $40,000 today, its fun to drive and fairly easy to work on. However, my sisters minivan will probably outrun it at a stoplight.

I guess maybe as long as there are people that value something other than HP ratings and the number of cup holders maybe people will hold onto their 300's and Mini's etc.

The DeLorean is definitely unique enough to last, but how many other 80's or early 90's cars do you see around that are in good shape? For the ones that aren't in good shape what are the odds that anyone would spend what it would cost to return them to good shape?

Edmunds.com recently added a 1984 Ferrari 308GTSi to their long term test fleet: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/LongTerm/articleId=121288 it is interesting to read their ongoing logs about driving it.

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The S2000 was mentioned as an example. Not only did Honda produce a lot more of them than was expected, they gave the new ones more power, fancier sound systems etc.

I think it helped the 240's that it wasn't until they came out with the ZX turbos that the cars in stock form were faster than the original. Will the 350Z be in demand or will people just replace them with the 370Z?

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I think what it will really take for the cars of today to be collectable is a major shift in the market. Either the manufactures all go after some new styling change. Like the change from the big flat sided boats of the 50s to the curved in at the bottom look of the later models or government intervention. Like the 1-2 punch of smog laws and safetly regulations that did in the cars of the early 70s. If the government came out tomorrow and said all future cars must get 40mpg or more, many people would cling to their current cars. Or all cars must have big enough bumpers to hit a wall at 30 mph and not receive any damage. The future cars wouldn't look much like the current ones.

It could happen on a smaller scale, say if Chrysler decided that sales had dropped on the 300 so they weren't going to make it anymore or if the new PT Cruiser came out and looked nothing like the current one then there would be a solid line that some people would stay on the other side of. It still has the problem of in 20 years where do you get a new traction control dohicky. At least then it would be "hey, you've got one of the original (insert car here)" rather than "Oh that is the old (same car), have you seen the newer ones?"

On a side note: I wish I could edit posts for longer than 5 minutes. Sometimes my brain doesn't work that fast.:P

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That's the point I was trying to make. The writer of that article interviewed the founder, Myers of RM Auctions which is a very reputable automobile Auctioneer. Myers says that he believes that the 240z may go on to be a classic. Either the witer of the story line misunderstood him or Myers doesn't know what he's talking about since the 240z is already a classic and has been for quite some time.

As for the the Chrysler 300 I don't know about that. The PT Cruiser is just awful and I hope it is never classifified as a classic. Maybe the Mazda Miata, Some of the 500sl and SL 500 Mercedes and that body style with even the larger engines or the AMG version of the last 12 years, even the 350z 25 years from now and a whole lot of other cars. As for the 240z I hope all would agree it became a classic years ago.

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I wonder how the mechanical and electrical systems of modern cars will stand up 30 years from now.

Pre 80's cars are generally all mechanical with very basic electrical systems. But since the 80's computerised components have steadily increased in use, and so has the use of plastics.

These parts are going to be the expensive parts to replace 25 years from now when they quit working. Some of which are not designed to last that long. I've heard the electrical connectors in the Z32 are biodegradable.

Anyone with a 260/280z would know how plastics can degrade. Just look at how the fuseable link covers on those cars have stood up. I've seen ones that have crumbled away to brittle chunks of plastic.

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I read an article once that talked about the economics of classic car values. They made a (i think) legitimate point by saying that the people currently who have money to invest in classic cars are the baby-boomer population. When they were young, the cars they dreamed about having are now the big money classics because they drive the market in a way by being able to afford them and desire them.

That group is also the largest segment of the population and it will be interesting to see what happens in 30 years. In the 80's when I was a teen I cant recall many cars of that generation that I really desired. The coolest cars I can remember were the Lamborghini Countach and Don Johnsons Ferrari Testarosa, but I dont think those count because they were exotics.

So when the next generation, which is significantly smaller, is old enough to have the disposable income to invest in a classic car I think it will be interesting to see what's popular and drives the market. I sure hope its not the Fiero, Turbo Firefly, Probe, Dodge Shelby or Honda CRX.

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Mafia staff car a classic? How could a Z owner manage to get classic and Chrysler 300 in the same sentence? Surely the future classics will be the current crop of budget super cars such as the WRX STIs and Mitsi EVOs

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I tend to agree that the PT and 300 may always be remembered, but I just can't imagine someone dragging one out of a field or a barn 25 years from now in one of those "honey, look what I found!" moments and fixing it up. (my wife knows that line). In my opinion old japanese cars in general will be the next big wave. I mean look what a corolla gt-s goes for now as opposed to 5 years ago. Also Mazda RX-3's or Toyota 2000's and just about any datsun (510, c110, Z, or roadster). I also think people will hold on to anything rare or different, someone said the WRX and the EVO, i can agree with that because they are special versions of a relatively common cars, like an SS camaro or a Cobra Mustang. Oh, and about the 80's cars mine would have to be a buick Grand National. Have you seen the prices of those things lately.

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The S2000 was mentioned as an example. Not only did Honda produce a lot more of them than was expected, they gave the new ones more power, fancier sound systems etc.

I think it helped the 240's that it wasn't until they came out with the ZX turbos that the cars in stock form were faster than the original. Will the 350Z be in demand or will people just replace them with the 370Z?

.

http://s2000.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2494&highlight=s2000+motor]link to S2000 specs

ta240. IMO, the evolution of the S2000 mirrors that of the first gen Z. In the first year of production, the S2000 had its own "first year flaws". For example, the tail lights on early S2000's did not have enough reflectors inside, so they changed the rear lights for 'o2. On the early S2000's the synchros for 2nd gear were a weak link in the trannys, and the seat belt would catch on the framing of the top (when down) to name a few.

Just like the Z, Honda has added displacement, torque, and luxury oriented features through the years similar to the differences between the 240 and the 280Z. The body panels are the same, but the car as a whole is not.

My car has all of the flawed parts on it and that's okay by me. It is completely original and I hope one day, it will represent yesterday's technology just like the 240Z does today.

Horsepower is down on the newer models, torque is up.

My car was manf'd in 6/99, I believe that to be the first month of production. It is #415

000_0700.jpg

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One common thread with cars that become classics....usually, they were cars that a lot of people had and enjoyed (and outgrew), or they were cars which people wanted but couldn't afford at the time (and later decide that they can).

For instance, the '57 Chevrolet was popular for a lot of reasons, but one big reason was because they were out in circulation and lots of people had them. Years later, people want to replace the car that they 'should never have sold', and so they buy one in reasonable condition to restore, or buy one that's already been restored.

Another good example would be the early 70's Mopar cars. They're hugely popular right now because they had classic lines and a lot of people wanted one or had one at the time. Now they have money and they want one. I think it would be difficult to argue that they are great cars, because they don't handle and they are basically straight-line cars, but I think it's the 'looks great' and 'my brother had one' stuff that appeals to people.

The Mini Cooper might be the kind of car that people will outgrow and later wish they'd held onto, now that I'm thinking about this.....

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Honda S2000 sub 500 VIN is very much worth keeping a hold of.

I doubt the 350z will ever get classic car status. The front still remains a joke and the arse remains fat. The best thing about it is the falling resale value IMO. I'd have a new MX5 or S2000 anyday over the over inflated 350Z.

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Horsepower is down on the newer models, torque is up.

I think the drop in HP is due to the different method for calculating it they started using. The first years of the change showed HP staying the same and torque going up slightly.

A large portion of the changes to the Z weren't a gradual evolution they were battling changing requirements for much of it. Although some items were added as mere luxury as the years progressed the added weight of safety items and added smog restrictions forced changes that didn't necessarily result in a car that was considered 'improved'. For example if I had to leave my Z stock I never would have considered buying a '73. While at the same time I do miss some of the more 'plush' items that my 280 had. Although even on it a lot of the changes were there to try to overcome the negatives forced on them.

The true aficionados will know the differences but I see the S2000 changes as more like the differences between the 1970 through 1972 Z's. I have trouble telling what is different, while when people ask what year my Z is and I say '73 I often get the "that's too bad" look and have to tell them that it has the earlier carbs. So although now there are probably few if any looking for a low VIN S2000 in 30 years when there are much fewer S2000's left like with the 240's now it may be something people look for.

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Honda S2000 sub 500 VIN is very much worth keeping a hold of.

Especially if it completely goes away after 2008. There are unique factors to the car that will make it stand out and in a bit of similarity to the early Z's it was an attainable car that could take on much more expensive cars. Although an 8 year run is a long one there are probably plenty of people that wanted one but couldn't justify it till the kids were gone or other reasons.

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Another good example would be the early 70's Mopar cars. They're hugely popular right now because they had classic lines and a lot of people wanted one or had one at the time. Now they have money and they want one. I think it would be difficult to argue that they are great cars, because they don't handle and they are basically straight-line cars, but I think it's the 'looks great' and 'my brother had one' stuff that appeals to people.

...this couldn't be further from the truth. Of all the '50s, '60s and '70s U.S. automotive products, Chrysler products handle best due to the torsion bar suspensions, superior suspension geometry(to their contemporaries) and unit-body construction(Chrysler built thier first unit body in 1934! By the late '50s, all but a few of their products were body-on-frame). The reason you see so many going in a straight line is because people have a limited imagination and corner carving wasn't popular in the U.S. when those cars were new. A-body Chryslers can easily be made into very competitive autocrossers and road racers.

But, I'm biased. My first two cars were Plymouth Furys.

You make an excellent point. Cars are considered classics or memorable not because they're good cars, or even attractive / well styled, but because of the impact they made on people, and even because of how common they were...they reach icon status. Personally, I'm sick of mid-late '50s GM shoeboxes, because people act as if they're the end-all, be-all of the era when in reality, the majority of them were ho-hum, marginal family haulers. The remaining examples are now mostly highly desirable trim level and models or clones of the same.

People tend to think back on their youth to their first cars, or their parents' cars, and consider those classics, no matter what they were. In 30 years, people will consider a number of cutting edge modern cars as 'classic', 'old', and even antiquated.

Personally, I like my Z, it does exactly what it's supposed to and hardly ever what it shouldn't. I'd like to keep it forever, but that doesn't happen very often.

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I'd rather have a Turbo Pontiac Solstice then that Honda you are talking about.

Was the thread about what cars might have value, or what cars you, personally, would prefer? I'm confused.

You solicited opinions, didn't you? And I think that while you are likely right about the 80's being a dead period in terms of automotive classics, you probably weren't buying up old Mopars twenty years ago, in the expecation that they'd be worth a half million dollars, either.

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