Car Time – September 2022


What Defines a Future Classic Car?

    During this transition of ditching ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) for EV’s (Electrical Vehicle), some may wonder what defines a future classic car? In many cases, they can be defined in two obvious categories.
    The first is how a vehicle looks. For many, this is what draws both enthusiasts and casual goers. When a large population agrees on an appearance of a vehicle that is very well designed, it tends to draw demand. In some cases, it can be a design that symbolizes an era so well it can be a “timeless” look. But just because it looks good, doesn’t always mean it drives well, or is built to last.
    The second obvious answer – especially for enthusiasts – are vehicles that were built well. Is it reliable, does it have great driving characteristics or does it enjoy a combination of both? If it has all the above and looks good, a classic designation tends to be a foolproof description.
    There are also cult classics, often overlooked vehicles or, in some cases, vehicles ahead of their time. These often have “a cool factor.” These vehicles almost always have a pocket of followers online.
    Just because something is rare doesn’t equate to it being valuable. Rarity can mean multiple things. Something could be rare because so many people totaled or trashed said vehicles, making it harder to find one in good condition. It could also mean a manufacturer produced a limited number of them on purpose, or it could mean the car was so bad a manufacturer cut production.
    It’s hard to pinpoint what will be a future classic because in general there’s an x-factor to getting that label. It is an irrational object that holds value to an individual, whether it falls in the categories above, is fun and has character or draws on nostalgia.
    It is also very much a generational appeal. The market for vehicles from the 1980s to 2000s has shot up in value in the past five to 10 years alone. Some of those vehicles, when new, were overshadowed and sat in dealer show rooms collecting dust, and some were used bargains.
    All of this is not financial advice. Cars shouldn’t be investments; they should be used as intended to fulfill your vehicular needs. Rising values just means other people want a slice of that delicious pie, that classic car, that’s no longer being made.

Xavier Estrada can be reached at

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