Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Future classics - my top ten tips

SUPPOSE you’ve got motoring’s equivalent of Mystic Meg’s crystal ball. What do you reckon it’d reveal as being the classic car stars of tomorrow?

One of the most fascinating pieces I’ve written for Classic Car Weekly so far is a rundown of what the secondhand experts at CAP have chosen as their candidates for automotive investments, which is as intriguing for what didn’t make the cut as the 20 modern motors which did. Everyone’s got their opinion as to what’ll be the stars of shows up and down the land in 10 or 15 years’ time, and with the article done and dusted I can finally get a few of my own favourites off my chest...

1) MAZDA MX-5 (1989 – 1998) The fact no less than four of the Classic Car Weekly team have owned one – including Yours Truly – speaks volumes about this ultra-reliable, ultra-fun and, for the time being at least, ultra-cheap rear-drive ragtop. Consider my shoes eaten if this isn’t a mainstay of the classic movement in 15 years time.

 2) PEUGEOT 106 GTI/RALLYE (1997 – 2004) Brilliant fun, perfectly packaged and already becoming increasingly sought after by hot hatch hunters. In fact, it’s looking increasingly likely the MX-5-shaped void in my life might get filled by a 106 GTI. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

3) ROVER 75 (1999 - 2005) I’ve already written that Rover’s swansong is tomorrow’s P6, and I still reckon a well-looked example – or its sportier sister, the MG ZT – is as cheap as it’s ever going to be. There’s plenty on offer right now for under a grand, but give it a decade and good examples of these gentle giants will be sought after.

4) FORD RACING PUMA (2000) You could argue the little Puma is tomorrow’s Capri, in which case this is the ultra-rare Tickford (in fact, just like its turbocharged Capri ancestor, the Racing Puma is a Tickford creation). Prices are already much higher than the standard Pumas, but with the rarity of the Racing Puma and the loyal following it’s already attracting, there’s only one way prices will go.

5) RENAULT WIND (2010 - 2011)  I might have enjoyed the French firm’s Twingo-based two seater when it was new but the Great British Public didn’t, so while it’s a bit of a flop now its rarity should count in its favour. Quirky styling and fantastically simple flipping metal roof are bonus points on a car that, even now, you don’t see every day.

6) PEUGEOT 406 COUPE (1997 - 2004) Italian styling house Pininfarina worked wonders with the Parisian repmobile favourite to create a striking beautiful coupe. Best spec is the 3.0 V6 but 2.2 HDi versions are already proving popular with fuel-conscious enthusiasts.

7) FIAT COUPE 20V TURBO (1995 - 2000) As above, but with added Italian flair and loopy amounts of punch from the five-cylinder turbo beneath the bonnet. Any car that manages to make Fiat Tipo underpinnings look this good has got to be in with a shout.

 8) SUBARU IMPREZA TURBO (1994 - 2000) The original, four-door versions of the Scooby Pretzel are cheap now – you can, if you look carefully, pick them up for less than £1,500 – but it won’t be long before they’re being coveted as classics. Escort RS2000s, remember, were cheap and plentiful a long time ago...

9) BMW 8-SERIES (1990 - 1999) CAP’s list included no less than three BMWs, but they missed out this one, which price-wise is where the original 6-Series was 15 years ago. Not that I could afford to run around in a secondhand 850CSi, of course.

10) VOLKSWAGEN POLO G40 (1990 - 1994)  Only 600 imported into the UK originally and they’re rare, characterful pocket rockets now. Worth seeking one out for the addictive whine the supercharger makes. Plus, they go like stink.

Feel free, however, to disagree...

The full feature on CAP’s tips for future classic investments can be found in this week’s edition of Classic Car Weekly, published Wednesday, April 24.


  1. I agree with most of those, but they are mostly fast (and thirsty) versions of run-of-the-mill cars.
    I think we need to add the more frugal brethren, How about the Smart ForTwo, Peugeot 106 Diesel, etc.
    I think these might become more usable classics in the future, with petrol getting ever more expensive.

  2. This will probably get shot down but I'd like to think my MK1 Skoda Fabia VRS stands a chance, good on fuel, good performance, engines go forever, good on space - generally all round good workhorse. Many are abused, modified and quite a few already have stella mileages on them, so finding a low mileage unmolested version in the next 10 years may be difficult. Think they main gain in value?