I have a feature on my phone, you may too, where Google Chrome recommends articles and pages based on my interests. My interest is cars, no surprise, and it popped up an article in the Daily Express about future classic cars. Consider my interest piqued, it’s a bit of a click bait but what the hell, lets take a look.
BCA helped put together this list for them, just bear that in mind for a second – they’re a professional auction house.
- Jaguar XKR Supercharged – I can accept this. Good looks, great engine and received well in the press. They’re quite affordable now and finding a good one should last you a while and it’s a great grand tourer so it also has that going for it.
- MINI Convertible/Cabrio – This is pushing the definition of a future classic. Sure it’s desirable but a classic should be rare and these certainly aren’t.
- Mazda RX8 – This is a good choice, received well by the press and a good sports car although plagued by mechanical wear. In the future finding a good one of these will be great and they’re dirt cheap right now, possibly a good future investment. Although think about maintenance, those wankel engines don’t last forever!
- Vauxhall Omega V6 – I Googled this one, and that car is as dull as dishwater. I get the idea about a big V6 saloon but bloody hell it’s boring. You need a classic car to be desirable and memorable and this is none of those things.
- Citroen C3 Pluriel – I’ll just let that sink in for a second…
This is a Citroen C3 Pluriel for those that can’t recall how horrid a car it actually is:
This, according to a mainstream newspaper and professional car auctioneers, is going to be a future classic. Lets see if it ticks the boxes shall we?
- Cheap – yes because it’s made of plastic and has the gutless engine of a little tikes car.
- Rare – yes because no one in their right mind bought one.
- Desirable – Suffering from gangrene in one’s foot is probably more desirable than being seen in this or having it sat on your drive way. Harsh? I speak the truth!
So not a great list, poor showing from the Daily Express and BCA there. I’ve come up with my own list in true Internet blogging fashion!
Received immensely well by the motoring press, sold in low numbers due to limited production run, desirable, reliable, mega to drive. This will undoubtedly be a classic car in the future – even values of the 1M were increasing before it was available to the public. The short wheelbase married up to rear wheel drive putting down 335bhp. Chris Harris, he of the immense powerslides and now famed for Top Gear was quoted as saying:
Always wanted a 1M. Prefer it to the M2, and yes I paid crazy money for it, but that seems to be the price of them now. Small, angry, ace.
Prices for a good one of these in the future will keep on climbing, especially since the list price was a relatively affordable £40,000 – although some dealers got away with charging a lot more for it!
Volkswagen Lupo GTI
When I was working in the motor retail trade, I had the opportunity to drive one of these and it was immensely fun! The cliche of a go-kart for the road is thrown about a lot by reviewers, but this is surely one of the best examples around. Pre-dating the likes of the Twingo Renaulsport, the Lupo GTI had a rawty 1.6 litre engine with 123bhp and a great noise from the twin pipes coming out of the centre of the rear bumper.
Again, sold in relatively low numbers, finding a good one with low miles in mint condition will currently set you back around £8,000 so values are already starting to creep up. A decent little investment and one you could have fun with.
Honda Civic Type-R EP3
Famed for being faster than the FN2 chassis that replaced it, the Type-R was again one of those cars that garnered great press, primarily due to the impressive VTEC engine and rev limit of around 9 million RPM. Drawing a crowd of boy racers, finding a clean and undamaged Type-R of this generation is becoming difficult. Even better would be sourcing a JDM equivalent as a Japanese import. With a veritable shopping list of standard extras, Recaro seats, more track orientated chassis, more power up to 212bhp a different intake manifold, exhaust manifold, higher-lift camshafts, higher-compression pistons, chrome-moly flywheel and ECU programming.
Needless to say the JDM variant has been the much preferred model, but due to its import status harder to obtain, making this quite the collectors item.
Ford Puma ST160
Based on the chassis from the humble Fiesta, the Puma was renowned for very crisp handling relying on a range of engines up to 1.7 and a top output of 123bhp. That changed in 1999 when Ford Racing put together the ST160 with a raft of racing inspired addons, taking the power up to 153bhp, and further improving the handling coupled with an aggressive wide arch stance.
Evo’s review back in Dec ’99 likened it to the Proton GTi and loved how on the limit this car was neutral with meaty steering giving the driver full control over the attitude of the car throughout a corner. Great praise indeed!
Fords of this era did suffer quite readily from the dreaded rust, but if you can find a really good condition Puma of this age, bearing in mind the price for an excellent model is around the £3,000 mark, you can guarantee you won’t lose money and you’ll have a great time with it!
This is a bit of a sad one for me. The Zenos company were so promising, with grounded ideas and a developed package of a chassis which was set to blow rivals into the weeds. Relying on the old school idea of a extruded aluminium backbone, a reliable Ford Duratec engine and low-cost carbon fibre – the standard Zenos E10 was both modern, good to look at and above all drove really well. I should know, I test drive the development mule at Silverstone. I remarked then how smooth the ride was, how responsive the steering was and at no point did it feel skittish over bumps, even for a first timer. It made a great noise from the Duratec and was just a joy to be in.
Unfortunately, after an initial burst of activity of sales, a turbo’d E10S and even more bonkers E10R, the company lost a large export order which went some way to crippling their cash flow. Those lucky enough to have already got their hands on a Zenos are now the owners of a very rare car, which at the time was priced around the £25,000 point – which put it well below similar powered/spec Caterhams and Atoms. I would certainly love one of these cars, as I think others will too, and I can only see their value climbing from this point forwards.
So there we have it, let me know if you have any suggestions for future classics, or keep them to yourself and hope to make a few £s later in life!
Feature image Elijah Lane from Unsplash