Future Average Joe's Classic Car Blog (a consideration of future "classic" status of cars made after 1980)

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isaiah1000
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Hi guys, I'm a subscriber and some articles in this magazine as well as things I've seen elsewhere have fueled a desire in me to put together a list of cars (built after 1980), that I think will remain affordable to the average man but still present themselves as classics in 30 years.  I finally found some time and put that list together.  You can see it at:

http://vintageandclassiccar.blogspot.com/

Give it a read, see if you agree.  If not, leave some feedback.  I'd be interested to hear your feedback on my considerations.

Isaiah Cox

MJL
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I have been thinking about this and I know that classic cars are much more than how desirable they look... and how much they cost.

May I suggest that the 'classic' car must be enjoyable to own and convey status (at least in the mind of the owner).

Owning a 1920s Bentley is clearly going to convey status and demonstrate that the owner possesses considerable skills. 

Even in the case of 'funny little cars' like the Austin Healey Sprite or MG Midget, it takes skill and an understanding of automotive dynamics to drive quickly. These cars also excel at telling the driver exactly what is going on through precise steering, predictable handling and progressive brakes. 

So we want to look for cars which are enjoyable to own, are fun or require skill to drive and bestow status. 

Think of all the 'white goods' cars that just didn't make it! Sometimes, however, there is the one model that a boring manufacturer makes which can be very desirable: the Opel GT, the Datsun 240Z, the Toyota Corolla AE86 or the original Mini Cooper S.  

How expensive the car is to own must also be part of the equation. For example, think of all the Mk 10 Jaguars which didn't make it because they were just too expensive to keep in peak condition.

I also ask myself, how will the value of an electric car or hybrid car survive if the technology becomes dated? What if the battery packs are superceeded?

What do I think is a post-1980s classic? Well, I bought a Mk 1 MX5 five years ago and I love it!

isaiah1000
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MJL, I think you're right.  No one wants to drive a car that seems like a waste (meaning it doesn't have any value).  It's like Iron Pyrite.  It's just as pretty as Gold but no one would hold it in high regard as a collectors item (except for a few, I'm sure).  Although, I didn't ever feel like I had any status with my MGB.  Almost the opposite, but I did really like it and I kinda of enjoyed the rebelliousness of owning a car that so many bad mouthed.  So I guess I'm kind of torn.  Sorry for the stream of thought!

Chris Martin
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MJL wrote:

I have been thinking about this and I know that classic cars are much more than how desirable they look... and how much they cost.

May I suggest that the 'classic' car must be enjoyable to own and convey status (at least in the mind of the owner).

Owning a 1920s Bentley is clearly going to convey status and demonstrate that the owner possesses considerable skills. 

Even in the case of 'funny little cars' like the Austin Healey Sprite or MG Midget, it takes skill and an understanding of automotive dynamics to drive quickly. These cars also excel at telling the driver exactly what is going on through precise steering, predictable handling and progressive brakes. 

So we want to look for cars which are enjoyable to own, are fun or require skill to drive and bestow status. 

Think of all the 'white goods' cars that just didn't make it! Sometimes, however, there is the one model that a boring manufacturer makes which can be very desirable: the Opel GT, the Datsun 240Z, the Toyota Corolla AE86 or the original Mini Cooper S.  

How expensive the car is to own must also be part of the equation. For example, think of all the Mk 10 Jaguars which didn't make it because they were just too expensive to keep in peak condition.

I also ask myself, how will the value of an electric car or hybrid car survive if the technology becomes dated? What if the battery packs are superceeded?

What do I think is a post-1980s classic? Well, I bought a Mk 1 MX5 five years ago and I love it!

Not sure what you mean by 'status'?

And what 'status' exactly does an MX5 give it's owner?

As for the '20s Bentley, I agree it is going to convey status, but demonstrate that the owner possesses considerable skills? Has considerable money maybe closer. While any old car has it's peculiarities that need to be learned, buying one in the first place takes money, in the case of an Austin Seven, not much, but for a 20's Bentley?

Good point about the 'white goods' manufacturers occasionally making an interesting car, and the Opel GT and 240Z are good examples, but these were conceived in the sixties, when was the last time any of these brands made a really 'classic' car? Not since then unless you can find an Opel badged Lotus Carlton?.

Good point about MK Ten Jags too, as they were never accorded the same trendy rep of a MKII and therefore did not reach the dizzy heights of restored MKIIs in recent years, they probably were not worth restoring, or possibly they were often worth more for parts to keep other, more famous, models alive.

As for the hybrids of today, they will be the targets of the Greenies of tomorrow when they realise what a mess the batteries are causing, but at least the original Honda Insight (not the new one) I believe I read could be driven with just its petrol engine anyway? If that is right, it may outlast all the others.

As for post 80s classics, that is always going to be a tough one, and if any of us had that crystal ball we probably woul;d not let on which cars we were stashing away for a rainy day, but I would look for something that was recognised as fun in its day, but not too weighed down with computers, chips, batteries, or parts that would be impossible to remanufacture if required later on.

Escort XR3 or XR3i comes to mind, as do last runout Capris and hot Sierras. Any of the recent Lotus Elise family. The last of the Rolls-Royce Shadow series, and maybe the Spirit too. Peugeot 205 GTI, either 1.6 or 1.9. Recent Jaguar sports maybe, but NOT sedans. No Mercedes since 1990 will be worth the price of a tankful once they are out of warranty. Ditto BMW. Any solid Citroen CX must be worth saving now.

As for design classics, I would suggest the Renault Avantime (I don't know anything about it's mechanical longevity) was the last true individually designed car (as opposed to computer generated).

Unfortunately a lot of people will try to include whatever their favourite is, to justify their own taste, so we can expect a lot of ramblings in favour of various Japanese multi-valve turbo hot hatches, but are these just another passing trend? Mostly anonymous looking (however big the shiny mag wheels) they were only really a response to the original Golf GTi, and by the eighties even VW had lost the plot with that one.

Interesting to see if anyone can come up with any others.

For myself, my tastes go back well before the eighties anyway - see elswhere my thread about driving classics as every day transport.

Chris M.

 

 

Chris Martin
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isaiah1000 wrote:

Hi guys, I'm a subscriber and some articles in this magazine as well as things I've seen elsewhere have fueled a desire in me to put together a list of cars (built after 1980), that I think will remain affordable to the average man but still present themselves as classics in 30 years.  I finally found some time and put that list together.  You can see it at:

http://vintageandclassiccar.blogspot.com/

Give it a read, see if you agree.  If not, leave some feedback.  I'd be interested to hear your feedback on my considerations.

Isaiah Cox

Well hello Isaiah,

I read your blog, but I think it will probably look a bit strange to most readers of Classic and Sports Car reflecting as it does a uniquely American view of what makes a classic. For myself, any or all of those Japanese sports cars can go to the scrap dealer, except strangely I have to disagree with you and suggest that of all the hybrids, the Honda Insight is the only one I can see that may have a classic future. The Honda S2000, Mitsubishi GT (and others) may, in their own way have some mechanical merit, but design-wise? Zilch. Even in bright red that Mitsubishi looks completely anonymous, and the S2000 could almost qualify as ugly if they had tried just a little bit harder.

As for the Honda NSX - or Acura NSX as it is known in the USA - that I believe is one of the few so-called supercars, and the only post '80 Japanese car, that could inherit true classic status.

The Corvette, yes C5, or indeed any other model, they have always been the best bang for the buck, certainly in America, but there is a certain Euro snobbery that (all things being equal) means any Ferrari or Porsche within a similar budget must be the cooler option.

As for the Mustang, mercifully the rest of the world was spared most of the real dogs that bore the name between 1970 and now, but why bother with a new one when an original '60s one can be bought for less and kept in perfect condition for ever after with a parts back up that I doubt Ford will ever be able to match again.

Finally where does the Chev Chevette fit in anyway? I doubt anyone in Detroit gave it a second thought, but when the tough times of the mid-late seveties dictated that all manufacturers had to have a little econobox in their showrooms GM made the right call. There would have been no point in asking their Chevrolet staff to come up with somethibng suitable when it was far easier to rebadge what their European cousins - Vauxhall and Opel - were already making.  The Chevette did fill a role in Europe, and then, like all other cheap and cheerful consumer goods, it went for recycling, nobody at GM would have considered they were making a future classic with that one!

Chris M.

 

MJL
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Chris Martin wrote:

MJL wrote:

I have been thinking about this and I know that classic cars are much more than how desirable they look... and how much they cost.

May I suggest that the 'classic' car must be enjoyable to own and convey status (at least in the mind of the owner).

Owning a 1920s Bentley is clearly going to convey status and demonstrate that the owner possesses considerable skills. 

Even in the case of 'funny little cars' like the Austin Healey Sprite or MG Midget, it takes skill and an understanding of automotive dynamics to drive quickly. These cars also excel at telling the driver exactly what is going on through precise steering, predictable handling and progressive brakes. 

So we want to look for cars which are enjoyable to own, are fun or require skill to drive and bestow status. 

Think of all the 'white goods' cars that just didn't make it! Sometimes, however, there is the one model that a boring manufacturer makes which can be very desirable: the Opel GT, the Datsun 240Z, the Toyota Corolla AE86 or the original Mini Cooper S.  

How expensive the car is to own must also be part of the equation. For example, think of all the Mk 10 Jaguars which didn't make it because they were just too expensive to keep in peak condition.

I also ask myself, how will the value of an electric car or hybrid car survive if the technology becomes dated? What if the battery packs are superceeded?

What do I think is a post-1980s classic? Well, I bought a Mk 1 MX5 five years ago and I love it!

Not sure what you mean by 'status'?

And what 'status' exactly does an MX5 give it's owner?

As for the '20s Bentley, I agree it is going to convey status, but demonstrate that the owner possesses considerable skills? Has considerable money maybe closer. While any old car has it's peculiarities that need to be learned, buying one in the first place takes money, in the case of an Austin Seven, not much, but for a 20's Bentley?

Good point about the 'white goods' manufacturers occasionally making an interesting car, and the Opel GT and 240Z are good examples, but these were conceived in the sixties, when was the last time any of these brands made a really 'classic' car? Not since then unless you can find an Opel badged Lotus Carlton?.

Good point about MK Ten Jags too, as they were never accorded the same trendy rep of a MKII and therefore did not reach the dizzy heights of restored MKIIs in recent years, they probably were not worth restoring, or possibly they were often worth more for parts to keep other, more famous, models alive.

As for the hybrids of today, they will be the targets of the Greenies of tomorrow when they realise what a mess the batteries are causing, but at least the original Honda Insight (not the new one) I believe I read could be driven with just its petrol engine anyway? If that is right, it may outlast all the others.

As for post 80s classics, that is always going to be a tough one, and if any of us had that crystal ball we probably woul;d not let on which cars we were stashing away for a rainy day, but I would look for something that was recognised as fun in its day, but not too weighed down with computers, chips, batteries, or parts that would be impossible to remanufacture if required later on.

Escort XR3 or XR3i comes to mind, as do last runout Capris and hot Sierras. Any of the recent Lotus Elise family. The last of the Rolls-Royce Shadow series, and maybe the Spirit too. Peugeot 205 GTI, either 1.6 or 1.9. Recent Jaguar sports maybe, but NOT sedans. No Mercedes since 1990 will be worth the price of a tankful once they are out of warranty. Ditto BMW. Any solid Citroen CX must be worth saving now.

As for design classics, I would suggest the Renault Avantime (I don't know anything about it's mechanical longevity) was the last true individually designed car (as opposed to computer generated).

Unfortunately a lot of people will try to include whatever their favourite is, to justify their own taste, so we can expect a lot of ramblings in favour of various Japanese multi-valve turbo hot hatches, but are these just another passing trend? Mostly anonymous looking (however big the shiny mag wheels) they were only really a response to the original Golf GTi, and by the eighties even VW had lost the plot with that one.

Interesting to see if anyone can come up with any others.

For myself, my tastes go back well before the eighties anyway - see elswhere my thread about driving classics as every day transport.

Chris M.

 

 

I am surprised at your agressive tone, Mr Martin, and I'm afraid I don't know where to begin.

Firstly, I did parenthetically comment that the status may only have been in the owner's mind. Status does not equate to money or price. I often see jerks in stupidly expensive German 4x4s and think unpleasant and unprintable things about their commitment to the community. One's sense of status comes from within. As you ask what 'status' I get from my MX5, I get the enjoyment of driving a very well preserved, very well designed and enjoyable sports car which is cheap to own and reliable. The same reasons James Page gave in the February issue. My idea of myself does not come from the brand I drive but how I behave.

As you have already asserted that "any or all of those Japanese sports cars can go to the scrap dealer" we are hardly likely to have a civilised conversation about the Toyota 2000GT, the Mazda RX7, the Subaru WRX STI or the new Toyota 86 which surprised me with its nimble suspension and perfect steering. 

If you have ever driven a 1920s 'crash box' Bentley, you will know that skill certainly is involved.

I was also disappointed in your response to Isaiah Cox when you blithely assert that "it will probably look a bit strange to most readers of Classic and Sports Car reflecting as it does a uniquely American view of what makes a classic".  I notice that American cars feature more and more in the magazine because in some states they are preserved by the weather and American companies make a lot of any given model. I thought his blog was both interesting and instructive. It was a pleasure to see a sincere enthusiast's passion.

Chris Martin
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MJL, sorry no offence intended, and certainly nothing aggressive intended either. Of course, if you are one of those who takes anything vaguely resembling a view not totally aligned with yours on everything automotive as an act of aggression, and don't we all know there are plenty of those on any internet forum, then yes, I am the enemy.

Hopefully, we can appreciate opposing views without it becoming vindictive - this forum has been there enough times already.

I stand by my comments re the Japanese sports cars - this is after all Classic & Sports Car forum, and while I do not pretend to be up to speed on everything relating to the Sports part of it, I do have a passionate interest in Classics.

Possibly I misunderstood your use of the word status. I took it to mean a token of one's standing in the overall scheme of things, as some people would use a Ferrari as an extension of their own ego; "hey look at me" rather than as a car to enjoy driving, and there are plenty of those about. I will check with my dictionary for exact definitions, but it seems you mean it in the sense that the car confers some attribute to the driver? If so, please explain what an MX5 says about the driver that another who has yet to drive one would understand.

As for the 20s Bentley, no I have never had the pleasure, but I have driven many other 'crash box' cars of the time, and let's not forget, in period, that is all there was, so do you infer that all drivers of the twenties had rare skills that we today can not understand? You could say that as my vintage car of choice at the moment is Model T Ford that I have escaped the hard work of the crash box in favour of Henry's epicyclic two-speeder, and yes that was effectively the fore-runner of today's automatics, but wait; in an attempt to reach a better cruising speed, mine is fitted with an extra Moore two-speed non-synchro 'box giving an overdrive, making four speeds in all. I have my hands full! (A common accessory of the day).

As for my comments to Isaiah, read again. I said he is talking from an American perspective, that was not a put down of anything American, just a statement of fact.

My comments re the Corvettes and Mustangs are based on a 'Classic' opinion, not in any way related to their speed, power or efficiency, and likewise those Japanese cars he refers to were major sellers in the USA, maybe even as competition to the Mustang and Corvette, but mean very little in Europe, or here in Australia - either way, again I dispute their 'classic' credentials. if not their sporty performance abilities. My comment refers to their lack of 'character' for want of a better word. As for American cars, if you had been reading this forum in the past you would have read of my many interests, the Thunderbirds, Mustangs and Oldsmobile Rocket, the early days of the Chelsea Cruise and my particular interest in thirties Cords, Auburns, Duesenbergs, my taste for Buick Rivieras and other Bill Mitchell designs and much else. So no, there was no anti-American sentiment there.

I repeat, I stand by what I have written previously, but let us try to keep automotive passions separate from personal issues. I am not calling anyone names, and while I may agree as to my own thoughts on those that would like to be seen driving a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne, I stop myself short of calling anyone "jerks" on a public forum.

All of which gets us no nearer to answering the original question of what may be Average Joe's 80s classic of the future.

Keep it clean lads!

Chris M.

 

MJL
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Chris Martin wrote:

MJL, sorry no offence intended, and certainly nothing aggressive intended either. Of course, if you are one of those who takes anything vaguely resembling a view not totally aligned with yours on everything automotive as an act of aggression, and don't we all know there are plenty of those on any internet forum, then yes, I am the enemy.

Hopefully, we can appreciate opposing views without it becoming vindictive - this forum has been there enough times already.

I stand by my comments re the Japanese sports cars - this is after all Classic & Sports Car forum, and while I do not pretend to be up to speed on everything relating to the Sports part of it, I do have a passionate interest in Classics.

Possibly I misunderstood your use of the word status. I took it to mean a token of one's standing in the overall scheme of things, as some people would use a Ferrari as an extension of their own ego; "hey look at me" rather than as a car to enjoy driving, and there are plenty of those about. I will check with my dictionary for exact definitions, but it seems you mean it in the sense that the car confers some attribute to the driver? If so, please explain what an MX5 says about the driver that another who has yet to drive one would understand.

As for the 20s Bentley, no I have never had the pleasure, but I have driven many other 'crash box' cars of the time, and let's not forget, in period, that is all there was, so do you infer that all drivers of the twenties had rare skills that we today can not understand? You could say that as my vintage car of choice at the moment is Model T Ford that I have escaped the hard work of the crash box in favour of Henry's epicyclic two-speeder, and yes that was effectively the fore-runner of today's automatics, but wait; in an attempt to reach a better cruising speed, mine is fitted with an extra Moore two-speed non-synchro 'box giving an overdrive, making four speeds in all. I have my hands full! (A common accessory of the day).

As for my comments to Isaiah, read again. I said he is talking from an American perspective, that was not a put down of anything American, just a statement of fact.

My comments re the Corvettes and Mustangs are based on a 'Classic' opinion, not in any way related to their speed, power or efficiency, and likewise those Japanese cars he refers to were major sellers in the USA, maybe even as competition to the Mustang and Corvette, but mean very little in Europe, or here in Australia - either way, again I dispute their 'classic' credentials. if not their sporty performance abilities. My comment refers to their lack of 'character' for want of a better word. As for American cars, if you had been reading this forum in the past you would have read of my many interests, the Thunderbirds, Mustangs and Oldsmobile Rocket, the early days of the Chelsea Cruise and my particular interest in thirties Cords, Auburns, Duesenbergs, my taste for Buick Rivieras and other Bill Mitchell designs and much else. So no, there was no anti-American sentiment there.

I repeat, I stand by what I have written previously, but let us try to keep automotive passions separate from personal issues. I am not calling anyone names, and while I may agree as to my own thoughts on those that would like to be seen driving a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne, I stop myself short of calling anyone "jerks" on a public forum.

All of which gets us no nearer to answering the original question of what may be Average Joe's 80s classic of the future.

Keep it clean lads!

Chris M.

Mr Martin, stating views without qualification or regard for others may go down well in some places, but I always recommend rational argument and consideration for others: even in Australia. I wouldn't try for the moral high ground after your posts. I look forward to Isaiah Cox's opinion.

I am sure you are far better read than I and will know that status is something far more complex than "[Hey]ey look at me". It is not a single fixed point but a subjective judgement.  There is no brand or car which is going to make me think an idiot is cool; or a vulgarian, tasteful. 

The thrill I get from driving an MX-5 or an MG or any other proper sports car is the sense of needing to be very skilful to drive very quickly and the car being willing to help. It is an apt metaphor which helps explain the experience. I'm sure it is why the term 'willing' was carried over from horse riding.

My MX5, a 'willing' sports car.

I hope we agree that to drive the W. O. Bentleys well required much greater skill than their modern equivalents. 

'Character' is an intertesting concept and certainly one that is at the core of what makes a classic car. The way a humble Morris Minor has it but a bread-and-butter Vauxhall Astra doesn't is very clear. It rather reminds me of a friend who used to talk of 'proper MGs', and they were all made at Abingdon... strangely, I have come to agree with him. 

I believe that defining your concept of 'character' or suggesting which post 1980s cars have it was what Isaiah was asking us to do. This is useful progress. 

MJL

isaiah1000
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Chris and MLJ,

Please excuse brevity as I'm on vacation (the reason I had time to write the blog) and my wife is ready for us to get on with our day.

MLJ, I do think you brought a good point to my list.  I had included 3 concepts I thought historically might indicate a classic: curving shape, tuneability/parts availability and fun factor.

Your thought, as I'm gathering it, that status (or possibly labeled character), might also influence a classic is probably lacking.

The examples I see that might possibly relate in the states are the sixties sleds.  They're not particularly curvy, some aren't entirely tunable (if they have an odd small bore motor), and I don't know if they're that "fun" to drive.  But on top of all that, they have something else that makes them collectible.  It's character wrapped up in all that chrome, metal and glass.

Even rebellious car cultures that enjoy cars the mainstream society look down on a little, say like the low riders, still have a character associated with them.

Chris, your considerations are probably spot on.  

I enjoy Classic and Sports Car because of the richness of the articles.  It's truly a great magazine and we have nothing to match it here.  There's a much thinner, less in depth classic car magazine that I'll still buy on occasion but it doesn't give me the reading time, or knowledge of C&SC.  Even if, for a lot of the cars, I don't even know if they were imported to here, I appreciate the history lessons given in the writeups.  I like knowing who the designer was, I enjoy the quotes, I enjoy knowing the models competition history, etc.  C&SC does their homework and it shows.

That being said, my opinions probably don't match the opinions held in the country of it's origin.  I haven't spent any time there, (although I hope to someday make it over and enjoy some of the car events: the Goodwood Revival looks like a blast) and I have no idea what the car culture is like other than what I pick up from the magazine.

So if my view paints an entirely American perspective, then it's not surprising in the least.  I enjoy writing and hearing feedback, so I appreciate you weighing in.  And in some ways, it's fun.  I mean, your consideration of the 'vette is an age old consideration that somewhat defines our car cultures.  If you look back, historically (and in general of course), in competition American's have always campaigned the 'vette against some of the offerings from the other side of the Atlantic, and I haven't heard of many famous Euro drivers campaigning it.  Our opinions are probably a product of that history.

As for the Japanese cars I listed, we shall see.  I'm not quite sure how they'll turn out.  Although the 240z is widely regarded as a classic I can still drive around town and see many of the not appreciated.  I have a friend with three on his street, and not one looks to be in running order.  That leads me to believe that even if a Japanese car is considered a classic, it doesn't mean that the owners will take action.  Let's face it, there have been a lot of them made and to some degree, they are not particularly striking.  I'm not sure why.  But I stand by my considerations that the ones I listed have a good shape, good parts availability, and their owners seem to find them very enjoyable.

Well, I failed on the brevity and I'm getting the hints (like everything being cleaned around me), that I need to be getting on with our day.

Thanks for the feedback guys, it makes writing more fun!

Isaiah

Chris Martin
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Isaiah,

your comments are interesting, and it may be of interest for the regular readers of C&SC, particularly the Brits among us to reflect on how and why the American classic car scene is so different.

Americans generally identify what is American and what is foreign, Europeans accept the mix as it is. The American classic car magazine you refer to I guess is Hemmings Classic Car?  I have a subscription to that too. Yes it is thinner, but this is for a similar reason; when Hemmings branched out from the old Hemmings Motor News and published SIA (Special Interest Autos) it did cover a mix of cars both domestic and  imported, but that was replaced by three different titles about eight or nine years ago, so they now publish Hemmings Classic Car which is devoted solely to American classics. For your European fix, they also publish Hemmings Sports & Exotic and for the GTO and Hemi Charger fans they also have Hemmings Muscle Machines.

I think it fair to say that Classic & Sports Car covers all of these and a lot more in one magazine.

Americans are also told exactly what constitutes a 'classic car' by the judging classification set down by the Classic Car Club of America. They have defined a classic as;

"A CCCA Classic is a "fine" or "distinctive" automobile, either American or foreign built, produced between 1925 and 1948.

They are also sometimes called "Full Classics™," or just plain "Classics" (with a capital "C"). Generally, a Classic was high-priced when new and was built in limited quantities."

But there is a lot more to it than that, for the whole story on Classics and Full Classics and to see exactly which American models are listed and therefore which are not go to;

http://www.classiccarclub.org/pdfs/Why%20We%20Define%20Classic%20as%20We%20do.pdf

This will surprise many non-American readers.

As for the rest of us not governed by the CCCA rules we can apply the term classic to anything, but the way I understand it, it is usually accepted to mean a car of some mechanical or design merit at least thirty years old. Others may have differing opinions on that too, but for now if we accept that as a loose guidline, then we can each include our own preferences according to taste.

For me, and this my personal opinion, I am not forcing it on to anyone else, but the only Japanese cars I would spare from the crusher are as I said, Datsun 240Z and Honda (Acura) NSX, and possibly I will admit the Toyota 2000GT has rarity going for it if not much else.

The Subaru WRX was indeed an impressive performer on the world rally stage, but their popularity as road cars seems to be limited to a hooligan element who like to fit huge wheels and turbo waste-gate whistles. Again this is strictly my opinion, but as much as I still enjoy motor sport on the track where it belongs, I am not a fan of high-performance road cars being excercised in suburbia.

By the way, although I guess it is, I never really thought of the Mazda MX5 (or Miata) as a Japanese car, probably because it was created by a Ford owned company, designed in Sussex, England to a brief which said let's do a new MGB. And that they succeeded so well means it is now probably the only Japanese car that is assured a strong parts support worldwide.

Having said all that, I am sure there are some out there who have their own far eastern favourites and will try to preserve them, but I suspect those VW Beetles will still be chugging along years after the last Honda S2000 has disappeared.

Likewise, my statement regarding Mustangs is only my opinion, and if anyone esle wants to wave the flag for a specific 80s or 90s model that is their choice, but it is a fact that there is huge industry supporting the restoration and parts supply for the 60s models which presumably indicates these are the cars people are most interested in saving.

Similarly the MGB, Jaguar E-Type, air-cooled VW, Ford Model T & A and Mini have all remained popular enough to ensure continued industry support. From what I have seen of late model cars, and the Japanese have been especially guilty of this, there is a constant stream of changes to engines, suspensions and electronics through a model's lifetime, so although you may think a particular car is common enough to ensure a good parts supply, these minor differences will mean it could be hard to keep even a ten-year old on the road once the manufacturer stops supplying parts - the Japanese took the  old American idea of 'built in obsolescence' and refined it to an art form. If in doubt go down to the local parts depot and ask for a timing belt for a nine year old Toyota Hilux, you will be amazed by the number of engine options available, and the Hilux is probably one of the best selling vehicles of the last twenty years.

Although some might say the Corvette went throguh a bland styling phase in the 80s and 90s making these models less attractive to collectors today, (reflected in market prices) each model since 1953 has at least been a technological step forward and each will have their following. For me the #1 is the '63 split-window coupe, but then I was always a fan of Bill Mitchell and think his upscaled revisit of that model which became the '71 Buick Riviera is another on my wants list.

Isaiah, if you stick around as a regular on this forum, it will certainly be enlightening for the rest of us to read the contributions of an American classic fan.

Thanks,

Chris M.

 

MJL
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Chris Martin wrote:

By the way, although I guess it is, I never really thought of the Mazda MX5 (or Miata) as a Japanese car, probably because it was created by a Ford owned company, designed in Sussex, England to a brief which said let's do a new MGB. And that they succeeded so well means it is now probably the only Japanese car that is assured a strong parts support worldwide.

Chris M.

Apart from the fact that Mazda was never 'owned' by Ford and at the time of the design of the Mk 1 MX-5 Mazda was not even part-owned by Ford, it was designed in California, a fibreglass bodied 'mule' was made in Worthing (which gives an idea of its design influences) and its engineering was completely Japanese  (except for French input on the soft top), you are right.

MJL