The next big thing

Skelton's top tip for classic car collectors

I know. I said “I’ll be right back” in June and promptly… wasn’t. I’m neglecting this place criminally. But to be frank, I had it easy as a student. Trying to work 8-5 and build up a freelance career outside it just does not allow enough free time to maintain a website. Not when I have the Maestro and Montego club mag to edit too!

I’m whinging, but hopefully it explains why I’m not about an awful lot. Hopefully when I am, I make up for the absence. There’s a topic I’ve wanted to discuss here for a while, and yet have not had the chance to sit down and put fingers to keyboard. It’s one that we in the classic car press are asked a lot, and one for which we all have different replies.

What cars are future classics? What should we keep a beady eye on, and buy now for the future?

I was discussing this with the editor of Classic Car Weekly at the NEC. He reckoned that full-fat 90s coupes are going to be cars to keep hold of – Ford Probe, Ford Cougar, Peugeot 406 Coupe, Alfa GTV, Coupe Fiat, and Vauxhall Calibra. I can see his logic, but I think that in focusing on one particular type of car Dave has missed the big one. Friends of mine are starting to think the way I’ve been thinking for months – and are starting online forum topics about it. I suspect the moment to pounce is soon to pass.

You see, I have long thought that there will be a market in 2020 for really nice, unmolested MK1 Mondeos. 1993 and 1994 cars at a premium of course – V6es, nice Ghias and Sis, the rare 4×4, and I guarantee that anybody with a minty fresh 1.8LX will be sitting on gold dust in a decade’s time. Why? Cortina syndrome. It changed the rep-car game, and even if you haven’t owned one you’ll know someone who did. Tutors and neighbours had MK1s, and I took my first tentative turn in a car park in Dad’s early MK2 Ghia X. When that went to the garage for work, he used a leggy MK1 from the company car pool. At least one friend of mine is sufficiently convinced as to be hunting down mint early cars as investments for the future, and others are rapidly following suit.

We buy cars partly for what they mean on a personal level, and partly because of their historical significance. This is why the Vectra will not be such a sound investment. Whilst as many dads had Vectras as Mondeos, Mondeo had already happened – and Vectra didn’t change the game enough to warrant legions of adoring fans. I think there will be a return on nice early Vectras though – they have Allegro appeal. They’ll become one of the pantheon of capable cars maligned for their image problems. Clarkson’s rant has become timeless, and people will want an example of the car he savaged in the future for the same reason Morris Itals and Wartburg Knights are collectible today.

So rep hacks will become collectible. EASY PEASY. Time to stick my neck out. All MG Rover products from 2005 will become collectible in nice condition. CityRover, 25, ZS, you name it. They’re not the examples you buy with your head – Project drive had sapped most of the quality from them. Late 1.8 75s had the rear anti roll bar deleted, for Pete’s sake! But as reminders that once we had a motor industry of some might, they are more poignant than any photograph can be. The mighty empires of BMC and BL, reduced to making cheapened iterations of outdated designs – the products are enough to bring tears to glass eyes. And the last dying gasps of our once great Midlands motor industry will become must-haves for any student of British manufacturing history and any Brit-car fan.

Am I right? Come back to me in 2025. And we’ll see.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>