By on February 7, 2018

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS - Image: ChevroletThere’s always big money in the collector car market. Auction houses like Mecum and Barrett-Jackson simply roll the shiny and tempting classic metal (like that Purp Drank Impala SS) across their blocks. The old folks (or their buying representatives) in the audience quickly and happily shill out huge sums for the privilege of adding a pretty and desirable machine of yesteryear to their collection.

Let’s see if we can’t predict the not-so-old vehicles that will appear on these illustrious auction blocks in the future.

We’re not going to impose too many rules today, just one rule and one general principle.

  1. Your predicted vehicle must be 15 years old or less, which leaves it 10 or more years to age into classic status at 25. This rule eliminates the mid-90s Japan metal that’s easy fodder. 2004 or newer.
  2. There needs to be some real reason your selection(s) might become collectible. “The Corolla S will be collectible because I like it” is not valid.

I’m sure some in the audience will feel that the desirable metal is all in the past; today’s generoboxes will never have the appeal of the good stuff from prior decades. Nonsense! The cream of any crop will attract collector attention, as the market demands a supply of fresh blood. On to the examples!

2009 Jaguar XJR

Image: 2009 Jaguar XJR

My favorite first. A last of the type is what we have here. Though the XJ featured revised (squared-off) bumpers and some gills the last couple of model years, the 2009 is still the one to have. The XJR version gets the nod for its supercharged V8 and aggressive styling. Tracing this XJ’s styling lineage back through time to the beautiful Mark X of 1961 was quite easy. The replacement XJ for 2011? Not so much.

2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

Image: 2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

This sporty and largely forgotten van showed up randomly in the front of my mind. Available only for the 2007 model year, the R63 featured a 6.2-liter V8 engine that pumped out a whopping 503 horsepower. Zero to 62 miles an hour took 4.6 seconds. The R63 was crazy, sold poorly, and easily wins the contest for most powerful production minivan. Catnip for collectors later.

What are your selections for future car collectibles?

[Images: General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler AG]

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136 Comments on “QOTD: Which Newer Vehicles Are Destined for Collector Status?...”


  • avatar
    tomLU86

    2005-2006 Cobalt SS with Recaro package.
    2008-2010 (?) Cobalt SS Turbo.

    A 2006 SS was quicker than a Mustang GT V8 in Car & Driver’s “Lightning Loop”, and WAY quicker than the VW GTI.

    Best driving car I’ve ever owned.

    • 0 avatar
      ldl20

      +1

      In the summer of 2005, I worked at a local Honda/Chevy dealer helping out with dealer swaps. The Honda building was doing great (drove a few new Civics Pilots, Ridgelines, etc.) around the NY/NJ/CT area.

      The Chevy building was a disaster, with the owner’s youngest son running the business. You could tell it was going downhill when their business model consisted of me driving to MA from northern NJ to get a 14K Silverado with a 5-speed and not much else, or driving to DE in a cargo van to pick up a mundane Impala. This dealer closed in 2007 due to slow sales.

      HOWEVER, Friday of July 4th weekend, 5 of us pack into an Astro and drive to Middletown NJ (down the shore a bit) to pick up 4 Cobalt SS’s (2 black, 1 blue, 1 red). Luckily, driving back was fun as all the traffic was heading south on the GSP. I could not believe how much fun that car was as every take off from a toll booth became a drag race!

      Fast forward one week later, I get the call to go pick up another cargo van in MD, and oh, they want the red Cobalt! So, I took my wife and drove down to MD, hitting well over 100 on certain stretches of the NJ Turnpike. That was a fun drive. When I handed the keys over to the manager, 4 salesman came to look at the car as it was their first on the lot. They gave me a look that said, “We know you just drove the living snot out of this car!”
      Good times!

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      How many of those survived? Cobalts weren’t exactly…good to begin with. Disposable cars.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    2008 Dodge Magnum SRT-8. Only 239 copies were made in the 2008 model year. 6.1 Liter Hemi made 425 hp…in a station wagon. Only 4,130 produced in it’s three year run.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Obvious choice is the Chevrolet SSR which is already a collector’s item.

    A few others

    – Chevrolet Avalanche. Its a very unique truck that kicked of the crew cab truck revolution.

    – Dodge Magnum. The last RWD American V8 powered station wagon.

    – Pontiac G8 / Chevrolet SS. Likely the last full size manual RWD V8 American iron to come from a non-luxury brand. Also Pontiac’s last V8 vehicle.

    – Pontiac Solstice / Saturn Sky. Obvious reasons.

    – Chrysler Sebring / Toyota Solara. Not because of the cars themselves, but because of nostalgia for the convertibles of the era.

    – Jeep Wrangler. Demand for these seems insatiable both new and used.

  • avatar
    94metro

    The 04-10 ford ranger as it represents probably the last BOF compact pickup that will ever be made. If you wanted to pick the most likely model to become classic go for a 4×4 with stick, which is increasingly an unobtainable combination in the new market.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    An unmolested Dodge Neon SRT-4
    2003 Mazdaspeed Protege in Spicy Orange

    Wait, these are cars that I want now.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    BMW 550? The last with a manual transmission – 2014?

    Any of the M-cars will go down and then slowly creep up in values, especially if low-mileag, garage queened.

    Same with the Audi RS and Mercedes AMGs.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    The R63 also came with the world’s first and last brake-by-wire system, the Sensotronic. Although I dearly love the system, I would advise against buying any Merc that has SBC. It is a lifetime unit, meaning when it gives up the ghost, that was the end of the car’s life. It is coded to the CAN gateway, you need the MB Star diagnostic tools to be able to service it safely (unless you like your fingers squashed between a rotor and a brake cylinder), it takes 3 bleeder cans to flush the fluid – most SBC cars nowadays on the road haven’t had the brake fluid replaced in ages for this reason. Avoid.

  • avatar
    red79

    The TRUE 40th anniversary Mustangs: 2004 v6 models with the 3.9L Essex engines. They aren’t performance cars, they’re pony cars — like the original Mustang. Also like the original Mustang, which was a 1964-1/2 model year, the 3.9 v6 engines were only used the second half of the model year, making them 2004-1/2 model year cars… Or TRUE 40th anniversary models of a classic.

    There will also be very few of them with the way v6 Mustangs get used and abused between the dealer lot and the scrap yard.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      I had no idea the 3.9 Essex was ever available in the Mustang. I thought it went

      1994-98 – 150hp head-gasket-blowing 3.8 POS
      1999-04 – 190hp no-longer-head-gasket-blowing 3.8
      2005-10 – 210hp DOHC 4.0 with crazy 3-chain timing setup
      2011 – 3.7 introduced

      Google says you are correct. I learn something new every day…

      If your 2004.5 Mustang is going to be collectible, then so is the SLP Camaro RS:
      https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/slp-camaro-rs-specialty-file

      Kinda doubt it, though.

      • 0 avatar
        red79

        I’m glad Google agrees that the car sitting in my garage does, in fact, exist!

        And who knows what the collector’s market of the year 2040 (or 50, or 60…) will view as collectible. About the only certainty is that the cars sold with special collector-type packages are the ones that won’t be collectible.

        • 0 avatar
          snakebit

          To keep the “I have the original factory crayon scribbling on my firewall” Mustang purists off your back and mine, maybe you should post ‘64.5’or ’64 and a half’ together with year code ‘5’( as in 1965) just to give them less to b…h about. Yes, they’re all 1965’s, and yes, there’s a little difference in the cars built in the first six months, so Mustang purists, let’s put this to rest and move on.

    • 0 avatar
      1500cc

      @red79

      Strictly speaking, there isn’t any such thing as a 1964.5 model year Mustang … they all carried 1965 VINs.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    I submit the LCI (2009-2013) BMW E9X M3. These were the last of the M3s with naturally aspirated engines, hydraulic steering, and engine sounds that were not piped in via the sound system. Basically, the last true analog driver’s cars BMW has produced to date. Owners of F80 M3s are reportedly coming off of their leases now and actually seeking used E9X M3s to return to. This is currently stabilizing, and in some cases (clean, low-mile examples) already driving up the prices of used E90 and E92 M3 cars. Total LCI production for North America (E90 and E92 only) was 11,886, which in today’s world is ridiculously low. In addition, attrition continues to occur as cars are wrecked, turned into track rats, or parted out after the engine is blown from rod bearings not being replaced in time. The BMW “parts for sale” forums are regularly full of posts from people parting out their wrecked or de-contented for the track examples.

    Source of data: aggregated production stats for North America PDF @ http://www.m3post.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=899455&d=1376330183

    In the “bad news” category, there does not seem to be a trend developing yet that makes manual transmission cars any more valuable than DCT. We’ll see what transpires over the next five to ten years.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      I would add the e46 generation M3 and the E85/86 Z4M to your list. I also think the current M2 and 1M coupe as future collectibles since they seem closer to the original M concept of light and mechanical.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      No trend developing that makes manuals more valuable?

      Are you freaking kidding me?

      I’m stuck with a stupid automated manual ferrari because the manuals sell for double the money. Seriously can’t find a manual within 30-50% the price of an automated manual.

      Manuals are clearly more valuable on these cars than DCTs, so its just a matter of time until that trickles down in my opinion.

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      I think you’re right. I’ll be happy to go from an F80 M3 back to my E39 if I can get all of the little stuff sorted out. E39s and E46s are slowly appreciating, and the EAGs of the world are already looking to hoover up any low mileage E9X M3’s.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    The bug eyed early 2000s WRX and STI. Thought they were crazy looking at the time and now they look cool.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    S2000s are already borderline collectibles, so let’s go with the Juke-R. For a more attainable ride, the FT86 variants will eventually be loved more than they are now.

    • 0 avatar

      I was iffy on the 86. It will also likely be a one-off last of type, but the hype before release meant the product was a bit disappointing.

      They also made a ton of them, and they won’t rust away like an old Datsun 240.

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      “the FT86 variants will eventually be loved more than they are now.”

      Agreed. I think the tincture of time will do these cars a big favor.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I disagree on the Juke-R because there is ZERO aspirational aspect. Its almost the “practical” performance car, which never becomes collectible.

      Sure it’ll be worth more than new money in 30 years, but its won’t be highly collectible because its not aspirational and didn’t change any games.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      The Juke-R? For the owner who not only has limited eyesight, but has money burning a hole in their pocket. Sure, in twenty five years with a semblance of ‘Oh, isn’t this a cute car, Dad’ thrown in. Also, S2000’s are not borderline at all. Check with your local Honda dealer. One in original trim and in great condition are only rising in value. The last time I was in a Honda showroom(three years ago), one was front and center in the showroom, and a buyer from 1,000 miles away was flying in to drive it home. They’re very collectable right now, and if you want one, you’d best arrange financing now, as they’re not dropping in value or holding steady-they’re gradually rising in value.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    chevy hhr

    urus

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    2000-2005 Toyota MR2 Spyders, especially the 2005, of which less than 1000 (?750) were sold in the US. Great handling, unique looks, a true purpose built car designed with fun in mind. I loved the 2002 I had and hope to have another in the next few years. Also, in addition to their rarity, the 04/05 models had some engine modifications to combat the oil usage found in some early 00-02 cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged Miata Man

      +1. I owned a 2001 Spyder before my current ’08 Miata, and while the latter is an arguably “better” small roadster I still miss the MR2’s relative rarity and quasi-exotic feel. More room inside, too (albeit MUCH less space for cargo.)

      • 0 avatar
        2drsedanman

        Agreed on the extra room. I think it’s because you are sitting down in the MR2 versus “on top” of the Miata. Driving them back to back is fun because you get a real feel for the differences in handling. I like/had them both, but will be looking for another MR2 soon. Would love to have the 2GR-FE v6 out of my Avalon in an MR2.

        • 0 avatar
          Middle-Aged Miata Man

          Oh man, a V6 swap would be great!

          I know it’s considered heresy by some, but I think I liked the Spyder more than my Miata. This thread made me search for ’03 and above MR2s in my area this morning.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Funny, I ran across this one today, and added it to my list:

            https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/d/2003-toyota-mr2-with-some/6487659016.html

            Seems ripe for some kind of Frankenstein swap.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            I know there is at least one Spyder out there with an LS4 from an Impala SS.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I have wondered if an LS4 swap into something like a later Eldorado ETC isn’t a bad idea, but given the trans issues the FWD LS-powered cars had, I don’t think it would improve the reliability factor very much.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Lancer Evolution. I personally prefer the X but I expect the IX will be worth more.

    1. Styling is period specific.
    2. A lot of Millennials grew up with them as an object of desire through magazines/video games.
    3. Most of them are being modded to death.
    4. There will likely never be a newer version.
    5. Everything about them was made to go fast.

  • avatar
    AVT

    My personal picks.

    Chevy Trailblazer SS – The affordable Jeep SRT8 that can actually be used everyday. Completely reliable and decent performance.

    Ram 1500 R/T’s (single cab, sport) – I see in the near future single cabs no longer being produced except in base v6 fleet spec sales.

    Any Mercedes AMG 63 with the last naturally aspirated engines.

    The last f150’s with the 6.2, especially in raptor form.

    Any/All hellcats and/or demons

    BMW 6 Series sedans/coupes and the s Class coupe.

    The Lexus LC, because no way that will be in production for long.

    The Older lexus SC430’s

    Any midsize pickup with an off road package and a manual.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Viper ACR.

    Likely set multiple track records for naturally aspirated, RWD, and/or manual transmission cars that will never be approached. Love or hate the styling, you can’t say it’s not 100% functional and it looks like nothing else on the road. Exclusive enough to be uncommon (I believe less than 1500 made). Represents the end of an analog era. In a world of autonomous AWD CVT electric crossovers it’s hard to imagine a vehicle more of a polar opposite. That will appeal to people, including me.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Vipers will likely do quite well in the future.

      I’m already seeing price increases on the original “SR” versions, and the SRT10 “ZB” generation is holding steady in the $50K-$70k range. The final VX ones are still fairly new, but I don’t think the values will crater.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I believe at some point in my lifetime, it will be possible to buy a 2017 Ford GT ( MSRP $400k+) for less than an equivalent condition 2017 ACR (MSRP $125k). One is an analog experience no longer available, the other is fast and exclusive, but not special in the same way.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          @ jack4x,

          The earlier Ford GT was in no way a competition car and has never been officially supported by Ford in any racing endeavor but they sell for well over their initial asking price – especially the heritage cars.

          I suspect the new GT will do the same. Vipers like the Corvette don’t seem to appreciate in the same manner.

          If anything might hold the new GT back it might be the lack of a more traditional power plant but I suppose we will see?

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      yes!

      I think thats tough to argue.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Well if your specifically talking a naturally aspirated manual transmission equipped RWD car the Viper probably holds the crown but the Ford GT (rwd but DCT and TTV6) has proven faster and the Corvette ZR1 (rwd, but supercharged an automatic trans IIRC) has proven faster as well.

  • avatar
    JakeSizzle27

    2008-2009 Racecraft 420S Mustang.The last of the true factory Saleen production Mustangs. More subtle styling but still with a lot of the signed Saleen components.

  • avatar
    DanDotDan

    AVT already mentioned it but the Dodge Demon is an obvious choice. Because wheelies.

  • avatar
    Griffin Mill

    I am going to submit the second generation Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and Wagon.

    The second generation CTS Coupe was the ultimate expression of the Cadillac Art & Science design ethos. It wasn’t particularly practical but it was beautiful and offered impressive performance in V spec.

    The wagon was a unicorn all around. The first factory built Cadillac wagon, and totally bonkers performance in V spec. They’d be collectible just because so few were built in the first place.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Earlier XJs without the basking shark grille will be classics. This one looks like mutton dressed as lamb.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    Caddydaddy’s eyes are pleased with some Caprice porn. A great way to start a Wednesday!

  • avatar
    Griffin Mill

    2004 Infiniti M45. Japanese V8 hot rod sedan with a peculiar mix of retro Japanese and American styling. Only sold here for two years. Very few sold. People don’t know what it is. The style is polarizing. I think it has real collector potential.

    • 0 avatar
      Clueless Economist

      I saw an M45 just the other day. I agree with your assessment.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I want one bad. Always have loved em.

      This is the one currently on my favorites list:
      https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/d/04-infiniti-m45/6432160006.html

      • 0 avatar

        That’s really the very last JDM sedan that was available. It and the Lexus GS, which is too common to fall into the same list.

        • 0 avatar
          Akhil Malhotra

          You don’t get the standard issue GS. Those are common.

          Get the F-Sport, which makes a world of difference (aside from a nicer grille, the suspension and special goodies make this a rarer cruiser).

          And if you can find it in a color other than white, grey, silver, or black, you have a goddam unicorn.

          I’m still searching for a 2013-2015 Blue GS350 F-Sport with the Mark Levinson sound system and dynamic steering options. =(

        • 0 avatar
          Akhil Malhotra

          You don’t get the standard issue GS. Those are common.

          Get the F-Sport, which makes a world of difference (aside from a nicer grille, the suspension and special goodies make this a rarer cruiser).

          And if you can find it in a color other than white, grey, silver, or black, you have a goddam unicorn.

          I’m still searching for a 2013-2015 Blue GS350 F-Sport with the Mark Levinson sound system and dynamic steering options. =(

          • 0 avatar
            Lightspeed

            F-Sport is a nice car, but GSF is a whole ‘nuther deal with the V8 (which Lexus should offer as a option in stead of a hugely expensive package)

  • avatar
    RearEngineAirCool

    The 1-Series BMW. The obvious candidates are the 1M and the 135is, but I also think the 128i with the M-Sport package and a stick will get some recognition, due to it being the last small, N/A, hydraulically-steered BMW coupe in the US.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think you’re right on the R63 but I’m not feeling it on the Jag. XJRs have been around for a long time and I never got the feeling they are collectible per se, although XK8 I could see.

  • avatar
    manu06

    Honda Element, the last edition of the Toyota LC,, and the Jeep Commander.

  • avatar
    manu06

    Add the Solstice hardtop to the group.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The Pontiac Solstice coupe is super rare, there were only 1,266 built. Being one of the last Pontiac’s made before the brand was shut down is going to make it a collectable for sure.

      As other’s mentioned the Dodge Magnum SRT gets the nod, along with Cherokee SRT for being a modern version of the GMC Typhoon.

      I would add the Nissan GT-R. The fact that Nissan finally brought this car to the states and given its performance (and crazy as it sounds video game cult status) these things will prized for years to come… provided their transmissions haven’t blown up.

  • avatar
    arach

    I think any of the big V8 muscle cars that are out right now- Challenger, Camaro, Mustang.

    This is because I’m pretty confident the big V8 is on its death bed, and 20-30 years from now people will look back fondly at the final generation of massive V8 power just like we do on 60’s mobiles.

    While I appreciate this question, I think its pretty easy.

    What becomes valuable:
    1. Anything people want in 30 years that they can no longer get
    2. Anything thats special and rare, but that in 30 years more people will be able to afford (like cars geared towards younger buyers)
    3. Anything that is authentically rare unless its devoid of value.

    Sure there will be a niche for a cobalt SS, but its not going to raise 1.2 million on an auction block. The SS is a wildcard. Normally sedans don’t do it, but its likely going to be the last of an idea UNLESS chevy surprises us big time.

    I don’t feel like there are a lot of surprises, and it seems pretty clear what is likely going to be a “collectible”.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’m really holding out hope that the Holden GTO starts to become more collectible. Part of what holds it back is there was so much speculation when they were new that it’s almost harder to find a high mileage GTO than a low mileage one. People gripe about the looks, which is just silly at this point, but remember that people made fun of the Superbird and Bandit Trans Am.

    I also have stake in the last Subaru Legacy GT wagon. 2007 was the last year, they had sorted out a lot of the reliability issues with them, and now they are extremely hard to find with low miles. Mine’s at about 78k miles now so I’m probably beyond it being really desirable, but I can always hope.

    Other than what I currently own, I’ll add the Z4M coupe as the last good BMW Z car.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I respectively submit:

    2004-2006 Ram SRT10 Pick ups with special dollars for the regular cab MT models. You could not get a CC with a manual. 9,527 were produced total, about even between CC and regular cab model. Probably the fastest factory pickup ever produced, that I can think of.

    As noted: 2009 XJR for obvious reasons

    Chevrolet SS: any year MT or not

    Dodge Demon: Duh

    Dodge Hellcat: again, Duh

    Realistically any SRT Dodge product that has not been molested to heck and back.

    Corvette: ZR1 and un molested C6. Not sure the C6 will go up in value per se’ but they will hold as a value sports car for the ‘every man’.

    Hummer: H2, H3

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    —Any Mopar LX car with the Hemi. Obviously the SRT variants will be the money shots, but even the 345’s have an undeniable appeal. V8 RWD old school goodness never loses its charm. The Magnum and 300 SRT’s will be the ‘sleeper hits’ I think, due to rarity and the fact that with the Demon, HC we all see that coming.

    —Cadillac CTS-V, any variation, and by extension. GTO, G8, SS. Same logic as the Mopar LX.

    —Ram SRT-10, Dakota R/T, Ford Lightning, Silverado SS, for obvious reasons.

    —Caliber SRT-4, PT Cruiser GT manual HHR SS manual. 3 cars with ‘soiled’ reputations but relatively unknown and potent hi-po variants. A HHR SS panel truck with manual would be a total unicorn.

    —Toyota FJ Cruiser, possibly Nissan XTerra by way of offering legit off-road chops. Some of the last true ‘sports utilities’ that don’t have 7 grill slots.

    —Ford SporTrac Adrenaline. Another nearly unknown but tremendously appealing variation of a common model.

    —Subaru Baja and Forester XT. Rarities with real performance and not your dime a dozen Imprezas.

    —Honda Element. Prices are already kinda of crack pipe on these. There’s really NOTHING out there like it, and it has a similar appeal to the old VW microbus—a pseudo van for someone who doesn’t want a family van.

    —Ram SS/T,!Rumble Bee and Daytona. These are a total wild card. All were limited and numbered special editions. All 3 offered the smallest, lightest pickup paired with a formidable engine if not the ultimate available, making these total hot rod fodder. But they really offered nothing that couldn’t have been spec’d out in any other trim. Essentially they were appearance packages. OTOH, they did offer muscle car mojo in a truck, and maybe most importantly these special editions still are ‘trucks’ and many got chewed up doing truck stuff. So who knows? Having owned a Rumble Bee, I can attest that these will likely give any comparable LX car a good run and you have the benefit of a truck’s usefulness.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    2005 Pontiac Bonneville GXP with Northstar V8

    Because it is so wrong and so right at the same time.

    Plus much better balanced than the V8 W-bodies.

  • avatar
    06M3S54B32

    No question. . Hagerty said it.. E46 M3 coupe.

    https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/project-cars/2004-bmw-m3/hagerty-just-said-it-buy-e46-chassis-bmw-m3-now/

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Some outside the box ideas:

    Honda CR-Z with a manual (like it or not, it is rare and unique).
    Honda Accord coupe (last of its kind).
    First gen Scion xB, the more stock, the better.
    Pontiac Bonneville SSEi, GXP (V-8).
    Chevy Impala SS V-8
    Ford Taurus SHO/EcoBoost MKS
    Ford Fusion Sport (2010-2012 that had the 3.5L V-6, possibly the current one as well)

    Agreed on Honda Element, especially AWD+manual.

    Sports/performance cars are obvious candidates, like the Hellcat/Demon, GT-R, Viper, anything SRT, Mustang Bullitt, Raptor, Civic Type R, Focus RS, Golf R, Fo/FiST, G8/SS, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Not sure if its been mentioned (I looked but didn’t see it), but I’d add the TrailBlazer SS/Saab 9-7x to my list of unusual suspects. Possibly the Crown Vic Sport, and the last Wixom-built Town Cars, maybe even the Lincoln LS as well.

  • avatar
    Prado

    H3 Hummer V8
    FJ Cruiser

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    ’06 Subaru Legacy GT Spec. B. Only 500 numbered units were made, so it just screams “collect me!”.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      But it was arguably the worst Spec B.
      Turbo reliability improvements came in 2007, 07+ have 6 speeds, and I doubt if there were even 500 2009 Spec Bs.
      Plus you could get the later versions in different colors.

      Of course, 06 and 07 had by far the best wheels of the 4 years.

  • avatar
    ccd3

    With regard to Audi, several cars are worth mentioning:

    1) last gen R8 with the gated manual (either V8 or V10, but especially the V10)

    2) last gen TT RS (which was only available as a manual)

    There are limited number of both cars. TheV10 R8s are already becoming hard to find

    As for BMW, I’d wager a M2 with a manual is a likely classic in the future

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Depends a bit on how the whole eco-car thing turns out over the next couple decades, but the BMW i8 might be an interesting and appreciating collectible.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The problem I see with high-technology cars is that when that technology becomes outdated, they’ll be as popular as a Commodore 64. Some could prove me wrong, especially if they’re upgradeable.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m trying to think of other “early tech” cars, and whether they became collectible or not.

        Like the Honda Insight gen 1
        And the first fuel injection cars
        First satellite navigation systems
        GM V8-6-4

        I think things that are too avant garde with tech fall off into undesirability as half-baked examples of something which worked better later on.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          I believe the first Insights are collectible.

          I believe the MB 300SL (first fuel injected production car) and 1957 Chevy Fuelies (first US FI car) are collectible.

          I believe the Olds Jetfire and Corvair Monza Spyder (first turbochargers) are collectible.

          I expect the first Honda and Toyota models with available factory navigation systems (first in the world) are more collectible than comparable models without.

          I expect any remaining original and still functioning GMV8-6-4s are collectible.

          • 0 avatar

            So basically most cars are collectible then.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Corey, given enough time, yes, I think so. As time goes on, a surviving car gets more rare, and it provides a window into what life was like in its era.

            I mean a 1960s Ford Falcon wagon with a 6 cylinder/automatic wasn’t collectable for a long time, but it would be considered such today. Hell, even Pinto, B-210 and Vega are collectable now. For a long time, you couldn’t give them away.

  • avatar
    ccd3

    In the high tech arena, the current gen Acura NSX might eventually become collectible. The reviews are mixed on the car because it doesn’t fit the definition of a traditional supercar, but it may be smiled upon in the future

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Agree 100%.

      • 0 avatar
        ccd3

        For example, if the NSX actually becomes the model for the future of supercars with its combo of electric and gas engines, then the NSX would be historically significant and probably a collector

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Hey – you think the gas-electric hybrid i8 is comparable to a Commodore 64 but the gas-electric NSX is certain to be collectible? How does that make sense?

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          You’re right, that does contradict my earlier statement, in a way. But, the NSX is more of a pure sports car, IMO. Having a twin-turbo V-6 as its ICE vs the BMW’s 3 cylinder is one example. The i8 is about efficiency as much as performance, and is much more reliant on advanced (for now) technology to achieve both. NSX is more powerful and naturally faster.

          What I said about such a car potentially being cast off due to ever-advancing technology could apply to both, but more so the i8, in my opinion anyway.

          What I didn’t mean to imply that once any car becomes outdated, it can’t or won’t be collectable. Far from it, and if that’s how it appeared, I apologize. I mean, there are people who do indeed collected outdated technology, hot and including the Commodore 64.

  • avatar
    ccd3

    Another interesting bet would be a manual Lotus Evora 400. Not many have been imported. There is a 410 with even fewer example and a coming 430. Both the 410 and 430 will be limited runs (150 for the 410, around 120 for the 430). Depending on how good a job that Geely does with Lotus, especially in terms of moving them upmarket, the 400 could become a collector

  • avatar
    BigOlds

    I submit the 2004-2005 Mazdaspeed Miatas. They were a really nice step up for the base Miata (factory turbo and some suspension upgrades) with a really fantastic 6-speed manual. What I think makes them collectible is that they couldn’t give them away at the time, because they were seen as harsh rides, but almost as soon as they weren’t available people seemed to miss them.

    History tells us it isn’t the really rare cars that become worth a fortune. It’s the cars everyone wanted at the time. Witness the tri-5 chevies. Or the Mustangs that were made by the trainload. Especially the special versions of those cars.

  • avatar
    St.George

    A lot of good suggestions above. I’ll go with some first gen electric cars, perhaps a Leaf or i-MiEV, they might have some sort of retro hipster appeal rather like old hi-fi or computers.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The one I’m going to buy at some point is the 2004-2006 BMW 3-Series ZHP. (I’ll take mine as a manual convertible.)

    It’s a regular post-facelift E46 330i or 330Ci with a unique and really nice M-Sport body kit, slightly hotter cams, a special suspension setup closely related to the M3’s, neat 10-spoke wheels, and (this is what really makes it a potential collectible) red gauge needles. It started as a way to give E46 sedan buyers some of the M3’s goodness, but then proved popular enough to expand to coupes and convertibles. The difference from the regular 330i/Ci is significant enough, and the manual cars are rare enough, that potential for appreciation is good.

    A pretty nice convertible example is here and I might just jump on it if the bidding doesn’t go too much higher:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2005-BMW-3-Series-330Ci/173135387825

  • avatar
    George B

    I think the pre-facelift W211 E55 AMG will be collectable because it has nice proportions and a fairly large V8 engine, attributes that disappeared with pedestrian safety and fuel economy regulations.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    The IS300 with 2JZ keeps its value pretty good, but I think Lexus V8s will start to get attention in the market.

  • avatar
    cliff731

    The 2008 – 2009 Mustang Bullitt… limited and numbered production (approx. 6,624 total), unique Bullitt-only engine performance upgrades and handling/suspension/exhaust components, all done “in house” by Ford Racing… i.e. – a “special factory edition”… not an aftermarket “tuner” Mustang.

    Add the 2007 – 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT as a future collectible. These, unlike the Shelby GT500 (which was totally built “in house” by Ford), were finished by Shelby at Shelby Automobiles Inc. in Las Vegas, Nevada… adding a definitive cachet of “Carroll Shelby” authenticity to this Mustang that the GT500 didn’t possess.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    C5 Corvette Z06… great performance & styling, great bargain, unique/model-specific fixed roof coupe.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Everything targeted by CAFE is probably destined to become a classic.

    Charger V8/SRT/Hellcat
    Challenger V8/SRT/Hellcat
    S-Class, 7-series, A8/L
    Xterra Pro-4x
    Toyota 4Runner Trail & TRD Pro
    8th/9th Generation Civic SI
    Nissan 350Z/370Z (Nismo particularly)
    Wrangler TJ’s
    C7 Corvette Grand Sport
    BMW Z4
    BMW E46/E90’s M3 (ZCP especially)

    Maybes:
    Cadillac CT6
    Ford Focus S/T
    Sentra Nismo
    VW GTI
    Ford Expedition
    GMC/Chevrolet Yukon/Tahoe

    Anything with a high power-to-footprint ratio or anything with a high offroad-performance-to-footprint ratio will probably become a classic. Manuals and non-turbo (imo) will be more collectible than others.

    There are too many too list.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think you’re right on most save the A8, 7-series, and X-terra (there won’t be enough of the luxes left and X-terra was never popular). CT6 like many one offs will fade into obscurity (i.e. ELR). The SUVs will be run into the ground, I can’t see them as true collector’s items. Maybe on the tuned up small cars.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        I hesitated on the A8, but the Audi force is strong. I feel like the Alpina and V12 BMW’s will have to survive. Probably the V10 M5’s, too.

        You’re probably right about the rest, though, especially SUVs. Modern models are more complicated than those from bygone eras. When they get beat up, they don’t have the same working-car charm.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    For a more offbeat answer, I wonder if people will get nostalgic for the last 6 speed Cummins Rams whenever FCA decides to finally pull the plug on that option. Considering 99% will be worked hard and put away dirty, a clean example at auction in 30 years might be more collectible than expected.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This is a great answer. The world has shifted from cars to trucks, and I think the most unique trucks of today will do better in the market than anyone expects. A late manual Cummins certainly falls in that category.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      You are probably correct. 6MT Cummins bring all the money today; clean examples for a 90-93 go for mid teens sometimes higher now as well. The old box rigs bring big money Auto or MT.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It needs to be based on a popular mainstream car. If too obscure of a “collectible” and obviously not very many seeking one (in the future), we’re talking minimal value.

    The last of the Ford Lightnings are ones to watch, but my personal favorites are the ’03, ’04 Mustang Cobras, or “Terminators”. They don’t scream of “collectibles” like the GT500s, they’re the last of the contemporary, New Edge Mustangs and theses, besides having unique to the platform IRS, Tremec 6-speeds were also Cobra only.

    Its supercharged DOHC 32 valve 4.6 V8 was built to withstand lots more than the stock 390 hp, 390 tq, and 450/450 is just a pulley/tune away.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Terminators easily since the car has a cult following and is just waiting for the faithful to get past the college debt and after putting the kids through school.

      Somebody holding onto an unmolested example is obviously going to bank since there is a fairly good attrition rate as these cars are regulaly wrecked (cobros love their drag radials rain and shine!) and turned into race cars (dont want your gutted and caged Cobra to be a fake race car!) as well as the popular IRS back to SRA conversion as well as saving weight by removing the standard Terminator front brakes and replacing them with GT or V6 brakes.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The Hemi ‘Cuda was a great one to hoard, but who knew? Most made their way to the junkyard minus an engine. Btw, they made a ragtop ’03/’04 Cobra, just not in Plum Crazy.

  • avatar
    aerojammin

    Coming late to the party and lots of good cars have been mentioned so I will pitch my top 3 unmentioned ones.

    1) The 2006 MINI Cooper S “factory” John Cooper Works cars. The MINI has aged well design wise and was a great handling premium hatchback. Earlier JCWs were dealer installed, but MY2006 was the only year you could spec a R53 JCW hardtop from the factory. To make it more attractive (pricing was high) MINI included the JCW “big” brake kit and LSD. Sure you could get the one of 2000 JCW GP, but thats to easy since it is already a limited edition. I really” think that unmodified 06 fJCW (f being factory since dealers still had the dealer kits and would “convert” some cars) will eventually be a collectible car because it is the top of the line of a successful classic car reboot. They handle great have a good (Frank Stephenson) design and one model year; just what BJ ordered. I think the GP cars will be the darlings, like a Yenko, and the fJCWs like those SS cars people know all the production numbers of and still fetch good money.

    In some ways it is starting to happen as it appears nicer examples have hit a floor and started rising ever so slightly.

    2) I saw Wranglers mentioned, but specifically I think my favorite Wrangler will become one. Back in 2006, a friend at work ordered a 2006 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. I think he said it was somewhere around $35k. Lots of people love the TJ Wrangler and think it’s the last of an era of Wranglers. Newer wranglers are just too “nice”. Looking at 06 Unlimiteds I see that there are 23 for sale on Autotrader in the USA and one with 29k that looks like a duplicate of my friends is being offered for $30k…..

    3) the Porsche Cayman R/GTS/GT4. They get a head start by riding the current Porsche wave, but also a plus for being the top of the line of the naturally aspirated Caymans.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    My picks: 2 cars and a truck.

    The 2002-04 VW Beetle Turbo S. The Turbo S had the 1.8L-20 V 180HP power train of its platform mate the Audi TT. Plus it had the 4 light nose with a lower mesh grill and driving/fog lights.

    The not always loved 2006-7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS with the 5.3 L V8 or the 2004-6 with the 3800SC

    A truck not mentioned is the 2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Adrenalin with the 4.6. A mid-sized pickup with a V8, Independent rear suspension, short bed and a crew cab.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    It’s just a little too old (made from 2001 to 2003) but I think the Renault Avantime deserves to be mentioned.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    “Stripped” performance cars like Lotus, Alfa Romeo 4c, etc..

    Reason: 15-20 years from now cars will be even more “autonomous” and/or electric vehicles with emphasis on interior comfort and tech amenities. So rare models that were pure throwback driving cars would be diametrically opposed to the commonplace and would seem to be collectible candidates.

  • avatar
    Dutcowski

    Golf R, Focus RS? Juke NISMO. Not many Juke NISMO RS made collectible despite being not particularly quick or good looking.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Anything with an Abarth badge, as Fiat is probably not long for this country. Especially the Fiata version, given the regular version of the car is so rare. There’s always a market for old Miatas, and those people might see the Fiatas as a weirdly desirable alternative.

  • avatar
    FORDSHO

    Obviously a little biased (see my username…) but I am no longer even an owner. Used to have a string of Taurus SHOs over the years and in the SHO community, we never thought they would actually be a hot item in the future. Well, some of the crazier folks always believed they had something special, but realistically, “just a Ford Taurus.” However, over the past few years, SHOs in good condition with low mileage have reached pretty crazy prices. An early model (like 89-1995) with low miles can easily fetch $10k to $15k, especially with a manual transmission. I had a 99 SHO I sold last year that I bought for $2500 and sold 2 years later after driving another 20k miles that was in very good shape, shiny paint, mint interior, enthusiast owned, but with 125k miles…sold for $4k!!! Ended up making $1500 off that car. Definitely a future collectable for the right person if that trend continues.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    1st Generation Audi S5 V8 6MT.

    Why? Beautiful design, All Wheel Drive, Manual Transmission, Coupe. You can count on your hands how many cars like that exist today. Even when it debuted, there weren’t many cars like that then, either.

    And you can’t get an Audi with a V8, AWD and a manual anymore.

    Also, low mileage examples are getting starting to get harder to find. Once the tuner craze from the 2nd and 3rd owners is over, the remaining low mileage examples will soar in value.

  • avatar
    rmigoya

    Don’t know if in the US it was commercialized the 2001 VW Beetle RSi, only 250 made, VR6 engine, 225 hp, 4motion.

    My second choice would be the VW Passat W8 because… W8!!!

  • avatar
    smapdi

    Vehicross. I am cheating because its an ’01 putting it at 17 years old, but it is one of those concept darlings that got attention at shows then tanked in the real world. I think its rare status will give it a cult following (I would hunt one down if I had the extra cash to worry about repair bills).

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