Saturday, August 15, 2009

Are the Days of the Classic Car Over?

MSNBC asks if the days of 'the classic car' are over, i.e., are there any cars made today that are worth saving for the future? I wonder if restoration of a modern car will be possible 25 years from now ... considering how much plastic and computer equipment goes into a modern car. Will a NOS Toyota Prius battery pack be available in 25 years? Probably not.

"There are a lot of reasons the classic car culture may fade. While modern versions of muscle cars such as the Camaro and Corvette retain a good deal of their aesthetic appeal, the design concerns of the contemporary carmaker — including government safety regulations regarding crash readiness and a car's aerodynamic profile — can lead to visual similarity across models."

"This is gone," said Beller, 68, sweeping his hand across a parking lot along the cruise's Woodward Avenue route, where 100 other classic cars were lined up. "This is gone forever."

Read the full article on MSNBC.com.

1 comment:

They Might Be Racing said...

I saw this article posted elsewhere. I wholeheartedly believe that there will continue to be a collector car community, but it will evolve as all things do.

I think their comparison is fairly bogus though. Collector cars are based around cars that people wanted in their teens and twenties, cars of their youth that were unattainable. A Toyota Prius doesn't have that unattainable coolness. A Subararu WRX STI, however, does. And then there's the tuner community. These folks aren't going to dissapear. They're going to get older, have families, and then later, long for those cars of their youth. What's so different about tuner cars today from rat rods 50 years ago?

And then there's the collections of vintage cars that have already been restored. Newer generations will become custodians of those cars. Now I grew up not only with the cars of my era, but the cars of my father's era. I have a passion for both sets. My son will end up (I sincerely hope!) with a love of some cars of his generation as well as my passing down the cars of my generation and his grandfather's generation.

Only 5 to 10% of the cars models for any given year become collector cars. You don't see a huge Plymouth Valiant market, do you? Or heck, my car, a '53 Studebaker Champion Deluxe 4 door, isn't what most would call "collectible" but I love it, and for me that's all that matters.

I wouldn't worry too much. The cars we see at meets will change, and the suppliers for said cars will adapt to the market demand. So long as legislation doesn't force these cars off the road we'll be fine.