Future Classics


Did you see our future classics feature in issue 6? We selected 10 current-ish cars, which our experts think have the best chance of becoming a genuine future classic in years to come.

But, if you’re like me, you probably disagree with the choices our so called experts made, and here’s your chance to do something about it.

For starters you can vote on which of our choices you think is the most likely future classic in our poll, here are some pictures of our 10 to help you choose.

  • Most Likely Future Classic?

Second, you can suggest another car that you think should have made the list. So if you think the Rover 75 V8 is a steaming pile which is going to be outlasted and outloved by the Jaguar S Type, simply tell us as much in a comment on this post. And you can do likewise if you think that the Renault Avantime is a singularly pointless car that needs forgetting like a bad dream and replacing with a car that actually serves a purpose, like the Audi TT Mk1.

We’ll even see if we can come up with a small mystery prize for the best argued case for future classic status*, so get those thinking caps on.

A couple of rules to make it a bit more interesting:
1.) No out-and-out supercars or uber-luxury brands – cars with a Rolls-Royce or Ferrari badge can’t help but become classics – I’m looking for suggestions that anyone could aspire to.
2.) No ‘cult’ revivals, so new Mini, new Beetle and new Fiat 500 are all out – regardless of how great these cars are in themselves, their classic status is virtually guaranteed by their inspirational forebears.

*We’ll decide the winner at the end of October.


57 Responses to “Future Classics”

  1. Anthony Rayworth

    The lupo GTi is the small hot hatch the Bini should have been. Shame on VW for not importing more !!

  2. Ron Benson

    I propose the Peugeot 406 coupe – Stunning Pininfarina lines and lively performance from the 3 litre V6!

  3. Bill Suckley

    The Fiat Coupe is a dead cert to be future classic.Its everything the 406 coupe isn’t,uber quick in 20V Turbo version and stunning inside and out.Still looks fresh 14years after release.

  4. VW Corrado VR6, was gutted when i had to get rid of mine

  5. Anthony McLauchlan

    BMW 635csi highline or M6, had two for the past 13 years, the first ran to 250000miles until sold, the 2nd going strong at 110000, no major faults so far

  6. Andrew Gwynne

    The Honda Integra Type R DC2.
    Need I say more? JDM version boasted 200bhp – all from a 1.8 16v vtec engine.

    I was the proud owner of a 1996 spec JDM version. I have to say it’s the best performing and handling car whilst giving excellent reliability and petrol consumption (given it’s racing pedegree).

    Secondhand values remain strong and you only have to search through owners clubs such as ‘ITR DC2-forum’ to see how popular they still are.

    I would have another (& I now own a Skyline!!)

  7. The very under rated HONDA LEGEND. Smooth, comfortable, powerful enough & reliable.

  8. Dale Wright

    Without a doubt the Vauxhall Nova is not only going to be a future classic but already is !! they are brilliant cars and a real milestone in motoring, the first real “Boyracer” car but now has a cult following and is appreciated for what it really is, a lightweight, great handling and great fun car with lots of potential ! check out http://www.pngclub.com

  9. Gavin Bottomley

    I would go for the avantime, there will always be fast / pretty / performance cars, there will also always be people carriers but there’ll never be another avantime …..

  10. Alastair Cooper

    The BMW Z4M Coupe could well become a future classic, unlike most BMW’s which don’t seem to date well. The Z4M, in coupe form, was built for such a short time in low volumes (again unlike most BMW’s), was more hard edged than the soft top Roadster, and the roof line gave it a cult almost 60’s style sleekness.

    Time will tell…

  11. David G

    The Smart will surely be a poor man’s classic in the way of the 2CV, Hillman Imp or even perhaps Reliant Robin – not a car I’d want to drive, own or be seen near without a paper-bag over my head (or better still over the Smart) but 3 important classic car factors: [1] visually distinctive [2] sufficient numbers so that people will recognise them (super-cars achieve this by media coverage rather than numbers) [3]innovative engineering or design.

  12. Citroen C6 – big, advanced, pretty, and odd. Plus, all big Citroens are automatically classic.

    Second – and yes, I know it’s a premium brand so shouldn’t count – but the Jaguar XF. A very advanced looking saloon that looks like a premium coupe, is quick, and wears a truly desirable badge. It’s the Rover SD1 of the Noughties.

  13. Kevin F

    Bmw Z3 M-Coupe (breadvan) For the ZZ Top of the automotive world It’s got the big arches the bonnet bulge and enough attitude to keep small children and dogs hiding behind the soffa.
    A 321hp straight six engine provides the shove to keep the car playing in the same arena as many other capable sports cars.

    A sure fire classic that has still got enough clout to play with the most up to date of sports cars. Even the dealers are convinced that this car will be a collectable classic in the near future.

  14. Chris M

    Another vote from me for the VW Corrado VR6. “Awesone”, as my grandson would say.

  15. The Alfa Romeo GTV one of the most beautiful small coupes ever built, with the V6 a very capable car with brutal acceleration!

  16. karl t

    The toyota celica GT4 for looks and preformance this car is a future classic.

  17. Not that I want to argue with Dale Wright, but surely the Escort was the first boy racers car! 😉

    I don’t think the Alfa 8C can be included, it’s only goin to be produced in small numbers, so is a classic as soon as it is released.

    The Renault Avantime, however, was a sales flop and that’s why there are few about… for that reason alone, it has to be a future classic.

    I also agree with Sam Skelton that the Citroen C6 is fantastic.

    Another future classic, the Smart Roadster, is everything a classic should be!

  18. rspete

    The Lotus Elise is, without a doubt, already a design classic and worthy of being at the top, or near, of your list.
    Strangely conspicuous by its absence.

  19. Chips

    smart Brabus Roadster, only available for a short time, plagued with leaks,but loved to distraction by those lucky enough to drive a good example, 55mpg, and great dynamics. This is the stuff that Classics are made of. All the established classics such as Austin Healeys,MG,Triumph,Jaguar,Alfa,Ferrari,etc, were deeply flawed in one way or another,so it would seem that poor design or reliability is no bar to achievement of classical status. Grab a smart while you can!

  20. john brown

    a packard is or was the best your list is rubbish

  21. Selwyn

    Are you all kidding? What about the Mercedes Benz 420 SEC.
    It is a future classic. It has brains, beauty and power. It was the template
    for all these contenders in terms of technological advancement and comfort. It leaves the others
    dead in the water.

  22. Stuart Buckley

    Got to fiat coupe regardless of model. It’s pure design that quite rightly as never been changed because you can’t improve on perfection. Some have tried with there body kits but that just like giving the monalisa a base ball cap.

  23. john henderson

    does anyone know if my fiat tipo 2.0 16v sedicivalvole has become a classic yet? only 500 ever sold in the uk and less than 100 left. it was 148bhp standard and came with recaros, momo steering wheel and a very nice design alloy wheels. it was very under rated and know one who see’s mine knows what it is. so can i call it a classic or do i need to get it reconised by the people and earn it a place in the classics?

  24. Crouchie

    The ALfa Has the best outside chance, possibly the Morgan, but only out of shere hilarity! If were talking new models of today…… Audi A5/S5? Amazing looks, unique styling, impressive performance. I think it has the fundamentals to be a future classic.

  25. John, Adrian Flux would definitely class your Fiat as a classic. We could put you on a classical policy provided it’s not your only car, you do low mileage in it, typical things for classic policies.

    If you would like a quote, give 0800 089 0050 a call!

  26. thanks for that ben, i’ve just bought a volkswagen bora so i can take my tipo off the road over winters and sheet her up. so i was going to give adrian flux a call and see what kind of deals they could do me on a 2 car policy, but ill ask them about a classic policy for the tipo now. i’ve been using it as my everyday car for the last 2 years now and i’ve only been doing around 5000 miles a year. the tipo has only got 96000 miles on it which is not bad for a car that is coming up 18 years old, i have every mot and reciepe ever spent on it, its got alot off history with it. its in mint condition and i wont to keep her that way and that is why i am taking her off the road during the big bad winters.

  27. Alfa 166! Very few about, you see 3.0 litre versions with 170k+ on the clock and still going strong. Very nice place to be with the momo leather, not to mention all that chrome under the bonnet. Add a Novitec s/steel exhaust and you’re made!

  28. Does any one remember the 928 , or the bmw 850 . Classic and usable , terrible on fuel though .

  29. Ford Cougar! The best and most extreme interpretation of Ford’s ‘New Edge’ design of the late nineties/early noughties. Shame Ford forgot about this car as the V6 sounds and performs so well plus it’s very agile on b-roads for a big cruiser coupe. With them being so rare nobody guesses it’s a Ford (especially with the oval badges removed). I’ve received comments like ‘Is it a Jag?’ or ‘Is it an Aston?’!!! Priceless!

  30. Of my generation the name Maserati was the car mark that every boy dreamed of, but for many years it was out in the cold with boring unreliable models until the mark virtually disappeared. Many of the younger generation hadn’t even heard of Maserati, as a young lad asked me is that a Japanese kit car. To me the revival of the mark came in 1998 after Fiat bought Maserati and partnered them off with Ferrari to produce the Maserati 3200 Gt. About 4700 of these cars have ever been made and after 11 years a lot less than that survive today. The car has beauty and presence but photos never do it justice, from the trident set into the grill, the air vents on the bonnet and the rear boomerang lights gave it superb detail. It was the last of the true Maserati’s and to me the saviour of the mark.

  31. Tom Leopold

    Lotus Elise Mk1- The car that saved Lotus undoubtabaly! No frills, stripped down driving euphoria that you can use everyday! Very economical if u can drive it that way too! I can't get enough of mine!!! Definatly a future classic !

  32. The saxo & 106, when young people now start reliving their youth in there 40's & 50's

  33. And why has no-one mentioned the Toyota MR2? Especially the last, roadster version. As it said on the Boxster Owners Club website '80% Porsche for 50% of the price'. While not fantastically powerful (sadly the turbocharged version never emerged) the roadholding and handling are astonishing – with its perfectly balanced mid-engined layout, I doubt that there has ever been another car for under £20K that drives anything like it (in today's money, that is). It looks good too .. definitely a future collector's item. I'm hanging on to mine – six years old, and already the value is going up!

  34. While most everyone here is looking to the past in naming a future classic I am going to stick my neck out and consider the present and future in choosing a candidate.
    The motor industry is in a state of flux trying to satisfy new requirements in fuel efficiency and emissions and looking to electric power for the coming generation of cars. With this in mind I would choose the original two seat Honda Insight as a future classic.
    It was low production, had advanced engine design which won many awards, efficient hybrid drive producing 100 mpg economy, Lowest co2 figures of any ICE powered vehicle -80 gr/km, all aluminium light wt construction utilising extrusions and built on the NSX line, lowest drag factor of a production car, fun to drive and quick, comfortable, rarity value etc etc.
    These cars are extremely hard to find and owners are finatical about them with a very active web site providing insight (pun intended) into their workings. I personally owned one for eight years without so much as a single problem and regret almost dailey for having parted with it.
    It has all the qualifications mentioned to become a classic and especially since it and the prius were the first of a new generation of responsible vehicles looking into more sustainable and clean transport.

  35. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a classic and what brand to put forward including me, but reading deeper into this subject I think the future is bleak for collecting.
    You only have to look at how the car has been sanitized over the years into becoming a product we quickly tire and dispose of at the “drop of a hat”. Most modern cars do not have the same attraction i.e., soul, character, uniqueness from other makes as in years past.
    Recycling for valuable materials and legislation will eliminate these consumer vehicles as we tire of them. In recent years its already become a burden to own more than your primary car with MOTs, Road Tax, SORN and insurance costs diluting the collecting experience.
    Increasingly sophisticated technology is already taking a toll on restorations and as emissions, efficiency and safety demands become more stringent the situation will worsen.
    We are entering a new era of different priorities and the motorcar and consumer alike will have to adapt and move on relegating our affair with the motorcar to the previous century.
    Doe's anyone agree???

  36. Pete Mckissock

    As in many things, there is a polarisation. You download free music from the web, but save up and buy the ticket for the gig and acquire rare Mongo Santamaria LPS from a dealer in Japan. Likewise, you run your Civic into the ground on the school run, trade it in for scrappage and a newer model, whilst every now and then taking out the MG for a true automotive experience. Magazines like this go online and now and then publish a killer one-off piece of print that can be accumulated and collected and fetishised. The nature of ownership and aspiration is changing fast, and its the same with cars. At the high end, of course, cars are true works of art, and can fetch almost as much at auction as the most sought after Picasso.

  37. Rick Llarf

    It's my opinion that Mazda's RX8 has all the qualities of being a classic in 20 years time when considering how very different it is to ALL other cars at the moment. I'll be keeping mine 'til then along with my present older vehicles.

  38. Rick to each his own but the RX8 is only different because of its rotary engine and sucide rear doors. The rear doors can be seen on the Honda element for one and the rotary in a previous car the NSU R080 in the late sixties early seventies.
    The Ro80 has never been that popular as a classic even though it had an advanced aerodynamic body,front wheel drive,unusual drive train etc etc.
    Just an observation.

  39. Pete Mckissock

    Good point. I've always wondered why the Ro80 has never been sought after. Need to find a pic now.

  40. rickllarf

    Dgate, you're right, to each his own but of all the cars I've been the owner of there are very few that I would consider keeping as a collector.
    I'm very much sure that the Mazda RX8 is the only car currently being manufactured with a rotary engine which in that alone, in my opinion, makes it a unique car. I'm not sure what you mean when you talk of ” suicide rear doors” as I consider them as also a remarkable piece of design. I've been driving mine for over 5 years now and ,like all other owners I have spoken to, find it one of the most exciting cars (in that price range) to drive. The rotary engine has developed into an extremely reliable one since the 60'/70's and it would be like comparing the piston engines of the 30's to those of today. This site makes good reading to anyone wanting to update themselves on the Renesis rotary engine.


    Twent years hence will obviously show whether it will be a “classic” ( whatever that word means) but I for one will have this RX8 standing in my collection and feel that it will be a collectors car if only for its uniqueness and differences from any vehicle being manufactured at present in any price range.

  41. Rick the point I was trying to make was the Unique part of the car is the rotary and that was unique in the late sixties/seventies in an equally dynamic car (NSU R080) which has never made much impact as a classic. I owned two in the early seventies and was a flag waver for the rotary. Its a beautiful and simple concept that delivers in all areas except whats important today.It has been developed but it is still a dirty engine (What Green Car rated it among the 100 most polluting.. 284 g/km) and very low on economy. Unless Mazda can improve on these figures its days may be numbered.
    The reference to suicide doors is an old term left over from the early part of last century when most rear car doors and even some fronts were rear hinged and subject to flying open into the wind. Anyone trying to grab the door was quickly ejected hence the term suicide doors.
    I do know the fronts on the Mazda have to be opened first to prevent this so maybe its no longer a relevant term.
    I do respect your opinion and applaude your enthuasism for the car, only trying to point out the uniqueness of the rotary hasn't made it happen in a big way for the RO80 some 40 plus years on.

  42. billcolley

    I would like to nominate the Toyota MR2 Mk I, if you can find one without rust it will surely appreciate and should be a classic, in my book it already is. If anyone out there has a good one that is not silly money I could be interested!

  43. billcolley

    I would like to nominate the Toyota MR2 mkI. If only they didn't rust so much. I owned two but they both rusted away, engine, gearbox, brakes, steering, lights,all electrics all perfect after 15 years but the dreaded tin worm devoured the body.

  44. angry_dad

    Having grown with up and owned fabulous classics such as Triumph’s 2.5PI and Stag, I would like to nominate the fantastic Nissan 350Z – even better in Rosso Red and convertible flavour!

  45. angry_dad

    Having grown with up and owned fabulous classics such as Triumph's 2.5PI and Stag, I would like to nominate the fantastic Nissan 350Z – even better in Rosso Red and convertible flavour!

  46. How about the affordable Audi Coupe from the 80's. It's not too common these days and you have to admit the styling does not date.
    Point 2 I've got one in white It's a pig to keep clean.

  47. SteveV6

    Ford Probe.

    Very underrated car as new, never sold well, different looks stands out. Everything needed to be a classic car

  48. SteveV6

    Ford Cougar and Ford Probe

    Both cars very underrated and forgotten fords.

  49. The Toyota MR2 MK2 blends almost perfect styling, in a mid engined rear wheel drive 2 seater sports coupe. My 1992 Glimited has been my daily driver, pet shop delivery vehicle ( I can get 5 x 15Kg bags of dog food in without any fuss ), and fun runabout for over 2 years and has never missed a beat !

  50. Thiruvega

    As the proud owner of a Mercedes S55 AMG supercharged V8 which seems to be as rare as hens teeth already I believe this car could become a classic car of the future. Its as quick as a porsche………as stately as a Bentley…….a joy to own and great to own. It makes driving a real pleasure.

  51. Yes, everyone else seems to have missed this angle. French hatches are not my favourite cars admittedly, but look at the value of mk1 & mk2 Escorts now. Escorts were the complete equivalents to Saxos etc. of the 70s, 80s, and even early 90s (I’m not talking about the production period, I’m talking about when every other boy racer drove one).

  52. Gordon

    Mini Moke it defined the fun Side on an era

  53. Bubuxxl

     I agree…but leaky or not,there isn´t much like it once you get inside one.Feels absolutely superb to drive and it looks fantastic,even though it´s sketches date back to 1999 I think!
    I´ll be keepin´ mine!

  54. Kurt Ralph

    I nominate the Alfa Romeo GTV (the 90’s 916 series). Although you have an Alfa 8c Competizione in your list, this pretty much breaks your own rules since it’s limited availability puts it into supercar territory.
    GTV’s are at give-away prices at the moment and a ususable (if perhaps scruffy) example can be bought right now for as little as a grand. I reckon the future classic status of the GTV is an absolute ‘given’!