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Are classic cars dead as history repeats itself?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by bounty, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. bounty

    bounty F1 Veteran

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  3. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
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    Most modern cars are junk, but there really are some good ones out there. There will be some that are classics. The F355, CS, Enzo (yes I think the Enzo will be a classic and very well loved in the future). The BMW M3 also comes to mind (the last gen with the I-6). Will a CTS become a classic? Doubt it. The CTS-V? Probbly.
     
  4. rossocorsa13

    rossocorsa13 F1 Rookie

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    People think that classic cars are dead because they only have the advantage of viewing things from the past forwards.

    We don't know what changes the automobile will undergo in 50 years, and that means that we don't know what future generations will then value in the cars they remember from what will then be "yester-year," or what is now the present.

    Classics won't ever die because the good ole days will never die. Our past-forward perspective guarantees that.
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Whatever.

    That opinion is held by every generation.

    All the cool cars that will ever be built have already been built.....the sky is falling.



    Ho hum.
     
  6. Tony K

    Tony K Formula 3

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    Just more generational lamenting. Baby boomers' last stand. Yeah, yeah, 1970s-80s cars suck, 1950s-60s cars are glory blah blah blah. Whatever.

    Cars today all look the same, but the five million cars with huge fins and chrome grills somehow all look unique. Alrighty then . . .
     
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  8. bounty

    bounty F1 Veteran

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    Will future generations care to even own or appreciate a Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe?
     
  9. TexasF355F1

    TexasF355F1 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #7 TexasF355F1, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
    The knowledgeable, true car guys will.

    There will always be those who appreciate and cherish old cars. Even if they car is 150 years old. I also think that as technology advances, there will be an even greater appreciation of what was achieved in such simplistic term of engineering in the first days of the motorized auto.
     
  10. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #8 Bullfighter, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
    Great article. I agree completely with this:

    Today's automakers prize function over form, and there are few if any cars being made that will be "classics" in 50 years, comedian and car buff Tim Allen said.

    "I'm passionate about automotive art, and there isn't any," he said...


    Sorry, I can't agree beyond the "most modern cars are junk" (which I agree with wholeheartedly.) Every car you mentioned is, IMHO, a collection of aging electronics and plastic, with styling that is already insignificant. I like them for now. I think the Cadillac CTS looks nice, and I really liked my BMW e46 coupe, and several FOC members have 355s and 360s that look good. I would be happy to drive those for a few years, but ultimately they start to look like old cars and expensive stuff starts aging.

    None of these cars are worth rebuilding when the time comes. That doesn't mean they aren't great to own now -- I fully appreciate why someone would use a California as a daily driver, or a Porsche 997, etc. They are very rewarding, in the same way my iPhone is very rewarding.

    I think it's going to be very, very, very difficult for these mass produced, modern cars to reach the long-term levels of desirability of something like a Daytona, 250 GT (any model), Porsche 550 Spyder, Jag E-Type, Shelby Cobra, etc. A Cobra looks just as good today as it did in the '60s. The E-Type looks even better, probably because no one can draw a car like that and build it up out of steel, chrome and wood. And no one puts knockoff wire wheels on cars anymore.

    No one wants last year's computer model, and unfortunately that's what it comes down with the cars of our generation. That's why people can't give away 360s or 355s now -- they're not new anymore, and they aren't classic, and likely never will be. Even F1-equipped 360s seem to be starting to lag manual-equipped cars in the market.

    From a Porsche perspective, it ended in 1973 with the last of the long-nose 911s.

    For Jag, the Series 2 E-Type was the beginning of the end.

    For Ferrari, the Boxer/308/328 were the last gasp, and I might put the Daytona and 246 as the last unequivocal classics. I don't see the California, 599, 458, etc. as anything like as special. Incredible to drive, but ultimately just another crop of really fast cars with lit up instrument panels, the technology du jour (parking sensors, sat nav, F1 paddle shift, Bluetooth, etc.) and derivative styling that harkens back to the good years.

    The Enzo will always be collectible and stored under a blanket because it is rare and expensive, even if it is no longer the fastest and was never much aesthetically.

    Absolutely. If you've never toured a restoration facility that does classic sports cars, it's an automotively life-changing event. When you see 246s, Daytonas, 250 GTs, Porsche 356s, Jag XKs and E-Types and other cars of that ilk being brought back, you realize that what we drive now are convenient but sterile appliances.

    The craftsmanship, sound and romance of those cars puts them on another level. And, you can actually shift your own gears.
     
  11. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

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    It's a safe statement to say that there are no modern classics as who can prove you wrong, today? If history is any judge there'll be plenty of cars that will appeal to a generation that remembered them and aspired to them when they were new and who can later afford one.
     
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  13. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    #10 TheMayor, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
    Its a generational thing. Most people want what they thought they wanted in their childhood. For, me it was an Etype (ironically I've never owned one but still love them) and then later a Dino (which I did own).

    But, will a kid born today appreciate a Dino or an Etype when they get to be 40 in the year 2050? Some will. But, as many as today?

    How many of us TODAY really care about owning a Duesenberg or a Cord 810? Sure, I'd love to have one of each, but I'm a car nut. I'd love to have a lot of cars but they would not be on the top of my list. I bet most car nuts today would rather have a split window Vette before either.

    Ask a kid today what a Duesenberg is -- he'll probably say the blimp that burned up in an old movie he saw with a guy screaming "oh the humanity!"

    As to the "modern cars are all junk", a lot of classics were also "junk" in their time frames -- overheating, poor engineering, bad electrics, paint that faded, rust, poor ventilation, unreliable, ill handling, expensive to maintain.... we tend to forget all those things over time, or just put up with them as "quaint" today.

    Modern cars are not "junk". They are products of their times-- designed with today's regulations, standards, tastes, consumer expectations, and restrictions in marketplace.

    Tomorrow's cars will have new ones so get used to it.

    I used to think that the idiotic muscle cars of the early 70's would never be classics. Look at them today. Even "Judge" Pontiacs with silly graphics are now considered high dollar collectibles. These were good cars???? They were warmed over mass produced cars with big engines dropped in, some wild colors, and "look at me" stripes added. These are highly sought after today? Go figure.
     
  14. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #11 Bullfighter, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
    Not so fast. There is a sweet spot, where cars became driveable enough that they still hold their own on modern roads.

    You can still drive an E-Type (especially with the cooling system upgraded) or Porsche 356 as a weekend car. Ditto the Alfa Giuliettas and older Corvettes or Mustangs. They lack the conveniences of a 2010 Audi or Lexus, but properly sorted they are not 'dead classics' that have to sit in a museum. They are not 'generational' cars. I was born in the 1960s, so I don't remember any of those cars from my youth. Yet I think they're very cool.

    A Duesenberg or Cord is a museum car. That will, as you say, make them less relevant to most car nuts. I don't find them as interesting, because the real joy is driving, not staring.

    The question is whether modern cars' technological improvements will make them classics in the long run. I say no.
     
  15. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    #12 TheMayor, Mar 16, 2010
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    I really don't disagree with you but I still think it's a generational thing that drives the classic markets.

    Some of these late 70's and early 80's muscle cars are just plain garbage -- yet they are collectible. I wouldn't want one but just look in Hemmings and see what they go for. An Etype or Dino look cheap.

    A 1970 Pontiac Judge goes for more than a typical 328 GTS. Does that make any sense? It doesn't to me. The Ferrari is better looking and made in far fewer numbers. The Ferrari purchase price was far and away above any Pontiac. The Pontiac used mainly off the shelf components. The Pontiac was not hand built -- you could buy it right off the showroom floor without special order. It has a fake wood dash and an automatic slush box transmission. It did not have a hand sewn leather interior. It had no racing pedigree. It did not have superior technology or engineering. I won't even go into the ride experience because it's silly to even try to compare the two.

    So, why is the Judge -- something made popular by a running gag in a TV show -- worth so much?

    In my book, the only explaination is the "generational thing". If it was generational thing then, it can be generational thing now.
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  16. bounty

    bounty F1 Veteran

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    I agree with you completely. I have gained some appreciation for early model Ferraris, but that's only after developing a lust for the F-40, F-50, Testarossa, and F355. I have come to appreciate the earlier Ferraris and would love to drive one. That said, I don't lust after the earlier Ferraris and I'd choose many other 80-90 supercars over the vintage. Even if I had lots of money - If I obtained a F-40, 288GTO, and F-50 I'd probably be looking to pick up a McLaren F1, CLK-GTR, etc...not a 250GTO.
     
  17. dretceterini

    dretceterini F1 Veteran

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    The cars that interest me most are the ones from about 20 years before I was born (1947) until those of my pre-teen years, and almost exclusively European cars. I'm not sure just why.
     
  18. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I agree with you there. Sometimes nostalgia displaces common sense.

    Those cars are basically junk. I think we have to see how values fare over time.

    If you would take a Mercedes CLK-GTR over a Ferrari 250 GTO, you probably value going 200 mph over the things that make the 250 GTO among the most valuable cars on the planet.

    Not saying that's "wrong", but your priorities are different than those who cherish the pre-smog/pre-Intel stuff.

    I would say the CLK-GTR is a hell of a car, but as soon as several cars came along that knocked it off the "fastest car on the road" perch I'm not sure why you wouldn't just dump the CLK-GTR for something faster (e.g., Porsche 997 Turbo).
     
  19. bounty

    bounty F1 Veteran

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    #16 bounty, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
    Subjective reasoning, but plain and simple - I love the looks and maybe more importantly when I was working hard or studying it is what kept my head down and moving forward. It has very little to do with the performance of the car. Heck, I've never driven a CLK-GTR nor would I ever get the chance, and for all I know it's a terrible car...but it was the object of lust, a dream, and a goal. It has nothing to do with the desire to go 200MPH. I know that the Enzo is technically faster than a F-40, but I didn't have a Enzo as a matchbox car when I was a child...it was the F-40.

    I think these same kind of emotions are what has driven the price of 70's muscle cars up. I don't think it has much to do with performance at all. I think these were cars that many guys wanted in high school, but only now have the means to afford one and they want to live their dream in some aspect. Nostolgia. My dad bought a Subaru 360. He can barely fit in the thing, it is a death trap, and doesn't have much to offer in the "driver's car" realm. It was a car my dad owned in high school and now that he is in a position to buy a few toys...he wanted one. Nothing more. But he says when he opens up the car and takes in the smells of the car, it takes him back to a different era in his life instantly. Maybe that alone is worth it all.
     
  20. VIZSLA

    VIZSLA Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Every generation carries the automotive (and other) fixations of their youth throughout life. The cars that attract interest across generations are the ones that deserve to be called classics.
    We are imprinted visually and tactilely. As cars become more and more unservicable by owners this bonding will diminish. People are simply less "invested" in things that they haven't labored over.
     
  21. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    Generally,the cars of one's teen years and the cars of our youth are the so called "classics" to those individuals.No one i knew would have guessed the muscle cars of the 60's would ever be worth half a million dollars ( Hemi Barracudas,Hemi Challengers).As bdelp said, "go figure." A Pontiac GTO worth more than a 328? Whoa.
     
  22. J. Salmon

    J. Salmon F1 Rookie
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    Don't forget that - although the Ferrari was made in lower numbers - the percentage of many old muscle cars that have the right options and have SURVIVED is extremely small. The fact that they are crap means that most are gone. So they are actually rare.

    People like what they couldn't have when they were young. I wanted a Ferrari. Many a bit older wanted muscle cars.

    I think the fact that they are collectible is also a motivating factor. People need an excuse to indulge themselves in "childish" fantasy. Once it is an investment, it's OK.
     
  23. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    ^^ what he said.
     
  24. f-man

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    with all due respect, I think you'll live to eat those words with regard to the 355 and the 550. Not getting on the soap box here but put them in the context of what are now the classics... they are beyond compare, even though the jelly bean shape of the new ones make them look dated right now.
     
  25. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I guessed what you owned even before I checked your profile.

    I'm somewhat psychic, when it comes to the easy stuff. ;)
     
  26. furnacerepair

    furnacerepair Formula Junior

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    I grew up with the muscle cars and owned a bunch of them. The fastest ones were '69 Hemi Roadrunner and '69 427 Vette. '66 ram air tri carb GTO, '64 big block Chevelle and so on. Plenty of us guys at the time competed with each other to get the fastest car. When I look back at those days I remember these were the worst and least dependable cars I ever had. Cool at the time but not well built. So many things going bad at one time. Leaks, broken parts, and electrical problems. Spent more time fixing than driving. Then the smog junk added to them destroyed performance. Anyway you get my drift. To each his own I guess. I can't believe the prices these cars bring. If they would have bought them brand new years back they sure wouldn't pay that much now.
     
  27. f-man

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    What a QUINKY DINK me too... you have a 308 I'll bet, and I didn't even check your profile.
     
  28. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
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    I find all these comments fascinating. Its as if each set of comments represents a different generation.
     

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