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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: August 4, 2010 @ 9:58 am

    What car will be a future classic?

    Michael McAleer

    We got an interesting query into Motors this week. A reader had managed to secure a very special number plate, 10 D 10000 and since this was such a special plate, wondered what sort of car he should get to honour it? He wanted a car, that he could pass on to future generations of his family and that in 50-100 years time would still look good and would be a future classic?

    Obviously it would have to be a brand new car and presuming that he doesn’t quite have the means to buy a Ferrari 458 or Porsche 911 GT3 RS, which you could probably assume someone will take a fancy to in a hundred years from now, we are left with some more mainstream cars.

    So it got us thinking, what would be the mainstream cars that you can buy today that would be future classics? Here are my thoughts and we would love to hear what you think.

    Fiat 500 Abarth
    You could probably say that any of the current Fiat 500 models will be future classics, but for us we would want the Abarth version, which is fun as you can get in a package this small. 135hp might not sound a lot, but in something this size it is plenty. This will be a cool car for a long time to come.

    Fiat 500 Abarth

    Toyota iQ
    Another small and innovative car, which hasn’t sold well in Ireland because of price, but is really clever. Future generations might look back and consider this to be quite a large car, rather worringly.

    Toyota iQ

    Porsche Cayman S
    Most Porsche fans might not agree, but this for me is probably the best driver’s Porsche on sale today and this is something which might finally be recognised in the far away future.

    Porsche Cayman S

    BMW 123d Coupe
    The 1-Series Coupe is a massively under-rated car and this 123d Coupe is a brilliant driver’s car. We think that this will be a model that will be coveted by collecters in the future.

    BMW 123d Coupé

    Renault Clio RenaultSport
    I spend hours trawling the internet looking for Renault 5 GT Turbos and I think my grandkids will spend similar hours looking up their brain internet for this magic little car.

    Renault Clio RenaultSport

    Audi TT
    You might say that the first-generation of the TT will be the classic, but this one is bound to look good in decades to come.

    Audi TT

    Land Rover Defender
    This isn’t likely to be around for much longer if emission laws and safety laws have their way. This already harks back to 50 years ago, so in a hundred years time this will be like a Model T Ford. But it is marvellous.

    Land Rover Defender

    MGTF
    Ok, it is rubbish, but in a hundred years time you can pretend that it is 120 years old.

    MG TF

    Mazda MX-5
    Probably the most likely of all the car here to be still working properly and still superb fun in a hundred years from now, the MX-5 has already become a classic after 20-odd years of production.

    Mazda MX-5

    • martin ryan says:

      I would nominate the Subaru Impreza Cosworth. The subaru impreza turbo/sti was such an iconic car for nearly 15 years then with one sweep of the hand with the introduction of the emissions based raod tax it was gone. If your reader can get one it would be the most apt salute to this crazy diamond!

    • Proinnsias Breathnach says:

      Does it need to be a 4-wheeler ?

      There are many beautiful motorcycles on the current market, from the big touring bikes like the Kawasaki GTR1400 or the BMW R1200RT through to the hypersports models such as the BMW S1000RR, Kawasaki Ninja or Suzuki Hayabusa which will all be classics in 20 years’ time, and easily remain distinctive, reasonably unique, and ultimately different in 100 years !

    • Jon McEvoy says:

      I think the Alfa 159 is a beautiful car ..maybe in future it will be a classic . Or alternatively there’s the Alfa 8c

    • TrevB says:

      E92 BMW M3. Apart from having supercar performance, top end luxury and everyday practicality, it is likely to be the last 3-series with a normally aspirated engine thanks to EU emission laws. Its also the last/only M3 likely to have a V8 engine which gives it a great sounding uniqueness! BMW’s styling tends to age well (1 series and any of the X series excluded) so in 50-100 years time the M3 will probably still look great!

    • FrancisS says:

      Sorry to rain on the parade, but your reader will probably never get to use 10-D-100000. While you may reserve a number in advance, you can only use it once it has been reached in the normal issuing sequence (see “How to Reserve a Registration Number – VRT 5″ on the Revenue.ie website). There’s no way 100,000 new vehicles will be registered in Dublin this year and it will take many years, even decades of secondhand importing to reach 100,000, if it ever happens at all.

    • Actually the number of new cars registered in Dublin has already exceeded 26,200 so he has no problem using it.

    • Brendan Needham says:

      I think there may be one zero too many in the piece above. From reading the article in Motors yesterday, it seems the reg is 10-D-10000. Porsche Cayman S for me.

    • There was. Apologies. The number, as the paper stated yesterday, is 10 D 10,000.

    • FrancisS says:

      10-D-“Ten Thousand”, yes that makes sense now.
      Your reader would be better off with something future-proof, like an electric Tesla Roadster sports car. Dirty, polluting internal combustion powered vehicles will doubtless be banned from the roads at some point in the distant future.

    • Aine Ireland says:

      The Audi TT is a beautiful car, so beautiful that all future cars may look like it.
      For a unique car which embodies and embraces our current society might lack the looks but has the reputation and reliability I hope will exist in the furure it has to be the Ford Focus (in silver as everyone has a silver one).
      Solid, reliable and doesn’t pretend to be anything else.

    • RupertM says:

      I think the Mazda RX-8 R3 (the latest and last incarnation of the Rotary engined car).
      It’s fast, beautiful, and has the reliability of the MX-5 with the additional benefit of being the last production Rotary engine possibly ever (although rumour has it Mazda have a follow-up in the pipeline for 2013). Either way this is the last production run of a quirky and incredibly fun drivers car – it’s gotta be a classic someday. And it would have to be imported from the UK as they haven’t sold in Ireland for quite a while.

    • Eóin McCarthy says:

      I propose the Citroen C6 for contention as a future classic.

      Alfa Romeo’s 156 is no longer on sale but this will surely be regarded as a classic in the future. The new Brera is worthy of the same future status. The new Alfa Giulietta looks special.

      The current TT has watered down the original’s design in it’s references. BMW’s Z4 is a great design, but do such modern coupes have the individuality and design strength of the Fiat Coupé, the Alfa Romeo Spider, Alfa Romeo GTV, Fiat Barchetta etc.

      I don’t think anybody can reasonably propose the BMW Mini or recent Volkswagen Beetle for this mantle.

    • Des Canine says:

      I’d go for the Nissan Primera – a design classic.

    • Gary Falkiner says:

      I propose the LandRover Defender 110 stationwagon Puma XS

      Unlike most of the above there is a strong possibility that it will still be driven, and used daily, in 50 years time, with good parts support, and the possibility, due to its modular design, of being retrofitted with whatever powerplant that the environmental fashion police dictate in the next 50 decades.

    • Garry Clarke says:

      A Nissan Primera!!! The ugliest car to hit the road in years. Gaack! I’d sooner see it go to a tractor.


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