I was watching Eric’s video and realized there’s more to the problem than just styling. Another staple of American classics at least, is how easily they can be upgraded and “hot rod” a car. If you have an inline 6 mustang you can just swap in 351 Windsor for relatively low cost and you have a very desirable vehicle. But think about a W-body Impala.
For the sake of argument let’s say this has the looks to be a classic one day. What can be done to hot rod it? It would be difficult to swap another engine into, being a FWD car. Sure there’s the blower from the SS model, but you still don’t have the variety of options you do with older cars. Not to mention the more general problems of needing to tune the ECU for most performance mods. I’ll reference another one of Eric’s video. When he began his Fairmount build he looked into putting an ecoboost engine into it (Keep in mind this was a few years ago.) And the people at Ford basically told him it’d be impossible, because the engine requires so much data and electrical stuff from the rest of the car it couldn’t run in something as analog as the fairmount. Sure as soon as someone makes a standalone ECU that problems solved, but that’s over a grand and requires someone to tune it (I believe Eric’s problem was that at the time no one new enough about the engine to program a standalone ECU for the it.) Overall it’s a much more expensive and requires much more specific knowledge as opposed to a carburetor.
Not to mention the more philosophical problem of what makes a modern car “cool?”
Everyone knows older classics to be big, with torquey V8s, and of course the iconic styling. But as time goes on cars are getting smaller (We’re talking American here), more fuel efficient, and more homogeneous. The point I’m trying to make is that there’s a smaller difference in character between modern non-performance cars than cars of old. So what attributes of a modern car will we find desirable in 20 to 30 years to make something a classic?
One company who’s cars I think will become future classics, more so than others. Is Subaru.
I say this because they have boxer engines, AWD, and AFAIK their engines are easier to swap between cars compared to other car companies. MCM put a flat 6 into a legacy(?) if I’m not mistaken. Not to mention the WRX and STI engines as well as the cars themselves becoming classics. Plus there’s a lot you can do with a Subaru. You can put a small lift on it and have something that can tackle light trails or lower it and throw a turbo on the engine and have a sports wagon. That versatility, I think, will help all subies become classics in the future.
So what do you think Oppo? What modern cars will become classics or what will people look for in future classics as a whole? Keep in mind this is focused on regular cars, we all know Ferrari’s and Porsche’s will always be classics.