We all know a classic car when we see one, but we might be more hard-pressed to explain exactly what one is if asked. A recent article from AA Cars defines them as rare exceptions to the rule of depreciation—most cars see a dramatic drop in value the moment they are driven away from the dealership and the difference in price after just a few years can be staggering, but collector’s items naturally only go up in price as time goes on.
The article goes on to name a few likely candidates, like the Audi TT, the Mazda MX-5, and the Subaru Impreza. But how can you spot the classic cars of tomorrow? What might they look like? And how can you make the best decisions for classic car investments? Here are some key elements:
Simply being average is no way to be remembered, and many of the classic cars of the 60s and 70s are far from being the standard vehicles of choice for John Q. Public and Joe Everyman.
Real classics tend to be distinct and distinguished even when they are new, which is why the Audi TT and other cars with a sleek and idiosyncratic look make for such a promising investment.
To be blunt, family run-arounds and low cost compact cars aren’t the kind of thing we typically expect to see become classics. For a car to hold onto—or regain—its value there needs to be an expectation of quality manufacture, so likely candidates will all belong to prestige brands like Subaru, BMW, and Audi, or at least a manufacturer people can see putting out the occasional masterpiece among more standard offerings.
In short, classic cars tend to begin life as luxury cars, so that’s the sector to search if you’re looking for potential candidates. If you’re a risk taker, the newly launched DS line is aiming for that market in a big way, though it remains to be seen whether it can build the reputation for excellence of design that makes its competitors such good candidates for the classic market.
One Other Thing
One factor to bear in mind isn’t one that makes a car more likely to turn into a classic, but one you shouldn’t pay too much mind. Classic cars don’t instantly start appreciating in value as soon as they’re released—no one would try to make these kinds of predictions if they did—so don’t let a car’s low current price put you off an investment. Classic cars will drop in price before they start to rise, and the best time to buy is when they’re at their lowest.
There are several huge auto shows that take place throughout the country. Most of these auto shows take place in large cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. And while the exact line-up of cars and events vary slightly based on the location, they all follow the same model and have the same basic set up. If you plan on attending any of these auto shows throughout the nation, here are a few of the top things to see or participate in.
The Displayed Cars
Obviously when you attend an auto show, you have come to see the cars. As such, you want to be sure you do not miss the displayed cars. However, the auto shows have taken great car this year to sort the cars into grouping and have designated areas for different types of cars, helping you to hone in on the ones that most interest you quickly. Some of the different groupings include new models of cars, classic cars, luxury cars, exotic cars, all exemplified in defensive driving courses and concept cars. If you are on a limited time schedule, bee line it for the car type that most interests you. If you have plenty of time, be sure to check out the various groupings on display.
The Test Drive Area
Another not to be missed feature to check out at 2017 auto shows is the test drive area. Looking at cars can be fun, but let’s face it; you want to get behind the wheel of the car and give it a spin. Many car shows are giving you the opportunity to do just this in their test drive area. The exact models of cars available to drive will vary from show to show, and you can expect some waiting before you get behind the wheel. However, this gives you an opportunity to test cars that you may not ever have the opportunity to drive again, making it well worth it.
The Interactive Opportunities
If you are tagging along to the auto show with someone else, looking at cars may not be your thing. But don’t worry, there are some unique offerings as well as learning the basic mechanics of a car that you will want to check out. The interactive opportunities section of a car show gives you the opportunity to play video games or virtual reality games to drive a car in a variety of settings. This area provides a lot of fun for both car enthusiasts and those who tag along with them to shows.
The Black Tie or Gala Events
The last thing you may want to check out if you are planning on visiting a 2017 auto show is the black tie or gala events. Most large auto shows have one of these events at least one night during the duration of the show’s schedule. These are upscale events that allow you to get dressed up and check out the auto show while being feed champagne and hors d’oeuvre. These events are typically not very crowded, allowing you to see cars up close and personal and from a unique perspective.
If you are a car enthusiast, you may be planning on attending one or more of the large 2017 auto shows. Regardless of whether this is your first time attending, or you are experienced, you want to make sure that you check out some of the top offerings at these shows. These include the displayed cars area, the test drive section, the interactive opportunity and any black tie or gala events that the show is offering.