The Top Twenty-Five Future Collector Cars!

I have always wanted to do a blog post on this.  I know that it’s kind of generic, but everybody has their own impressions of what cars should be future collectibles, right?  Enjoy my list, and tell me what you would like to see as a future collectible in the comments section.

  1. 2013 SRT Viper/GTS/TA:  The SRT Viper is one of the best American cars on the road.  It’s loud, brash, fast, and it will scare the living daylights out of you and make you a better driver at the same time.  It’s a rare combination that won’t live long.  It’s got an iconic design that will still look downright diabolical 50 years down the road.  It’s also got one of the biggest engines in the world, with a massive 8.4-liter V10 wedged under the hood.  It pumps out 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.  For the Viper, there is no replacement for displacement.
  2. 2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Corvette Convertible:  Essentially a 2013 Corvette ZO6 with a convertible top, the Corvette 427 Convertible is the last iteration of the C6 Corvette.  It’s also one of the best Corvettes.  Ever.
  3. Audi RS5:  The 2013 Audi RS5 is a homage to the wailing, stylish DTM racers of the late 20th century.  It’s powered by a naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 that pumps out 414 horsepower at 8000 RPM.  As Motor Trend described it, it’s an R8 with a slightly detuned engine for those who need more space.  It’s a beautiful car, too, with big, blacked-out wheels, fender flares, and a grille that pays tribute to the Auto Union racers of the 1930’s.
  4. 2014 Porsche Cayman/S:  The second-generation Porsche Cayman is sure to win awards, praises, and thumbs-ups from everybody.  It is the car that the 911 should be.  The engine is in the right place, it behaves like a race car, it can go just as fast around the hallowed Nurburgring as the 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.  What could possibly be better?  Nothing, as far as I’m concerned!
  5. 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible:  The Chevrolet Camaro is a good car.  The ZL1 takes it to a completely different level.  It’s fast, loud, fun to drive, and it looks spectacular.  The ZL1 convertible takes away the bunker-like visibility of the coupe, and lets the NASCAR-like engine note pierce the cabin.  It also happens to be Chevrolet’s most powerful production convertible ever.  It will most likely be bought by hardcore enthusiasts and it will command a premium over the ZL1 coupe when it shows up at auctions in about 10 years.
  6. 2013 Tesla Model S:  Not only did it win Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year award, but it recently set electric car records at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  It gets to 60 mph in five seconds, so this car is a sleeper in a efficient, silent way.  I want one.
  7. Mazda Miata:  The Mazda Miata helped turn around the definition of sports cars when it was introduced in 1990.  It took the idea of classic British roadsters, mixed it with reliability, a cheap buying price, and charm.  Hundreds of thousands have been sold since then.  It also happens to be the most popular car for racing.
  8. 2009 Cadillac CTS-V:  Ten years ago, you would have been laughed off of the face of the planet for telling people that Cadillac would build a high-performance car.  There might never be another.  If you want a true unicorn of a car, get the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon.  It’s got 556 horsepower, thanks to a detuned Corvette LS9 engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed slushbox.  It tops out at 193 mph, yet it is a refined street car, thanks to a special Magnetic Ride Control suspension system that was developed by Delphi Suspension Systems.
  9. 2007 Dodge Magnum SRT8:  The merger of Chrysler Motor Co. and Daimler Motor Co. was short-lived and unsuccessful.  However, some interesting cars were built in that time.  Take the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Magnum, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.  They’re all kissing cousins.  The Dodge Magnum is the coolest and baddest bruiser on the block.  The Magnum SRT8 is rare and awesome.  It’s got clear hot rod DNA, yet it wasn’t a sales hit.  Just 4,219 were sold in two years.
  10. 2008 Honda S2000 CR:  Honda redefined supercar in the early 1990’s with the mid-engine, all-aluminum NSX.  The chief engineer’s retirement present to the world was the 2008 Honda S2000 CR.  The S2000 was already a great track car, but the S2000 CR took it to a whole new level.  It made 260 horsepower at a wailing 8300 RPM, and sent those shrieking ponies to the ground via one of the world’s best six-speed manuals ever made.
  11. Porsche Carrera GT:  It’s a rare time when Porsche’s engineers make a supercar.  The Porsche Carrera GT is an amazing car that showcases Le Mans technology, high speeds, prices, and looks.  The thing’s a bloody unicorn.  Using a chassis and bodywork from a failed Le Mans prototype that never made it to racing, a F1-style V10 that made 612 horsepower at 8000 rpm.  It put it’s power down with a six-speed manual with a carbon composite clutch.
  12. Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca:  Ford summed it up best, with their description of the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca.  “It’s a race car with a license plate.”  It was an affordable one at that, costing buyers $48,100 in 2011 and 2012.  Mustang lovers and just about anybody who appreciates cars will want one in their collection, whether it’s now or 50 years from now.
  13. BMW M3:  The E92 BMW M3 is the last car of a dying breed.  It’s 4.0-liter flat-plane V8 makes 414 horsepower at a rev-happy 8400 RPM.  Because the future of BMW’s M cars lie with turbocharging, the E92 M3 is sure to become a collectible with many enthusiasts.
  14. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500:  The 2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is the first Mustang with a top speed of 200 mph.  Randy Pobst and Motor Trend reached 197 mph, but I have no doubt that the GT500 would reach 200 or more with enough road.  It’s also the last car to have direct influence by Carroll Shelby himself.
  15. HUMMER H2:  Even though it was just a butched-up Chevrolet Tahoe, the HUMMER H2 represented the peak of an era when off-roading was at it;s peak.  A massive tax loophole at the time made it popular with everybody from hip-hop stars, lawyers, contractors, and just about anybody with their own business.
  16. 2004 Toyota Prius:  The second-generation Toyota Prius redefined the way the world thought about hybrids.  It may be an egg-shaped nerdmobile, but it sure as heck is a benchmark for many automakers today.   It’s an engineering marvel, and sales of the Prius peaked in 2008, when the economy crashed and fuel prices went through the roof.
  17. Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S:  The sports car market as we knew it from around 2000-2012 was focused on big, powerful engines that made cars go fast and handle badly.  The joint venture between Toyota/Scion and Subaru turned out to be a success.  The cars weigh under 3000 pounds, they have rev-happy engines mated to crisp transmissions that redefine the definition of affordable sports car.  They can zip around a track just as fast as a Porsche 911 Turbo.  Look for them to command high premiums in 30 years or so at auctions.
  18. 1987 Buick GNX:  One of the most desirable cars of all time is the Buick GNX.  Based off of the already diabolical Buick Regal Grand National coupe with one sweet engine.  A big turbo and a new intercooler bumped horsepower to 276 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.
  19. Ford F150 SVT Raptor:  At a time when automakers were just starting to redesign trucks because of increasing demand, Ford came out with a true unicorn of a car.  It now comes with a big, rip-snorting 6.2-liter V8, but it was plenty fast before that.  It is a Baja-racing style truck that performs well enough on the pavement to outperform those guys in their hopped-up fartcan Honda Civic’s, yet will leave a HUMVEE eating it’s dust anywhere.  It’s a rare combination of engineering, pure fun, and years of experience that make this truck so collectible.
  20. 2002 Ford F150 SVT Lightning:  This was the time of massive horsepower, fast trucks.  Ford’s F150 SVT Lightning deserves a spot on this list.  It came with a supercharged version of the 5.4-liter V8 found in the F250 that put out an impressive 450 lb-ft of torque and an equally impressive 380 horsepower.  The tires helped keep the truck going in a straight line – mostly.  It’s also a menacing track vehicle.
  21. McLaren MP4-12C:  The McLaren MP4-12C won’t outdo the legendary McLaren F1 of the 1990s.  However, it is called one of the best-handling cars of all time.  It’s got looks, speed, handling, power, and technology that would make any car proud.
  22. 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI:  Volkswagen realized that their bad-selling 2006-2011 Passat was a loser.  They redesigned the Passat, and made it into an American car.  It’s been softened, enlarged, and Americanized.  It’s still a great car.  It won Motor Trend’s 2012 Car of the Year award, so it should be destined to be a future collectible.  Keep your eyes peeled.
  23. 2012 Fiat 500/Abarth:  You’ve seen the raving reviews.  After a hiatus of well over 30 years, Fiat has made a successful return to the States.  Their tiny Fiat 500 has proved popular, thanks to the plethora of options, color choices, and price range.  It appeals to many.  For those who don’t want something lacking in power, get the Abarth model.  Yeah, the one with the scorpion ads.
  24. Audi R8:  While it “only” shares a name, some design cues, and some technology from one of the winningest Le Mans prototypes, the beautifully styled Audi R8 is a car that pleases.  It shares a V10 engine with the Lamborghini Gallardo, so you know that it will certainly play the part of a super car.  It has the styling, handling, power, and speed to become a classic for many years to come.  I want one.  Make that need one!
  25. 2011 Ford Mustang GT:  After 13 years of having modular V8’s in the iconic Mustang pony car, Ford decided it was time to bring back the iconic 5.0-liter V8 to the Mustang.  While the old 5.0 used to displace 4942 cubic inches, or 4.9215 liters, the new 5.0 displaces 4951 cubic inches, or 5.016 liters.  It’s got a sound at full throttle that sounds like a NASCAR engine from the 1960s, yet a docile growl at idle.  This pony begs to be flogged.  It’s also got performance to help it keep up with BMW M3’s at the track, thanks to an optional Track Package or a Brembo Brake package.  Either package is well worth the money.  Plus, the interior is as nice as a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.  You can’t ask for much more out of a Ford.  It’s a job well done.

That’s all for today!  Remember, add your thoughts about the cars and/or put additions in the comments section.

The Most Expensive Car Ever Sold At Auction!

A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spider set new world records this weekend at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  The amount of money that bought the car shows that vintage sports cars, especially those with a prancing horse attached to the grille will build at a fever pitch.  At the RM Auctions Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Annual Auction, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spider sold for an impressive $27.5 Million USD.  What makes that even more amazing is that all of the proceeds of this auction went to auction.  It is estimated that well over $200 Million USD went to charity.

Some quick information on the car:  Just one of ten built, was purchased by civic causes leader and industry giant Eddie Smith, Sr. in 1968.  he bought it from one of the original Ferrari importers, Luigi Chinetti in April, 1968.  It has remained in his family since the day he bought it.  But, the car was put in storage after Smith’s passing in 2007.  In those five years, it has appeared three times to the public.  His family decided to sell the car so a new owner can appreciate the car for what it is and show it.

The preauction estimate is enough to blow your head off.  It did for me.  The world’s foremost classic Ferrari appraiser estimated it’s worth to be $14-17 Million USD.  However, furious bidding raised the price to an astronomical $27.5 Million USD.  The buyer of the car is believed to be Canadian fashion giant Lawrence Stroll.

Under the beautifully sculpted hood is a 300 horsepower V12.  It gets to the wheels through a five-speed manual.  It is a number’s matching car, with chassis number #10709.  It has been restored once, and was originally painted Azzurro Metallizzato, a metallic blue.

Whoever the new owner is, he/she will enjoy one of the most expensive cars in the world.  It will take them to a whole new level of prestige and power.  I hope that they embrace the car as a glove that will fly down the road.  May they use it well.

The Top Nine Cars That Come With a Guarantee to Get You Mad!

I know what you’d love to see.  You’d love to see a Lamborghini Aventador warp by you at full throttle.  The engine note alone will set your car alarm off, and force you to get hearing aids.  I hope they work well.  It can make your day to know that somebody is enjoying their supercar.

The polar opposite of that is the dark spot.  That’s where you’ll find Captain Clueless, Corporal Crazy, and just about anything and anybody in between.  It’s not your fault.  My great-grandfather used to say, “Drive like everybody else on the road is an idiot.”  some are.  I say this with all the authority that I, as a new driver, can muster.  A lot of authority, then…

Any person in a slow, smelly, tin can-mobile of a car,  can ruin a perfectly good Sunday morning drive, or a high-speed freeway strafing run in your Corvette.  The first trick is to know how to spot them a mile ahead.  I’m still working on that.  Just be safe in the knowledge that you’ll never, ever drive one of these cars as your personal whip:

  1. Toyota Prius:  If the SUV was the status symbol of Captain Clueless in the 1990’s, guess what:  He still is.  But, his friends bought Toyota Prii, and are now doing their very best to get you pissed.  I feel for you.  Those who drive a Prius don’t care that they are going 45 in the fast lane.  They want 60 mpg, and nothing is gonna get in their way.  Try to be nice.  Please – the Prius allows awesome Toyota products like the Tundra and the Land Cruiser to still be in production.  
  2. Mercury Sable:  The overly cautious type.  Most don’t drive freeways.  Those who still do make you swear up, down, and sideways, that you’ll never, ever, even THINK of exiting at that exit again.  Seniors flocked to the badge-engineered Mercury Sable because they were too thrifty to step up to something like the more expensive Grand Marquis or Lincoln Town Car.   A tip for those of you who have thrifty, cool, slightly nerdy parents:  Put them into a Scion xB, or a 2014 Toyota Corolla.  You’ll thank me later.  
  3. Pontiac Firebird:  Just like Burt Reynolds, the man who made the Firebird famous, the Firebird will never, ever go quietly away from a stoplight.  It can’t do anything at a level quieter than a NASCAR engine at full throttle when it’s in gear.  For those of you who drive one take this advice as the word of God.  Dude, engineers worked overtime to keep everybody else’s ears from getting killed.  USE IT!  The neighborhood needs some sleep!  
  4. Any White Windowless Cargo Van:  Nothing, except for a Semi truck will completely and totally eclipse your view of the road.  Common sense and nature tell you to approach with caution.  Pass it normally, and you’ll need a sniffer dog to pull your body parts out of the wreckage.  Just make sure that you pass this rolling Amber Alert with caution.  Also, don’t look at the driver.  
  5. Honda Insight:  You could use some Insight when getting up on this hypermilermobile’s tail.  These drivers will do anything in their power to get 60 mpg and beat their hippie buddies on bigfueleconomynumbers.com.  They will do absolutely anything to get the most mpgs out of their tiny little car.  They ignore all traffic laws in the quest for yet another tenth of a mile per gallon, and they don’t care if they caused a 10-car pileup in the middle of the intersection.  Distractions cause their fuel economy to decrease.  Wake up and smell the premium, Honda Insight drivers!  It might save you a few bucks.  Oh, and the worst part?  It’s considered politically incorrect to laugh at their fender skirts.  It’s true!  
  6. Acura NSX:  This car is spectacular, and so is it’s driver.  Really, just ask him!  His ego will always be sated by the car’s unspoiled aluminum beauty, and his bank account is happy because of the legendary Acura reliability.  The VTEC is awesome!  Yet, every single NSX that we see is being nursed along at a leisurely rate to avoid buying new $1,000-each tires every 3,000 miles, and coming to a complete and sudden stop every 700 feet because that snowplow of a front bumper will make a bulldozer run for mommy.  The most practical supercar yet is so impractical that you’ll be doling out the finger and honks like you’ve never done before.  
  7. HUMMER H2 SUT:  Is it a Governatormobile, a military project ripoff, or a product planner joke?  All of the above.  It’s like it was never intended to be practical, useful, or even subtle.  I will admit to a mancrush on the original H1, but then again, most guys do.  All of that just adds up to making you pissed.  
  8. Any Car That Has a Fartcan Muffler:  If it makes a sound like a cow farting, put your air on recirculate, and get into the next lane, drop a gear, and floor it.  These cars are typically driven by some poor guy who thinks that giving people headaches and getting bad looks in return is a good idea.  Buddy, it’s not.  Spare yourself the misery of getting the finger and put a flowmaster system on.  The rest of the world will thank you.  
  9. Pricey Minivans:  Any minivan that costs over $40,000 should have the same amount of features as a Mercedes-Benz S550.  Many don’t.  If it doesn’t have an easy-clean interior, then that gets just about any clean freak mad.  I’ve been asked multiple times, “Who takes a $100,000 Land Rover off road?”  Auto journalists.  My favorite retort?  “Who puts the baseball team into a $40,000 minivan with a luxurious interior after a game?”   That’s a serious case of irony right there.  Honda had a $20,000 wipe-down-able vehicle called the Element which was cancelled because it didn’t sell well.  Go figure.  Yet, the Honda Odyssey costs almost $50,000 in it’s top level, and the top-of-the-line Odyssey comes with a vacuum.  

No More Aston Martin V12 Vantage!

It will be sorely missed.  The Aston Martin V12 Vantage was one of the cars that really helped Aston Martin get back on its feet after almost 10 years of toil, and bad, unloved cars.  It’s certainly not a car for wimps.  It’s got a 5.9-liter V12, tons of power, a manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive, and an exhaust note that sounds like it just came out of a Jaguar E-Type with the V12.  All of this adds together to create the ultimate high-class hooning machine.  Plus, it’s got stunningly good looks, and an interior that rivals a Bentley Mulsanne.

It will be sorely missed, but you can expect the next generation V12 Vantage to be incrementally better.  It’s gotten four years of great reviews and racing success, so it should come as no surprise that the next generation should be much better.  If the new Vanquish is any indication of what is to come, than I can’t wait to see the next generation V12 Vantage!

Note: for the uneducated auto linguist, hooning means to drive in a goofy, unsafe manner.