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When Does a Car Become a Collectible Classic?

Updated on July 30, 2011
65 Barracuda
65 Barracuda
Barracuda inside
Barracuda inside
1964 Corvair
1964 Corvair
1966 Corvair Corsa
1966 Corvair Corsa
1991 Capri XR2
1991 Capri XR2

Most people into cars might say a car is eligible to become a "collectible" only after 30 years since the last car was produced. Others state that age is just one criteria and public demand in the car market actually creates the collectible car. There is sort of myth and hysteria about owning a collectible car. The other criteria that has bearing is the number of them that still are operational, the less, the more valuable it becomes. But, not all cars made become a collectible in the sense they can be sold at a high profit. For instance, just about any Studebaker could be a collectible, yet they are not really. The demand for a specific model is low. Now, take a 64-5 Ford Mustang. A 66 Corvair Corsa (or any 67-69 Corvair), a 65 Plymouth Barracuda, a 1957 Chevy Bel-Aire or Nomad, a 1953 Corvette. All these cars are unique and fewer exist but the real reason they are sought collectibles is because of public demand for them. Nobody cares and a 1973 AMC Pacer, or a 1950 Nash, or a 1975 Vega. Sure, a minority do, but that is it.

Are foreign cars collectibles? Yes, the question is which? They have to be unique and certainly the 1980-86 Mazda RX-7 rotary engine is or will become one. Few cars even have this engine. Many Porsches will not. A 924 Porsche has the same 110hp as the 1965-69 Corvair, for example. For more modern cars made after the mid-1980's, their value will be determine on production runs and styling because most cars since have the same key elements (disc brakes, fuel injection, turbo etc).

The 1991-94 Mercury Capri XR2 turbo model should become a collectible maybe by 2020 or 25. The XR2 model had the lowest production run of all models and only 66,000 were made, with only 300+ in 1994. There are about 10,000 left operational. Their styling is unique and nice for a sport car. The XR2 has 135 hp, front wheel drive and uses a Mazda 1.6L engine. There is a demand for them as people became savvy about them being a collectible. It has all the earmarks for being a collectible to have.

If you already have a collectible car, the best thing you can do is to keep it operational. Drive it around once a week just to prime it. Nothing worse than seeing a classic turn lose its value.

What car do you think is or will become a classic collectible?


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Xr2 CApRI*

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      I suspect they will be a new collectible

    • vietnamvet68 profile image


      7 years ago from New York State

      One that I find has gone way up in price is the 1988 Mazda RX7, they have Trippled in price over the last three years.


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