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How Will The Classic and Collector Car Hobby Differ In 10 Years?
To get the ball rolling, I think the following three factors will impact the interest in collector cars between now and 2018:
First, telematics and the ever increasing complexity of cars, resulting from increasingly strict environmental and safety standards, inter-related electrical systems, as well as motorists' desire for more features, will drastically change the economics of repairing versus disposing of an older vehicle. Even family and economy cars will clearly become money pits at a more easily defined point in time, in a similar way that we view 10+ year old 12 cylinder German cars now, although perhaps to a lesser degree. However, the point where the cost of repairing and keeping versus getting rid of a vehicle, either at a greatly reduced price or by scrapping it, will become more obvious than it was in the past.
Second, the proliferation of niche products, and shorter production runs, results in the reduction of a critical mass of interest in any one model. The days of certain blockbuster models, that excite a wide spectrum of the population for many years, is probably over forever. Think '55-'57 Chevies, '55 Chrysler 300, '55-'57 T' Birds, '53-'63 Corvettes, and numerous European cars of the '50s-'mid '60s.
Third, there are more hobbies and diversions competing for peoples' attention, time and resources. Everything from I-Pods, to video games, to extreme sports comes to mind, to compete with car hobbies, not to mention things that well be invented and become popular in the future. Sure, you could argue that some things, such as the internet, helps car collectors, but in my opinion, the net impact of competing items and activities is more negative than positive for car hobbiests.
There are other factors, of course, but these three may serve to get a discussion started.