Which cars are classics /"collectibles" /curiosities /or scrap metal?
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In high school I had a friend with the same engine in a '62 Bel Air, a car that weighs 200 lbs. more than a '57 210 according to the Encyclopedia. His car had decent pickup around town, partly because all the stovebolt puts out is low-end torque and partly because the car was geared to get off the line. Reality caught up in third gear.
'57 Chevies are light and that's why they were so quick even with a 283.
I wonder if they'd consider this car?
My opinion is that this really shouldn't play any part at all. Especialy when, for the most part, these cars are no longer driven ("true classics" that is.) and eventualy there will come a time when no '57 Bel Aire or old T-Bird or 60's muscle car will be driven either. At that time the remaining examples will only be admired for thier styling, like a piece of "classic" artwork, if that even. There is always the possibility that they will only be looked upon in the same vein that we view covered wagons and horse drawn cariages today, quaint artifacts from a bygone era.
I would say that aside from styling, anything that insures the car will be remembered from a historical perspective is important. Hence my nomination of the Model-T. After all, if a car is lost to antiquity, can it really be considered a classic? As the first of it's kind, (the lowly mass produced car), and it's impact on modern society, (prior to this it was rare for an individual to venture more than 20 miles from his birthplace in a LIFETIME), this car is likely the only car that will be universaly recognized in the far far future.
I only nominated the Bel Aire because of it's ability to please the eye of the non automotive enthusiast. (people who don't care one way or the other about cars seem to gravitate to this particular car) and because it has embedded itself into the public mind as the quintesential '50s automobile. The fact that the 57 Ford outsold it is a surprise to me, but goes to show that a true classic design will endure, and one that is "popular at the time" will not nescessarily do likewise.
SO, having said all that, I will concede that TODAY the Bel Aire is not a classic. Nor are any of the other 50's and 60's cars, pedigreed or not, since the people that care about them grew up with them and can't help but entertain some bias about them. If our great grandchildren view them as classics then they will be at that time.
The Dusenbergs and Cadillacs that Shiftright favors, well those are classics, but I'm not sure that they will remain such. The design elements of those early "supercars" are very very similar. Surely a few examples will be remembered and thus remain classics, but the rest will be largely forgotten since they have no real historical significance to sustain them in our collective memories.(I could not believe how many cars are listed on that website as "true classics". Outside of the organization of "Classic Car Official Status Giver Outer Of-ers I doubt if anyone even recognizes or remembers most of these cars anymore. I can apreciate why Shiftright wants to eliminate entire classes from consideration.)
The styling could go out of fashion, that's true, and maybe someday some of these old cars will look ridiculous to us, but another element of a "true classic" is "timeless" design. Unlike trendy styling, which comes and goes, really 'classic' styling appeals to all generations for all time.
That's why a true classic is somewhat rare. A Model T is rather homely to modern eyes, and I doubt whether even the original owners thought them very beautiful.
If you had pictures of the CCCA's cars, I doubt you'd find an ugly one in the bunch.
Now, if you want to consider a Model T or a 1964 Dodge Polara to be a "classic", that's fine. Few would agree with you.
The term "classic" is way overused when describing an old car.
This is the point I think you are missing.
I mean, take a BMW 2002. They made a TON of them. Now, it was special in that in it really started the trend towards truly successful, mainstream sports sedans. Yes, Shifty, there had been the Alfas, but the 2002 was signifigant
It is a classic? Nope. Collectible? Starting to appreciate in value? A milestone car? Owned by a very enthusiastic and passionate bunch? Yes.
Ditto my 356A. Never be a "Classic" but they are actively sought-after, reasonably valuable, they have a great and strong following, and are great little cars.
Maybe a 550 Spyder will someday be considered a classic.. But not a 356.
Ditto 57 Chevies, etc... On another note.. you guys seen what the 58 Impala Ragtops have been selling for? Suckers have caught the 57s!
You've got that "half" right. But then again I would never consider a 64 Polara a classic.
>>The term "classic" is way overused when describing an old car.
This is the point I think you are missing.<<
And the point you are missing is that this topic is:
"Which cars are classics."
"Only these cars are classics and if you dissagree please don't post".
Now, isellhondas, which cars do you think are classics, and please don't say "Whatever Shiftright says."
This really is basicly the point I have been trying to make, and the vantage point from where I view a "classic".
This is why I believe that those old Dusie's will survive as classics. They have styling that is admired to this day, even by, or especialy by, the common man. They are intrinsicaly appealing.
Hence, they are true classics.
Let me ask you this though. Would you consider as possible future classics such 60's era muscle cars as the Boss 302, whose roots are certainly pedestrian, but which aquited themselves respectably in the Trans Am races of their day?
Or the MOPAR's that were succesful NASCAR racers?
The 'official' (sanctioned by some group or several groups, and limited to certain cars, generally made before 1950, with low production numbers, etc.)
The car-buffs definition (wide, varying and sundry, and generally including whatever said car buff owns)
The basic/general definition (includes the usual 'collectible' American and European cars up to the late '60s). A few--Vettes, GTOs, Impala SS, Mercedes SLs, Porsche 911s, Chrysler 300s, 60s Mustangs and Camaros, blah blah blah. Again, this is pretty random and subjective, only less so than above definition.
I don't want to say 'classic' is whatever you think it is, but I don't think it's as narrow as the Classic Car Societies think it is any more.
29 Packards -- yes, all Packards 1925-34 are considered Classics but not all are very valuable. A 1928 Sedan in good shape could be bought for around $10,000 and if it's just a bit shabby, for less than that. You may even see these prices drop further. Quite frankly, a 1929 Packard 6 cylinder entry-level sedan painted a faded green with a little rust and moths in the interior is not my idea of anything very appealing or valuable. But they say "classic" so I respect their decision.
CCCA--this organization has been around for over 30 years. I really don't know when they are planning to do updates, but surely this will happen at some point, once the "new" cars age enough. One aspect of "classic" which is very important is their "endurance", to see if they remain loved, respected and admired for decades. I am sure newer cars will be designated classics, but I'm also sure they will be among the rarer, more powerful, more attractive American and foreign makes.
If you look at the list, all the cars are quite special in their own way. There are no cars produced in the hundreds of thousands.
I have seen the term much abused though, especially in newspaper ads, for example a "classic" 1977 Pontiac Astre, a "classic" 1968 Plymouth Valiant, etc.
Now, how about a 1961 or 1962 Olds Starfire or Dynamic 88 2 door coupe?? Now the thought of that 394 CID high compression V-8 wrapped in 2 tons of gorgeous steel and chrome, and the interior!!, they don't make them like that any more..............
Watch out holsnipe, thems' fightin' words around har. I got yer back tho'.
Yes. I will try not to be as strident in the future.
This is the kind of esoteric '50s car I think of when I think post-war classic, but with that Willys F-head it falls a little short in the engineering department--although they were quick for their day. Apparently a number of them didn't sell and were retrofitted by Darrin with Cadillac engines. I don't know how well the Henry J chassis they're built on performs.
Well, oddly enough, the Kaiser Darrin brings pretty good money at collectible car auctions, so I cannot argue with its collectibility, even though I think it is one of the most hideous, ghastly things on four wheels. One reason it will never be a classic is that it is ugly to most people; however, being an "attempt" at an American sports car gives it some historical interest, and I think it is on this basis, rather than aesthetics or technical prowess (both of which are about zero or a little less) that the car's value remains respectable.
I would categorize this car as an "interesting curiosity" type of collector car, and this niche has its followers. But as I've said so many times to no doubt bore you, if a car was a flop when it was new, it will never achieve greatness. By "flop" I don't mean financially, but in the eyes of the general and perhaps even non-car buying public. Same holds true for new cars presented today. If it leaves you flat when your 51 it's not going to excite you when you're 51 and got cash to spend. The Kaiser Darrin came and went pretty quickly with some temporary flurry of publicity that quickly died out.
As usual, the Darrin looks a lot better in the ads than in the amateur photos. The ad photos catch that nose-up jet fighter look, so hip then and so funky today. I've heard the grille called the "Clara Bow grille" because it resembles the mouth of a certain '20s movie star.
As for the main title, I'd like something besides Classic Cars too but since the idea is to draw the largest number of posters to this site I think Classic works best. Classic is the most universal word, it's just that everyone here has their own definition. That's okay--I've learned more about Fairmonts than I...well, than I ever wanted to know ;-).
CLASSICS (to be):
It takes time to make a classic we're probably too close to make a judgment on anything newer than 1960, with a few obvious exceptions. Here are some and a few from the late 40s and 50s that will make it IMHO:
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing/Roadster
Any '50s Ferrari
60s Ferraris 250/275, esp.GTOs
'49/'50 Cad/Olds, HT/Conv
Any Cunningham or Cad Allard
COLLECTIBLE: Really to numerous to list..If enough time passes almost everything is collectible (look at the Nash Metropolitan, a hot collectible right now).
Mass-produced sedans that didn't have a big motor or high trim level.
Suvs with some exceptions such as original Land Rovers, FJ series Land Cruisers, G-Wagens, CJ-2
Most pickups except for some oddballs w. collector potential (Dodge Red Wagons, that Dakota convertible and of course Power Wagons.
You'll let me know if I've forgotten anything.
2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93