The world of classic cars is constantly growing. As time goes by, more and more vehicles join the ranks of vintage autos. Because of that, we are bound to hit a point where the market is flooded by a wave of mediocre cars. What can we do then?
Car enthusiasts have always had fun with classics. That whole world is actually quite welcoming, and you can find something for everyone. Aside from the popular expensive entries, there are good classic models on the cheap side as well. The reason for that is simple – back in the day car manufacturing had a certain standard. Nowadays… let’s just say things have gotten a bit out of hand.
In our quest to make cars safer, cheaper, and easily accessible, we have robbed them of their character. The models of the 2000s had it particularly rough. Mass production hit new peaks, while their design hit new lows. This presents us with a challenge.
In just a few years the first models of the new century will become classics by the legal definition. Considering all that, we have decided to explore that niche and dig out the best models from it. That way you will know which future classics are worth it. Who knows, maybe you will even get inspired to buy one now. Are you ready to join me on my journey through the 2000s?
Culture shock – the difference between old and new classics
Before I get straight to the models, I have to warn you of something. You may have a concrete idea of what a classic car is. I had one too. For me, a classic car needed to have somewhat curvy shapes with that distinct old-timey, yet stylish look. Its rigid metal construction left you with the impression that the vehicle indeed has substance to it.
Unfortunately, most cars of the new century look rather… plasticky, for a lack of a better term. Their aesthetics show the signs of an on-going evolution, which is not quite there yet. Not to mention that the use of electronics will definitely prove a problem down the line. That being said, not all 2000s models are created equal.
While you need to look harder to find a nice future classic, there is hope. These models may not be on the level of the classic Corvette that everyone wants, but some come pretty close. Let me introduce you to them!
The American racing snake – Dodge Viper
I open this list with an entry that has won my heart since the first iteration of the model. I still remember my toy Dodge Viper with white stripes. It was the one that inspired me to start my toy car collection. And now its initial couple of generations are becoming classics!
Dodge Viper hit the market for the first time in 1992. Since then it has gained quite the fan base. Sadly, the model line saw its end in 2017 for reasons unknown. While surely unfortunate, that turn of events makes the investment in an old Viper even better. Future scarcity will likely drive prices up. You can grab one for under $40,000 and in good condition at that.
I like to say that Dodge Viper is the American Porsche 911. Both cars pay respect to their predecessors in terms of performance and design. Because of that, I think the early 2000s Viper models are the perfect future classic entries.
A British piece of art – Aston Martin V12 Vanquish
As I have made it clear, I associate classic cars with rounded aesthetics. There is something inherently pleasing about them. Well, Aston Martin V12 Vanquish definitely checks all the right boxes with its design.
I do not know how the company managed it, but this car is the perfect blend between modern aesthetics and vintage looks. You can tell it is bound to age well, like a good wine. Should I even mention that it performs great on the track too? All in all, the V12 Vanquish has proven itself to be one charmingly impressive beast.
Yet I was not sure whether I should include this one on the list. It has a higher price point, which may not make it a reasonable pick for most of us. Still, the list would not have been complete without a car of this caliber. Plus some units can be found under $80,000, which is not exactly unbearable.
One for leisure – Honda S2000
When I was compiling my list I realized I was leaning towards hardcore racecars. That is because such vehicles are usually made to stand the test of time. Of course, that makes them perfect picks for long-term ownership. But what about a car that is perfectly good for your leisure activities too? Here comes Honda S2000!
In the spirit of other remarkable Japanese classics, the S2000 stands its ground as a fast beast, too. However, it also looks like a car that you can just drive around on a sunny day. Whether you want to push that pedal hard is entirely up to you!
Honda S2000 is also affordable. You can get one under 15 grand, although you can also splurge on a more expensive version. Honestly, though, you cannot go wrong either way. The model has received a lot of praise during the years, so entering the classic realm would make it even more appealing. I think this is one of the best future classic investments for pretty much anybody.
Getting classy – Volkswagen Phaeton
If you have ever wanted a premium class, long base, limousine-like car, Volkswagen Phaeton is here to deliver. Now, I know what is on your mind – since when is VW associated with the high class? Well…
The Phaeton model is not exactly Volkswagen’s most impressive car by any means. It has never really sold well. That being said, its reputation is not bad at all. When it comes to comfort, quality, and reliability the Phaeton should be able to satisfy anyone.
It also looks like a car that has been designed to become classic in the first place. Take a few looks at its interior and you will see what I am talking about. Oh, yes, you can also get it extremely cheap nowadays. I am talking sub-$10,000 cheap. If that is not worth it, I do not know what is.
The style king – Bentley Continental GT
This grand tourer screams “classic” from miles away. Even though that is the first Bentley manufactured under VW management, the car is still amazing.
You can tell they have not skimped on luxury at all. It looks like a vehicle you would love spending time in. I can even imagine myself sitting in that nice leathery saloon without even driving the thing. And its polished wooden details? Now, this is what I consider class.
Just like the Aston Martin I mentioned, Bentley Continental GT has all the characteristics of a good classic car. Its design can easily pass as vintage without looking outdated. The worst part about it is that it will take several more years for it to become a true classic. Then again, that means you can still get it while the price has not been driven up by classic demand.
Honorable mentions in the future classics category
By now you should have a good idea what kind of models make a good pick – luxury and sports cars. That being said, there are a few other models, which managed to impress me. For certain reasons I left them out of the list, but they deserve a mention nonetheless. Here we go with them!
- Noble M12
Noble M12 was developed by an obscure British boutique brand. Yet the demand for it was quite high, and it was even sold in the US. Its manufacturing run began and ended in the year 2000, so it is bound to become a classic in just a few years. That being said, I only have it as an honorable mention, because it is quite hard to get your hands on one.
- Ferrari 575M Maranello
Can we agree that Ferrari cars are classics by definition? This model looks very stylish, considering its manufacturing date, and it will turn people’s heads even today. The price does not go that high either (for a Ferrari, of course). You can score it for under 125 grand!
- The ubiquitous Porsche 911 Carrera
If you want a classic that will age and perform well, without being that expensive, the 911 is definitely a good pick. However, the model is so well-known that many do not view it as special anymore. You can say it is “every person’s” Porsche. If you ask me though, it makes for a good addition to a classic car collection nonetheless.
What is your favorite future classic model?
With a decent number of entries in our list, you have a lot, from which to pick. Whether you want to get an American brand or you fancy foreign car marques, you can always find something interesting out there.
But maybe a great model flew past me. Is there a great 2000s car, which I have failed to include in my list? If you have one on your mind, tell me. I am always on the look for fun cars to see and read about.
In the meanwhile, I will have to personally decide whether buying a future classic makes sense for me. It may not be feasible, because I fell in love with Jeep CJ since my article on our favorite vintage SUVs. Then again, a cheap 911 and a nice SUV make for a good start of a collection, right?