Best future classic cars
If you like the idea of making money on a car, getting hold of a future classic is a good place to start
Future Classics. A contradiction in terms if we’ve ever heard one.
Accepted wisdom in the classic car community says that all cars become classic, and it’s just a case of when.
When we refer to future classics, then, we’re referring to the types of cars that will reach classic stardom before the conventional classic age of 40 - the special time in a car’s life when it becomes tax exempt.
Why should you care? Well, you may have read stories about classic car values skyrocketing in the last decade, and that, for some cars at least, is true.
Making money on a future classic is much, much harder. For one, you’ll probably have to wait at least 10 years before you see a return on your outlay. And this type of investment requires an upkeep - servicing costs, MoTs, storage - it all adds up.
Buying a future classic then, is more about getting behind the wheel of a car before prices go up and you can’t afford one.
How to spot a future classic?
Some are easier to spot than others. V12 Ferraris are a dead cert, but are expensive to buy. Picking anything else requires a bit more thought.
You can expect a model with a limited production run to become a future classic, as rarity is a large factor in the desirability of a car. There are more obvious aspects such as a car with a particularly individual design, or special edition versions of more ordinary cars that have their own unique appeal that will also gain attention in years to come.
Then there's always the chance that unlikely contenders that don't appear particularly special now will hold special value in the future to past owners who have fond memories.
Future classic cars
- Alpine A110
- Ford Focus RS
- Maserati Quattroporte
- Alfa Romeo 4C
- Toyota GT86
- Mazda MX-5
- DS 3
- Toyota Yaris GRMN
Those old enough to remember the Alpine name first time around might remember the original A110 from the Sixties. That stunning Berlinetta style coupe is a nailed on classic - and this new one looks set to follow.
Renault revived the Alpine name in 2017 for this car. It ticks all of the future classic boxes too - it’s rare (only 1955 Premiere Edition models were made for example) it has motorsport links (well the original one took six WRC victories), plus, it’s received positive reviews. It also has a David and Goliath subplot going on between it and the Porsche 718 Cayman.
Fast Fords are worth serious money. One example: good condition Ford Sierra Cosworths regularly trade hands for £70k. Even 10 years ago, it would have been around the £25,000 mark.
The Focus RS is the spiritual predecessor to the Ford Escort Cosworth (now fetching more than £50,000) and just like its predecessors, it is a cut-price alternative to a sports cars. How long it remains cut-price for remains to be seen.
Used Maserati Quattroporte deals Limited stock
Maserati has a huge back catalogue of classic cars - not surprising really, considering the first Maserati was made in 1900. The Quattroporte nameplate goes back to the Frua designed model of 1963 - but here we’re referring to the fifth generation made from 2003.
A pretty four-door body teamed with a Ferrari-derived V8 makes an intoxicating mix, and one that’s bound for classic stardom soon. Early cars generally become classics sooner - but post-2008 Quattroportes have mechanical and software updates that make them better to live with.
Used Alfa Romeo 4C deals Limited stock
Gorgeous and exotic it may be, but it’s deeply flawed - numb steering and lack of engine power being the main criticisms. But it is these flaws that makes many people see it as a ‘proper’ Alfa Romeo.
Truth be told, the 4C Coupe was a bit of a sales flop. It was canned in 2018 - but that does bring in a rarity value. It was made at Maserati’s (sister company to Alfa Romeo) legendary Modena plant too (well except for the carbon fibre chassis) which nails it down as a future classic.
Car enthusiasts are a fickle bunch. But they mostly agree that driving nirvana is a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive, manual, two-seater. And they mostly agree that there aren’t enough around ‘these days’.
Luckily Toyota started making the GT86 in 2012 and immediately billed it as a real drivers’ car. And understandably with 200hp, and the classic formula mentioned above, it’s gone on to win thousands of fans internationally.
Believe or not, the little Mazda MX-5 is now thirty years old. And believe it or not again - the original version made in the Eighties and Nineties is already cemented in the classic car walk of fame.
So all future generations are nailed on classics too. Unless Mazda makes a bad one. Which it won’t. As with every car, older models become classics sooner than newer ones, so the Mk 2 and 3 will become classics sooner than this latest model.
Under the bonnet there are only two choices - a 1.5-litre or a 2.0-litre. The latter is better suited to the MX-5, being more than 2 seconds faster on the 0-62mph sprint.
It might seem unusual to see a three-door hatchback on a list of this type, but fairly ordinary stuff ranks highly among classic enthusiasts - just look at the original Mini.
The DS 3 marked the rebirth of DS as its own sub-brand, making it almost as significant as the DS itself. And after all, Auto Express’ readers recently voted the Citroen DS as the coolest car of all time. The DS 3 Performance will be at the forefront, and will increase in value first. Citroen anoraks will also appreciate rare trim/engine combinations - like the 130hp 1.2-litre PureTech engine that was only offered in Elegance spec for less than a year.
Used Toyota Yaris GRMN deals Limited stock
Limited production? Check. Crazy design? Check. Upgraded version of a more ‘everyday’ type of motor? Double check.
The Toyota Yaris GRMN ticks all of the future classic boxes. It’s rare too - only 80 examples came to the UK. And there’s a motorsport connection with Toyota's current WRC team. Plus it was the first GRMN-badged performance Toyota offered to European customers.