Like fine wine, rich Wisconsin cheese, James Bond flicks, and kimchi, certain cars age extremely well. But that’s not true for the majority of the automobiles manufactured, which are doomed once they reach a particular age or mileage, and is only getting worse. Americans are upgrading to new cars like never before, forcing older automobiles to run the risk of being condemned to the crusher.
But not all cars are destined for destruction, with more performance focused and obscure versions growing in both popularity and demand as they age. Classics like the ’69 Dodge Charger Daytona have begun to give way to imports like the original Acura NSX, causing us to wonder what tomorrow’s classics might look like.
Predicting the future may be a bit of a fool’s errand, but one thing is for sure: Collectible cars are usually sought by people who have a strong sentimental connection to a particular vehicle. May it be something they owned at a young age, or lusted after but could never afford, the reasons for collecting cars is often a multi-faced affair. Although limited-run models often tend to retain their value and stay in high demand, that doesn’t always mean they will retain their value forever due to varying trends and collector preferences.
So as the year 2020 begins to loom on the horizon, millennials grow increasingly sentimental over the cars from the 1990s and the early 2000s. With salary benefits on the rise, their ability to buy these machines is increasing too. Here are ten cars we believe will become highly coveted within 20 years, testaments to the fact that car enthusiasts will always try to hold onto the glory days, no matter what their age.
1. Porsche 911 R
Pulling heavy influence from an iconic 1967 race car, this stripped-down (and completely sold-out) sports car is about as race-ready and exclusive as it gets since only 991 were ever made. With its exclusive manual gearbox, optional lift system, 20-inch staggered alloys, and 500 horsepower motor, the 911 R is barely a year old and it’s already one of the most coveted cars in the world. While it may not be as technologically advanced or insane looking as the 918 Spyder, the R’s traditional lines and classic approach to power will more than likely help it remain timeless in 20.
2. Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
Despite its popularity and relatively short production run (1990–’96 in the U.S., 1989–2000 in Japan), the twin-turbo 300ZX was one of those cars that was way ahead of its time. While it has yet to gain collector car status like the NSX, the chiseled little lift-back has all the trappings of a future classic. The twin-turbo model in particular featured an active rear wheel steering system called “Super HICAS.” It’s one of those cars that’s both period-correct and timelessly quirky all at once, and while non-boosted versions will likely someday be sought as well, the turbocharged model will be the one to have considering its rarity and performance gains.
3. Honda S2000 CR
While the S2000 is already considered a highly desirable roadster, it’s the “Club Racer” or CR model that’s the real gem. This limited edition final fling (available only for 2008–’09) was a race prepped, road legal two-seater that only came in four colors and didn’t have leather, AC, radio, or a soft top, all in the name of weight savings. With only 1,400 in existence and a cult following that’s almost all millennial-based, the CR is a prime example of what a “future collectible” looks like.
4. BMW M3 (E46)
Already in high demand for its solid performance capabilities and reasonable reliability, the 2000–’06 E46 M3 is on the fast track to becoming one of the most iconic European performance cars of all-time. With its endearing design and easy to iron out factory flaws, this easily augmented BMW will more than likely continue to be a highly sought after collectible in years to come.
5. Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Here’s a car that dealers just can’t keep in stock, and for damn good reason. With its sharp stick shift, dampening exhaust, flat plane crankshaft, naturally-aspirated V8, massive brakes, and track-tuned aerodynamics, the latest Shelby Mustang is an American muscle car that will more than likely fetch a hefty price on the auction block in 20 years.
6. Jaguar F-Type SVR
The SVR version of the F-Type is equal parts sexy and sadistic. This carbon fiber-filled, tuned-up version of the already animalistic sports car has both the pedigree and performance to make it one of the most desirable Jags of all time. With purebred pedigree papers at the ready, the thunderous SVR is set to stand out as a hot commodity down the line for anyone fancying the thought of owning their own “British rockstar.”
7. Toyota J80 Land Cruiser
If history tells us anything about 4×4 Toyota trucks and their staying power, it’s that demand only goes up over time. While older generations remain one hell of a hot commodity, the 1990–’97 J80 Land Cruiser also stands a strong chance of going down as one of the greatest SUVs of all time. With its renowned off-roading capabilities, spacious leather cabin, timeless styling, and proven reliability, this generation of the Land Cruiser is only going to increase in value as time goes on.
8. Chevrolet Camaro 1LE
Resurrected and ready to rock, Chevy’s 1LE Camaro is a track-prepped package that can be had on the 2017 V8 Camaro SS as well as on 2017 V6 Camaro LT Coupe models that have been equipped with manual transmissions. With its superb styling and modest price tag, you can see why it has the right curb appeal of a future classic too. Featuring larger brakes, a bulging body kit, stylish bucket seats, and lightweight wheels, it’s a specific sort of factory package that few buyers opt for, causing the new 1LE to have all the right characteristics of a proper collector car.
9. Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4
The Mitsubishi 3000GT (or GTO in Japan) was a 2+2 seat sports car built by Mitsubishi from 1990 to 2001, and was imported and sold by Chrysler as the Dodge Stealth under the Diamond-Star Motors collaboration. Generating 320 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque, the twin-turbo V6 VR-4 is the model to look for. Sporting four-wheel steering, full-time four-wheel drive, active aero with autonomously adjusting front and rear spoilers, adjustable exhaust modes, and electronically controlled suspension, the first generation of the VR-4 was way ahead of its time. The U.S.-exclusive and extremely rare convertible version is the one to search for if collectibles are your end game.
10. Ford F-150 Lightning
First introduced as the 1993 SVT Lightning, Ford’s pre-Raptor heavy hitter was a performance tuned F-150 with tighter suspension, a tougher frame, and a more potent powertrain. While early incarnations are more classically styled, it’s the resurrected Lightning that deserves a nod as a future collector car. Rocking a re-calibrated suspension and reinforced chassis, this SVT version featured a supercharged 5.4-liter motor that produced 360 horsepower, which was bumped up to 380 ponies from 2001-2004 when it was discontinued. To this day, the transmission in this pickup remains one of its most interesting talking points — it came out of an F-350 diesel truck.