Back To The Future

In 30, 40, 50 years’ time, will the nostalgia and passion for classic cars remain? Rare Spares Directors Les McVeigh and Lance Corby got together with Rare Spares ambassador John Bowe to share their opinions and insights into where classic cars will fit into our future. 

In a world of rapidly advancing automotive technology, will true classics eventually die out? or will modern cars of the 80s and 90’s take their place? At what point might Australians stop restoring the cars they grew up with? Will there come a time when it becomes too technically difficult for the average car enthusiast to restore modern cars with high levels of electronics?

“I think there’ll always be an interest in classic cars, always. Where it stops, in my opinion would be when they start to get very complicated,” said John Bowe.

“Nowadays I think there is more interest in classic cars than there ever has been.”

Looking only 30-40 years ahead, Lance Corby envisions a future where classic cars remain, some from the 90’s, but many older vehicles as well. 

 “In 40 years’ time, there will still be people with classic cars on the road. Regardless of what future cars become, there will always be a percentage of people wanting something unique.”

How old does a car need to be before it holds nostalgic memories for certain owners? In 2050, will people born in the 90’s be fondly remembering the cars we’re driving today? Which models will be remembered fondly and which will be discarded?

“The rarer ones will still be the most valuable, because rarity is what drives the prices,” said John.

“Certainly I think cars of the 80’s and possibly the 90’s will become classics for years to come. I’m thinking the EB, EL, EF Falcons and similar type Commodores.”

Les believes that the VR Commodore will be one of the last models to ever be considered a classic as well as the HSV models. Two cars the Directors could both could agree on were the Holden Monaro V2, VZ 2001-2005 and Ford GT Falcon, FPV GT (produced by Ford Performance Vehicles).

“I don’t see many newer Fords that fit the profile for classic cars, but we’re still going to have the older Ford GT’s and Holden Monaros that will never be in production here again. For anyone wanting a classic Australian vehicle that will retain its value, they’ll probably be the two most popular models,” said Les. 

“The demise of Australian built Holdens and Fords will make those cars a lot more desirable, while the later model Ford and Holden imports won’t be as collectable.”

“I think we’re a nation that’s quite proud of our motoring heritage and there’s always going to be a market for the original Australian classics,” said John.

Beyond the 90’s, automotive technology has continued to advance, with hybrid technology and the move towards electric cars and vehicles that can park themselves.

If the cars of today and tomorrow were to one day become classics, aftermarket suppliers like Rare Spares would have a hard task at hand, replicating the advanced technology.

“Once they get into the new millennium, say the 2000’s on, cars become more and more complicated,” John said.

When asked if Rare Spares will adapt and eventually be producing electronic car parts, Lance said, “I don’t think so. We may, but there’s already a lot of aftermarket electronics for cars available. I don’t think we would ever be in the game of manufacturing that type of technology.”

On the future role of mechanics being likened to software engineers, he added “It’s certainly going to become a big part of their industry, but the skill set of your basic mechanic will always be needed; An engine’s still an engine. A long way down the track when you’ve got your electric cars and so on - that will change a lot of things, but our current cars still have almost all of the same components that the cars of yesterday had.”

“I don’t think that modern technology will ever stop the average Joe Blow from restoring a car in his backyard.”

Tell us what you think will be considered a classic in the future by emailing Amy at adixon@rarespares.net.au