Know that Honda Insight on the used car lot with the ugly wheel well covers and dwindling battery life? Don't knock it: it could one day be a classic.
There are cars on lots and on the road right now that could be the big-ticket, auction-worthy status symbols of the not-so-distant future. As Fate of the Furious continues a generation's on-screen obsession with tuner automobiles and transforms cars like the Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra and Honda S2000 into icons -- and Generation X develops enough disposable income to make its poster cars like the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari F40 a reality -- we're already starting to see what the second-hand luxury market will look like a few decades from now.
However, unlike a generation of Baby Boomers who dreamed of owning Steve McQueen's green Mustang from Bullitt or Peter Fonda's Charger from Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, a younger generation hasn't exactly struck up a love affair with the automobile. The share of new cars being bought by Americans between 18 and 34 is down 30% in the last five years, according to auto pricing site Edmunds.com, A Pew Research Center study notes that people under 35 bought 12% fewer cars than they did in 2010. The Department of Transportation notes that just 28% of 16-year-olds had driver's licenses in 2010, with just 45% of 17-year-olds claiming the same. That's plummeted from 50% and 66% respectively in 1978. While the number of 16-year-olds with driver's licenses peaked at 1.72 million in 2009, it dropped to 1.08 million by 2014.
That's shrinking the pool of potential collectors, but not before Baby Boomers and Generation X place their bids of their dream machines of yesteryear. While Lamborghinis and Ferraris started out as supercars, the folks at auto pricing site Black Book note that some collectibles have far more humble beginnings.
"What makes a car a collectible over time includes any number of factors that include popularity, pop culture, and production volume," said Eric Lawrence, Director of Specialty Products at Black Book. "Many people think today's uber-expensive vehicles always came with a hefty price tag, but these vehicles show that's clearly not the case."
With help from Black Book, we uncovered 12 fairly working-class cars that became big-ticket collectibles. If these cars can bring in big money, why not a fast-and-furious Mazda RX-7?: