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What defines a 'modern classic'?

I've recently been mulling over what defines a 'modern classic' when it comes to cars. My 1989 Citroën CX GTi Turbo is now in need of a bit of bodywork fettling, and I can't decide whether it's worth spending the £££s or just calling it a day and accepting that - to most folk - it's just an 18 year-old unpopular car with a propensity for rust and 'unreliable dodgy suspension'.

The cognoscenti, of course, declare that it's a 'modern classic' - and indeed I'd like to think it is! Maybe the car needs to appear in a 'Life on Mars'-type serial to have any chance of more widespread appeal...

So, what do other BRs think defines the term 'modern classic' - and suggest some candidates?

No doubt it's a very subjective matter, but I'd propose that the following do fit the bill:

Rover SD1 'Twin Plenum' Vitesse
Alfa Romeo GTV6
BMW 635CSi (the 80's type)
Audi Quattro

whilst these do not:

Rover SD1 2000 ('O'-series engine)
Alfa 6
BMW 850
Audi V8

Comments

Number_Cruncher    on 31 August 2007

>>what do other BRs think defines the term 'modern classic'

Those cars for which there are a ready supply of deviants clutching copies of Practical Classics, willing to pay over the odds for some filler ridden tat.

Number_Cruncher

nick    on 31 August 2007

CX values are on the way up. I'd hang on to it if you still enjoy the car.

LHM    on 31 August 2007

Those cars for which there are a ready supply of deviants clutching copies of Practical
Classics willing to pay over the odds for some filler ridden tat.


Like I said, it's subjective. I wouldn't think you'd have to be that deviant to drive an original Quattro, and a factory-fresh Vauxhall Belmont would be hard pressed to quicken the pulse!!

Number_Cruncher    on 31 August 2007

While we were in the supermarket the other day and SWMBO was frittering our hard earned away on kitchen cleaners and detergents, I had a quick surreptitious peek inside the pages of Practical Perversions. Their feature car was a Daf Marathon!

As you say, no real danger to the pulse rate there!, but doubtlessly for some people the clean glossy pics of Daf Marathon in enticing pose might have exerted a wallet loosening effect. I can even imagine the existence of some depraved types for whom the factory-fresh Belmont might be considered exciting.

In short, what I'm trying to say is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Which is a good thing - after all, if we all panted and lusted after pristine Belmonts, the industry making spare parts for old MGBs and Land Rovers would be out of business!

Now, had you said factory fresh Senator 3.0 litre 24 valve...

Number_Cruncher

Xileno {P}    on 31 August 2007

Nick is right - CX prices are going up. Yours must be one of the last. Definitely worth spending some money on. It is a great shame that so few of these fantastic creations are still around.

Pugugly {P}    on 31 August 2007

Range Rover Mk1s
Any Defender.
Agree with most sentiments on here, especially older BMWs. I have to say that first shape five series are looking good.

LHM    on 31 August 2007

Now had you said factory fresh Senator 3.0 litre 24 valve...



Or a Lotus Carlton..... O.I.

jc2    on 31 August 2007

OXYMORON. Modern & classic do not go together;used in adverts to try to justify inflated prices.

1066    on 31 August 2007

a good condition cx must be worth spending money on if you like it still

bell boy    on 31 August 2007

What defines a 'modern classic'?

any car thats still repairable at the side of a road with a good supply of hammers
thats it really--------

most other classics are cheque book resto"s ---
or
bangers run on beans---------
or
obviously there are others run by anoraks that bore the paint off the ceiling in my local pub
sorry if i missed anyone out ;-)

Pugugly {P}    on 31 August 2007

Ah but some of today's cars will be tomorrow's classics - guess that a decently engined E39 will fit that bill perfectly.

billy25    on 31 August 2007

>>So, what do other BRs think defines the term 'modern classic'<<

Well according to the Government, it "used" to be anything (vehicles not folk!) aged 25years old! cos they were exempt from road tax.

Soon knocked that one one the head when they realised just how many there actually were out there didn't they!.

Billy

Lud    on 1 September 2007

any car thats still repairable at the side of a road with a good supply
of hammers
thats it really--------
sorry if i missed anyone out ;-)


Any surviving rustbucket from 50s to 80s vintage bb. Certain Vauxhall, Fiat, Ford and Lancia models spring to mind but there are others too.

Surely a repairable 90s Escort, Mondeo or Fiesta shouldn't be called by the much-abused term classic though, even by a cynical fellow like you... there are just too many of them. But a nice 1958 Victor, now that's a classic because most of them have dissolved.

Proper car people of my vintage dislike the term though.

Lud    on 1 September 2007

Proper car people of my vintage dislike the term though.


And some proper car people of later vintage like mm below who can't even bring himself to write the dreaded word without resorting to asterisks... wondered if this theme would bring you out mm.

NowWheels    on 31 August 2007

>>what do other BRs think defines the term 'modern classic'

Any car no longer in production which offers a combination of virtues not available in newer cars, and which is now somewhat rare. (So although the Mk1 Ford Focus might fit the bill, it's still too common to qualify)

Citroen CX - space-age looks, magic carpet ride
Peugeot 205: great packaging, wonderful ride and handling, simple to fix
Austin Allegro: desperately ugly, awful engines, atrocious build quality; so bad that it is an automotive landmark
Volvo 760/960 estates: huge, everlasting, and reliable
Suzuki X-90: so deeply awful to look at that it's actually cool

And then I thought of a car which breaks the must-be-out-of-production rule: the Citroen Berlingo, a unique and truly brilliant vehicle, and a true modern classic, without any real competition

PhilW    on 31 August 2007

"My 1989 Citroën CX GTi Turbo - to most folk - it's just an 18 year-old unpopular car with a propensity for rust and 'unreliable dodgy suspension'."

There is someone out there who would treasure it and spend the money on it - I hope it is you- if not, please don't scrap it, instead park it in my garden, and I will use it as a decorative feature! I will just sit there, glass of red in hand, wishing I had the money to completely restore it!

"the Citroen Berlingo, a unique and truly brilliant vehicle, and a true modern classic, without any real competition"

One of those on the front drive, (and a Xantia Exclusive) - tell you what NW, call round and we can sit with several glasses of red in hand in the last remnants of the summer sun, admiring some "modern classics"!!

--
Phil

blue_haddock    on 31 August 2007

205 GTi is most definately a modern classic.

storme    on 31 August 2007

205 gti
golft gti mk I and mk II
mk iv supra
xr3i
rs turbo
saxo vts
mgf
bmw 325i mkII
celica
corrado vr6/g60
integra typr r

.

Tomo    on 1 September 2007

I'd done a list but Storme has largely beaten me to it. I just must add the AE86 Corolla GT, the rear drive variety. I had about as much fun with that as anything around the back roads as the tacho went into the sevens; I would not mind a minter now, if there were such a thing and if I could find a very good home for Toad the Supra, who is really not doing enough miles.

On the Hyundai front Sonya Sonata has gone, by the way, sadly no longer needed as transport for SWMBO. As a slight cheerer-up I have a V6 auto Coupe Series III, (called Horace) which perhaps might be defined as a modern non-classic!

Tomo    on 1 September 2007

PS. Where does Toad the Supra (twin turbo JZA80) stand anyway? Not a classic because Toyota happily service it, even though it will blow off an awful lot of alleged classics?

oilnchain    on 2 September 2007

Can I just add my personal favourite to this list - Renault 5 GT Turbo

Yes, people complain about head gasket failure (not true if cooling system is correctly maintained/boost isn't messed with), poor Renault plastic interiors and dodgy electrics (similar to the 205 in that respect).

But the car has to be considered a modern classic due to its 1.4 litre 8v, push-rod driven, carburettor fed, turbo engine which makes it an entertaining drive giving many present day 'hot hatches' a run for their money.

NowWheels    on 1 September 2007

Phil, I'm not surprised that we agree on the Berlingo's supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness, but I don't think I can join in cheering the Xantia. It's a good car, and a comfortable car, but it doesn't have the stand-out-from-the-crowd-wow-factor which makes a classic.

The Berlingo is amazing: it looks like a van, drives much like a car, carries as much people and stuff as a car twice its size, and is v cheap to buy and run. But a Xantia is just a more comfortable Mondeo.

mrmender    on 1 September 2007

Oh dear hear we go again..... THAT word classic rears it's ugly head again!

L'escargot    on 1 September 2007

I don't understand why anyone would want to describe any car as being a "classic". Because cars improve all the time, in both performance and durability, it stands to reason that all old cars are rubbish in comparison with recent cars. If ever I hear anyone say "They don't make cars like they used to." I always reply "Thank goodness for that!"
--
L\'escargot.

storme    on 1 September 2007

so a MK III golf was better than a MKII and a MKI ???


i dont think so....

and what about the MKIII beemers?? i bet most back roomers will agree the E30 was better than the E36. then the E46 came along and WAS better than the last incarnation
.

frazerjp    on 1 September 2007

Would the MG ZR be a contender for a future classic.?
--
Its not what you drive, its how you drive it! :-)

madf    on 1 September 2007

In the 1970s, A Mini Cooper S was described as a modern classic.

Now it's too small, noisy and very uncomfortable...


A modern classic is imo a car some people go gooey over until it rots to bits.. and goes where it belongs.. a scrapyard.
madf

blue_haddock    on 1 September 2007

Would the MG ZR be a contender for a future classic.?


Most certainly not - its just a carp make-over of an ageing rover.

Screwloose    on 1 September 2007

>> Would the MG ZR be a contender for a future classic.?
Most certainly not - its just a carp make-over of an ageing rover.


But a ZT 260 with the Mustang V8....?

Pugugly {P}    on 1 September 2007

I had the very same thought.....that is a monster and I reckon will be a sought after car in years to come - ooh and rear wheel drive !

Lud    on 2 September 2007

I had the very same thought


Me too

sierraman    on 2 September 2007

Dare I say Sierra?Most aerodynamic car on the road when it came out,last rear wheel drive Ford,getting scarce now.Modern enough for todays roads but old enogh for DIY fixing,won't be scrapped for want of a few hundred quids worth of electronic gubbins.

Pugugly {P}    on 2 September 2007

Aerodynamic ? Why did they have to do a re-design soon after it was launched as the original one was 'opeless on Motorway crosswinds ?

Pugugly {P}    on 2 September 2007

Drag Coefficient of a Sierra 0.34
of a Renault 25 0.30

The Sierra was had a low drag factor but wasn't the lowest by far.

bell boy    on 2 September 2007

Aerodynamic ? Why did they have to do a re-design soon after it was launched
as the original one was 'opeless on Motorway crosswinds ?

in the usual ford book of updating the design they nailed some bits of plastic on the A posts to help the aerodynamics..........it worked too,pity they didnt do something with the dreadfull air ventilation system at the same time

sierraman    on 2 September 2007

Aerodynamic ? Why did they have to do a re-design soon after it was launched
as the original one was 'opeless on Motorway crosswinds ?



It had the lowest co-efficient of drag at the time,other cars of that era were as aerodynamic as a brick.

> last rear
wheel drive Ford


Granada-around the same vintage-Scorpio(different car,contrary to popular belief),wasn't really counting it,only 124000 built.

I drove a Sierra. Boring.
Anyone who thinks it's a classic needs to get out more and get a life.


Perhaps you didn't have a good one.I wouldn't consider a Morris 1000,I thought they were boring when they were still being made,now they are a classic,apparently.Just 'cos you don't agree with me you don't have to be insulting.

mrmender    on 2 September 2007

> last rear
wheel drive Ford

Europen Ford? WRONG what about Granada/Scorpio dare i say transit van too!

madf    on 2 September 2007

I drove a Sierra. Boring.
Anyone who thinks it's a classic needs to get out more and get a life.
madf

storme    on 2 September 2007

sierra sapphire cossie??
.

Pugugly {P}    on 2 September 2007

cossie

fair enough

Badwolf    on 2 September 2007

'Classic' is surely a subjective word? What's good for a goose is good for a gander. No, wait.... Anyway, my way of thinking is that any car which was once common but now isn't should be considered, if not a classic, then certainly worth saving. How many cars have there been that you think 'Blimey, haven't seen one of those for ages!'? Until last summer I ran a 1983 Peugeot 505 GLD saloon as my everyday car and I loved it. Huge, very comfy, easily able to keep up with modern traffic and extremely good on fuel. I only sold it (to a very good home) as it was in excellent nick and I didn't have the facilties to keep it that way. Wish I'd kept it now.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you think your car (or one you hanker after) is a classic then nobody has the right to tell you it ain't. Enjoy your car and ignore those people who look down their noses at you. Would you really want to spend time with them anyway?

Incidentally, a friend of a friend went to a classic car show in his pristine 1975 Allegro Vanden Plas and was turned away at the gate and made to park in the car park just because he was in an Allegro. That is what really annoys me about some elements of the classic car movement.


gmac    on 2 September 2007

FIAT Coupe 20VT.
Simple enough to service yourself, out of production since 2000 and, if you can find a low mileage example, still viable as an everyday runner with ONLY £175 per yer road tax while putting out whatever you feel inclined to tune it to.

And they are still affordable.

PhilDews    on 2 September 2007

I've always had odd taste - cars, women, football teams, but for what its worth:

BMW 8-series
BMW 6-series (old mid 80s shape)

Range Rover Mk1 has some strange appeal

MGB (always had some strange lure)

Mazda MX-5 the original shape from the late 80s

Toyota MR2 - as above, the late 80s version, don't know why tho'!


mrmender    on 3 September 2007

I've always had odd taste - cars women football teams but for what its worth:


So come on spill the beans lets have your odd taste in women & football teams out in the open. They may be more interesting than the cars!

PhilDews    on 3 September 2007

Well, the football team side of things - Hartlepool United (despite living in Leeds as a child), FC Schalke 04 (Germany), and then Bishop Auckland of all teams....

As for women, well probably best not to go there!

Screwloose    on 3 September 2007

As for women, well probably best not to go there!



You've got that so, so, right.... Amen to that.

Bagpuss    on 3 September 2007

Well the football team side of things - Hartlepool United (despite living in Leeds as
a child) FC Schalke 04 (Germany) and then Bishop Auckland of all teams....


Schalke eh? Well, could be worse, at least they were nearly Bundesliga champions last season :-P.

I support TSV 1860 Muenchen, so the less said the better:-(

Anyway, back to cars. I'm sure my car will one day be a classic due to its combination of performance car ability, every day usability and (relatively) low numbers. I won't own it by then of course, because I'll have long since got bored of it and will have swapped it for something else.

Sofa Spud    on 3 September 2007

I interpret the term 'classic car' as any car that has virtually disappeared from general use on the roads and has become of interest because of its rarity value. The term makes no judgement on the merits of a car, only its age, rarity or interest value.

So an MG Montego Turbo will become a classic before ordinary Montegos, as they were more desirable (!) and rarer.

The Jaguar XK120 was undoubtedly a classic. When it was announced at the 1948 Motor Show, it was intended as a high-performance version of the base model XK100, which was to have a 4-cylinder version of the XK twin-cam engine. But nobody ordered the XK100, while orders flooded in for the XK120. So the XK100 never went into production. A few years ago several of the 4-cylinder engines were found in a corner of the Jaguar factory. If someone used one of these engines to re-create a Jaguar XK100, it might be more sought after as a collectors' item than an XK120, simply because although it would be a less exciting car to drive, it would have greater rarity value.

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