Words like "innovative" and "groundbreaking" get thrown around a lot by marketers and auto reviewers alike, but there's another word that's reserved only for the upper echelon of the automotive world. Classic.
Not every used car is worthy of the distinction. A true classic is a vehicle that stands the test of time, that becomes iconic and unforgettable. Predicting a classic is nigh-impossible – car companies have been trying their best for years to introduce models that will stick in the public's memory for years to come.
Still, it's fun to try. Every year, the folks at Hagerty Auto Insurance, which specializes in collector cars, release their "hot list" of 10 cars that could eventually go on to have increased value in the collector market. Drivers who can successfully predict which cars will eventually become collector's items won't only be getting a great car, but they'll also likely be making themselves quite a bit of dough if the car shoots up in value in the next few decades.
"We have fun each year looking at which new vehicles embody the characteristics of collector cars, to help predict which ones might have classic appeal in 15 to 20 years," CEO McKeel Hagerty said in a statement. "The Hot List is our prediction for which cars manufactured this year will hold their value and consumer appeal long enough to one day be regarded as collectible."
Since the list is annual, all the cars mentioned are from the 2011 model year. The list was submitted to Wired, which chimed in with some thoughts and comments of their own on the vehicles chosen.
The Chevrolet Camaro is already thought of many to be a classic car, but most people are referring to the older versions from the 1970s. According to the list, Chevy has finally made a Camaro worthy of the "classic" title. The SS Convertible is a Camaro for the modern age, with a V8 engine producing 428 horsepower – a figure that will blow the doors off of the old Camaros.
In that same vein is the Ford Mustang Boss 302R. The Mustang has a long history, but the Boss 302R has quickly established itself as one of the rarest versions of the car available, with Ford producing just 50. The car is a track-ready racing vehicle, but those who are looking for a regular highway car can't go wrong with the regular Mustang Boss, which is available in less-limited quantities.
The tuning community has elevated a few cars to classic status, as some vehicles are simply more cooperative with modifications and additions. This year, BMW released its own factory version of the 335i that took a number of cues from popular tuner modifications made on previous versions of the 3-Series. The V6 engine is turbocharged for 320 horsepower, a tweaked suspension improves handling and the company even modified the body to make it appear slightly different from the rest of the fleet. No adjustments necessary – the 335i could be well on its way to classic status.
Finally, there's always a car that flies under the radar before becoming popular in its later years. The Infiniti IPL G37 Coupe could be that car. The model is the first produced by the "IPL" high-performance division of Infiniti, which already gives it a claim to history. If IPL goes on to produce some top cars, people will be able to look back at the G37 and point to where it all began.