When carmakers start pumping out only electric vehicles, what will happen to the good old-fashioned gasoline-powered cars?
At least two classic-car experts believe vehicles like the Corvette will still be valuable to collectors for years.
Harry Clark, an enthusiast who founded Classic Promenade in Phoenix, Arizona, includes “most Corvettes that are fully-loaded with low mileage” on his list of internal combustion vehicles that will be collectible in a totally electric future.
But not all ICE vehicles will be able to find a loving home years from now, he believes.
“A specific Porsche model or an American car that is specific like a Corvette or Camaro – but not all of them” will be popular with collectors, Clark told the Detroit Free-Press. “One that is beat up or not with the right options or the right years, they’re going to find it difficult to find a home for that vehicle.”
Also included on Clark’s list are Porsche cars (especially manuals), any Ferrari, an early model Toyota Prius in pristine condition, Mercedes-Benz SLR, SLS coupes and roadsters, Ford Bronco SUV, Ford Mustangs (including Shelbys), Dodge Hellcats and Demons, Cadillac Escalade (fully loaded), and Cadillac CTS-V sedans.
Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty, meanwhile, believes the collectibles of the future – just as they are now – “still [have] to be attractive and be a limited edition.”
He points to the C7 and C8 Corvettes as examples.
“Some certainly wanted the mid-engine – newest, latest-greatest Corvette,” Hagerty says. “But there were an awful lot of people who said, ‘I want to get one of the last C7s because I want the last front-engine Corvette.'”
The last C7, for instance, sold for $2.7 million at Barrett-Jackson, while the first C8 fetched $3 million a few months later – sort of an unusual spin on the old Ricky Bobby adage that “if you’re not first, you’re last.”
Hagerty believes the last gasoline version of certain models will be “highly collectible and highly sought after … just like the first year models are.”
He foresees an immediate future where gasoline and electric cars will co-exist for decades and has an optimistic outlook on the collector hobby.
“We’ll be in this blended world of internal combustion and EVs existing next to each other, and the view from the collector vehicle space is we’re not worried about it,” he says. “If anything, we’ll embrace it, and if it brings more people who want to drive for fun, that’s a good thing.”
Clark does foresee potential obstacles for gasoline-powered vehicles in the future, however.
“The presumption 30 years from now is we’ll be about to go tour in our cars except for the question of where are we going to get the fuel?” he says. “Think of it like today, it’s not very easy to get propane. You have to really have your act together to find it. Gasoline will ultimately be that difficult to find.”
Then there is the current move toward self-driving vehicles. How will classic cars requiring human intervention be viewed by the rest of the world that is using autonomous vehicles?
“Society is based on computers interacting and organizing and suddenly a person is driving a 1957 Chevy that has no computers on it, so now you’re the wild card,” Clark said. “It may require you to stay away from certain streets within that urban area.”
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