We all love classic cars, but some of the classics we will love in future years are for sale new right at this very moment.
In the early Seventies, my great grandmother walked into a Chevy dealership and purchased a V8-powered Chevelle hardtop coupe. The last car she would ever buy. She didn’t know it at the time, but her choice would become one of the most widely restored collectible classics in automotive history. Had she known, pea soup green may not have been her color choice.
Fast-forward about 50 years and this opportunity still exists. Anyone can walk into a new car dealership and drive home in a car that is destined to be a sought-after collectible in years to come. Here are some the BestRide staff think may be obvious examples.
The Dodge Challenger Hellcat from Dodge’s SRT division is the most obvious collectible classic car on sale new today. After watching Ford and GM get the glory for the better part of twenty years, Dodge and its managers decided to drop 707 hp into a very capable chassis and reset the bar for muscle car bragging rights.
Having driven the Hellcat on and off track, it is not really what many make it out to be. It’s better. Not a racecar, but a drag car. Not a sports car, but a cruiser. BestRide reached out to Patrick Rall, a writer/editor and occasional contributor to BestRide, who has had more track time and seat time in a Hellcat than any other journalist. Patrick also owns a classic Dodge Demon drag car and he is THE authority on this niche. Patrick said, “While there will eventually be other cars with more power or greater performance capabilities, the Hellcat Challenger is going to become a sought after collectible because it is more than just another high-performance car.”
Patrick explained, “The 707hp supercharged Hemi and the ability to run a factory-stock 10-second quarter mile are the key attractions, but the fact that it is a 2-door muscle car with real space for four adults in a luxury-level cabin AND has all of that power will make it a popular cruiser in the future.” Patrick envisions collectors like himself at the Woodward Dream Cruise in the future in a Hellcat. “Some guys have AC, but most do not and even fewer use the system. You cruise windows down, no matter what. Unless it rains…then you drive with the windows up, roasting in the car without any functional cooling system. Now, imagine in 25 years cruising Woodward in a Hellcat Challenger on a 100 degree day. 700+ horsepower on tap, cruising with the windows down and the cooled seats on. The rain kicks up, you close the windows and turn on the AC in your 10-second car.”
Alfa Romeo 4C
The Alfa Romeo 4C is unlike most cars in key ways. Non-enthusiasts would look at its features list and think they were being ripped off: It’s got manual steering, something that no other car in the last 30 years has featured. It’s got an automated manual gearbox. The seat is a poor substitute for a cardboard box folded twice under your butt. The Alpine stereo looks like it’s straight from your high-school pal’s Olds 442.
Now let’s say it the way an enthusiast like your author would: The most communicative steering in any production car on Earth; the gearbox that only shifts when you say so, or that can be set to auto when you are exhausted from wringing the car out on a track or back road. A racing-style seat that saves weight. An exhaust so loud no audio system really matters.
Having driven the 4C on track and on road we can say without qualification that is it the most entertaining car we have driven, but with a hard edge that is not for the faint of heart. This car will be a collectible and may even appreciate nicely in just a few years after it is out of production, whenever that sad day comes.