Classic Car?

Many years ago I spotted a recurring advert in Exchange and Mart “For Sale, Triumph Mayflower, soon to be a classic!”. Well history shows that it never quite made the grade as a classic car. The word classic has started creeping in to a number of posts on this site, usually when people are responding to a ‘For Sale’ posting, trying to disuade the seller from losing his big opportunity when the Exige does become a classic. I guess that most people making the reference to ‘classic’, are quoting a recent motoring correspondent and are implying an appreciating asset.I am on the verge of putting my Exige up for sale, due to the pending arrival of its more potent replacement, and I paused to consider whether I should keep the Exige if only because it would soon be a ’ classic’. Let’s face it we all want to own a classic. But what exactly is a classic car?The Model T Ford, the VW Beetle and the Leyland Mini are all classic cars by most people’s standard. I have owned two Beetles and four Mini’s, but I would not want one today. Do people mean desirable, scarce and exotic when they talk of classic? That description would cover most Italian nightclub cars (Ferrari, Lambo etc), so it can’t be that. The only two cars that I am aware of that showed the potential as future classic cars, have gone on to be virtually unobtainable (financially) by most mortals. That would be the GT40 and the McClaren F1. The F1 was phenominally expensive at the outset (�635000) and commands about �850000 now. A decent GT40 will set you back about �500000.So, what about the Exige. If it were to cross the threshold into classic domain, how would it affect current owners? Would the value soar (10 times new price)? I think not. Okay the car is desirable and relatively scarce and no longer being made. Of the small number made, probably 600 remain in roadworthy condition. Anybody with �30k+ could have bought a brand new one. Admittedly, in its favour, we are unlikely to see another quite so raw and track oriented car leave any production line. Or will we?Why do you think that your Exige will be a classic car (or not) and how will it affect the Exige market? The Elise Mk1 showed one of the lowest forms of depreciation of any modern car and it also has been referred to as a classic, yet the value of the car continues its, albeit slow, downward drift. In fact, although Lotus in its time produced a number of outstanding/classic cars, I am not aware of any model that has shown noteworthy appreciation even with the passage of time.Anybody have a view?PS By the way they wanted �120 for the Triumph Mayflower!

Ken et al,For me, the future value is not really important. If it maintains a decent value, then that’s a bonus, cos I bought it to drive, not as an investment. If it doesn’t, I don’t care, bcause it’s the only car which makes me smile EVERY time I drive it, or (sadly!!!)even EVERY time I see one! In 35 years of car ownership,including a quite a few “supposed desirables”,the Exige is my only car to do this [image][/image] Other cars are faster etc. etc. but I doubt that any other car gives both the driver & the onlooker the same “wow” factor. Eveyone seems to just love the sight of the car on the road. This strongly contrasts with the reaction to other recently owned cars such as Impreza Type R & EVO V1. To be perfectly frank, excellent as those cars were in their own rights, I was shocked (& fearful!!) of the way some of our society reacted, & for sure, I wouldn’t go out in either of them at night! Exige a future classic? Bloody right it is [image][/image]Ken, I remember the Mayflower when it was new - crap then & crap now [image][/image]When does your fantastic new car arrive in the UK? You MUST let us know & come to a trackday (even if only to spectate) so we can have a drool [image][/image] Will it be a future classic though???

Mr Pesky is correct, I purchased my car as a keep-sake. I doubt that I would sell it, I’ve owned it 18 months and have covered 1400kms, it has spent more time in bits than my son’s '73 beetle, I want to know what makes it tick. I make many of the mods posted in this forum (thanks to everyone) and then see if it improves the car as, I see it. A classic, I don’t know what a Mayflower is but I owned a convertible Corvair once, you know, rear engine flat 6, the car Ralf Nader put a stop to, it too was crap, but I think it was a ‘classic’. The Exige is one of the best cars I’ve driven in my 33+ years on the road and for what it is, it is the best in it’s class.

Pesky is 100%.A “Classic” does not have to be an appreciating “asset” One of the magazines came up with a few criteria that meant a car was a classic, I can’t remember them all but racing history, rarity, effect on the industry, etc etc were the basis. So the Mini revolutionised the small car market, won rallies and races but will never be a retirement fund - too many were made …The Elise was up there quite high, so I guess the Exige being more rare and having some racing history [image][/image] HAS to be a classic.Will it be our pension fund ? - I somehow doubt that [image][/image]

Ken,I second Pesky’s view. Although the Exige will always be a desirable car and therefore keep more or less it value, I bought it to be driven and with the view to keep it for life, not to expect any financial gains from it.And DRIVE it does well!. If somebody in 10 years wanted to give me more than I paid for it, it would be flattering, but I would still keep the car.Now, I believe the Exige will become a classic and I guess keep its value or rise slightly, but since they didn’t start as collection items (like the McLaren or GT40), don’t expect them to soar like them. Maybe would follow the value lines of an original Lotus Se7en?Every once in a while, I see myself in the future, 40 years from now (I’d be 81) and drive to historical events like the “Mille Miglia” in the Exige and with my wife on the side. It always makes me smile, and proud. [image][/image]Just my 2 cents,UldisPS - according to the “Lotus Elise, the Official Story” book (by Jeremy Walton) the official number of Exiges produced was 601. I would doubt there are still 600 [image][/image]

I am not equating classic with increasing value, but this seems to be implied by some peoples post. When I bought my Exige, I did so in the belief that I would lose a substantial part of my investment and was content to do so. My real question is: 1. What makes a car a classic?2. What are the consequences of being a classic car?3. Why might the Exige become a classic car?Regarding the Esthi, it is due in August. I don’t expect it to become a classic. A rarity most certainly, I suspect it may well be the only one of its kind in the UK.

KenGood questions!One attempt to answer can be found here, although it really only covers “older cars” I’ll just cop out & say that for me a classic car is one that has that “wow, I want one” factor when you see it! All very subjective, but it’s nice when my own personal view is shared by others [image][/image] In this context, the Exige seems to fit the bill, not only with us (biased) owners, but with the motoring press & public at large. Its rarity also helps [image][/image]Go on Ken, keep it - you know you want to. [image][/image] Esthi - I reckon that it will become a “classic” in the wider sense, albeit some years down the line. I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually turned up in a Coys (or similar) auction. By the way, what colour have specified - presumably you can choose whatever you like?

Yellow car!

The irony of the Exige is that it stuck to dealer showroom floors like a limpet. As I said in a posting a few weeks ago, it’s a fair bet that it’s more sought after now than when it was part of the standard Lotus range.Although not by any means an expert in these matters, I will be most surprised if Exige prices aren’t currently bottoming out before they start to appreciate again.The reason I say this is that, like Led Zeppelin, Nirvana or Jimi Hendrix, the car is something that seems even better now than when it was contemporary. Classic and Sports Car rated it as one of the most likely cars of today to become a classic. Anyone who has owned one will know exactly why that is

Sorry to move off on a tangent, but I’m intregued (sp?) on your quote Pesky: quote:Other cars are faster etc. etc. but I doubt that any other car gives both the driver & the onlooker the same “wow” factor. Eveyone seems to just love the sight of the car on the road. This strongly contrasts with the reaction to other recently owned cars such as Impreza Type R & EVO V1. To be perfectly frank, excellent as those cars were in their own rights, I was shocked (& fearful!!) of the way some of our society reacted, & for sure, I wouldn’t go out in either of them at night! Care to elaborate? How did people react to the EVO?I was considering an EVO myself due to job requirements (even though I’d rather have the Exige) but frankly stupid insurance costs, and scary running bills, put me off.Thanks

Hi MattPlease bear in mind that I live in the Greater Manchester area, so my experiences may well not be typical.Reaction became the same towards both the Impreza & EVO V1. I had each of the cars relatively early on, as far the UK market was concerned, & they were then being bought by enthusiasts (Impreza 1998 to 1999, & EVO 1999 to 2001). Reaction from the general public was good - most had no idea what they were, but wanted to ask questions about them - all friendly stuff.As their performance potential became more widely known (Playstation games & lurid media reports of them being crashed by inexperienced drivers, or worse, their use by criminals), the public’s reaction became quite polarised - either loved them or hated them. Every boy racer in town wanted to race or tailgate you, cops would follow whilst they checked out “stolen cars” on their radios, dodgy characters were attracted to the cars etc etc.I personally knew a fellow EVO owner who was carjacked at 5.30pm in Sale (south Manchester) by 3 thugs, shortly after leaving his office. Parking the car in towns became a bit of a nightmare - would it still be there when I got back, or would some idiot with an iron bar be waiting for me & the keys?Sorry if all this seems extreme - it probably is, but I’m trying to give you some idea of the anxieties I personally felt whilst owning these 2 great performing cars. You will perhaps now also understand some of the reasons for the high insurance!On the positive side, I had some fantastic runs out with fellow owners, particularly in the Scottish Borders, where you could stretch the cars’ legs somewhat!With the Exige, I get nothing but positive reactions from all & sundry, plus I’m not worried about carjackers, or it being stolen(unless it’s “to order” from my home).Apologies to one & all for this rambling post.

Thanks Pesky.I live in Birmingham, pretty close to Manchester on the Insurers “hit list” [image][/image]I can get insured on an Exige so much more easily than I can with an EVO. Almost all insurers want a tracker and at least good CAT1 alarm before they will even quote me (and then its almost �2000 a year)The Exige I can get a quote for without an Alarm and its always about �1300. Its interesting that you mention you feel none of these anxieties with the Exige, though. I suppose that the EVO’s history and reputation, as you say, is alot more tarnished than the Exige will ever be.Not exactly an inconspicuous car to steal, and unlike EVO’s, not much good as a getaway car with little boot space and only 2 seats! [image][/image]Thanks for the info, much appricated.

Does getting ‘future classic’ insurance count? I don’t really know, but its halved the cost!I’m not sure the Exige will ever be worth much more that they originally cost, but a classic it will be, more to do with rarity than anything else.DJ

MattBProbably not want you want to hear - but everyone I know who has had an EVO or an Impreza has either had it stolen or damaged ( keyed etc ) - and thats at least 6 people.One mate had his Impreza knicked from his house - they broke in to get the keys … he got it back 3 months later ( 24K repair bill - so insurance company was stupid as it cost more than the car - and that was becuase it needed new interior, suspension and a respray - but they didnt see that at first … ) - then they tried to pinch it again within 3 days of getting it back - again by breaking into the house …Another mate had his stolen at knifepoint after being rammed by a BMW - in I think Kidderminster …They are a total liability IMO and thats why the insurance is so high.Dont do it … get an Exige [image][/image]

It does worry me to be honest. Maybe if I lived in Wales I’d be a little keener!And I’d happily take an Exige, but if I can’t fit more than one PC in there (and that’d be a push) then there is just no way I can possibly have one. I need the space for my job.To be frank, I’m kinda pi**ed off about it [image][/image] And sorry Ken, I’ve hijacked your thread!

Does anyone happen to know how many exiges, elises were made and how many left the country?Also does anyone know the real reason why the M250 project was stopped…

According to the “Lotus Elise, the official story” 601 Exiges were made (globally).I don’t know how many have been made LHD or taken abroad, or how many have been written off, but my guess would be about 30% (?)Uldis

quote:Originally posted by insane-dj:Does getting ‘future classic’ insurance count? I don’t really know, but its halved the cost!DJPlease tell us all some more…

Nearly 200 write offs? Sounds a bit steep to me. I would have thought closer to 20.

No, it would be nearly 200 that are not in the UK, because they’re LHD, or to Japan or Australia or Southafrica and a few destroyed (I guess no more than 10, know only about one)Uldis