I read a recent article on Popular mechanics “Jay Leno Predicts Future Collectible and Classic Cars”. I had to create a similar one based on cars available in India.
Long Post Warning: This is another long post ( I do have to learn to write shorter ones soon).
The vehicles I have listed match one or more of these criteria:
- Vehicles sold in India to the mass market not imported vehicles
- Car of the Year awarded (typically packed with features and are usually popular).
- Have some “first” attributed to them or some other unique characteristic, unusual engines or features or designs. Highest trim level versions are usual suspects since they have new features ahead of their time. (For e.g the Swift ZXI was the first Indian hatchback with steering mounted audio controls and climate control and airbags.)
- Special editions / signature editions.
- The first models or the last models of a car/brand.
- 4x4s, convertibles and coupes and higher engine powered variants.
- Shouldn’t cost more than 15 Lakhs (ex showroom) when new.
- Sold between 1975 till today April 20th 2009. Why 1975 ? Because that’s the year I was born. Simple ? :-).
In the order of Manufacturer/Brand I predict that in the year 2034 (25 years from now) these cars will be considered as collectible antique cars:
- The 2002 Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport (Car of the year for 2002). The S10 is collectible just for the signature.
- The Palio Adventure for being a station wagon with go anywhere looks. Unfortunately was not a 4×4.
- The 500 just made my list at 14.8 lakhs
- Upcoming: I predict the Grande Punto to be a collectible just for its looks. Hope it has an engine to match.
- The Trax , Judo and the Ghurka all in 4×4 versions.
- The Escort 1.6 and the Orion and Iris special editions – these are rare already you cannot find cars in good condition anymore.
- The 1999 Ford Ikon 1.6 SXI with ROCAM engine a popular enthusiasts car giving good performance for a reasonable price.
- The Fiesta Diesel from 2006 for having the best diesel engine from Ford. BSM Jury Award 2006. Fiesta special editions with weird stripes as well since just a few in number were released.
- The Aveo U-VA. BSM Car of the year 2007. The only reason this can be a collectible is that very few actually sold.
- The Chevvy Spark(Daewoo Matiz reborn): Best Value award for 2008. Plus it looks really good for an Indian Chevy.
- Optra SRV: Sporty hatchback. Very poor sales makes this a collectible.
- Upcoming: Chevy Beat & Cruze both look good and could become really popular
- The 1.8 L MPFI Petrol Isuzu engined Grand versions will be popular. Non cabbie vehicles of course.
- The Avigo will be a collectible for its looks plus it is a rare car as well due to low sales.
- The Contessa Classic (Late 90s -2002): The real object of car lover lust in the late 80s & 90s based on the Vauxhall Victor/VX FE series.
- The Old Honda City V-Tec – for its engine and being the most popular enthusiast car of early 2000s.
- The New Honda City (CVTs might be a bit more popular) for its weird shape.
- The All New Honda City of 2009 (arrow shot design) for its great looking shape.
- The 2000 Santro Zip Drive for starting off the Tall Boy trend (this one had a bump in power than the original base version).
- The 2004 Hyundai Getz GLS ABS. The first real super mini hatch with more space and features than any other available Hatch. First with ABS as well.Car of the year 2005.
- Verna CRDI. Performance car of the year 2007.
- 2009 Verna Automatic – First diesel automatic in the C-Segment, First Diesel auto under 12 Lakhs
- 2008 I10. Car of the year for 2008.
- Mitsubishi Voyager Van – very few sold. (Sold through Mahindra)
- 4x4s of the Jeep family based on the 5XX series. The “Classic” takes special mention and is already sought after.
- The 2003/2004 Bolero Invader – the only new soft top 4×4 to come out in recent years.
- Custom versions of the Bolero and Scorpio. 4×4 versions of the Bolero and Scorpio are rare.
- The Scorpio Petrol (Renault Engine) 116 BHP. Very few sold.
- The Scorpio 2.2 CRDE Automatic 4×4 in 2009 is the first auto box 4×4 SUV under 15L.
- The Scorpio Getaway 4×4 from 2007 when it was launched.
- The Bolero CRDe with the Bosh Micro Hybrid tech (for being the first vehicle in India to feature it).
- 1983 Maruti 800 (with Japanese made engine and very few local parts).
- 1999 Omni XL (High roof): Very few still remain and also this version was stopped very early. The flat low roof one is too common. Also front mid engine rear wheel drive layout.
- 1993 Zen (the original jelly bean): The timeless shape of the zen. The current Zen Estilo cannot ever dream of getting this popular.
- 2000 Zen “Classic” though hated by everyone for its looks will definitely be a collectible. If you own one do maintain it well and don’t ever sell it.
- 2003 Zen Carbon (Mica Black) and Steel (Silver) two door coupes.
- The 1989 1000: The first 1000cc + sedan from Maruti.The later post ’93 1.3 L engines are also popular.
- The 1996 onwards Gypsy King MG413W: The first time the Gypsy has adequate power and decent looks together.
- The Baleno for being another favourite enthusiasts car
- Baleno Altura for being one of the few station wagons at the time. Again low sales volume.
- The 1.1 L Alto VX. Great power to weight ratio. This engine also had a short production run.
- The Swift: The car that changed the impression of Maruti and is probably only rivalled by the Zen in popularity. I already mentioned the ZXI for being the first car in its segment with adequate safety features at a reasonable price. The DDiS VDI will also be a collectible for being the first really loved Diesel from Maruti(Fiat).
Also BSM car of the year 2006 for petrol engine ZXI. I am planning to keep my Swift for as long as I can :-).
- The SX4 ZXI (2007) for being the first car from Maruti with all possible features and even leather seats. The interior space of a Corolla with comparable features at several lakhs less
- Upcoming: The Kizhashi if it ever comes out and is priced under 15 lakhs for being the first D-segment car from Maruti in India.
- The first iteration of the Lancer in India with SFX trim.
- 2003 Astra 1.7 Club – one of the earliest cars with an OEM sunroof. I would avoid initial batches for build quality issues.
- The 1.6 Corsa Royale edition with sunroof and leather. Loaded with features but sadly didn’t do too well because of the price. Also the last special edition trim sold in a last ditch effort to rescue sales. A 1.4 Royale also was sold I think.
- 2002 The Corsa Swing: Only station wagon I have seen in Yellow. Already not on the roads.
Premier Automobiles Limited:
- The Premier Padmini of course (1968-2000). I pick the 137D version with its fancy wheel caps and much improved paint quality and looks. Am sure a lot of petrol heads will object but I chose this for the reason that it was the latest in the iteration. Premier Padmini petrols are already rare enough and sought after.
- 118 NE (Nissan Engine & Transmission) good unmodified versions are no longer available easily.This car was based on the Fiat 124.
- Sigma MiniVan – never seen these till I saw the links on Wikipedia.
- 309 (1994-1997) – for becoming extinct in India. Only one model was sold here.
REVA Electric Car Company
- Reva 2001 onwards for being the first electric car of the 2000s in India
- San Storm: The only convertible under 15 lakhs. The few that were actually sold are collectible.
- 1983 Dolphin based on the Reliant Kitten with a fibreglass body & 2 doors 4 seater.
- Standard Gazel (1971-1977). Not listed the Herald or the 8s or 10s since they are not in the year range I used for my criteria.
- Standard 2000 (Rover) launched in 1985 and made till 1988
- The Tata Sierra Turbo 4×4 – First Turbo charged car in India
- The Tata Estate -One of the first to feature Power steering and power windows
- The Tatamobile: The first pickup truck after 1990.
- The first generation of Indicas for being the first foray of Tata into hatchbacks.
- The Vista Quadrajet will be popular too.
- The Indigo CS – for being the first compact sedan in India. Cheapest Sedan available in 2008.
- The first batches of Safari 3.0 & 2.2 Dicors. First time the Safari has a decent engine powering it and the start of the Common Rail Diesel Wars between Tata and Mahindra. The older petrol engined ones also are rare by now.
- The Tata sumo Grande – not much by way of sales till now -it may die a natural death soon or be refreshed.
- The Indigo XL – the only OEM built Long wheelbase sedan under 15 lakhs.Best with the diesel Dicor engine and at the highest trim level with headrest mounted displays.
- The Xenon Pickup truck – as of now low volume but if priced right will really become popular.
- The Nano.
- Shyam Krishnamachary’s article on Indian Lemons
- Wikipedia – Cars In India (Current and discontinued)
To Jayadev (JayD) for graciously granting permission to use a photo of his Maruti Suzuki SS80 (first photo in this post). His car is one of the last few well maintained unmodified SS80s in India – maybe even in the world. More pictures of his car are available on Team-BHP.
Do you agree with this list or have I missed any car out from 1975 till now that may become a collector car ? Please re-look at the criteria I mentioned and if it fits please let do me know your thoughts.
PS: Please do use your own judgement in picking cars that may have a long term value – if the car doesn’t appeal to you it has ZERO value for you regardless of how much it is worth. If it appeals to you you wouldn’t ever part with it if you own it and would try your best to get your hands on one regardless of the price.