Alas, another year is coming to an end.
It was a special year in many ways – Back to the Future finally came true, another royal baby was born, new records were set in classic car auctions and we learned that the Queen is a seriously keen driver.
But, as this year draws to a close, there’s plenty to look forward to in the next one. Here we take a look at things to look out for in the classic car world in 2016.
There’s plenty to see and do for classic car fans in 2016.
From the legendary Goodwood of Speed and Revival meetings to the Silverstone Classics, via smaller shows and auctions, it’s set to be a busy year. Look out for the London Classic Car show in February, the Donington Historic Festival at the start of May, the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in June and the Beaulieu International Autojumble, to name just a few.
As you can see it’s not just the summer that’s packed with classic goodness – so get your diary out and make the most of the whole year.
You might need to sit down for this one, some of the most recognisable classics turn 50 (yes, FIFTY), years old in 2016.
They include the Alfa Romeo Spider (remember The Graduate?), the Jensen Interceptor, Fiat 124, Daimler Sovereign, Nissan/Datsun Sunny, Dodge Charger and the Toyota Corolla.
That’s a list to make most of us feel quite old, I’d imagine.
And, incredibly, the beautiful Lamborghini Miura, probably one of the most sought-after classics of all time, is notching up its half-century in 2016.
While you probably can’t afford a Miura, there are a few cars there that are well worth investing in as they reach their landmark age.
MORE CARS BECOME CLASSICS
Another year passes, more cars lean closer and closer to classic territory.
We reckon that anything between 15-20 years old counts as a modern classic and anything 30 years old can count as a proper classic car. So, cars that we reckon join the modern classics fold in 2016 year include the Porsche Boxster, the BMW Z3, Ferrari 550, Jaguar XK, the Lotus Elise and the TVR Cerbera (remember them?).
For those who insist on their classics being a bit older, things are a bit trickier, it turns out. Not that many new cars of note were introduced in 1986, though the BMW 7 Series of that year, the E32, is a car well worth seeking out, as is, dare we say it, the Jeep Wrangler.
For those looking for something a little quirkier – and certainly cheaper – how about the Rover 800 or the Citroen AX? Both were launched in 1986 and both perfectly represent the work of France and Britain respectively at the time.
They could well be worth investing in now as cars that might well increase in value.
MORE CLASSICS DISAPPEAR
The sad fact is that, as time goes on, cars that we know and love become fewer and further between on our roads. According to the fascinating website howmanyleft.co.uk, there are cars on the endangered list that might surprise you.
Take the original Austin Metro, a once common sight on the roads, there just four left from 1984. There’s only one left from 1983 and also one from 1985. Looking at older cars, there are tens or, at best, only hundreds of Rover SD1s left on the roads.
There are fewer than 500 Mazda MX5s from its 1989 launch year left, while there are precious few Peugeot 205s still around.
And it continues, so if you want to either buy a classic or do your bit to keep one on the road, it’s time to get searching.
CLASSICS GAIN IN VALUE
Classic car values have been rising for years and, while that upward trend might be slowing down, there’s little sign of values going the other way. So with interest rates at the banks still nothing to shout about several years after the recession apparently ended, there are worse places to put your money than in metal and engines.
Be careful, though. For those with a bit of money to spend in the first place, buy as cracking an example as you can – history is key. And watch out for the pitfalls, as a low purchase price could end up spiralling as your battle to keep your new classic on the road.
But be careful and you’ll have an asset that will bring you both pleasure and the prospect of a profit in the future.