5speedguy
5speedguy New Reader
3/27/10 7:50 a.m.

I am wondering if my 1993 Honda Prelude Si 4WS may be a "future classic." I feel it meets the requirements for a "future classic" in that it is a very good looking car, has considerable interest in car forums, and was around only for 2 years (the 4 wheel steering part that is). Any thoughts?

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
3/28/10 6:37 a.m.

I doubt it will ever be worth substantial money. It's simply not unique enough from a regular Prelude, and the Prelude itself didn't bring anything really new to the table as far as styling. I think it will be like a Galant VR-4; a few people will know what it is and want one because it's unique, but the mainstream car populace will just think "nice Prelude" and move on.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
3/30/10 10:44 a.m.

I would agree with David. Another example is the Toyota Celica 4 track. There are a lot of these out there that are in that category unfortunately.

The key it seems for a car to increase in value is a cool history, racing success is always nice, something landmark when it was launched, think Jaguar E-Type. Also though the car in question might have depreciated after a few years when new, it is a model that never lost its following.

Another nicety is low production though that is not in any way a guarantee to long term appreciation, think Renault Fuego Turbo for a non-starter.

One other helpful thing is if many people have written books and articles about that specific model of car.

Sownman
Sownman New Reader
3/31/10 5:41 p.m.

Preludes were pretty cool though. I owned 3 and totaled the last two. In 1979 I went to a Honda dealer in so cal looking to see a brochure on the new coming model. He said no brochures but he had 2 cars from the 1st boatload. I went home with one.

5speedguy
5speedguy New Reader
4/8/10 5:58 p.m.

Thanks everyone. I appreciate your honest input.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
4/9/10 7:00 a.m.

One other characteristic of cars that have collector value is that in some cases they were cars nobody thought would be collectible. I can't tell you how many muscle cars I owned in the 70's and early 80's that at the time were just old cars. One was a 1970 Chevelle SS LS-6 454. I even replaced the engine with a 427 from another car! I took the automatic out and put a 4 speed in it! Now look at the value of that car. I don't think your story is that much different than mine, although it's no guarantee that yours will be collectible either. I think many people think Japanese cars will never be respected collectibles. I'm no expert, but I think they are wrong.
It also depends on your definition of collectible. You have Ferrari collectibles and you have Ford and Chevy collectibles. I'll agree that your's will never be on the level of a classic Ferrari, but it certainly could be on the level of a '65 Mustang. My opinion is hang on to what you love and sell what you don't. If what you love ends up collectible, great, but if not you still have what you love. That's why I'm hanging on to my Mustang and my '90 Civic si, neither of which am I going to get rich off of selling.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Reader
4/9/10 8:55 a.m.

I'll add something else to the mix, it had to be popular when new, or at least sought after. While they didn't sell that many GTO Ferrari's, a lot of people wanted one, same with the Cobra or even Hi-Po Mustang. You have to have that in my opinion to make them sought after as classics to the general populace.

I have an affinity for a car in a similar situation, the 1st gen MR2. It meets most of the criteria for a sought after classic, but never seems to make it over the hurdle. I think some of that is that the Miata eclipsed it in popularity when new, and that is the car that will rise instead. A lot of cars are like that, and unfortunately the Prelude, like many others, will probably only be appreciated by a group of dedicated fans.

The cars that have a mythical or halo status when new, such as the Integra R or Supra TT are almost a bankable future classic, while others will be left behind.

My motto is, popular when new, popular when old almost always holds true.

Another interesting non-scientific observation on my part is that cars that are more rounded almost always command more interest as collector cars than those that are a "folded paper" design.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
4/9/10 9:18 a.m.

In reply to racerdave600:

I whole heartedly agree with that last statement. Curves age well, edges not so much.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
4/9/10 9:55 a.m.

All the above is sensible. But, if you like it, then that makes it right for you. It would not be a good day if there were no collectors of the less desireable cars out there. Getting a car for enjoyment is fortunately not sensible, nor should it be. The year 1993 is a good one. In 5-10 years, it will have the status of being a cool ride if nothing else. Cheers Ron

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
4/10/10 5:33 a.m.

My avatar is proof that something that was made in the millions can still be collectible, yet something like a 4WS Prelude that sold in the dozens is not. Desirability has to simply 'click' and connect with more people...the more that desire something, the higher the value goes.

OTOH, remember when the first Accord came out? People paid thousands over sticker to get one, yet today nobody would care if a clean one came up for sale. Some cars represent fads or flavors of the moment. Ones that retain desirability over time are the ones that will certainly be collectible.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
4/10/10 5:20 p.m.

On the collectibility of japanese cars. I think we are on the cusp of them become seriously collectible. I have a friend that paid just under $200,000 for a Nissan Z432 Z car last year and has also laid out serious money for a pair of GTR's as well The days of the #2 condition 240X for 10 grand are over. That being said, we are in the very early days of Japanese collectible cars. My opinion would be to put your money in a nice rust free driver condition or better 240Z or a Datsun 2000 Roadster in the same condition.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Reader
4/12/10 11:00 a.m.

I looked for two years before buying my '71 240Z (it came from Arizona). It still had a bit of rust, but nothing like most that I looked at. I found more when I tore into it that wasn't visible even on a lift.

The rust free 240 I think is a myth!

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
4/12/10 11:28 a.m.

Pretty close to a myth, but I have seen one or two. There are plenty that have had the rust repaired correctly and many AZ and California cars that have lived in those states their whole lives have little rust to speak of.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
4/13/10 12:39 p.m.

My thoughts for 5 speed are to keep the car that he owns and not go looking for a more popular or collectible Japanese car. Make sure all the unique trim pieces are in order that designate 4WS and treat the car like a classic. You will have a lot of fun with it. Cheers Ron

Rupert
Rupert New Reader
8/24/10 9:59 a.m.

In reply to 5speedguy:

Sure both the 4WS & regular Preludes were super cars. I also submit the CRX SIs as well. Who can beat the fun, fuel mileage, and dependability of a Honda, especially the earlier models?

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