Is there any single automobile that represents failure more than the old Ford Edsel?
No. No, there isn’t. Some modern failures might come close (the Pontiac Aztek comes to mind), but the Edsel remains the epitome of a new car gone bad. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, of course. All the market research and trends of the day pointed to certain success. But, even in the 1950s, the car-buying public was a fickle group, and the Edsel simply crashed and burned.
Which could be why, today, the cars fetch big bucks. What other failures are seeing new life, and what cars today might follow suit? Keep reading to find out!
When a car company fails to sell a new model in big quantities, obviously production slows down, and fewer models are put into existence than once hoped. Should a renewed interest in the car surface years (or decades) later, the makings of a classic are in place. Such is the case with the Edsel, a version of which recently sold for about $50,000.
The Datsun 240Z might fit, too. Though it wasn’t a failure when it launched, it was ridiculed as a cheap attempt at a sports car by a Japanese automaker. Today, well-maintained or restored cars can easily fetch between $10,000 and $20,000.
The Porsche 914 was no instant classic either. In 1970 it was just the lowest-end Porsche ever, and ridiculed as such, but today we recognize it as the predecessor of the legendary Boxster. Try picking up a good-condition 914 in today’s market while prices remain reasonable. They won’t for long!
So what overlooked models today might be the darlings of the used listings tomorrow? The Chevrolet Volt is a good candidate, because it’s not selling well and features a technology new to the market. Future generations might pine after its quaint gas/electric drivetrain. Of course, it’s hard to imagine prices increasing over the $40K MSRP the car carries now.
On the other end of the pendulum, I think any Hummer vehicle will hit collectible status. It might take two or three decades, but when we’re all tooling around in hydrogen or natural-gas-powered vehicles, an SUV like the Hummer H2 will be the gas-guzzling relic that once again will steal hearts.
Better start hitting the used listings, because some of those great deals will be worth much more in a few years!
What car would you buy today with the intent of keeping until it becomes a collectible?