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Car Collecting Overview

Tomorrows Collectibles: The Field is Wide Open

Tomorrows Collectibles: The Field is Wide Open

Car enthusiasts can and do debate at length the identity of the collectible cars of tomorrow. In January 2008, Hagerty Insurance published a list of Top 10 Future Collector Cars that included:

•    Cadillac XLR-V Roadster
•    Lotus Exige S
•    Audi S5
•    Mustang Shelby GT 500 KR
•    Chevrolet Corvette Z06
•    Smart
•    Subaru Impreza WRX STi
•    Honda S2000 CR
•    Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky
•    Dodge Charger Super Bee

The critics instantly jumped on the selection. The Audi? Will the electronics in that one last 25 years? The WRX STi? How can a car that fugly make the grade? Where's the Viper ACR and R32?

And just a year early Hagerty itself was touting the future collectibility of the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Mini Cooper, the Lotus Elise, the Dodge Viper, the Acura NSX, the Toyota Scion, Audi TT, and Chrysler 300. (The Smart made both the 2007 and 2008 lists and it's fair to say this one is destined to be an iconic little beauty for some time to come.)

In 2007, a 1966 four-door Toyota Corona sedan with 8,768 miles on the odometer, sold for $16,740 at the Silver Auction sale in Fort McDowell, Ariz. (Those early Toyotas weren't rust-proofed, so their survival rate is low. Is that enough to qualify a car as a collectible? Rarity? In some cases, yes.) In the last couple of years, in fact, interest in vintage Toyotas, principally the Celica, the company's first foray into the sporty personal car genre, has been growing. A 1971-72 Celica in good shape commands around $12,000 at auction.

While it's difficult to peg exactly what will be the highly sought-after collectibles of tomorrow, the criteria for desirability will most likely remain:

•    rarity or unique provenance. (Cars owned by celebrities are always collectible. Think James Dean's Porsche.)
•    speed and high performance. (It's hard to envision a time when a Mustang won't be sought after, especially a Shelby.)
•    unique appearance or form factor. (Collectors love an oddity, which makes the Smart a natural.)
•    near misses with a beauty all their own. (Can you say Delorean? Odds are the Tesla electric sports car will be in this category.)
•    experimental and niche vehicles. (Right now there are experimental, alternative fuel vehicles being turned out right and left. It's certainly conceivable to think someone would get interested in modified Prius' units or some of the three-wheel urban transport models getting kicked aound.)

In the end, however, it's all a matter of taste. Collectors buy what they like and often don't feel the need to justify their choices. There's also the herd-effect to consider. One high-dollar sale of a previously uninteresting make and model can be enough to get others interested as well. I mean really, did you every think a 1966 Toyota Corona would be on anybody's wish list? even when it was new?

American Cars in the UK

American Cars in the UK

There is no doubt that American cars have held a fond place in the hearts of car enthusiasts across the UK. This is one of the many reasons why Brits are now taking their holidays in Cuba; a chance to see some classic models which are still used as working cars, rather than museum pieces. The names alone, Corvette Stingray, Plymouth Barracuda, Ford Mustang, all conjure up a level of excitement that a Wolsey or Austin A35 never could. We all take Ford and Vauxhall for granted which after all are American owned companies, however relatively recently we have had cars built by Chevrolet making more of an inroad into the UK market. You may still want to consider importing an American car for a number of reasons. Perhaps you already own a car in the USA and will lose money if you sell it. You may just like your vehicle and cannot get anything similar in the UK. Perhaps you may just want the challenge and the kudos of driving something different. However, there are a number of factors you may wish to consider when you bring and American car into the UK. There is the simple matter of the hassle of bringing a car in; paperwork and cost such as tax and duty. You may be liable to a 17.5% tax cost, if you are bringing in a new car and also a 10% cost in duty. If you have owned the car in the United States for six months and intend to continue using it in the UK for a year, you may well be able to avoid these costs. If you wish to keep the cost down, then this is probably the way to do it. If you think that you may be able to beat the system, bear in mind that Customs officers have the power to take the vehicle off you. Don`t forget that you may have to get use to driving a left hand drive vehicle on right hand drive roads. There are also fuel and insurance costs to consider and also the costs of maintaining a foreign vehicle. Parts can be more expensive

If you decide after all of this that you want to go ahead, then the nest thing to do is finds someone to ship your vehicle for you. There are companies who will take acre of everything for you, but like all walk of life, getting someone else to do the work for you costs money. If you decide you want to do the work yourself, do not forget to add the cost of getting the car to the person who is shipping it for you and also bear in mind other cost, such as insurance and handling charges, as well as the previously mentioned VAT and duty. You also need to remember that your car will be subjected to the Single Vehicle Approval scheme which has been introduced across Europe to ensure that all cars meet European requirements. Any adaptations which have to be mad, may cost you money.

You can transport your vehicle in a container, or not in a container. If you decide to transport in a car container, it can cost you four or five times as much. Put a quarter of a gallon of petrol in the vehicle before you send it for delivery. You will be charged by Authorities if they have to supply fuel. When you eventually get the car to the UK, you may be liable for shipping charges for the UK agent.

You may well decide, taking everything into account that you may want someone else to do all of this for you and you can use sites such as cheap car sales in the UK. Like most complex situations the key to bringing your American car to the UK is preparation and research.
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