What relatively recent (post 1980/1990) cars do you see as becoming iconic classics in the future?
Miata and Hummer.
Possibly the Buick Reatta. While it had extremely limited production, it has the advantage of using standard “off-the-shelf” GM components, thus enabling any mechanic to get parts and to repair it.
The limited production should give it added value over the years, and the ease of maintenance means that it will be less of a headache for the owner over the years. IMHO, that’s a pretty good combination.
It might be considered a classic already, but I think they 85-88 era Monte Carlo is absolutely beautiful.
VW Corrado would also be on my list. And the AMC Eagle (no, that was not a joke hahah)
I like the Camaro from that era, and I still see some of them on the road. Even better is the Corvette Stingray.
If the EPA abandons its useless emissions testing program or at least exempts 20 year old cars, THEN automotive hobbyists may have something to work with. If you are a “serious” enthusiast, you must move to or reside in a no-test, no-inspection state or area. Maintaining complex 20 year old electronic engine controls without any factory support is almost impossible and ungodly expensive. That’s why “classics” will ALWAYS be limited to 1974 and earlier models…
The Cadillac Allante, a very expensive (when new), low production aluminum bodied 2-seater would be a perfect candidate for classic car status. But it’s an electronic nightmare, a prototype for computerized controls and systems that render it impossible to preserve in “factory” condition. Add the need for an emissions test and enthusiasts just walk away…
I’m going to suggest the first model year of the then-newly redesigned Caddy coupe, when the edgy design began, I believe it was called the CTS. It’s a very futuristic and very classy design. I test drove one and was very impressed with the interior also. My daughter, then in her teens, loved the car (I test drove it at her insistance) and that tells me that they folks that will replace us like the car, and memories are a part of what makes a car a classic.
But in truth it’s impossible to tell. The first ('64) Mustang was never expected to be the success it became. As a matter of fact, the early '64s didn;t even have their own chassis…they used the chassis from a Falcon.