One of the PBS programs ran a story about new technologies in auto making, with a lot of time dedicated to emerging biodegradable auto parts. The people in charge have determined that cars are disposable, which is a benefit to the people selling cars, so they fall right in line. The program spotlighted the soybean foam seats and mushroom foam center consoles of the new Fords. So there won't be any Ford cars left in 20 years to collect, they literally rot out from under you from the day you drive them off the showroom floor.
Maybe those of us who keep cars for a lifetime can special order the non-biodegradable model...
I suppose those will be in the showroom right next to the special edition model that does not fall to pieces one day after the warranty runs out.
^ Big part of the reason why I bought a Mazda2 over the Fiesta. I never thought I'd see the day where I'd say, "No, my car is quality, it's made out of REAL plastic," but there it is. It's also nice to drive a car nearly devoid of the electronic babystitters that are "necessary" nowadays. I recall reading, as a kid, "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard S. Foster (Rush's "Red Barchetta" is apparently based off of it) and thinking it was patently ridiculous. Now it seems more feasible than world peace or cold fusion.
To return to the original post, I was incidentally reflecting on this issue just the other day. I drive through the city and see charming Isuzu P'ups, Toyota Hiaces, and numerous older Civics and contemplate that there are few cars available today that will be worth a damn in 20 years. In 20 years, the classics will be our B-segment compacts, and driver's cars like the current Mazda lineup. I think we will see a larger appreciation of '90s cars, like the Preludes and Celicas that guys like me grew up hoping to buy as our first new car when we had some money. Now, "green" is in, and we're stuck with Yarises and have Prii jammed down our throats. They don't even advertise cars anymore. The big deal now is a car that will read your Facebook to you while you drive to work.
Maybe the original Honda Insight will be hot stuff? The S2000? Obviously the Zs and GT-Rs will be special. Maybe what we need is a simple MR sports coupe/roadster built on a B-segment platform, and sold to the public as a stupid eco-sports car or some crap. They'll eat it up. But a tiny Fit-based S1500 would be a blast, no?
At any rate, sorry for the fragmented post.
1980 Toyota Celica
1984 Porsche 911
1988 Mazda RX-7
Ex-JNCs: 1980 Datsun 510, 1979 Mazda RX-7, 1986 Mazda RX-7, 1992 Mazda Miata