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Mike Stevens | Apr 15, 2009

This is an awkward news item, for me. You see, my friends read TMR (they just like to pick out my typos), and more than a few of them drive early Mazda MX-5s. What’s awkward about that, you wonder? Only that I’m always giving them stick for driving little haidressers cars.

So to have the internationally renowned car enthusiast Jay Leno declaring the MX-5 a future classic, well that’s just too much to bear.

jay-leno Still, that’s how it is. And at the end of the day, he’s dead right. The MX-5 is a ripper of a car, no matter what generation you’re talking about. I’ve only had the pleasure of driving the older NA and NB models a couple of times, but it was a pleasure each time.

The first-generation Miata was extremely simple, and that’s part of its charm. Years ago, when we were restoring Mustangs, they seemed so complicated compared to a Ford Model A.

A brake-light switch? Why do we have to have thaaaat? In a Model A, you just strung together a couple of yards of wire and boom! You were done. So the early Miata, with no traction control, no stability control—no nothing—will certainly be a collectible.

toyota-prius_first-gen

Leno also considers the Toyota Prius a genuine future collectible, due largely to the fact that it’s popularly perceived as the first mass-produced hybrid car.

Although it was technically innovative at the time, now it just seems cute. It’s kind of slow, and it doesn’t have tremendous range. But it was the first of its kind—the first mass-produced hybrid—and there’s an honest simplicity to that. So if you have an original Prius, in 10 or 15 years, you’ll meet people who say, “I bought one of those!”

It’s like when I talk to people who once owned early and mid-1960s push-button Chryslers. They say, “I learned to drive in one of those! You press the D button to go, and you press R for reverse.” So cars with unusual features, technology that cars today no longer have, can be collectible.

ford-taurus_first-gen

Other cars to feature on Leno’s list of unlikely future desirables include the first generation Ford Taurus, the first generation Honda Insight, and the current Cadillac CTS-V.

To catch the rest of the list, jump to Jay Leno’s column at Popular Mechanics.

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