Currently reading: Help Autocar and the National Motor Museum hunt for future classics
Beaulieu and Autocar need your help to choose five new cars destined to become future classics
2 mins read
23 June 2021

Which of today’s cars will become classics? To us, that’s a seriously thorny question. History is usually the key element in helping us to decide about a car’s ultimate importance and rarity: in its early years, even the now legendary Jaguar E-Type was overlooked by some because it was relatively cheap and plentiful. Another fascinating example is the elevation to iconic status of the rear-wheel-drive ‘dog bone’ Mk1 Ford Escort, made in millions.

So in a new project we’re launching with the National Motor Museum (NMM) at Beaulieu, we are seeking your help to identify which of today’s cars will be the E-Types and Escorts in 50 years’ time – with all that means in terms of kudos for the owners, importance to motoring history and (possibly) stratospheric value hikes.

Vote here for your favourite modern classic cars

After a voting process that involves as many enthusiasts as possible, the chosen cars will be unveiled early next year in a special event to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the NMM’s opening. Autocar readers will be invited to attend.

The plan is for four expert groups – you, Autocar writers, NMM visitors and museum staff – to choose five future classics from 2022, to be displayed for a whole year at the NMM. The voting period runs from now until the end of September and each person will be able to choose three cars.

Winners will be announced in early 2022. Each car will be billed as an Autocar-Beaulieu Future Classic and recognised as such at next year’s Autocar Awards in May, in an evolved version of our current Readers’ Champion award. And if the project runs as well as we hope, we will invite Autocar readers and Beaulieu visitors to vote for a new future classic every May into the future.

We’ve already developed a long list of more than 100 eligible cars (cars that will be on sale in 2022) and plan to decide on our five future classics in two stages: first, refining the long list to just 10 entries; then cutting that group in half in a tense run-off. The first stage will be achieved by votes from readers and visitors to Beaulieu; the second with the help of a panel of Autocar and Beaulieu experts. To be eligible, a new car must be on sale now and continue to be offered in 2022.

We’ll collate the votes of Autocar readers and Beaulieu visitors before revealing the 10 semi-finalists, and then name the five contemporary icons.

Want to vote? You can do so online by visiting:


Affordable future classics 

Great cars that will become future classics 

Great used cars to buy from the Noughties

Join the debate

Add a comment…
alicebudda 23 June 2021
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artill 23 June 2021

LP, i agree on the Yaris. Its quite exceptional. I added the Lexus LC (i would opt for the soft top) as its got to be pretty much the last of the V8 dinosaus cruisers, and its wonderful, and finally the Morgan 3 wheeler, also because its wonderful, and totally out of its time.

It will be interesting to see what actually wins through

LP in Brighton 23 June 2021

Just voted - Lotus Emira, Tesla Model 3, Toyota GR-Yaris.

Frankly you can make a case for any of the many cars listed, but I expect that we will all be wrong. Classic cars are gloriously unpredictable and almost impossible to know what future generations will value. Maybe the Dacia Duster will have its day!