I notice that the Mazda MX-5, Bugatti Veyron and Audi TT have been voted the top three cars most likely to be classic icons of the future. It’s one of those survey things, but it was conducted by a specialist insurance broker Footman James at the Classic Car Show.
Hard to argue with that selection, but the respondents must have sent a pleasingly diverse number of candidates. Just seven per cent predicted that the Mazda MX-5 would be the vehicle most likely to be a classic icon in 50 years' time. The Bugatti Veyron had five per cent and the Audi TT four per cent of classic vehicle owners behind them.
In there with three per cent was the Aston Martin DB9, Fiat 500, Audi R8, Lotus Elise and Jaguar XKR, XF and XK. I was slightly concerned that the PR bumpf contained a claim that 2012 will be the 50th anniversary of the Renault 5. I think that should read the R4, which actually doesn’t get the respect it deserves as a back-to-basics French car that isn’t a Citroën 2CV. Then again, it’s also the 50th birthday of the MGB, which has to be one of the most overrated classics. Especially in standard trim. I like the V8 and people who make Le Mans racers out of them by getting rid of the bumpers.
So let’s turn this on its head and not worry about what’s going to be a classic, because that just happens over time, or doesn’t if the car is not universally loved. In fact, let’s be controversial here. It’s the Lotus Elan’s 50th birthday. It's pretty, light and a delight to drive, but wasn't actually all that well engineered at the time. Especially if you bought a kit and built one, reckons a retired engineer I know who pestered Colin Chapman with blueprinted criticisms.