The thinking here is that I don’t quite need one now, but might be able to make use of it in 10 years time when there’ll be few left in decent condition, and when driver’s cars of this format may have become something less entertaining than this brilliant little Renault.
And it’ll be curiously satisfying to drive around in a 10 year old car that not only looks new, but effectively is new too.
In fact, there’s nothing novel about laying fresh-made cars down for the future, though the motivation has often been to turn a profit rather than the curiosity of enjoying something that’s old, but new. Profits probably unrealised, if inflation, storage costs and the lost interest on the original outlay are factored in.
Back in 1981, for instance, a surprising number of optimists figured that a Limited Edition version of the MGB and MGB GT might make a good investment bet, and several of the pewter B GTs and bronze Bs were tucked away in garages, awaiting an escalation in value. Which is why you very occasionally see adverts for one of these cars, of which under 100 were made, with nominal mileages. In fact, they fetch quite good money, but whether £8-10,000 has made it worth storing a car over two decades is debatable.
On the other hand, it must be pretty amazing to drive a factory-fresh car from 1981. I suspect that a few of the last Minis made at Longbridge in 2000 may have been stashed too, though those might make a profit one day.
Anyway, the Clio, and its bigger brother the Megane R26, are tempters - there’s a yellow Renaultsport 230 in my local showroom right now - another factor in their appeal being that they have been made in relatively small numbers, and like most hot hatches, the majority are likely to be driven until they drop.
If I had the cash - and I can’t afford those hot hatches in truth, never mind the costs of secure storage somewhere - the Vauxhall VXR8 appeals, because it’s bound to be rare, and so does Mitsubishi’s latest Evo. High-end stuff, even if I could afford it, appeals less because you can bet that plenty of collectors will stuff Ferrari Scuderias in heated motor houses for a decade or two. Although that would be a pretty extraordinary thing to have a mint copy of in 2028.
But if you could do it, what would you lay down?