Not so long ago I firmly believed that the last of the high-revving, naturally-aspirated sports, super and luxury cars would be revered long into history as the pinnacle of human achievement with the internal combustion engine, in road terms at least.
These vehicles, I believed, would be studied with misty-eyed awe. Those who were lucky enough to have driven them would be afforded a hushed silence and rapt attention as they recounted bumping off the rev limiter, unassisted steering in hand. Those who had the wherewithal to collect and treasure them would be made for life, owning a slice of automotive history that would surely always be prized.
Today, though, I’m not so sure that they won’t be seen as some stain on a consumption-obsessed society that we’d rather forget, rather like the fur coats referred to in the headline, or perhaps even the stuffed heads of animals that were once hung on walls as prized possessions, or bear or tiger skins that were removed, head included, and used as rugs. History is full of many such examples of treasured goods that simply lost their allure.
Yes, I know there are people who need fur in order to sustain life - as well some might require the internal combustion engine in the remotest parts of the world long into the future - but today they sit in a mostly respected minority. However, anyone who prizes any of these animal-based trophies, once the quintessential displays of opulence, wealth and sophistication, are mainly looked upon with disdain by the modern world.
Could the cars we admire today go the same way? And what could that mean for the wider car industry into the future?