Are sedans the collectible of the future?

by | Apr 9, 2021 | Articles

It is the nature of fashion, art, music, architecture, or basically any other medium that can be valued subjectively that tastemakers should drift for the extremes. The academic painting of early 18th century France gave way to Impressionism, which led to post-impressionism, and then before you know it you’ve got a bunch of cylinders walking down the stairs. The same is true of cars.

The backlash to the popularity of wagons gave way to the minivan. The minivan then became the SUV. What’s popular now amidst a certain outré style of car collector? Wagons, of course, and vans aren’t far behind. I know that I still take pleasure when I point out that I love a wagon version of something and cannot abide the plain old sedan and then someone my age responds with a doubtful “WHAAAAAAAT?”

We’re seeing this in car values. For many enthusiast cars the wagon version is worth more than the sedan version, for reasons of both taste and rarity. If you don’t believe me I invite you to look at the nearly 100% markup on wagon versions of the E34 M5 versus the sedan on BaT.

As a former opiner on a popular website I am to blame for this, at least partially. I also work on a show about future collectibles and that show has espoused wagon love. So I’ll say something radical: I think a sedan could be the next preferable classic.

I’ve had a Kia K5 for a week and I could just feel the future version of a young enthusiast grasping onto something like this as a desirable iteration of a vehicle. With Ford dropping all their three-box sedans and too many cars becomes crossovers, sedans are becoming the rarer option. And the rarer options is usually the valuable one.

Even I feel this way occasionally. I don’t look twice at a Subaru Outback wagon, but the Outback SUS? Hell yeah.

There’s always the possibility of going too far, of course. People appreciated the Sex Pistols because they were extreme in a way that was at least comparable to something that had come before, and thus enjoyable, as opposed to GG Allin. You don’t see French tourists wearing GG Allin shirts on the subway. Are there GG Allin shirts?

When it comes to cars I am definitely at the almost perverse end of the spectrum and therefore want weird French hatchbacks. Younger enthusiasts, though, seem to be picking up on S160 generation Lexus GSes and other cars I’d not really thought much of before.

I’m not sure how long this will take, but I could see sedans as a trend.