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Instant classics: 10 show cars of tomorrow

CNET Car Tech editors pick the cars they think will be classics, models that will stand the test of time and appear at vintage car shows of future.

2000 Honda Insight
2000 Honda Insight
In 50 years, will Honda Insights sit on the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance? Honda

Could you have predicted in 1965 that a $3,000 Mustang would be worth $50,000 today? Or in 1960 that a $5,000 Corvette could go for $100,000 in 50 years? There are certainly many cars from the past that are gone and forgotten, that will never attain anything like classic status. Trying to predict classic cars is harder than picking soybean futures.

Nevertheless, the editors of Car Tech decided to give it a try. Looking at cars from the last decade, we came up with 10 that seemed like they should stand the test of time. Most of the cars we picked had niche interest or a limited production run, ensuring some rarity in the future. A car like the first-generation Toyota Prius heralds the beginning of a new trend in the automotive world, while the Pontiac G8 marks the end of a brand.

We steered clear of cars with retro styling. The new Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger are modern designs of proven classic cars, so it is unlikely these new versions will be in demand by collectors. They were designed to be like classics, which implies a self-conscious status. Put that up against the first-generation Scion xB, which made no pretensions to style, and so garnered a fanbase that loved it for its very quirkiness.

Check out our gallery of what we think are the last decade's instant classics.