The man who said the magic line "Ray, fire up Quattro" is Gene Hunt, a fictional detective in "Ashes To Ashes" – a television series set in the 1980s Britain – and he runs a bright red Audi UR Quattro. And while Hunt's completely un-PC image of the world is making convincing viewing, it is undoubtedly the Quattro that has become the star of the show.
They download 8,000 pounds on eBay, internet forums are alive with people trying to track a model for themselves and for the 30 somethings who were teenagers who lived in the 80s, they made them realize that the cars they loved could be tomorrow's classic cars.
Some believe that with some justification, the car they have had for 20 years can qualify for a good classic car insurance. Others have found some extra money, gone out and bought a Mk1 Golf GTi campaign and are now stuck in the mindset of the classic car fan.
Besides this time, the talk is not of Morris Minors and Triumph Heralds (although we love them of course) is it about what will make future classic cars?
Mazda MX5 – A brilliant two-seat softtop that has a large fan base for the original Mk1s with pop-up headlights. Started life with a 1600cc engine and then enlarged to 1800cc. Offers "old" styling with crackability and an excellent spare part backup.
Fiat Barchetta – weird but weirdly appealing. Left driving and sold only in limited numbers in the UK, it has distinct appearance and makes it a future classic security.
Lotus Elan (1990 models) – The guys at Lotus went a little crazy and plumped for front wheel drive and an Isuzu engine. But with sharp action and the Lotus brand, it has an appeal. But be aware that the front wheels are responsible for both steering and closing down power.
TVR S – Based heavily on the sporty cars of the 1970s as 3000M and was introduced at the 1986 Motor Show at Earls Court in London. A retro-styled low priced model to give punters an introduction to TVR ownership. The S1 had a 2.8i Ford engine but the V8's delivered 4-liter V8 madness. Of course it will break down, it's a TVR! Vauxhall VX220 – Yes – and Vauxhall. The VX220 was built by Lotus, similar to Lotus Elise, and is interesting, rare and different. Is not available in large numbers, manages amazingly, and is every inch's future classic car.
Aston Martin DBS – Probably your best chance of "Ack Aston" and if you can, chase one of the original 6-cylinder DBS models from the early 1970s, launched as a stop switch until V8 came out. Later models like DB7, Virage and Vanquish already have classic kudos.
While they may have been the staple diet of boy cyclists in the 1980s, there is no doubt that "hot gaps" now have their place in classic car folklore.
Talbot Sunbeam Lotus – Classic 1970s chintz. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1979, deliveries did not start until the summer of that year. By this time, Chrysler UK had been sold to the French Peugeot concern, which changed its name to Talbot Motor Company. Originally, the cars were only available in Embassy Black with wide silver sides and gray interiors, and the very early cars also boasted with dual exhaust pipes. Good if you can get one.
Peugeot 205 GTi – Not happy with the Germans from Wolfsburg who have everything on their own, the French decided to take them with the best rival of the 1980s to the Golf GTi. Available in doors and convertible models, initially with a 1.6 sedan later a very average 1.9 engine driving the front wheels. Now a bargain purchase and well adapted for modification.
Ford Escort XR3i – loved by boyfriends everywhere – so it's very difficult to find one in one piece, making it a little rare. Escort RS Turbo is also a find – even less of them on the road, but very embedded in trees in Essex! Great shape, iconic, fast and approved by Jackie Stewart. It does the list.
Ford Sierra Cosworth – The original "Cozzie" is beginning to be a huge success and can soon be held in the same honor as the old Lotus Cortina. Passion for hot gaps later saw the introduction of XR4i with its V6 2.8 engine. Still a Sierra though!
Audi UR Quattro: High-tech, flying wedge with a moving motor. It ran into life in 1980 and with 4WD and a lot of amazing other German car technicians packed into it. It was brilliant on the road and brilliant on the rally scene. And now with great demand thanks to Gene Hunt. The most talked about "modern classic" of the year.
Luxury and sports cars
In many ways, luxury engines have the best chance of achieving classic car status – they are well-made, high-value and generally well-managed by their original owners. So what would make a good investment?
Jaguar X300: Essentially a cosmetic advancement on the XJ40, but the X300 developed a loyal following. The first time Jaguar had mounted a compressor, XJ mounted the BMW M5 and the Mercedes E500.
BMW M3 – 1977 E23 is already classic, therefore well-preserved models such as E30 M3 (which ended in 1992) can accompany. With a stiffer and more aerodynamic body shell than the straight E30, it tore up on the roads.
The Mercedes 500SL – 500SL is recorded as the fastest production ever produced by the Mercedes R107 – with 0-60 times 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 230 km / h. A late 1980s classic and well worth the investment. I hope this has been a journey down memory lane for many readers. These cars had style, though we may not have seen it at that time.