Tesla Model S Already A Future Classic? Auto Library Thinks So

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2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

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Put a group of auto enthusiasts in a room, ply them with suitable amounts of alcohol, and soon conversation will turn to 'future classics'.

The term refers to a modern car which gains the kind of respect and appeal of a classic vehicle in its lifetime, guaranteeing it a similar status many years in the future.

And according to some, the Tesla Model S electric sedan already makes the grade.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Detroit's National Automotive History Collection has already decreed the Model S a "collectible vehicle of the future".

Of all the models released in 2012, it's the Model S which is most likely to be desired by future car collectors--that's the suggestion of Friends of the NAHC, which supports the automotive archive at the Detroit Public Library.

Members vote annually on the North American-built vehicle most likely to reach classic status--and Palo Alto-based Tesla's sedan is the first non-Detroit vehicle to be declared a collectible.

The honor is the latest in an increasing roster of achievements for the electric luxury sedan, including our own Best Car To Buy 2013 title.

The Model S joins other big American names such as the 2010 Chevy Camaro, 2008 Dodge Challenger and 2005 Ford Mustang on the list--as well as last year's winner, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Given the car's significance, current-day appeal and it's assured future classic status, we'd go as far as saying the Model S is a modern classic--a significant vehicle which already defines its time, and praised highly by auto enthusiasts.

Can you think of any other green vehicles which might become classics? Let us know in the comment section below.


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Comments (16)
  1. Guess cars are considered classics if they live on in the hearts of the people rather than fade away in history. As such few green cars come to mind but the Tesla Roadster seems like a good candidate.

    The ultimate classic green car would have to be the GM EV-1 though. With its charismatics looks and turbulent and dramatic history it is the stuff of legends (and movies...). Good luck for collectors finding one though. GM made a pretty thorough effort to wash this car from the collective brain and few specimens survive as a result.

  2. Well, in order for EV-1 to qualify, doesn't EV-1 have to be available for SALE to the public?

    A "test pilot program" doesn't qualify...

    This is no different from the BMW E or the Honda Fit electric....

  3. GM might have opted to sell the car to the public after leases ended like Toyota did with the RAV4 EV. That would have been a wiser decision than to crush them. It was a real car though for real everyday use by members of the public. Maybe a compliance car but not just a test vehicle.

  4. Well, "selling" it means it has to "support" it. After the "leasing/testing" phase, GM didn't want to deal with it. It was a "major" money losing program for GM...

    Automakers need to survive first, then invest for future.

    There was NO way, EV1 could have sold enough volume to make sense.

    A two seater limited range EV? It was more expensive than the Volt today. How many Volt/Leaf have we sold so far? Those two cars are already way better than cheaper than the EV1.

  5. "GM didn't want to deal with it": Toyota did and became the heroes while GM had to explain why it killed the electric car.

    "There was NO way, EV1 could have sold enough volume to make sense"....not with creepy commercials like this designed to scare people away I guess:


    "It was more expensive than the Volt today"....it was never for sale, lease only so who knows?.

  6. Toyota did what? It openly denies EVs as the future. Toyota has NEVER committed to anything EV. Even its plugin version is a "scam" for EPA MPGe only.

    EV1 would cost around $68k to build at the time (Not including R&D). That is more expensive than the current $40k Volt (not counting inflation).

    Commercials are just commericals. Automakers have commercials for every segment of their offering. The Ads job is to promote that particular model at that time...

    You want to blame, blame the average consumers. Gas was cheap (less than $1.50). SUVs were flying off the lots. If GM could have sold the EV1 for $68k and people "line up" to buy it, I am sure that GM would have kept it. 2-seater with no range just don't work...

  7. Yes Toyota did that and avoided a PR nightmare. Nothing says " EVs have no future" than chucking them in the crusher and doing SUVs instead.

    Did you know the Volt actually costs the taxpayer $250K a pop? At least Fox news said so a while ago, presumably by the same logic that the EV-1 costed $68K. It's all about doing a decent production run.

    The commercial was made to prove to CARB that there was no demand for the vehicle so they would revise the mandate, so there is really no point in blaming the consumer.

  8. There are more comments in this thread
  9. "Future Classic"?
    Interesting term.

  10. Fisker Karma.

    I was at a classic car show in the fall and they had a Karma in the mix of vehicles. Say what you will about the Karma, I think it is fantastic looking.

    But perhaps it is not considered "North American" built.

  11. Looks fantastic, but overall a terrible car with very poor reviews. With that in mind, the looks start to fade somewhat, at least to me.

  12. Or maybe it was just the fact that Bieber owned and chromed one that turned me off on the looks.

  13. I really wanted to like the Karma, but I'm just not feeling the love. First, anybody who designs a plug-in hybrid in the 21st century that only gets 20 MPG should be ashamed. Second, that front grill always reminds me of the Joker's smile. Good luck getting THAT image out of your head.

  14. Certainly a design classic but since it gobbles electrons and guzzles gas as if there is no tomorrow it may not qualify very well as a *green* car classic.

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