By varying count there are more than 200 different models on the U.S. market, these days, but how many really make much of an impression? And which, if any will likely “turn heads” in a quarter century?
That was the question posed to members of the National Automotive History Collection, who were asked to look at 13 of the year’s most distinctive models produced in North America and pick which one would be most likely to “turn heads in the Woodward (Dream) Cruise of 2035,” in the words of NAHC chairman Charles Hyde.
Their pick? The Chevrolet Camaro coupe, which was voted the “Collectible Vehicle of the Future”
“Our mission with the 21st century Chevy Camaro was to draw on the passion and heritage, expressing it in a new and modern car with design, technology and quality to carry the legacy forward,” said Tom Peters, the pony car’s chief designer. “It’s simple; the new Camaro puts smiles on the faces of car enthusiasts of all ages.”
The Collectible award has been handed out – with the exception of a five-year gap, from 1997 to 2001 – to an assortment of models, all of them notably from one of Detroit’s Big Three brands.
With rare exception, the NAHC’s choices (shown below) have focused on performance vehicles, like the Dodge Viper SRT10 and the 2005 remake of the Ford Mustang, though a few sleepers have crept into the list, including the Ford Flex “people mover,” and the Chrysler Sebring Convertible.
Whether the selections hold up remains to be seen though, after a decade-and-a-half, the first year’s choice – or, more accurately, choices, as the NAHC jurors picked both the Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Aurora in 1995 – are still distinctive to look at, all the more so in an era when General Motors design was at a decades-low point.
Housed in downtown Detroit’s Skillman Library, the NAHC lays claims to being the world’s largest publicly available archive of automotive documents, photos, manuals, company histories and other industry lore.