Curse of the computer
Computers are becoming faster, smaller, and more energy efficient. W hat does that mean for classic car enthusiasts? Which cars of today – with so much embedded electronic gadgetry – will become the classics of tomorrow, giving owners of the future the same pleasure we already derive from cars of 50 or more years ago?
Today’s touchscreens will not last as long as a simple knob or switch. And engine management systems are so sophisticated that it will take a brave restorer to tear out a modern wiring loom and ECU.
Formula 1 cars from the mid-1990s require a whole team of folk to start them. As time advances those cars will only ever be static dinosaurs, as no-one will have the ability or equipment to operate them. Enthusiasts will not be able to drive them as folk do with Lotus 49s and Shadow DN5s from the 1960s and ’70s.
Today’s F1 cars are the most accurate indicator of the fate that will befall many current road cars. As technology advances, obsolescence will set in much earlier, making our cherished cars unusable much earlier. The current crop of electric vehicles will become obsolete very quickly as battery technology improves. This will have a dramatic effect on resale values. Would you want to go back to a computer that you were using 10, 15 years ago?
Technology is a wonderful thing and has enriched all our lives. But it will not enhance the classic car world. In 20 years’ time no-one will know how to fix a 2016 Range Rover Evoque, or a current Jaguar F-Pace should it require a new touchscreen, ECU, or suspension control system.