My feeling is YES!!! I have been seeing less and less MN12 bodied Thunderbirds and Cougars as of late in my area of Florida, and the majority of what I see are someone’s old "beater" cars driven just to get from point a to point b.
We have kept our '97 TBird SPORT in what I call supreme condition even though it stays outside, mind you it had been garage kept for the first half of its life.
We even have taken it to the Silver Springs all Ford roundup the past 2 years, and have gotten to park with the other TBirds from 1955 to present day models, including a few Super Coupes.
Lots of prople mistake our car for a Super Coupe because of the unique paint color (Opalescent Pearl) and the factory spoiler, and its wheels that closely resemble the SCs wheels.
Our car has been kept all stock, and original with just 83k miles on it now, and hopefully this year before the SS show I'll have time to clean & detail the engine.
Just think about it....in 20 years the 1997s will be 30 years old and their will be companies slowly starting to reproduce parts for them, and the special models such as the SCs and XR7s and anniversary models will be all that much more valuable.
Take a look at the early Mustangs, and the 1955-57 Thunderbirds!!
Just keep telling yourself that.
I'm sorry, but you can't compare the MN12 platform to the early Mustangs or the early thunderbirds. The Mustang started the "Pony wars" and the early Thunderbirds were targeting the early Vette. What is "special" about a mass produced, generic (in the scheme of things), general transportation, heavy car that was never considered anything more than a pseudo sporty (and that is being kind) grandpa’s car?
Then think about the people that will be buying “classics” in 20 years… They will pay more for a “classic” modified Honda Civic (cough cough “rice burner” cough cough) than they will for a 30 year old grandpa car.
But I might be wrong, but that is what my crystal ball is showing.
Here’s a good example:
My 73 Cougar Base Convertible: (originally a 351C-2V/FMX and A/C)(Quantity produced: 1,284
Average NADA “collectable” retail: $16,380
A 73 Cougar XR-7 Convertible: (351C-4V/C6 and A/C)(Quantity produced: 3,165
Average NADA “collectable” retail: $23,625
They produced almost three times as many XR-7’s convertibles as they produced the base model convertible, but the XR-7’s are worth $7000 more. Unfortunately, you can’t apply logic to trying to figure out what is going to be a “classic”.
97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!!
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
73 Mercury Cougar Convertible w/351C 4V (Partially Restored)
69 F100 LWB w/460 Engine
76 Glastron Carlson 23' Jet Boat w/460 CJ Engine