Youngtimers, a session on Modern Classic Car

by: Autozeel

April 23, 2018

About the event

Mercedes-Benz principal dealer Shaman in association with Autocar India, organized a session on Youngtimers at their Mercedes-Benz Churchgate Service Centre on Sunday 22 April 2018.


What makes Youngtimers Collectible, Legacy, Global Trends, Indian scenario etc.


We had the privilege to attend the session and learn about the Modern Classic cars.



A brief history on cars

The Pre World War 2 cars, was the Golden Era of car design wherein the cars were built to last. The design of car were Exotic and were without and limitations.


The era 1980-90's mark the Modern Classic cars.


Youngtimers is a German Term referring to 30 year old. 


1970-1980 saw certain cars which became synonymous in their category

  • Land Rover for Luxury SUV, Pajero for rugged SUV go anywhere
  • Golf GTI and Peugeot 205 GTI for performance hatchback
  • Front Wheel Drive FWD cars started to be accepted for performance like Toyota Celica and Renault Fuego
  • Suzuki Jimmy and Honda CRV for soft SUV
  • BMW E90 the benchmark for handling and compact sports sedan

The cars had it all.

  • Design
  • Handling
  • Performance
  • Safety

These are cars for all generations.




The era saw

  • Injection moulding technology resulting in plastic parts usage in cars
  • Sleek Design
  • Design language became Brand Identity
  • Start of Wind Tunnel testing and design
  • Safety norms didn't dictate Design
  • Usage of monocoque and lightweight materials




There were lot of developments in engine technology resulting in higher performance

  • Turbo diesel revolution led by Germans
  • High Revving petrol engines e.g VTEC, Ford Cosworth, BMW VANOS
  • The car performance weren't dictated or marred by environmental norms
  • 1980-90's was the hallmark period for inline 4 cyl, 6 cyl, V8, V12 engines.
  • Cars like Nissan GTR and Toyota Supra spawned organized aftermarket tuning market




The cars were known for their handling due to the following changes and characteristics

  • Light weight cars were developed
  • More damping systems used
  • Direct and well Weighted steering
  • Front Wheel Drive FWD began to handle well and got accepted by purists
  • Giant leap in tyre technology
  • E.g. Pirelli P6000 tyres used as a reference for chassis design back then



Safety and Comfort

A slew of advancements were seen in this generation

  • Started introduction of advanced crumple zones, Airbags, ABS
  • Treated Galvanized Steel
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Steering
  • Auto Transmission
  • Sharper brakes
  • Interestingly Clarion makes Head Unit for Youngtimers 80-90's cars



Collect-ability Trends

Cars of that era are seeing a rise in their value and collectors are spending on it

  • E.g BMW E30 M3, Ferrari 308, Porsche 993
  • Fuel injection became more accepted
  • Sense of occasion compared to buying a new car



Classic Investments & Shooting Stars

  • Maruti SS80
  • Mercedes W123
  • Mercedes R107
  • BMW E90 M3


Ferrari 250 GTO price in British Pounds GBP

  • 1962 GBP 6,000
  • 1977 GBP 35,000
  • 2018 GBP 3,70,00,000 



What car for you?

When you decide that you wish to purchase a YoungTimer, here are a few things that will help you

  • Easy parts availability on eBay, Pelican Parts, etc
  • Spare parts availability = How famous the car is Globally
  • One should not be intimidated by defunct marques like Sunbeam, Pontiac, Triumph, etc
  • All electronics in car are simple and to work on with


Remember the cars will be BUILT and not Bought!


So go out there and find your calling.



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