From the Jaguar F-Type to the Cadillac CTC and the the SRT Viper, we've driven some cars this year that could live in our garages with pride for decades to come. These vehicles are on the short list for the best of 2014, but what will push them over the edge into collector's items — coveted enough to be parked in the garages of aficionados like Jay Leno? We looked back at the undisputed classics — the iconic Corvette, the sleek Lamborghini, and the art deco style of the Bugatti 57sc — to get a sense of what it takes for a car to look even better at the ripe age of 50 than it did in the new car lot.
BMW M Coupe [1999-2002]
Number made: 3,800 (est.)
What one will cost you: $25,000 (coupe), $37,500 (convertible)
Engine: 3.2 liter, twin-cam inline 6
Top speed: 137 mph
0-60 mph: 5.1 seconds
History: The M coupe truly is something out of Mary Shelley. BMW took the Z3, grafted on an unconvincing little roof, and – voilà – the safely retro Z3 was transformed into something lascivious. Owing to its extremely limited appeal, BMW sold fewer than 1,000 of the $46,000 coupes per year, and pulled the plug after 2002. If you don't mind being seen with an utterly competent hellhound, you can probably still find one sitting unloved on your local Bimmer dealer's lot.
Design: You know that girl at work who's not exactly the best-looking, but something about her makes you want to commit mutual indiscretions atop the copy machine? Well, that pretty much sums up the BMW M coupe. The apparent bastard spawn of BMW's Z3 roadster and a plastic lunchbox, the M coupe somehow came out looking dangerously appealing. As the French – those leading producers of ugly-yet-sexy women – would say, it was very jolie laide.
Credit: Courtesy BMW