Future Classic Car Show fills up three floors with pride and passion

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A coveted Nissan Skyline GT-R was a star of the Future Classics Car Show | Bob Golfen photos

The third annual Future Classic Car Show, a collector car event as timely as it is unusual, is designed to uncork the enthusiasm of a younger generation of fans, promoting performance creations and restorations from the mid-’70s through the latest crop of muscle cars and exotics.

Japanese custom street machines, the so-called tuners that blend high-technology with raw horsepower, were abundant at the show, held Monday on the top-three levels of a parking garage structure in north Scottsdale, near where multiple collector car auctions are gearing up for Arizona’s famous classic car auction week.

A Toyota Cressida family sedan turned into a custom standout | Bob Golfen photos 

The Future Classics are, by definition, the cars that will be seen in the future on the car auction blocks, just as the ’60s muscle cars, sports cars and street rods took their places alongside the pre-war classics of an earlier generation. These cars are what the younger collectors and customizers are into today, and their presence is being felt increasingly in the rising interest and values of their later-model rides.

There were about 180 cars present at the show, representing the wide range of passion in the hobby, from fantasy custom cruisers to tire-ripping racers. Hot Nissans standing next to tuned Mustangs, pocket-rocket Toyotas alongside jacked-up off-road trucks, Lamborghinis and Mercedes-Benzes parked with radical Japanese race cars.

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An extreme Lamborghini

The crowd of spectators ranged from young millennials and Gen X members to wide-eyed kids and older gearheads who have been in the hobby for decades.

“There’s more variety this year and more people coming to see the show,” said Roger Falcione, chief executive of ClassicCars.com, the leading sponsor of the event.

“One of the things I really love about this is seeing the next generation of car collectors meeting up with the current generation,” Falcione added. “It bodes well for the future of collector cars.”

Jack Paulson had his modified Ford Fiesta out for its first show

There were plenty of impressive cars, such as the black Nissan Skyline GT that was the center of much attention and photography, a right-hand-drive car because they were never officially imported here from Japan. In a similar vein, there was a seldom-seen lineup of at-least nine late-model Nissan GT-R performance coupes in various stages of performance tuning.

High-strung versions of Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Evo had a strong presence, as expected, as did extreme examples of Toyotas, BMWs, Lambos, Mazdas, Hondas, Fords, Chevys and Mopars. The two featured cars, a spectacular custom Toyota Cressida by Joe Haven and an all-out Subaru WRX race car that has carried Global Time Attack driver Sally McNulty to multiple victories, were spectacular as expected.

Jack Paulson, a 24-year-old Mesa, Arizona, car guy was enjoying the glow from his own 2016 Ford Fiesta ST, to which he has added custom wheels and bodywork mods, not to mention a Stage 3 performance package. This was the first time he was showing it, Paulson said.

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“I’m sure hyped up,” he said with a grin. “It’s been a trip so far.”

The Toyota Starlet won a class award

The award winners for the Future Classic Car Show were:

Best of Show, 1998 Toyota Supra
Best of Decade 1975-86, 1981 Toyota Starlet
Best of Decade 1986-95, 91 GMC Syclone
Best of Decade 1996-2006, 03 Mitsubishi Evo
Best of Decade 2006-18, 2013 Corvette Grand Sport
Best Original Vehicle, 1978 Corvette
Best Modified Vehicle, 2002 Acura RSX Type S
Fan Favorite, 1977 Toyota Celica 

The Future Classics Car Show is also sponsored by Gateway Classic Cars, Hagerty classic vehicle insurance, Classic Auto Logistics and the Universal Technical Institute, which is training tomorrow’s automotive technicians and restorers. The show serves as a fund-raiser for the wheelchair, seating and mobility program at Shriners Hospitals for Children.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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