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Old 05-21-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
jkcam6017
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Default The future of collecting C7 Corvettes and other high tech cars.

When I consider the integration of both hardware and software in automobiles of today, I wonder what the future will hold for car collectors.

So many of the functions of the C7 and other modern cars is controlled by a "computer" and other electronic components, what do you think the longevity will be of those parts in order to have a collector C7 car run properly 40-50 years from now. (It won't be my problem, just pondering the issue)

Every time I hit the door open button on a C6 I just can't believe that the component will be good for half a century. Will replacement parts still be available?

Has the computer age killed the possibility of todays cars still running and drivable in 50 years?
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jkcam6017 View Post
When I consider the integration of both hardware and software in automobiles of today, I wonder what the future will hold for car collectors.

So many of the functions of the C7 and other modern cars is controlled by a "computer" and other electronic components, what do you think the longevity will be of those parts in order to have a collector C7 car run properly 40-50 years from now. (It won't be my problem, just pondering the issue)

Every time I hit the door open button on a C6 I just can't believe that the component will be good for half a century. Will replacement parts still be available?

Has the computer age killed the possibility of todays cars still running and drivable in 50 years?
I doubt it. You can still find new plugs and points for old cars. What's the difference? Someone will make them if there is a market.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Has the computer age killed the possibility of todays cars still running and drivable in 50 years?
I would guess that it has.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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What makes you think that digital, electronic components with no (or few) moving parts will have any less longevity than mechanical parts? It's quite the opposite, if anything. Electric motors are the only things you really have to worry about, and those have been in cars for ages, not to mention that even those still generally require less maintenance than their ICE counterparts.

My dad has a three-decade-old PC at home that still runs just fine, and it never even needed an oil change, filter change, or transmission rebuild to do so.

Why are people so afraid of technology?

Last edited by RocketGuy3; 05-21-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #5
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I doubt it. You can still find new plugs and points for old cars. What's the difference? Someone will make them if there is a market.
BIG difference between finding plugs & points, and having to reverse engineer a control module. The amount of work that goes into figuring out the circuit layout, every bit of code, etc. is incredibly high.

I don't think modern cars will be nearly as collectible due to all the electronics.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Has the computer age killed the possibility of todays cars still running and drivable in 50 years?
I don't think so. In 50 years I think there will be emulators for all the computer systems in cars now, especially for collectibles. Just look at today's video game market. You can play the old games on the latest hardware by using emulators. Some of the emulators are third-party "hacks" to the systems.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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It is rare than any modern car would be "collectable" anyway...
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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Will there be fuel available for todays cars in 40 years. Technological advances are making many of our tried and true products museum pieces overnight. Remember typewriters?
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Not to mention trying to fix aluminum frames. Those frames are coated only with a thin layer of anodizing. Let's not forget that aluminum does rust (white oxidized powder). Welding a C3 frame is no big deal. Welding aluminum is tricky plus aluminum weld is very brittle.

C3's are simple. An auto enthusist can repair almost anything. C7 are very complex and requires a lot of factory tooling for almost everything.

I don't see a C7 as a restoration project. It needs to be looked after right out of the dealer.

Like someone already mentioned, in 50yrs fuel supply may be a problem once most of the nations fleet get converted over to electric. Fifty years ago getting a room full of coal was no big deal, but try to get that now.

Steve L.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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BIG difference between finding plugs & points, and having to reverse engineer a control module. The amount of work that goes into figuring out the circuit layout, every bit of code, etc. is incredibly high.

I don't think modern cars will be nearly as collectible due to all the electronics.
You are assuming someone will have to reverse engineer a control module. I'm assuming these things will either be sold by or licensed from GM or whoever.

Then again there are folks who can/will repair them.
http://www.ecudoctors.com/
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:25 AM   #11
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I believe modern Corvettes will be just as collectable if not more than their predecessors given enough time. I look at it this way: those who have the millions of dollars and deem certain Corvettes collectables grew up with carbs and the simplicity of those automobiles versus now. As was said by a poster on here who owned an L71 Vette, he never understood why guys paid 200K these days for a Corvette that felt like a truck ride-wise and belched heat everywhere and got squirly over 100mph.

The current generation has it down to a T how to do LS swaps, make their own relays, circuits, you name it. I am amazed at how much knowledge they bring to the table wiring in their own systems and making their own electronics. I notice it's guys in their early twenties primarily while the older guys comment on how complicated all of it is over just putting a carb on top and calling it a day.

The newer generations are growing up with the computer programs and electronics that put these modern cars together. I feel once the twenty somethings of today grow older and come into their own money, they will be drawn more towards the complexity of fuel injected modern cars versus carburated cars. They will be the ones setting the price point on desirability of the newer Vettes.

I hit 30 this year and I'd take a pristine C4 ZR-1 over a big block or split window, if I had the money. I really enjoy the technology folded into modern Vettes along with the looks. It tells a story of that time. Likewise, I wouldn't fault anyone for wanting a C4-C7 over a chrome bumper Vette. The modern ones look great, are quicker, and faster.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkcam6017 View Post
When I consider the integration of both hardware and software in automobiles of today, I wonder what the future will hold for car collectors.

So many of the functions of the C7 and other modern cars is controlled by a "computer" and other electronic components, what do you think the longevity will be of those parts in order to have a collector C7 car run properly 40-50 years from now. (It won't be my problem, just pondering the issue)

Every time I hit the door open button on a C6 I just can't believe that the component will be good for half a century. Will replacement parts still be available?

Has the computer age killed the possibility of todays cars still running and drivable in 50 years?
The bigger problem will be finding gas for these cars. I have to believe that electric cars or some other non-polluting propulsion system will be the norm in 50 years and the technology that controls them will be complex. The cars they are building today will be as exciting as the horse and buggy are to us now.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #13
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Us early C5 guys are kind of screwed when it comes to the ABS module...
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #14
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This comes up a lot. Cars have relied on electronic engine management for well over a generation, and so far these systems have held up pretty well. For example, the brain box is pretty much the last thing to go wrong with a Bosch-injected car from the '70s or '80s.

What tends to fall apart - and to be really hard to to reproduce - are the numerous plastic assemblies and glued-together stuff. Try making a C6 interior door skin or turn-signal switch from scratch. It'd be easier to make a custom crankshaft.

Some of the electronic stuff will be totally non-op in well less than 50 years. Iphone interfaces, Bluetooth, USB, OnStar - all that will go the way of the DynaTAC, HP-IL, broadcast NTSC, 8-track, etc. Current-generation GPS signals will end up like LORAN and even if you can still get a signal, your Nav screens will almost certainly be black.

Even in ten years' time, these gizmos will seem as quaint as an Etak - but at least those didn't come built-in to the dashboard.

We'll have to see about the newer ECUs. Flaky flash memories might be their undoing. But the real problem with the future utility of digital contraptions isn't technical. Barring a sea-change in the so-called "intellectual property" power-grab of the past thirty years, it will be flat-out illegal to offer reproduction electronic components for these cars.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by torquetube View Post
...

What tends to fall apart - and to be really hard to to reproduce - are the numerous plastic assemblies and glued-together stuff. Try making a C6 interior door skin or turn-signal switch from scratch. It'd be easier to make a custom crankshaft.

...
Even today, 3D printers are coming to fruition. In the future, it will likely be possible to scan and print just about anything.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #16
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It is rare than any modern car would be "collectable" anyway...
I disagree. New cars new collectors. These new cars are making a mark on the younger kids like the 60 and 70s cars made a mark on me as a kid.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:10 PM   #17
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Even today, 3D printers are coming to fruition. In the future, it will likely be possible to scan and print just about anything.
Though they are super expensive now, in time they will be affordable to almost anyone. Remember the first cell/ brick phones were a rich person's toy from the 80s.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:19 PM   #18
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The question to ask is cost. The way things are going up, people will not be able
to afford to fix the car. Not the parts, just no money and the car is not worth it.

Its to that now, corollas, Malibu, 10 years poor can't afford to fix those things.
Vette will be the same way, people that have the money won't bother with them
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:31 PM   #19
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Us early C5 guys are kind of screwed when it comes to the ABS module...
Precisely my point. Unless GM sells the schematics and code to another company, someone (either an individual in their garage or a company) will have to reverse engineer the module. It is just as big a task as the original engineering project. It's not as simple as some people think.

Say some company does it, then how much will those modules cost?
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:35 PM   #20
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I believe modern Corvettes will be just as collectable if not more than their predecessors given enough time. I look at it this way: those who have the millions of dollars and deem certain Corvettes collectables grew up with carbs and the simplicity of those automobiles versus now. As was said by a poster on here who owned an L71 Vette, he never understood why guys paid 200K these days for a Corvette that felt like a truck ride-wise and belched heat everywhere and got squirly over 100mph.

The current generation has it down to a T how to do LS swaps, make their own relays, circuits, you name it. I am amazed at how much knowledge they bring to the table wiring in their own systems and making their own electronics. I notice it's guys in their early twenties primarily while the older guys comment on how complicated all of it is over just putting a carb on top and calling it a day.

The newer generations are growing up with the computer programs and electronics that put these modern cars together. I feel once the twenty somethings of today grow older and come into their own money, they will be drawn more towards the complexity of fuel injected modern cars versus carburated cars. They will be the ones setting the price point on desirability of the newer Vettes.

I hit 30 this year and I'd take a pristine C4 ZR-1 over a big block or split window, if I had the money. I really enjoy the technology folded into modern Vettes along with the looks. It tells a story of that time. Likewise, I wouldn't fault anyone for wanting a C4-C7 over a chrome bumper Vette. The modern ones look great, are quicker, and faster.
Then you have us older Gen X'ers who are in the middle.
Weened on Carbs, and grew into F.I..
C7's will be collectable.
C4's in general will start to rise, but I see them more as the resto mods of the near future. You can update and backdate this generation at will.
C5's and C6's will bottom out now with the economy and the arrival of the new C7. It will take them the 30 to 40 years to be desired again.
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