Jay Leno thinks the Toyota Prius is a future classic

Will first-generation Toyota Prius models cross auction blocks for big bucks in the future? Car enthusiast and comedian Jay Leno believes so.

Leno has a valid argument for why some cars turn into collector items. Foremost, it’s what a particular generation grew up with, he told Business Insider in an interview published last Friday. The cars in which youngsters made memories have a good chance at becoming sought-after items.

“It’s as much about the memories as it is about the car,” he said.

It’s valid, but is there a collectibility factor for the original Prius? Perhaps. A quick search across a few vehicle buying websites brought up zero results for a first-generation Prius at the time of this writing. Maybe Leno is onto something. He backs up his argument with an example from General Motors: the EV-1. The automaker’s electric-car project was quickly canned and the automaker went to great lengths to crush all examples of the EV-1. However, the few that remain are worth serious money. Of course, far fewer EV-1s exist than first-gen Priuses.

Aside from the Prius argument, Leno believes the Mazda MX-5 Miata has a very good shot at turning collectible one day. He said the Miata could be the Ford Mustang of the next generation. Right now, used Miatas are easily attainable, though well-preserved models do seem to have an excellent shot at appreciating in value.

Leno’s two picks are at odds with Hagerty’s 2018 “Hot List.” The classic-car insurer predicts which new models on sale today have the best shot at being worth big money. Notably, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Honda Civic Type R, and Kia Stinger GT made the most recent cut.

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