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Old 3rd January 2010, 23:03   #1
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Don't mistake this for a vintage car thread. I'm not talking about classic cars. I'm talking about cars with class. You know, the kind of car that you can step out of wearing an impeccable suit supplemented by an expensive Omega or Rolex? And then walk into the finest restaurants with the most beautiful women by your side? Well, which car would that be? And why?

Now, before this thread takes off in the wrong direction, I should lay a few ground rules. What is classy?

1) Classy is not necessarily costly. However, it is obvious that more expensive cars certainly have more class. But it doesn't mean that all expensive cars are classy. Case in point: The BMW 3 series. A driver's delight but manic engines and perfect handling aren't classy. Classy needs to be sedate. If a classy car is fast, it needs to do so without appearing to try. A car cannot openly declare that it wants to be a performance car and expect to be classy too. Same reason why an Aston is more classy than a Ferrari. Classy needs to be...well classy.

2) Class is also about rarity. You can't encounter the same car twenty times on the street. It has to be exclusive. For instance, the Fiat Linea would be a very classy car if it weren't for the fact that every street has a couple of blokes owning one. Similarly, the Skoda Octavia is very very classy but too common. Expensive cars get these points by default since expensive=rare.

3) Class only depends on the looks and the interior design. The engine can be thoroughly pedestrian and the suspension may be from a bullock cart but it won't matter. It has to look good and sound refined (so no noisy diesels). Furthermore, classy is the antithesis of flashy. Generally, a classy car is understated. A car that has huge alloys, underbody neon, etc. etc. is not classy. Decals are not classy. You get the idea, don't you?

4) Brand: Unfortunately, it matters. You know why the Sonata failed? It lacked in snob value which is a similar concept, if not identical, to classy. Similarly, Marutis can't be classy. The badge will stick out like a sore thumb and leave the valet at the country club sniggering. However, for India, things are different. VW, Honda, Skoda, etc. actually are classy in our context. This isn't me talking, its the way out market is.

5) Lastly, within the same car, classy depends on colour. Don't think that white or black are always classy. Many a time, rich shades of red, blue and green look better. In fact, white and black are sometimes a bit cheap looking on the same car. But this varies so we'll leave it there.

Well, that's about enough for now. Anyone who has more to say on what makes a car classy and what destroys class is free to add on.

Note: Please post pictures of cars sold in India only.

Here's are my two cents on classy cars in India. First up, the Opel Vectra. Discontinued in India but those understated yet beautiful looks, extreme rarity and the Opel brand make it very very classy

Classy cars!-untitled.jpg

Another classy car in my opinion: The VW Jetta. Understated, elegant and reeking of quality. That's class, isn't it? Its not impossible to picture James Bond step out of one of these. And that's the whole point

Classy cars!-untitled2.jpg

Last edited by Dippy : 4th January 2010 at 14:25. Reason: On request
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Old 3rd January 2010, 23:29   #2
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W124 E Class. Simply oozes class
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Old 3rd January 2010, 23:29   #3
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Parm, the Z8 is indeed classy but I'm trying to keep it to Indian cars (past and present). Perhaps one of us should start a sister thread in the International Automotive section?

Nikhil, spot on! That is one classy car and a real bargain at that!

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 3rd January 2010 at 23:33.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 23:44   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Parm, the Z8 is indeed classy but I'm trying to keep it to Indian cars (past and present). Perhaps one of us should start a sister thread in the International Automotive section?

Nikhil, spot on! That is one classy car and a real bargain at that!
im sorry for posting z8, but i dont see any photo of an indian car!
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Old 3rd January 2010, 23:45   #5
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I think he means cars sold in india!
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Old 3rd January 2010, 23:49   #6
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Yes, I meant cars sold here. I got the pics from Wikipedia so they are technically international versions of the cars but they're almost identical to the versions sold here so I didn't think it'd matter. Now, let's get back to the classy cars!

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Old 4th January 2010, 00:14   #7
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Following cars could be considered classic -
Daewoo Cielo
Contessa
Tata Sierra
in Indian context (manufactured/assembled/sold), nearly a decade-and-a-half ago.
In today's times, I would consider Porsche Caynne, Q7 and Hummers of the world to be classic.

PS - my love for Ford notwithstanding, I would consider Mondeo to be a part of this list..

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Old 4th January 2010, 00:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
Following cars could be considered classic -
Daewoo Cielo
Contessa
Tata Sierra
in Indian context (manufactured/assembled/sold), nearly a decade-and-a-half ago.
In today's times, I would consider Porsche Caynne, Q7 and Hummers of the world to be classic.

PS - my love for Ford notwithstanding, I would consider Mondeo to be a part of this list..
We're talking about classy cars, not classic ones. There's a difference.
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Old 4th January 2010, 00:43   #9
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How about the amberoid?

Or the 1 crore nano?
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Old 4th January 2010, 01:33   #10
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Completely agree with the Opel Vectra and old Merc E class (W124). I think most old Mercs with the rectangular headlamps were very classy indeed. Perhaps also the Ford Mondeo could be included. With these older cars it's essential that they be very well maintained to look classy.

From the current bunch, maybe, just maybe, the Chevy SRV has a little class due to it's good looks and rarity, offset by the fact that it's a dog to drive.
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Old 4th January 2010, 10:41   #11
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Arrow Bentley Azure T: Thats class

My image of a classy car ever since I set my sights on it 17 years ago in an auto mag has always been the Bentley Azure Convertible. Nothing that I have seen even comes close to it as far as I m concerned.
In the "Indian made car" context, the Contessa is among the most regal and classy looking cars till date.
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Old 4th January 2010, 11:13   #12
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The definition of a classy car.

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Old 4th January 2010, 15:17   #13
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Getting back down from the stratosphere, here's a cheap yet classy option. In an additional bonus, this car is also featured as one of the best enthusiast's cars below six lakh. Classy and a great driver's car! That is very very rare. The slight downside is the Ford badge but in this case, the car's styling and understated elegance more than make up for it. The Ford Mondeo
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Old 4th January 2010, 15:43   #14
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Of the cars sold in India today then the really classy ones are a no brainer - considering that the great marques are already here AND most importantly, anyone who can afford them can own one - indeed they are far more accessible today than they ever were before.

Of the cars sold here in slightly earlier times, however, I would certainly consider the Rover 2000, the Montego, the Ford Ghia Mondeo to be strong front-runners in this thread because these were always a little unusual/ rare/ belonged to the privileged few - hence classy.

An important distinction being that none of these three listed above were that easily accessible to anyone and everyone - this "accessibility factor" has changed with the phenomenon of 'wealth creation' over the last ten years as well as the advent of easy credit/ loans so that practically anyone can go and buy a really fancy car provided he/she has the money to service the loan! - Hence some of the really classy cars like the Jags and so on are far more common now than ever before - a fact illustrated by the many such cars spotted on the various "Supercars and Exotics" threads!

i think for the real 'cognoscenti' the needle has moved somewhat towards the realms of horses, classic cars, private jets, helicopters and boats/yachts as a means to be seen to remain in that 'rarefied' atmosphere that great wealth enables!

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Old 4th January 2010, 15:58   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan75 View Post
We're talking about classy cars, not classic ones. There's a difference.
Porbably you missed the point mate which I was trying to make by putting in place 2 riders -
1) Indian context; and
2) decade-and-a-half-ago
Just to put things in perspective, Indian roads in those days were dominated by 800s, NEs, Premier Padminis and Ambys. With this kind of crowd around them, Cielo, Sierra and Contessa exhibited a class of their own..

Hopefully now we would be able to appreciate the classiness of these vehicles and not the classic nature, which are of course, different

Quote:
this "accessibility factor" has changed with the phenomenon of 'wealth creation' over the last ten years
Very true sir.. spot on!

Last edited by AlokSriva : 4th January 2010 at 16:01.
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