Today’s Collectibles, Tomorrow’s Classics

Buying a car as an investment might pay off big time or leave you wondering what happened to your initial capital. Making an informed decision might improve your odds. The folks at Hagerty Insurance offer their annual “Hot List” of future collectible vehicles to aid your planning. The list includes vehicles carrying suggested retail prices (in U.S. dollars) from $25,255 to $70,000.

“All ten have that ‘it’ factor that makes them stand out from the crowd,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “In some cases it’s power, in some cases it’s innovation or drivability, but all of them have the qualities that define a future classic.” Hagerty Insurance is one of the world’s leading insurance providers for classic vehicles, giving them a unique perspective for predicting which vehicles will be desirable in the future. Here’s Hagerty’s take on the cars of today that are likely to be classics in 25 years. To be included on the Hot List, a car must be produced in the 2017 model year and be priced below $100,000.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: MSRP: $72,000
This sexy Italian is not simply another high-performance sedan. The Quadrifoglio stands out from the crowd with Bi-Xenon headlights, dual-mode quad exhaust, high-performance Brembo brakes with red calipers, a carbon fiber active-aero front splitter and 19-inch bright Technica aluminum wheels. Inside are sport seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara, a useful rear seat and a nicely-integrated display screen.

The principal reason Giulia Quadrifoglio makes this list of future classics is its performance capabilities. Under the hood sits a 2.9-liter bi-turbo V6 engine rated at 505 horsepower with 443 lb-ft of torque as low as 2500 rpm, making this the most powerful production car ever from Alfa Romeo. The sprint to 60 mph takes a mere 3.8 seconds on the way to a top speed of 191 mph. With Brembo 6-piston front and 4-piston rear brakes, stopping power is equally impressive – taking just 102 feet to stop from 60 mph. If that isn’t good enough, the Giulia Quadrifoglio lapped the famed Nurburgring race circuit in Germany in 7 minutes 32 seconds – the fastest time ever recorded by a 4-door production sedan.

Audi TT RS: MSRP: $60,000 (est.)
The Audi TT has always offered high performance wrapped in a very attractive package, but the TT RS takes everything up a notch. With its muscular front end, large air inlets and fixed rear spoiler, this TT looks like it means business. And it does. Audi fitted this RS variant with a newly-developed 5-cylinder engine putting out 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. With power being directed to all four wheels via Audi’s latest quattro all-wheel-drive system, this little sports car can reach 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. The convertible takes slightly longer – 3.9 seconds.

Very low and wide, the TT RS features a stiff chassis that delivers up to 1.2 Gs, making this special TT more than capable of handling twisty roads with ease. Four different driving modes – selectable by the driver – alter the character of the TT RS from a comfortable ride to ultimate performance. The RS will be available as a coupe or convertible, arriving in the U.S. later this year.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: MSRP: $61,140
CamaroChevrolet takes the Camaro to an all-new level with the introduction of the powerful ZL1. This Camaro variant sports a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that puts out an incredible 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. The big engine gets teamed with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a new 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Performance stats are impressive – a sprint to 60 mph takes a mere 3.5 seconds.

The new ZL1 gets differentiated from the rest of the Camaro lineup via a lower grille opening, a new hood, a larger front splitter, wider fenders, a wing-style rear spoiler and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 high-performance tires. As Hagerty states, “The legend continues to inspire today just as it did 50 years ago, as the Camaro reaches a whole new audience with this instant collector’s item.”

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: MSRP: $40,995
Designed for high performance after the pavement ends, the Colorado ZR2 is a brand-new model from Chevrolet for 2017. This go-anywhere truck features purpose-built off-road suspension, Multimatic shocks, raised ground clearance, front and rear electronic differentials, skidplates and a wider track for increased stability. Large 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires provide maximum traction.

Power for the new Colorado ZR2 comes from either a 3.6-liter 308-horsepower V6 or a class-exclusive 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine putting out 186 horsepower and an impressive 369 lb-ft of torque. All ZR2 Colorados are 4WD and can be set up with a crew cab or extended cab. “ZR2 is truly a segment of one and does everything well – from traversing heavy two-track trails to high-speed desert running and full-on rock crawling,” said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevrolet trucks.

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport: MSRP: $65,450
The original Corvette Grand Sports were purpose-built racing prototypes that looked like production models – only five were ever built. There have been a few other Grand Sport Corvettes through the years, and the latest version is the C7 Grand Sport. “The racing DNA of the original Grand Sport race cars is in the 2017 model, adding greater dimensions of capability and driver involvement to the Corvette’s award-winning architecture, for a purer driving experience,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager.

This special Vette features Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, Brembo brakes, a 7-speed manual transmission, an electronic limited-slip differential and unique springs. An optional Z07 package adds ceramic brakes and Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, making the Grand Sport the ultimate track toy. Performance stats are impressive – the Grand Sport can corner at 1.2 Gs and reaches 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth: MSRP: $28,195
It’s been several decades since Fiat sold a 2-seat roadster in America. The last one was the Fiat 124 Spider. Designed to honor its namesake, the new 124 Spider carries on the traditional long hood, short overhangs and, of course, rear-wheel drive of the original 124. The 124 shares basic architecture with one of the most popular 2-seat roadsters in the world, the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Abarth is the sportiest variant of the 124 lineup, featuring a sport instrument cluster, matte gray trim, leather-trimmed sport seats, a sport steering wheel, performance-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, body-color sport fascias, a gunmetal roll bar, quad exhaust outlets and 17-inch gunmetal aluminum wheels. Power comes from an Italian-built 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 164 horsepower.

Ford F-150 Raptor: MSRP: $48,860
RaptorFord introduced this off-road performance truck in 2010 and it continues to be a unique offering in the U.S. truck market. An all-new version of the Raptor is now available with bold styling, enhanced suspension, an improved power-to-weight ratio and even better off-road agility than the previous version. Weighing 500 pounds less than its predecessor, the new Raptor boasts a 3.5-liter high-output EcoBoost engine that produces 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, teamed with an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission.

To better utilize all that power, the Raptor features a Terrain Management System that optimizes performance for nearly any driving condition. “F-150 Raptor means superior off-road capability, from rock crawling to sand running,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “With the addition of SuperCrew, F-150 Raptor customers can leave the pavement behind – without sacrificing comfort and space,” Pericak stated.

Mazda Miata RF: MSRP: $31,555
MiataMazda introduced an all-new MX-5 Miata last year, and the fun-to-drive roadster immediately made Hagerty’s Hot List. This year the Miata is back, but now with an innovative retractable fastback (RF). With the top in place the sports car looks like a hardtop coupe, but with the flip of a switch the rear section lifts while the roof folds with the window, ultimately hidden with only the rear section in place. With just the roof panel and rear window removed, the MX-5 looks more like a targa than a convertible. The top can be operated at speeds up to 6 mph and takes only 12 seconds to operate.

Aside from being slightly taller, the RF retains the same dimensions and proportions of the soft-top MX-5. Engineers were able to use the same real estate that stores the soft-top, so trunk space remains unchanged in the new RF. With a more rigid structure and quieter ride, the RF is likely to expose new customers to the “Zoom-Zoom” joy of driving a Miata.

Porsche 718 Cayman / Boxster: MSRP: $53,900 / $56,000
This German automaker has a rich history of sports cars – in 1950s and ‘60s, the company raced the legendary 718 lightweight mid-engine sports car. In the spirit of that original, Porsche brings us the 718 Boxster / Cayman. This updated sports car – Boxster is the roadster, Cayman is the hardtop – with the new naming designation is available with a newly-developed 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 300 horsepower, while the S upgrades to a 2.5-liter turbo producing 350 horsepower.

The new models offer fresh styling as well as updated chassis tuning and stronger brakes, which should make for great fun on the road or track. Performance numbers corroborate this claim – the Boxster S / Cayman S can reach 60 mph in just 4 seconds with a top speed of 177 mph. As Hagerty puts it, “Those who have a love for cars have a love for driving and few things are better to drive than the 2017 Porsche 718 lineup.”

Toyota 86: MSRP: $26,255
Called the Scion FR-S Coupe until last year when Toyota eliminated the Scion brand, the 86 is a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car. Developed with Subaru (the 86 shares a platform with Subaru’s BRZ), the Toyota 86 is powered by a 2.0-liter flat 4-cylinder engine putting out 205 horsepower, teamed with either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.

Last year the 86 received a few updates to go with the new name – the front end got new LED headlights, a revised bumper and a larger center air intake, giving the sport coupe a more aggressive stance. The rear of the car also received LED treatment as well as a new bumper design. With a low starting price and the fun-to-drive traits one looks for in a sports car, the Toyota 86 should be entertaining for the next 25 years.

Nightmares Translated

Most of us nod off as our sleeping brain uses this time to make sense of our day-to-day experiences. We continue to fall deeper and deeper into a slumber as our dream world unfolds, putting us face-to-face with our unconscious fears and desires. This could manifest into a cycle of bad dreams from seeing zombies to being cheated on.

So, what is the meaning behind these nightmares?

In the video, “The 10 Most Common Nightmares and Their Meanings!,” Matthew Santoro explains bad dreams can reveal a lot about our life. Nightmares affect as many as 80 to 90 percent of people at some point in their lives, making them extremely common. The American Sleep Association explains some of these cases can be caused by medication use; extreme levels of anxiety in everyday life; or if someone in our family has a similar problem with nightmares, which can increase the likelihood of a sleeping disorder.

Santoro notes a common nightmare we all get is being naked in front of people. This dream is often accompanied by an audience of fully clothed people. Dreaming of being naked in front of people can represent a fear of revealing something to others; a secret we’re worried people have or soon will discover; a loss of identity; or feeling ashamed or misjudged about something we took or said.

Other dreams take us to a more supernatural world where ghosts, zombies and the undead surface. For example, seeing a ghost in our dream doesn’t mean impending doom. The dead can symbolize regret, thoughts we find upsetting or a repressed memory trying to break through. A ghost can also signify a task or goal we’re having trouble achieving.

Being lost trapped or buried in a dream may mean we are faced with real life insecurities. Indecisiveness can be met with dreams. If you also are trapped, this can indicate you are stuck, perhaps in a relationship, job or a school program you regret taking.

Dreams of falling are among the most common. But how or where you are falling can drastically change the dream’s meaning. For example, if you are falling from the sky this can indicate fear of losing control of some elements of your life or an insecurity that things are not going to stay the way you like them. Falling into a bottomless pit can indicate something that is overwhelming in your life such as a major work project, or concern about an exam or waiting for major health news.

Some of us, whether we’re in a relationship or not, will dream about being cheated on. This doesn’t necessarily mean our partner did so in real life, or even that we’re worried they will. Often, this means we’re worried about the stability of our relationship, or maybe even our career. We dream a person closest to us betrayed us emotionally, because of a lack of trust in ourselves or our decisions.

Understanding the symbolism behind our nightmares can help us better cope with fears and desires in real life.

The Face of Business Is Changing

Big name retailers – Sears, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, for example – are struggling as the rise of e-commerce propels Amazon and even Wal-Mart to consume ever larger shares of the retail pie. But are traditional brick-and-mortar businesses en route to the graveyard?

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) says 1-in-11 jobs are related to shopping centers and retail is the largest employer in more than half the states in the U.S. “Retail is very healthy,” says Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. Despite all of the upheaval, McGee notes that “more than 90% of sales still happen in a store.”

Some commercial real estate experts echo McGee’s optimistic outlook.

“E-commerce can’t paint your nails, cut your hair or serve you a burrito,” says Travis Carter. “Consumers still need to see, touch, and feel those tangible goods.” Carter says the biggest change in retail he’s seen in his Greensboro, NC, market is visible in the dynamic of the shopping center tenant mix, which continues to shift towards businesses that provide services.

“I can see the pendulum swinging back away from everything happening online,” says John Propp of Denver where the market is in the midst of a commercial real estate boom unlike anything he can remember. He feels the last real impediment is the issue of sales tax. Purchases made online don’t typically include a state sales tax, a decision stemming back to a 1992 Supreme Court decision. “Once this is settled there will be even less conflict between the two.”

Transwestern recently highlighted three commercial trends in its first quarter Insights report covering the retail, industrial and multifamily sectors.

1. Retail: The Rise of Mobile Data
Retailers are getting more sophisticated in how they’re collecting mobile data about their customers. Many businesses are using mobile apps coupled with monitoring devices in their stores to track and interact with customers. If a consumer has that business’s app on their phone, it allows the retailers to engage with them by offering coupons or product suggestions.

2. Industrial: New Demands for E-Commerce Distribution Centers
Demands for faster shipments in online sales and massive increases in e-commerce business are causing companies that have large fulfillment centers to rethink location. Previously, these online retailers chose industrial warehouses in lower cost areas outside of population centers. Today, there is a new demand for large commercial space closer to metro areas in order to more quickly and efficiently store and ship commodities to customers, according to Transwestern.

3. Multifamily: Micro-Unit Apartments in Urban Markets
As renters flock to urban centers for the live-work-play lifestyle, entry-level lease rates are becoming unaffordable for many recent college graduates, service workers and young professionals. One way of providing more affordable living space is through micro-unit apartments.

Reports on the death of traditional retail may be greatly exaggerated. Anchor stores continue to change, pivoting from big-box retailers to smaller service providers, medical facilities, restaurants and multi-unit residential. National chains are downsizing and refocusing on personalization, catering to more specific clientele rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Both the United States and Canada have substantial populations of folks with Irish ancestry and both nations have parades and celebrations across the land to observe St. Patrick’s Day, though many of the parades are not on March 17, but rather on the Saturday before or after. In Winnipeg, for example, this year’s parade is set for March 18, while in Omaha the parade was held on March 11 and in Des Moines the parade is scheduled for March 17.

In Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador on the nearest Monday to March 17 each year. In the states it is a legal holiday only in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, and in Savannah, Georgia

The observance remembers St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. He was a missionary who converted many of Ireland’s inhabitants to Christianity in the 5th century.

WinnipegStPatsIn Canada there are annual parades celebrating Irish culture in Edmonton, Halifax, Hudson, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Richmond, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The Chicago River is dyed green for Saint Patrick’s Day every year. The holiday is widely recognized throughout the United States. In addition to parades, celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, religious observances and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late 18th century.

Irish Canadians are Canadian citizens who have full or partial Irish heritage including descendants who trace their ancestry to immigrants who originated in Ireland. From 1825 to 1970 1.2 million Irish immigrants arrived in Canada , and at least half of those in the period from 1831–1850. By 1867, they were the second largest ethnic group, after the French, and comprised 24% of Canada’s population.

The 2006 census by Statistics Canada, Canada’s Official Statistical office, revealed that the Irish were the 4th largest ethnic group, with 4,354,000 Canadians with full or partial Irish descent or 15% of the country’s total population. This was a large and significant increase of 531,495 since the 2001 census, which counted 3,823,000 respondents quoting Irish ethnicity. According to the National Household Survey 2011, the population of Irish ancestry has increased since 2006 to 4,544,870.[5]

About 33.3 million United States citizens – 10.5% of the total population – reported Irish ancestry in the 2013 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. This compares with a population of 6.4 million on the island of Ireland. Three million people separately identified as Scots-Irish, whose ancestors were Ulster Scots who emigrated from Ireland to the United States.

Alcohol Affects Your Ability to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Have you ever returned from a night out and wondered why you can’t seem to fall asleep? Drinking before going to bed can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. The food website Spoon University tells you why:

1. Not all of the alcohol has been metabolized in your body. It typically takes about an hour for the alcohol to be completely digested. If you go to bed immediately after you stop drinking, the alcohol is most likely still in your system and hasn’t been fully digested yet. The alcohol in your system wants you to keep partying, but your body wants to sleep.

2. Drinking before bed reduces REM sleep. Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and rob you of much needed sleep. It’s important to get a restful night’s sleep, and alcohol limits your ability to do that. Disruptions in REM sleep may also cause you to be less productive the next day, so if you plan on tackling a bunch of tasks the morning after a night out, think again.

3. More likely to sleep walk. It’s okay to sleep walk occasionally. However, sleepwalking on a regular basis can be problematic and somewhat dangerous. Think of all of the dangerous things in your home that you could encounter while sleepwalking.

4. More likely to sleep talk. Similar to sleepwalking, sleep talking is another effect of consuming alcohol before you go to bed. While it isn’t necessarily dangerous, talking in your sleep can cause you to say things that you might not have wanted to share with the world.

5. More likely to have problems with your memory. If you consume an excess amount of alcohol before you go to bed, you can also have problems with your long-term memory. Alcohol makes you forget things that happened throughout the night, but it can also lead to long-term memory issues.

6. Alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol causes your body to lose extra fluid through sweat too, making you dehydrated. This can lead to other negative side effects like feeling light-headed and lethargic. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it causes you to wake up in the middle of the night and have to go to the bathroom. Or you may wake up in the morning and realize you didn’t quite make it to the bathroom (whoops), leading alcohol to negatively affect your kidneys in the long run.

7. You spend more time awake. Alcohol can prevent you from having a restful night’s sleep. You spend the night tossing and turning, without really getting the sleep you need. Alcohol messes with your brain and therefore can keep you awake all night , preventing you from getting a full night’s sleep.

8. You have fewer dreams. Alcohol prevents you from entering into a deep sleep, which is when most dreams are formulated. So don’t bank on any great dreams.

9. You have an elevated heart rate. Alcohol makes the peripheral blood vessels relax to allow more blood to flow through the skin and tissues. Therefore, in order to maintain blood flow to the organs, the heart rate increases. An increased heart rate is what happens when you exercise, and you wouldn’t be asleep for that.