The line between scrapyard dodger and future classic has always been fuzzy. As each year goes by, cars we barely blink at can suddenly morph into exciting investments. So what are today's future classics - and what might they be worth? A good place to start is the auctions...

The word at British Car Auctions suggests grey-import Honda's Integra Type R are obvious models to sell now with caution, while Mitsubishi Lancer Evos, especially IV generation, draw big interest already. BCA holds future classics auctions at its Nottingham site.

But what about such "mainstream" brands as Ford? Next week sees a special auction of emerging classics at Birmingham's NEC (March 24-25) as part of the Classic Car Auctions' Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show. Twenty-one examples include five Capris, six Sierras and six Escorts going under the hammer.

Highlights include a pair of 1987 Sierra RS Cosworths. Firstly, an original three-door reading just 26,000 miles and a freshly restored 'Concours condition', estimated at £45,000 to £50,000 and £45,000 to £55,000 respectively.

Four more Sierras include a restored 1988 Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth reading 36,000 miles (estimated £25,000 to £30,000), and a 1991 Sierra Sapphire Cosworth, fresh from restoration, guided at £15,000 to £18,000.

If it's a Capri that flaps your flares, two 1987 280 Brooklands are available, one being a carefully maintained example (estimated at £16,000 to £20,000), and the other a Turbo Technics, to be offered at £22,000 to £26,000.

At the same event, Escort lovers will have six examples to choose from, ranging from a seriously quick and restored 1979 Escort RS2000 Custom (£24,000 to £28,000), through to a 1989 RS Turbo II with just over 4,000 miles, (£16,000 to £18,000).

Aside from auctions, there's a vast resource of potential classics at your fingertips through the likes of eBay and Gumtree. What's worth watching? We've selected six wildcard ones to watch, with rough price guidance:

Mercedes E Class (W124, from 1985 and W210 from 1995)

Built to rival a satellite for long-distance durability. V8 500E is one to bag, but for all options, watch out for rust. Prices from £3,000.

Ford Puma (1997-2002)

Racing Pumas hog the headlines and your bank account, but the standard car was a cracker. Try to select a 1.7-litre (they also had traction control and ABS). Sickly models sell as low as £150; £500 secures a runner.

VW Corrado (1998-1995)

Still knockout after all these years. Now rising as an obvious classic, but low original sales spells future rarity and huge potential returns. All while you enjoy one of the greatest front-drive cars of all time. The VR6 (from £4,000) is a quick car but don't count out the G60 (from £5,000) or the trusty 16v, baggable from £2,000 in roadworthy condition.

Toyota MR2 W20 (1990-1999)

Overlooked amid excitement for its predecessor, the second-gen MR2 is beefier and bigger than the first, given that tough 2.0-litre engine, with post-94 models offering 171bhp. Around £2,500 helps secure a good one.

MGF (1995-2000)

Yes, don't laugh! The MGF offers less obvious cred than an MR2 and head gasket issues with the K series engine damaged its reputation, but it's another rear-drive joyride. Pay from £500.

Vauxhall Calibra (1989-97)

Take the innards of the first Vectra, slap on a jelly mould, wedge in a creamy 2.5 V6 option (definitely the one to chase, from around £2,500) and what's not to adore? This was surely Opel/Vauxhall's last desirable coupe. Don't let it get away!