ESSEX: It's been a week for jaw-drop newcomers. Aston Martin's next Vantage promises to look so different that customers who paid for pricier models will no longer wonder why they bothered. Vauxhall has meanwhile launched the outdoorsy Viva Rocks, its best detail being no "Rocks" badge, while Tesla has announced an HGV that accelerates so hard the phrase "it fell off the back of a lorry" will become an acceptable defence.

But the biggest story this week has to be Ford's tearjerker: it's the end of the road for Mondeo Man. Ford is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first Mondeos to roll out onto British roads, in November 1992, but with 86,660 selling in that first year, a tiny 322 examples have survived.

Launched to the soundtrack of UK number one Charles and Eddie's Would I lie to you?, the Mondeo was an honest machine for the man identified as the hard-working backbone of the British economy - the traditional voter identified by Tony Blair as the one to win over.

Politics and car choices have become more complex since then and Ford's latest Mondeo, excellent as it is, can never hope to seduce the same buyers - they've had their heads turned by premium brand alternatives and ditched classic saloons for the delights of SUVs and crossovers.

But there's good news in this obituary: if you have the keys to an early Mondeo in your hand, you could be sitting on a tidy future investment. 1990s cars, says Ford, "are on the brink of disappearing completely," a trend not helped, of course, by makers now offering cash to scrap your old model - including, er, Ford.

The endangered status for early Mondeo points to a broader trend that's well worth noting: cars of the 1990s that can now only increase in value . . .

When the Mondeo went on sale in 1993, the UK's best-selling car was the Ford Escort, which achieved 122,002 sales. Today, just 460 1993 Escorts remain - that's 0.37 per cent of the total. The three most endangered 1993 cars from the Top 10 Sellers list are the Mk1 Renault Clio (220 survive), the Rover Metro (249) and the Peugeot 405 (250).

Why do we cherish them? Ford says petrolheads in their 30s and 40s grew up and these are the cars "that they learnt to drive in. That they went on family holidays in. These are the next-generation of classic cars - and they're being bought by people who want to be reminded of their connection to times, people, and places who might no longer be with them."

So be wary: today's scrappage deal might be tomorrow's show and shine.