CALL NOW 888-901-1338

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

CALL NOW 888-901-1338

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Key Differences Between Classic, Vintage, and Antique Cars

If you’ve ever felt confused about the differences between classic, vintage, and antique cars, you’re not alone! Many people aren’t aware of the main differences between the classifications.

Here at Classic Auto, we’re more than just a car insurance company — we’re also vehicle enthusiasts. Today, we’re excited to explain to you three key differences between classic, vintage, and antique cars so that you can make the right decision when purchasing a car or insurance on your existing vehicle.

As in the past, the subject of collector car categorization always leads to some strong opinions by enthusiasts everywhere. To be clear, these categories were created, supported, and promoted by car clubs. Today these categorizations stand as industry-accepted categories defining a niche and serving the collector car community.

Below are six categories that make up the core categorizations representing a large percentage of multi-marque collector cars within our hobby.

Antique – Generic term used for all autos built before 1925. Horseless Carriage: A term used to describe very early autos built at, or before the turn of the century, characterized by very slender, tall wheels and carriage-like appearance. Brass Era: Autos built 1914 and earlier, so-called for the abundant use of brass in the production process (radiator, headlights, horn, sidelights, etc.). Nickel Era: This bridges the gap between the use of brass and chrome on autos during the period from 1915 to 1928.

Classic – The term “classic” is the most overused term in the car hobby. Officially, it is a label used by the CCCA (Classic Car Club of America) to identify “fine or unusual foreign or domestic motorcars built between and including the years 1925 and 1948, distinguished for their respective fine design, high engineering standards and superior workmanship.

HOT ROD – “Originally this term was used to describe the practice of taking an old, cheap car, removing weight (usually by removing roof, hood, bumpers, windscreen and fenders), lower it, change or tune the engine to give more power, add fat wheels for traction and paint it to make it stand out.”

STREET ROD – “In the 1970s hot rodders tried to clean up their reputation and thus started to use the term ‘street rod’ instead of “Roadster” or “Hotrod”. An ingeniously simple idea re-born.

Sports Cars – or sportscar, is a small, usually two-seater, two-door automobile designed for spirited performance and nimble handling. The term “sports car” was used in The Times, London in 1919. According to USA’s Merriam-Webster dictionary, USA’s first known use of the term was in 1928. Sports cars started to become popular during the 1920s. In the postwar era, a “sports car” is most any car that seats two, can have a hard or soft top, and could be used for competition.

Production Car/25 Years or Older – This is a term used by the AACA to cover cars 25 years old or older that don’t necessarily fall into categories such as Antique, Classic or Hot Rod and primarily deals with postwar collector cars.

Muscle Car – These are mid-sized cars built from 1964 to 1973 and characterized by large displacement, high horse-power engines. They came factory direct to dealers with the largest engines available from the manufacturer.

Pony Car – A term originally used to describe the Ford Mustang, but later used to describe all cars built that would compete with the Mustang such as AMX, Barracuda, Camaro, Firebird, etc.).

Special Interest – A “catch-all” category for a car of any age that has collectible attributes but is not covered by any of the preceding categories. This would include late model cars with enthusiast appeal (Buick Reatta, Cadillac Allante, and Dodge Viper), or extremely low-mileage or well-cared-for cars that normally wouldn’t be collected.

Well, there you have it. If your car doesn’t fit in any of the above-mentioned classifications, the only option left to consider;

Used Car – A car that is basically used as reliable transportation.

Get Premium Insurance on Your Classic, Vintage, or Antique Car

Whether you’re driving a classic, vintage, or antique car, you can count on Classic Auto Insurance to protect your historic beauty. We offer motorists affordable and robust insurance, and we also provide unique benefits such as agreed-upon value, inflation guard, rollover miles, and nationwide flatbed towing. Call us today at 888-901-1338.

Scroll to Top

Join Our Car Community

We are automobile lovers just like you. Join our monthly e-newsletter, we will keep you up-to-date on car restoration, maintenance & repair, and share with you some automotive history.