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What is a Classic Car?

Take Time to Research

You’ve been toying with the idea of buying a Classic car for a while now (unbeknownst to your significant other, perhaps). You find yourself surfing the internet for the perfect car in need of a little TLC. You have the garage space, so why not? But that little voice inside your head keeps screaming, “Take your time. Research this a little more.” Giving in to that nagging inner killjoy, you decide to find out what it means when a car is called “Classic”. We are here to help.
 


Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

But I Got a Classic Car Tag!

Trying to find an agreed upon definition for what a “Classic” car may be harder than restoring one. It seems that everyone from organizations like the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) to your state’s DMV has their own definition of what makes a car a “Classic”. The term is often used to describe any car over 25 years old, whether it is a VW van or a Dusenberg. Therein lays the problem. Can every old car be a “Classic”?

 

Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

One Man’s Classic is Another Man’s Folly

The folks at CCCA say that a classic car is a vehicle that is produced between 1925 and 1948 and is known for its “fine design, high engineering standards, and superior workmanship”. Translation – your grandmother’s old Dodge Volare is not going to make the cut. The CCCA website actually lists the cars that they feel are unique enough to be called “Classic”.



Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

Just Because It’s an Antique Doesn’t Make it a Classic

An easier way to think of the “Classic” label is to consider the time periods in which cars are made. The “Antique” car era (1890-1915) is when vehicles were built by small teams of innovative engineers, artisans and craftsmen. These were the first of the “horseless carriages”.
 


Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

Vintage Isn’t Just for Wine

The “Vintage” era (1916-1924) introduces automobiles that fall in between the expensive luxury sedans and the basic car models from Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet. They have the simple engineering features of the Model T but also include perks like visors and cigar lighters. This is where paying for “optional” features on a car must have begun.



Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

“Classics” – Rare and Beautiful

Now to the category in question, which is the “Classic” era from 1925-1948. During this period cars go from being just modes of transportation to status symbols. An average car costs between $400 and $1,200, whereas a “Classic” car would cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, and only a limited number would be produced. These are the luxury cars driven by society’s elite. Rare and beautiful, these “Classic” vehicles hold their value over time.
 


Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

Automobile Technology Reigns During “Post War” Era

The “Post War” era (1945-1970) is the period where powerful engines and sleek designs are introduced. Car technology takes a huge leap forward. The automobile becomes a worldwide “must have” and production numbers soar. Mercedes Benz, Ferrari and Chevy Corvette are among the many standouts in this period.



Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

Recognizing When a Car is Not a “Classic”

So how does this inform you on your search for the perfect Classic car to restore? It will at least help you recognize what car collectors refer to when they describe a vehicle as “Classic”. The general public tends to misuse or overuse the term quite often, especially in car listings for sales. So buyers, beware.



Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

Collecting Cars - Investment or Guilty Pleasure?

Your focus for buying a collector car should be on what you want. Ask yourself first, is the car going to be an investment or a guilty pleasure? Do you want to restore the vehicle in order to sell it or to enjoy showing it off? Will the time and money you put into restoring the car bring you a profitable return or just a lifetime of joy spent in your garage?
 


Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
 

For the Love of Cars…Don’t Get Hung Up on Labels

Labels like “Classic” and “Antique” mean a lot at car shows and on the auction block but on a personal level, not so much. Your car is your pride and joy whether it is a Maybach Zeppelin DS8 sedan or a Ford F-10 truck. So don’t get too hung up on labels. Car enthusiasts love looking at beautifully restored automobiles, regardless of their pedigree. The love of cars is what drives us all to restore these unique pieces of history. Just enjoy the ride.



Classic, Antique, Vintage, Collector…what defines a classic car?
(Photo courtesy of www.nethercuttcollection.org)
 

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

You put a lot of hard work into restoring your Classic. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 6/11/2015 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments


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