As a fan of collector and restored vehicles, you probably noticed not all cars fall under the category of classic, vintage or antique. What makes a car a classic? How do you know if a car is vintage? There are subtle differences that set each apart. Whether you’re looking for your next ride or planning to add to your car collection, being able to tell them apart could help you to save a few bucks, especially if you’re planning on heading down the restoration route.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about the differences between classic vs vintage cars. Learn more about the features that define each type of car and what to look for if you’re planning to buy a collector vehicle of your own.
Classic Car Features
There are several features that set a classic car apart from a vintage vehicle. This comes down to:
- Whether it's a modern classic or full classic
- Interior and exterior design and details
Depending on who you ask, a classic car can be determined by how long it’s been around. Typically, a car is considered a classic if it’s at least 20 years old, so it should have been manufactured in or before 2000.
The classification of a classic car can be subject to state laws and insurance providers. For example, in some states like Texas, a car can be registered as a classic if it’s 25 years or older. Insurance companies can determine a certain type of vehicle as a classic car, such as a Hot Rod.
According to the Classic Car Club of America, a full classic car was manufactured between 1915 and 1948. These are cars that were made in limited quantities and not mass produced like modern classics. Anything newer than this would be deemed a modern classic.
Some cars that are considered full classics include:
- Bugatti (expect 52 and 68)
Interior and Exterior Classic Car Features
What interior and exterior classic car features should you look out for?
- Manual driving
- Handbrake levers
- Large windscreens and rear windows
- CD or cassette players
- Pop-up headlights
- Hood ornaments
- Tail fins
Generally, classic cars are used for driving purposes, including seasonal driving, as well as car shows and restoration projects. They are faster than vintage cars and many have contemporary safety features like airbags and seatbelts.
Classic cars can increase in value if they’re considered rare or have rare parts. As this makes them more expensive to repair, their value is higher. Newer cars, such as those made in the 90’s and early 2000’s may be less expensive to buy, especially if they were mass produced so there are more of them around.
A car’s value will be determined on:
- Year manufactured
- Factory options
- Vehicle trim
Vintage Car Features