What is a “classic” car?

The term ‘classic car’ is one that is open to a great deal of speculation and there are no hard and fast rules as to whether a certain car is a classic or not.

Some countries have Classic car clubs that have registered lists that are considered to be acceptable, but these lists will vary from country to country.

The general rule is that the car needs to be over 20 years old and to have some features or design quirks that make it more memorable than the average motor car. Older cars have a separate ‘vintage’ listing but are still considered to be classics, these would need to be pre- 1930 and are extremely sought after as restoration projects by many collectors.

Their appeal lies in their timeless style, beautiful bodywork and aesthetic lines. Many of these classics have also been made even more collectable by association in old movies or by having been owned or driven by a famous person in the past.

Some of these classic car clubs have very strict rules about the style, design and engineering that will make a classic whilst others are far more relaxed about the general requirements.

As a rule a car will be considered a classic if it has an iconic design that is instantly recognizable like the Ferrari Dino, the first Ferrari to be produced in large numbers for the general market. Its ground breaking design made it an instant ‘must have’ car for all enthusiasts.

The Aston Martin DB5 became a classic not only for its stylish design and beautiful lines but because it was made famous as James Bond’s car of choice. The DB5 has over time become one of the most sought after classics of all time.

Certain cars will be considered to be classic simply because there were only a few produced and their value would have been high even when new. Cars like Ferrari’s, Porsche and Bentley will all fall into the classic car range simply because of their value, style and the incredible workmanship and skill needed in their manufacture.

The classic car market in Britain is huge with an estimated 8 million people interested in collecting and restoring desirable cars and at least 500,000 actually owning at least one car. Worldwide spending in the classic car market is more than £5 billion whilst the estimated value of the cars that remain in Britain is around £18 billion. There are over 35,000 people employed in the industry and their specialist skills are in very high demand as the components and workmanship of a classic car varies enormously from the modern cars of today.

Classic cars are a lot more than just a hobby for many people and although it is possible to make a considerable amount of money dealing in these motors it can also be enormously expensive to buy and restore one so be sure that your investment is a good one. If you consider classic car investment like playing the stock market then you will understand that your car might rise in value but it also might not. Some cars will also have a price ceiling and once this is reached their value will stagnate and if you buy at the wrong time your investment will not pay you back.

So how do you spot a modern day car that has the potential to become tomorrow’s classic? Well it might not be as easy as you think, and there have been some disastrous mistakes in the past with huge investments being made into cars only to see their future value fall. With this in mind it might be wise to buy a car that you like to drive and like the look and feel of rather than one that you might come to dislike if its value doesn’t rise significantly.

Experts are keeping their eyes on the modern BMW’s and Audi’s because of their style and charisma but a slightly older Triumph, Jaguar or even a Land Rover might well be a good place to start. Always go for a car in the very best condition that you can find and afford, as the cost of repairing and restoring can be prohibitive. 

Georgia writes about all things concerning design and cars. She specializes in infographics and articles that are both informative and fun to read. She relishes writing about Home Designing & Décor ideas and occasionally shares her views & knowledge on random topics as well like information in automobile ensuring awareness in general.

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