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What makes a Car Classic?


You hear the term classic car used in advertisements promoting car shows and cars for sale. But what determines if a classic car is really a classic, or just considered an old car?

Turns out, there are many definitions around the world. The Classic Car Club of America defines a classic car as a fine or distinctive car, produced between the years of 1925 and 1948. The organization also takes into consideration accessories, engine displacement and custom coachwork. The club has a listing of approved vehicles at

Another definition for older vehicles is antique. This classification is given by the Antique Automobile Club of America for judging purposes and is a vehicle 25 years or older. The club holds its antique car competitions based on how closely the renovation or remodel of the car is to the original manufacturer release.

In addition to these definitions set by these two American clubs, each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles also has classic and antique car definitions established – and they’re all different from each other. Many states will define a classic vehicle as being at least 15 or 20 years old and having been maintained or restored to the original design set by the manufacturer. States will then classify an antique vehicle as an older vehicle, often at least 25 years old or manufactured prior to a certain year.

That old car hanging out in your uncle’s garage could easily be considered a classic. However, for any official recognition by an organization or your state’s DMV, it needs to be running and repaired or renovated to certain manufacturer standards. has a whole section of Classic vehicles. View the selection by clicking here.

Tell us about your favorite classic.

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