The world of classic cars is one of the most exciting places in automobiles today, but it’s also one of the most intimidating to jump into. You do not want to be the person who’s getting their resto-mods, vintage cars, and antique cars confused with classics.
There are plenty of questions when it comes to what makes a classic “a classic.” How old are they? What models count? Where does one find new parts, like aluminum radiators for classic cars, for these retro models? This guide will help you get to the heart of all of your vehicular questions.
If you’ve always wanted to jump into the world of classic cars, consider this your crash course.
How Old Can a Classic Car Be?
The age for a classic car is not set in stone, but there are guidelines that can help you determine how old a can needs to be before it can be a classic.
One of the many classic car clubs in the United States, the aptly named Classic Car Club of America, defines a classic as a distinctive model built between 1915 and 1948. That is pretty old, but it might be too old to be a classic for another major organization: car insurance companies.
Most insurance companies recognize classics as being at least 20 years old, but not more than 40 years old. Cars older than 40 years start becoming either vintage or antique vehicles.
You can see why there’s so much debate around what makes a classic car a classic.
Which Models Get to Be Classics?
This is another source of debate. It’s not just age that makes a car a classic, but also being recognized as a distinctive vehicle. Your classic American muscle cars and luxury vehicles are going to make the cut for sure, but other vehicles are going to need a case made for their inclusion.
The good news is that most cars become classics in time. That old family wagon might just one day make the cut once the taste-makers of the classic car world come around to this car’s place in history.
What Happens When You Upgrade a Classic Car?
A common problem with classic cars is that when they start to get old, it can be hard to replace parts. Finding the right aluminum radiators for classic cars can be a challenge. It can also change what type of classic car you have.
A car that has factory original parts is a true classic, but these are extremely rare and highly prized.
Most classics are resto-mods. These have been restored to mostly look the same, but are packed with modern parts like efficient engines, modern safety equipment, and creature features like Bluetooth and AC.