Classic or Trash It: What Defines a Classic Car?

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As summer approaches, classic cars will be viewed with awe on the highways of America. If you’ve found yourself dreaming about purchasing and restoring a vintage vehicle, now is the time to go exploring. Recently we posted an article with 5 tips on purchasing classic cars to help you focus on what is important. Vintage vehicle restoration is a strong passion for a lot of people and it can be a fun hobby to get in to. However, before you seek out the perfect restoration project, Montway wants to provide you with some key tips on how to know whether your potential vehicle is really a classic or if you should just tell the owner to trash it.

What Makes a Classic Car?

When it comes to defining a classic car, the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) has its definition down to a science. Founded in 1952, CCCA follows strict guidelines when admitting classic cars into their club. According to their guidelines, your mother’s hand-me-down vehicle is not a car they’re willing to vouch for. They only accept “fine or unusual motor cars which were built between and including the years 1925 to 1948. All of these are very special cars that are distinguished by their respective fine design, high engineering standards and superior workmanship.” A complete list of acceptable vintage vehicles by CCCA standards can be accessed on their website.

But should this be the only base on which to go? While CCCA’s historical commitment to the preservation of classic cars is stellar, surely they don’t get the final say on what makes a car a vintage vehicle or not, right? What about the vehicles that were made post-1948? Clearly there are other opinions that should be noted as well.

What about the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) and what they have to say in the matter? With a list of cars dating back to 1895, the AACA museum celebrates its role as collector in preserving and making accessible a material record of the automobile phenomenon. For them, a car’s classiness is in the eye of the beholder and their focus is more on educating the public on preserving the American legacy that is the automobile.

So, it would seem as though a classic car is truly what you personally define it to be. Whether you want to venture out and find an old Pontiac muscle car abandoned on the side of the road, or if you’d like to take on restoring grandma’s old beat-up Buick, the choice is yours. Still, your bank account and time commitment will be the judge of what you can truly handle. Don’t simply take on the project of restoration based on someone else’s opinion.

Do your homework on the car, understand the cost and decide for yourself if the time, money and energy are truly worth it to you. Judging by the ‘purse’ taken home from some classic car competitions, it just might be a rewarding challenge.

IMAGE: Image courtesy of Flickr by Hugo90
Content image courtesy of Flickr by Karen Roe

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