We’ve all overheard people saying that it doesn’t matter to them which car they drive so long as it just makes them reach their destination. Well, those guys are all liars. Who wouldn’t want to be the owner of a classic car, one that makes people stop, and stare at you in envy?
As any curious car enthusiast, your mind must have wondered “What makes a car, well, a classic?” While it may be easy to define Veteran and Vintage cars by the number of years, it has always been ambiguous as to when a car starts to be called a "classic”?
Is it the exclusivity, the performance or the exotic looks? Even the most gorgeous car on the road might not be called a classic piece. So, how do you separate a classic from the rest? Like most things in life, there might not be one simple answer to this question. Definitions may vary between state agencies, insurance companies as well as between car owners themselves.
So, let’s dig a little deeper and try to find out, shall we?
A classic car could be any car you have seen around while growing up. It could be a car you wanted to buy when you were a kid or you still wish to buy in the future or a car you’ve always dreamt about. This is of course, different from person to person and place to place.
However, if we were to find what defines the “classic” element in any car, there would be a number of factors that would be involved. In an interview, Tony O'KEeffe from Jaguar said that a car becomes a classic only when it has been out of production for a time more than 10 years at least. Interestingly, the definition fits well with Jaguar XK8 that gained this status only this year. Other cars such as the Jaguar XJ-S, etc. are gradually starting to scale up in value to gain the status above being mere classic.
There are many people; however who do not agree with Kefee’s definition that goes by the age of the car. They say that it is a wiser idea to determine its emotional value instead of the age of the vehicle. It becomes a classic when you remember it as a “fun car that you’d miss so much” instead of just sticking by the years.
Other things on the list would be “Nostalgia, historical importance, looks and of course, performance”. On the other hand, some may prefer car’s scarcity over other factors, which would mean a low-volume car from a trustworthy and reputable manufacturer. But there are always exceptions. For example, The Ford Mustang is one of highest selling car in the US, yet no one can deny its classic status. Why? Because this is the decision from the heart, and not by brain or money involved. It’s indeed an emotional decision. Probably, that is why it becomes hard to find the exact science behind it.
Once a car becomes a classic, there is a significant rise in its price, a rise that can be felt or noticed without much attention. There are many such cars, which include Porsche 944, BMW M3 or Jeep CJ-7s that are gradually but steadily appealing to the emotions of the people. So, the day is not far when these beauties would also get counted in the classics category. One thing about the classics that cannot be denied is that these are the cars that define performance, are cool and represent style that will never go out of fashion.