What IS A Classic Car?

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It’s a properly controversial topic, but what is the definition of a classic car? Aaron McKay, Sam Skelton and Joe Miller go for a drive in a Marmite modern classic to discuss…

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Comments

Anthony Tang says:

I’ve just picked up an E39 BMW (1997) in mint condition with low miles. I think of it as retro rather than classic

AndrewMK says:

Nissan 350Z classic yet?

Ben Pena Gonzales says:

So yes- totally agree the first TT is a classic in the making!

Ben Pena Gonzales says:

A utility car (crap car) has to be much MUCH older before it becomes a classic. Otherwise it has to be rare, or iconic, or desirable, or game-changing.

Remelle Newell says:

A classic car is defined in the UK as any car manufactured and sold 20+ yers in the past from whenever you are buying (sexond hand or otherwise) it must have the correct plates , REG, VIN ect… classic cars are even tax exempt in some places so there must be a distinction between the classic and retro model cars

craig smith says:

Over 19 yrs old according to my ins co.

Happy Chappers says:

Not that long ago a Cortina estate or Cavalier would not have been considered a classic but it is now and they were the 80s equivalent of the Vectra.

Xylaquin says:

I would say the term is actually set, rather than idea that it shifts with the time.

85-01: retro car
60-85: classic car
War-60: vintage car
Prewar: Historic? Or just prewar

Dominic Zuk says:

Definitely agree with the nostalgia of it, but does it still make it a classic? Not sure… My Dad's old Galaxy for example. I'd love one, but I don't see it as a classic. But then what about his MK1 Kia Carens? Would that now classify as a classic, because there are so, so, so little left? It's a difficult topic.

Great video, came here from Joe's Instagram, I'm cross I didn't come here earlier!!

Paul Thompson says:

A very interesting video topic, and also a very hard thing to define as every individual has their own interpretations of a classic car. Are classics defined by bureaucracy i.e. government and insurance companies, and is this based on pollution tax or usage classifications. Personally I define a classic car based on my own life experiences and/or heritage. As a youngster I raced 2 stroke motor bikes, which are now seen as iconic machines with high resale values, but in a sense did I add to those values in making them iconic, or the things of local urban legends ?.

The car's I had when I was younger are now deemed as classics, and some days I can't forgive myself for the amount of Mk3 Cortina's I jumped and broke aspiring to be a Duke boy. But for me at the time, these were the car's that nobody wanted, as everyone aspired for the next best thing.

At the moment I own a 1994 Toyota Carina E, and over the years I've been modifying it to replicate a "classic" touring car of the mid 90's. I document everything I do on my own YouTube channel, and I do receive some hate for doing so. One for messing with a 90's car, and two because people claim they weren't any good when they raced, and how can I improve on what Toyota designed anyway.

But cars are for the individual, my idea of a classic isn't the same as my neighbors, and that's not forgetting the people that don't get cars, they just use them and couldn't even tell you what the make is of the car they drive daily. I enjoyed the video, and could carry on and on, but won't lol.

Sgd TV says:

People say a 2003 MK1 Focus RS is a classic

Qam2 says:

To be honest nostalgia for me is why a car is a classic for example I'm 16 and every time I Stare at my mum's 14 year old Mk5 golf I smile because of the memories associated with it

Vauxaholic says:

First video I’ve seen of yours and what a can of worms you have opened, to me a classic is when the demand out strips the number available, top video btw!

Roger Phillips says:

I nominate the first generation Audi TT for the title of a classic car.

Jack Grover says:

This is something that could run to 1000s of words, but Joe's comment that "someone used to 60s stuff would get in the Vectra and think it's modern" definitely applies to me, as a demographic freak who grew up in the 90s around cars from the 50s-70s and therefore is a 30-something with childhood nostalgia for MGBs and Wolseley 4/44s. I just can't make myself think (or care) about my Citroen Xantia as a 'classic car' even though it is, and I treat it as one by virtue of shovelling far more money into it than it is worth because I like having it around. But to me it's still a 'boring modern car' that I feel very little emotional attachment to because I was 10 years old (and already lusting for Morris Minors and Land Rovers) when it was built. I think the 1945-1980 period does represent a 'Classical' era for cars (in the sense that there are also Classic periods for music, literature, architecture), so ideally we need to come up with some term for 1980-2000(?) cars – although what that term would be I dunno – so we can stop using 'classic' as a synonym for 'cherished' which is what gets a lot of noses out of joint when people say things are/aren't classic cars. By my own personal terms, a Xantia or a Vectra, or an X350 Jag, or a Focus Mk1 etc. cannot be Classic cars because to call them that would be to cast them from the same era, standards, ideas, principles and worldview as a Series VI Morris Oxford which is plainly ludicrous. The whole character and experience of the car is so different that they might as well be different forms of transport altogether. But that absolutely doesn't mean that people are wrong to cherish them, take joy in owning them and do all the things that define 'classic car ownership' to and with them. All it takes to sort it out is a term that everyone agrees on for cars made after 1980 which indicates that they're cherished items of nostalgia but not Classic Cars. Simple enough, surely? 😉

Rich Road007 says:

If like a car in all it various forms and cherish it may not be too everyone's taste but I'm sure the owner of the vehicle or multiple of them they are enjoying their ownership for a to b or petrol head and enthusiast's tinkering 😃 great magazine 🧐

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