Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

A Car Collector's Guide to Popular Classic Cars

classic ferrari and lamborghini
Max Earey /

Anyone with an interest in automobiles appreciates the sleek designs and distinctive features of classic cars. Whether you admire them in car shows or you dabble with your own vehicle, the realm of vintage, veteran, and classic cars is a fascinating one. While today's automotive technician jobs require specialization and highly technical expertise, working on classic cars can be comparatively simple because of the less-advanced technology involved.

What Makes a Classic Car?

Defining a classic car is somewhat difficult because it depends a bit on who you ask. Many people consider a classic car to be anything that was present during their youth. In contrast, veteran and vintage cars usually fit into specific time periods.

Defining the Term "Classic Car"

Some consider a classic car to be any well-maintained vehicle that's more than 20 years old. Very old cars are often considered antiques, while newer cars fall into the "modern" category.

Car Classifications: Antique, Vintage, and Classic Cars

A common definition of classic cars is well-maintained or restored vehicles that fall between the 20- and 40-year-old age bracket.

Classic, Vintage, Veteran, or Just Old Cars?

Veteran cars were built prior to World War I, and vintage cars were built prior to 1930. Cars built post-vintage may fit into the classic car category.

Five Easy Classic Car Care Tips

Classic cars require more maintenance than modern cars, if only to ensure that they are protected from elements that could lead to extensive damage.

Classic Car Auto Insurance Is Cheaper Than Enthusiasts May Think

Because of cost differences and special considerations, you might regret putting your classic car on a regular insurance policy.

What Makes a Classic Car?

One definition of classic cars includes vehicles that retain their appeal after production stops. This definition eliminates a number of older cars.

Classic Car Insurance Facts You Need to Know

Owners of classic cars need specialized insurance policies. This coverage extends only to specific types of vehicles. Insurance companies also have requirements about storage and drivers of these cars.

10 Collectible Muscle Cars You Can Afford

A lot of classic cars will empty your wallet quickly just to get them into your garage, but if you broaden your definition of "classic" a bit, there are plenty of fun rides to be had for less.

What Makes a Car a Collectible?

The Classic Car Club of America has specific parameters for classic cars. According to this group, classic cars must have been built between 1925 and 1948, they must run, and they must be fully restored.

List of Classic American Muscle Cars

Muscle cars are vehicles with high horsepower and an emphasis on straight-line acceleration. Classic muscle cars were manufactured between 1950 and 1979. Many collectors consider the time period from the late 1960s to the early 1970s to be the "golden age" of muscle cars.

Types of Classic Cars

Many different vehicles can fit under the classic car label, depending on individual perspective. Unique features often earn a car "classic" status.

Classic Car Insurance: What Is it? How Does it Work?

Classic auto insurance covers a vehicle up to a guaranteed value based on its worth according to standard valuation guides. A professional appraisal is necessary for this coverage.

Types of Classic Vehicles

Before purchasing a classic car, savvy consumers will set a budget, plan for storage, and set guidelines about using and driving it.

Understanding Different Types of Collector Cars and Coverage

Insurance companies may separate classic cars into several categories, including racing, muscle, modified, and modern classics. Modern classic cars are currently very popular.

Restoring Your Classic Car

Restoring a car involves repairing it to make it look new once again. This process can be very time-consuming and expensive.

Four Reasons NOT to Restore a Vintage Car

Classic car enthusiasts might do the work themselves or purchase an already restored car, which enables immediate enjoyment.

Prepare Your Classic Now for the Season Ahead (PDF)

Before the start of the warm-weather show season, classic car owners must prepare their cars both externally and under the hood.

Top 10 Show-Winning Tips (PDF)

Classic car restoration involves acute attention to detail. Although the overall appearance must be strong, subtle details are also crucial, especially when entering car shows.

Make Your Car Stand Out From the Pack! Car Show Tips and Tricks (PDF)

Showing a classic car involves finding an ideal parking spot to show off your vehicle. After parking, it's wise to look over the setup to ensure that everything looks attractive.

Mopar Nationals Quick Guide to Proper Vehicle Category Assignment and Helpful Judging Tips (PDF)

While a judge is inspecting a car, owners should resist the urge to interact. Interruptions can lead to distractions, which makes it more difficult for judges to do their jobs.

Buying Tips (PDF)

Anyone wishing to buy a classic Mercedes-Benz will need to consider a number of important factors, such as choosing a car that needs work or one that is already fully restored.

Seven Simple Car Restoration Tips That Everyone Should Know (PDF)

A classic car with a solid frame and body will cost more, but this can give you a jump-start on restoration.

Buying Cars Long-Distance (PDF)

Some classic car buyers choose to purchase a vintage or classic car sight unseen from a seller located some distance away. Before proceeding with this type of transaction, it's wise to interview the seller on the phone and get as much documentation about the car as possible.

Tiptoe Through the Tune-Ups

Tuning up a classic car is often much easier than tuning up a modern car, requiring only basic tools and techniques.

How to Store a Car: Preparation Tips for Vehicle Storage (PDF)

Preparation is a crucial step to storing a car. Choose a dry and dark location, and perform specific maintenance before placing the car into storage.

Car Show Preparation Tips

Preparing a car for a car show involves in-depth detailing, ensuring the tires are in pristine condition, and transporting it to the location.

21 Detailing Tips From the Pros!

Washing a classic car is an important process, especially when entering it into a car show. Explore tips and suggestions for detailing a car.

My 10 Tips to Purchasing a Classic Car

Before buying a classic car, a consumer should narrow their choices to a specific model, set a budget, and determine who will perform any restoration work that will be needed.

Get Ready to Shine: Four Tips for Showing Your Classic Car

Judges will notice a dirty interior, so before entering a car into a classic car show, remove dust and debris with a vacuum and polish cloth.

Three Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Classic Car Looking Like New

Even when parking a classic car indoors, a car cover helps prevent damage to the paint. Car covers are made for specific car models to ensure a good fit.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...
P0608 OBD-II Trouble Code: Control Module VSS Output "A" Malfunction
P0608 means there is an malfunction in the vehicle speed sensor A control module often due too faulty speed sensor or shorted electrical wiring.
P3485 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Exhaust Valve Control Malfunction
P3485 means an issue with cylinder 11’s exhaust valve control circuit which causes sluggish acceleration and decreased fuel economy.

Related questions

Q: Should I trade?

Hi Lynn, thanks for writing in. Having two kids myself, I've been in your shoes. My rule of thumb is that if the cost of repairs today outnumbers the low blue book value of the vehicle, you should consider buying...

Q: Horn stopped working.

The horn is powered by the fuse you changed out. The control is the horn button and it goes through the steering wheel and clock spring behind the steering wheel. The horn relay gets power from the fuse and control...

Q: How Do You Deal With a Car Battery for Long Term Storage?

Batteries need special care when being stored for an extended length of time. A battery has 3-5 years’ life expectancy. This can be shortened when doing long term storage incorrectly. When the battery is connected, voltage draws from the vehicle’s...