Last post on Oct 11, 2009 at 5:16 AM
You are in the Classic Cars
What is this discussion about?
Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
Jan 16, 1999 (8:46 pm)
The term "Classic" has become a label for so many
different types of cars, that the word is rapidly
losing its meaning.
For this reason, many curators, appraisers,
collectors and writers are trying to creat more
accurate definitions for "old" cars.
What do you think? Should a 1930 Duesenberg and a
1964 Rambler both be called "classics"? Can a
"classic" be only ten years old? If everything is a
classic, then nothing is, right?
Here are some of the more common terms being used
in the world of vintage cars today. What do YOU
think they ought to mean?
#2 of 310 My take
Jan 28, 1999 (5:04 pm)
Antique = just old (historic plate capable)
vintage = turn of the century old
Classic = old (historic) but popular (mustangs, camaros, etc.)
Collectible = one that has demand like the classics, but not necessarily as popular
Special interest = kit cars, deloreans, woodys, etc.
Old car = one that was just pulled out of the weeds
#3 of 310 Spedman
Jan 31, 1999 (3:58 pm)
Is 'Classic' just a look? Sounds weird, but You could get a good argument that the original 240Zs, Corollas, and Datsun B210s were classics for the effect they had on the car buying public. In the case of the 240Z, you had a really striking sports looking car that didn't cost an arm and a leg to buy and maintain. The Corollas and B210s really made people think that maybe they weren't being unreasonable for asking that a car be cheap, easy to maintain, and last for 100,000 miles without a major overhaul. I bet 30 years form now those early Datsuns and Toyotas will be considered Classics the way the original Bugs were. And you have to admit, they were a whole lot better cars than the Bugs, even the mid-seventies Superbeetles.
#4 of 310 C13
Jan 31, 1999 (6:16 pm)
I think that the term is very much open to interpretation. Certain groups will have their very specific definitions, but one can always make an argument in favor of a different one.
Also, certain aspects of a given car might be considered 'classic', while others are not.
Jan 31, 1999 (6:53 pm)
Well, if you called a Datsun B210 a classic, what the heck could you call a Duesenberg? Certainly not the same thing.
"Classic" has to be something very special in my mind, a term reserved for the most interesting and inspiring cars.
There was a term used for a while called "Milestone" that I liked...it was for cars that achieved a certain notoriety for certain accomplishments, either technically, or in marketing even, but wasn't in the Duesenberg or Bugatti or Packard V-12 class.
So maybe the first "T-Bird" or "Corvette" could fit into that category, along with say the first BMW 2002, the first Mustang, etc.
I wouldn't call a 1959 Cadillac a "milestone' since it was definitely an evolutionary dead-end. Not exactly the Golden Age...that would be to my mind a "collectible"
"antique" to me means "brass era" type cars...pre electric lighting, pre starter motor...really old buggy-type cars.
"vintage" and "classic" could overlap...a vintage car could really go back to anything pre World War II...so some "classics" are "vintage" but not all "vintage" are classics.
Anyway, the point of my rambling is that you can't lump a magnificent V-16 phaeton with a Datsun B210 and call them the same thing..that's just stretching it too far for me!
#6 of 310 Mr. Shiftright
Feb 01, 1999 (5:26 pm)
I agree with you that the term Classic should be reserved for those true classics-like the Deusenbergs, a few Packards, Bugattis, etc. Also, Antique for the brass era of buggy type cars. Vintage for prewar II. The term old car could be applied to almost any old card. "MIlestone" might be applied to any major change or new concept-like the '49 Cad/Olds, '53 Corvette, Ford V8, "55 Chev/Pontiac[first V8"s, and others-like maybe the Mustang. Special Interest and Collector are terms a little harder to define. I take two magazines-"Special Interest Autos" and "Collectible Automobile"-and both of them feature articles about the same kinds of cars-all of them collectible and of special interest. What do you think about these two terms?
Feb 01, 1999 (7:47 pm)
I think "special interest" is really a substitute for "old car"...it's a polite and gracious way to include everybody, which is good.
"collectible" is also pretty wide-open, in that I guess if just one person collects Hillman Minx 4-door sedans then it is "collectible"...but I'd like to think the term meant that there is actually some demand country-wide, and a club and a registry, etc...something more than a pile of rubble in someone's back yard.
I like the term "milestone" because the word implies some kind of breakthrough or special feature that took hold and others copied...certainly the Mustang was a Milestone car, and the 49 Olds one of the first short-stroke, hi compression V-8s, which later dominated the 60s in America. But a 1949 Kaiser isn't a milestone, maybe just special interest. So there's the difference (the Kaiser was supposed to be radical but by the time it got to production, it was just another old design with a new skin).
Feb 06, 1999 (10:53 pm)
Is an Austin Mini Cooper classic, old or just dangerous? I live in Budapest Hungary and have the chance to buy one cheap.
Feb 07, 1999 (1:02 am)
I think the older Austin Mini Coopers are very interesting cars...not "classic" but certainly collectible...is it an "S" model? If so, it would be pretty valuable, and a total kick to drive! But if just a Cooper, a nice one (really nice one)would run you about $6,500 in the U.S.
If not a Cooper, but just a plain old Mini, one of the more modern Minis (850 cc I think), I don't feel that car is collectible, but still might be fun to have. I wouldn't pay much for it, though, with a whopping 37 hp!
You might want to have the car checked out...they can be a bit fragile, especially clutches and transmissions.
Feb 09, 1999 (7:16 pm)
Budaspeed-Genuine cooper S is 1275 cc.Watch for fakes using the 1275 engine from an austin 1300gt.with twin carbs.Looks the part but worthless.To check for genuine S is simple -look for 2 extra head studs easily visible at each end of the cylinder head.Other coopers of uk origin were all 998 cc.Any thing else is just a mini.Watch for rust in rear sub-frame and sills,door posts,under rear seat and spare wheel well.To be classic it must be in excellent condition and WITH HISTORY.Otherwise it is just an old car.