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.
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.
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.
A common definition of classic cars is well-maintained or restored vehicles that fall between the 20- and 40-year-old age bracket.
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.
Classic cars require more maintenance than modern cars, if only to ensure that they are protected from elements that could lead to extensive damage.
Because of cost differences and special considerations, you might regret putting your classic car on a regular insurance policy.
One definition of classic cars includes vehicles that retain their appeal after production stops. This definition eliminates a number of older cars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many different vehicles can fit under the classic car label, depending on individual perspective. Unique features often earn a car "classic" status.
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.
Before purchasing a classic car, savvy consumers will set a budget, plan for storage, and set guidelines about using and driving it.
Insurance companies may separate classic cars into several categories, including racing, muscle, modified, and modern classics. Modern classic cars are currently very popular.
Restoring a car involves repairing it to make it look new once again. This process can be very time-consuming and expensive.
Classic car enthusiasts might do the work themselves or purchase an already restored car, which enables immediate enjoyment.
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.
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.
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.
A classic car with a solid frame and body will cost more, but this can give you a jump-start on restoration.
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.
Tuning up a classic car is often much easier than tuning up a modern car, requiring only basic tools and techniques.
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.
Preparing a car for a car show involves in-depth detailing, ensuring the tires are in pristine condition, and transporting it to the location.
Washing a classic car is an important process, especially when entering it into a car show. Explore tips and suggestions for detailing a 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.
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.
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.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Car Collector's Guide to Popular Classic Cars and was authored by Maddy Martin.