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What Makes A Car Classic?

Here at our classic car storage facility, we have the absolute pleasure of meeting some truly beautiful classic cars. But what exactly is a “classic car”, and what is it about them that’s so appealing?

What’s The Technical Definition of “Classic Car”?

There isn’t really a proper definition of “classic car”; however, in the UK, once it reaches its 40th birthday, a car becomes exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty. DVLA’s cut-off is often used to define a classic car.

But as we petrolheads know, there’s a lot more to “classic” than simply being over 40. Fame, desirability, sheer good looks… These are all factors that contribute towards a classic car. And of course, there’s that certain something that only a classic car has. You enthusiasts know what we mean, but we’ll attempt to define it.

What Features Make A Car Classic?

Whether a car is classic or not is subjective. Age is certainly a factor, and a well-preserved rarely seen car over 40 is a joy to behold. However, there are other ways to define a classic car.

Some cars achieve iconic status because they’ve featured in films, TV or novels. We all loved an 80s Audi Quattro, but it was Gene Hunt’s that really got viewers fired up. From the Mini in The Italian Job to Doc’s time-travelling DeLorien, film-star cars are instant classics. And how many people regretted ditching their old Ford Anglias when Harry Potter was released?

As well as cultural impact, some cars are classics simply because they’re beautiful: motors such as the E-type or Gullwing sit in this category. Then there are the more accessible design classics, like the Saab 900.

But of course, many of us define a classic by its nostalgia value. A Volvo 240. A Triumph Acclaim. Anything by Ford from the 1980s that reminds us of long summer holidays. These cars are truly loved because they’re part of our own stories. Like we said, it’s nostalgic.

What Is A Vintage Car?

Back to specific definitions. A vintage car is a vehicle built before 1930. Next, we’re into post-vintage, which is the term used for cars built between 1930 and 1945. Later than that, cars tend to be referred to as classics. There’s also a class of car called “Veteran”, consisting of rarities that were built before 1914. 

If you’re looking for an American car, the US terms are slightly different. Classic is a car that's over 20 years old, antique is over 35, and the more specific designation of vintage needs the vehicle to date from between 1919 and 1930.

Is A Classic Car A Good Investment?

We all know that a new car has depreciated by the time it’s left the forecourt etc., etc. This isn’t the case with a classic car; and indeed, appreciating in value can be taken as another way to define whether a car is a classic. For tax purposes, HMRC defines a classic car as a car over 15 years old that’s worth upwards of £15,000.

As older cars become more rare, they naturally increase in value. They’re certainly a more enjoyable investment than an untouched bottle of vintage wine. Of course, you may decide to pick up a classic car simply because it speaks to you: it may be an ancient Corsa, but if it’s the same model you learned to drive in, its value to you is priceless.

If you want to invest in a classic car for financial reasons, seek expert advice; and once you’ve bought it, treat it very, very well.

Secure Classic Car Storage At Ecurie137

The best way to take care of your classic car is to store it in safe and climate-controlled conditions. Get in touch with Ecurie137 to find out more about our classic car storage services.

Posted under Blog Thu, 4th Aug 2022

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