San Mateo auto repair

What Is the Difference Between Classic, Antique, and Vintage Cars?

There is a lot of ambiguity on what exactly a classic car is and what sets it apart from vintage and antique cars. To the average person, the term "classic" is interchangeably used when describing any old car that looks like it doesn't belong on the roads with modern motorists.


Vintage vs. Classic vs. Antique Cars 

According to the American Collectors Community, there are some criteria for making a vehicle "classic" or "antique": model year and historical status. Below are all three types of non-modern cars and their generally agreed-upon age requirements:

  • Vintage Car: Made between 1919 and 1930
  • Antique Car: Made 1975 or earlier 
  • Classic Car: Made 1990 or earlier 

In other words, the classic car terminology applies to vehicles over 20 years old. Antique cars are over 45 years old, and vintage vehicles are built between 1919 and 1930. 


But as with many subjects in the automotive industry, not everyone can agree on a particular topic. DMVs, insurance companies, and classic car clubs classify each one a little differently. For instance, California has a different approach to filing a "classic" vehicle, and they do not separate between classics, vintage, and antique cars. As long as the car was constructed after 1922 and is at least 25 years old, it is considered a historical vehicle. 


Either way, we believe you can classify your vehicle however you like. If you own a classic European car that needs restoration or simply routine maintenance, The Four Car Garage is the right place for you. From pre-war vehicles and on, we have the expertise and skills to preserve the integrity of your beloved vehicle. Give us a call or visit to discuss your classic today!

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