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What is the cutoff year to be "classic?"

21 posts in this topic

Is it 1973 because of the catalytic converters? Maybe 1977, with the beginning of the boxy styling craze (including rectangular headlights)? Is it somewhere in the 80s, with the switch to fuel injection and the death of chrome bumpers? Or is it the 90s, when all these transitions were complete and every car was officially "computerized" (with more crapola to come)? Can the cutoff year slide into more recent years? Or did one prick just say "it stops at the 50s!" and it just is what it is and will be for all time?
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I know the Canadian government definition of "classic" for tax/safety purposes is 25 years or older.
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Classic is any car 25+ years old. We're getting classic plates for our 1980 V6 Cadillac Sedan de Ville this year!

And it has been virtually trouble-free!
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I always considered a classic to be 20+ years old. That makes me sad since the Fiero could already be considered one by that. Jeesh... And my neighbors already have classic plates on their 1986 Camaro IROC-Z.
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Wow...to live in other states. Ya got classic plates AND truck plates...not here, nope. But let's go beyond plates and deal with the public at large....with perception.
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For license plates, it's 25 years in Colorado.. I'm sure it varies by state. As far as perception, I usually think of 'classics' as specifically the '30s Duesenbergs, Cadillac V16s, Auburns, Cords, Lincolns, etc...luxury cars with coachbuilt bodies, etc.. I prefer the term 'vintage' for post-WWII up through the early '70s... '80s cars are just plain 'old cars', nothing I would consider classic or vintage..
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Would you say that because you consider 80s and up cars throwaway, or because they're simply not old enough, not enough time has passed?
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No idea what it is in MI, but anything about 25+ years I would say...
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Would you say that because you consider 80s and up cars throwaway, or because they're simply not old enough, not enough time has passed?

[post="30254"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Both...not old enough and most are throwaway... there are certainly some that are worthwhile, but IMHO most mainstream cars from the mid-70s through today are just transportation appliances..
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Totally depends why you want your car classed as a classic - it's 20 years for emission tests - (here in Ontario, Canada)
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Then maybe I shouldn't be surprised if I start seeing biodegradable Corollas or early model Metros to get classic plates...
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I agree with both of moltar's posts.

[post="30372"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Anything before 1980's!
I could even consider the Chevette a classic (RWD) ;)
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like so many other words this definition will change as time goes on. Will a 1984 Corvette wiht Cross-fire injection be a classic in 2024? Probably. Not a highly sought after one but it will be old enough to be a rare car. Edited by Sixty8panther
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Here in Louisiana, any vehicle past 20 years old or more can be considered a classic and thus apply for a License plate with a Classic title and the insurance is dirt cheap.
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'80s cars are just plain 'old cars', nothing I would consider classic or vintage..

[post="30247"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


No not really! Buick GNX, Fiero is a classic. they aren't around anymore and set some example, or is remembered. Iroc z Camaros.

To me its a car that served a american history statement or has value to poeple.

For example Camaros are classics since who doesnt no what one is? Also who doesnt no what a pinto is?

They play roles in Pop culture.

Exception Caviler, Neon, Tarus, Escort, and ect. are not consider claissics.

Its really what you think is a classic.

Another car that is considered a "Classic" is the 96 Impala SS. It was monumental that year and will be remembered.

My car is a ""Classic"", what....... It says classic in the name right! ( Caprice Classic )
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There is no cut off year, it's more of a state of mind, a vibe the car gives. The Solstice will one day be a classic, the Ion, hell no. comprende?
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In NC, the car has to be 35+ years old. hence why my '68 is currently a classic, yet my '73 isn't.
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Washington has some special rules... There is no such thing as a classic plate, we only have Collector, Horseless Carriage, and Restored. And yes, if you use any of the above, you cannot use your car as a daily driver...

Special Requirements for Antique and Collector Plates
Antique motor vehicles include those vehicles over 40 years old displaying Horseless Carriage plates.

Collector vehicles are those vehicles at least 30 years old and older with either collector vehicle license plates.

A Restored license plate is a Washington-issued license plate designed for use in the year of the vehicle's manufacture. The restored license plate may be used instead of a vehicle license plate or horseless carriage license plate. The license plate must be restored to such a condition that it may be identified with its year of issue. Reproductions of the original are not acceptable for use as a restored license plate.

Antique/Collector vehicles must be:

Owned and operated as collector vehicles, and
Capable of operating on the highway.

Antique/Collector vehicles may be driven:

To and from auto shows, circuses, parades, displays, special excursions, antique car club meetings, and
For testing purposes, and,
For pleasure of others without compensation.

Antique/Collector vehicles may not be used for:

Commercial purposes or to carry a load, or
Regular transportation in the manner of a fully licensed vehicle.

Antique/Collector License Plates, which include Collector, Horseless Carriage or Restored license plates may be:

May be assigned to currently registered passenger vehicle, motorcycles or trucks
Are good for the life of vehicle
Are not required to display month/year tab
Are not renewed annually
Must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. If the customer provides a set of plates they may display one on the front and the other on the back of the vehicle, and
May be applied for through any licensing office. Customer provides restored plates.

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Washington has some special rules...  There is no such thing as a classic plate, we only have Collector, Horseless Carriage, and Restored.  And yes, if you use any of the above, you cannot use your car as a daily driver...

[post="34633"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

My thing is, how would they know you're daily driving your car? Do they stop you everyday and check your odometer?
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My thing is, how would they know you're daily driving your car?  Do they stop you everyday and check your odometer?

I know a guy who's had 'classic' plates on his vintage Lincoln for YEARS, drives it every day, never been hassled ever. Drives another vintage Lincoln out of state annually with YOM (Year of Manufacture) plates... which are not legal in this state... and also never got hassled over those.
Of course if I tried that, I'd get my vehicle impounded...
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