Understanding the Difference Between Classic, Vintage and Antique Cars

Understanding the Difference Between Classic, Vintage and Antique Cars


For those participating in salvage vehicle auctions, understanding the terminology used can be challenging, especially when it comes to classic and antique cars. The terms “classic”, “vintage” and “antique” are often used interchangeably but they definitely do not mean the same thing, and their prices can also vary significantly. So, if you are looking to buy salvage vehicles and have your heart set on an older model, this blog post is for you. Read on as we present an overview of what each of these categories mean. 

Classic Cars

The term “classic” is generally used for cars that are at least 20 years old, but it is not used for just about any car. Cars with modern designs, for instance, are usually not considered classics. A perfect example would be, let’s say, a Ford Taurus from the late 90s. Though the car may be more than 20 years old, you will not find anyone calling it a classic. So, besides the age, the design of the car is another prerequisite for it to be called a classic. 

Vintage Cars

The term “vintage” is generally used for cars that were manufactured between 1919 to 1931. As not many from that era are still on the road, vintage cars usually go for a significant sum of money. Perfect examples of vintage cars would be the Ford Model A, Chrysler Model B-70, and other similarly iconic names from the era. Despite being few in number, vintage cars are often featured in salvage vehicle auctions. 

Antique Cars

Contrary to common notion, the term “antique” is not limited to items like wood cabinets and grandfather clocks. The term is also used for cars that are registered as an antique. However, it is worth mentioning that different states have different age criteria to qualify a vehicle as an antique. In addition, some states also have a mileage criterion to decide whether a car qualifies to be registered as antique. So, it is advisable to check the exact conditions with your DMV. 

The Last Word

Whether you are looking to buy a classic, vintage or antique car, you can find them all in salvage vehicle auctions. It is however important to exercise due diligence and get a thorough inspection conducted by a professional before you go ahead with any of the options. To buy salvage vehicles, simply register with us. If you have any questions about our salvage vehicle auctions or would like to know more about any of the vehicles in our inventory, simply call +1 (360) 347-1300.

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