What is really the difference between vintage, classic and antique cars?

Most times when we see old cars and we can’t really say if they are classic, vintage or antique we just classify them as old cars. However, in the real sense, there is an actual difference between these babies. The challenge is that we are sometimes confused about the definition to adopt. What do I mean by that? Now the fact is, the definition of vintage, classic and antique cars varies from country to country and in that same country it also varies from state to state, and also in such state, it varies from car enthusiast’s, organization and so on… So, you see the variation trickles down the ladder. Hmm, for us to really define what these babies are (Don’t mind me I like to call cars from the 20th century that), let’s dive into the definition proper.


All vintage cars are old cars but not all old cars are vintage, what criteria and metrics must a car pass before it is labeled a vintage car? “vintage, as you asked, refers to a car made during and after the first world war, that is, between 1919 and 1930.” According to Dr. Ben Khingi, a proud owner of one the babies, a car collector and also the owner of a garage and travel agency, Kings Agency based in Bukasa, Muyenga, a city suburb, in Uganda. reference here  Some of the models of vintage cars include Ford Model A or the Chrysler Model B-70. Now for a car to be called vintage aside from being built within the stated period above, the car must have its original shape and no modification of any sort.


A classic car is an older automobile; the exact definition varies around the world. The common theme is of an older car with enough historical interest to be collectable and worth preserving or restoring rather than scrapping. Cars 20 years and older typically fall into the classic class. Wikipedia The description of classic cars varies from country to country. The initial description from the United States are cars made around 1948 but not before 1925. But because of the influx of other car manufacturers into the scene, a consensus and a level definition was adopted which is, classic cars are those not so old beauties or babies over 20 years old with its original parts without any modification or alteration. According to the Classic Car Club of America states, a classic car must have been made between 1925 and 1948 and must have been fully restored and running. On a more realistic level classic cars are now being linked to as muscle cars. These cars include 1986 Chevy Camaro IROC Z28S  


When people hear the word antique, they usually link or associate it to some ancient archeological findings or some rare artifact from the ancient Benin empire. Now Coming to the world of cars, according to Antique Automobile Club of America it describes an antique car as one over 25 years of age. In other parts of the world the definition is based on the state, like for some states or localities, they are cars that are over 45 years old generally in its original restored form and in working condition. The 1966 Ford Mustang is an example of such car labeled antique.

I hope with these facts, you can now tell the difference between vintage, classic and antique cars.

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