Now here’s an interesting conundrum.

About a week ago, the Summit Racing folks shared our article on what defines a vehicle’s classic status on their Facebook page, along with a similar question:

What Makes a Car Classic?

And whoa nelly did that start a discussion as the Reader Contributions flew in from every corner of the gearhead world. The topics ranged from a vehicle’s age and its popularity, all the way to—GASP!—what the DMV thinks about it.

As we always do, we perused the responses and we’ll share our favorites here.

What do you think? Let us hear about it in the comments section at the bottom of this article!


1968 AMC Ambassador Sedan
“Going to a car show and being the only one there with that model.” – Joshua M. (Image/OnAllCylinders)
  • “If the owner is proud enough to bring it out, who am I to judge whether or not it qualifies as car show material?” – Brian E. [Well said! – Ed.]
  • “We have a few ‘classic shows’ for 1964 and older only. It just depends on which group is putting it on, otherwise it’s anything goes.” – Rick N.
  • “When the State of California decides it’s a classic, it’s a classic.” – David W.
“If I had a Chevy Lumina out on display, it wouldn’t get a second look—unless of course it was some kind of altered car with a full tube chassis.” – David W. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Gioia Kurpik)
  • “Most vehicles pre-1980 (with a few exceptions). It’ll always vary from one person to another.” – Dustin S.
  • “Cars that look good no matter what year they were built.” – Paul M.
  • “When restoration parts are becoming more prevalent for it, I’d say the car is getting to be a classic.” – Anthony H. [Interesting observation. – Ed.]
a blue jeep wrangler tj parked on grass
“The Jeep TJ Wrangler is a classic, built from 1997 to 2006. Last of the original size and design, basically an updated Jeep CJ.” – Ken M. (Image/OnAllCylinders)
  • “The word ‘classic’ is so overused and misused, it’s almost pointless anymore.” – Tim T.
  • “Old does not necessarily mean classic.” – Dan R.
  • “Being unaffordable.” – Aaron T. [I know, right? – Ed.]
sn95 ford mustang cobra 5.0
A lot of folks simply suggested anything over 25 years old, which if you’re counting along at home, means that early SN95 Mustangs (1994-98) fall squarely in that category—and we couldn’t be happier about that. (Image/OnAllCylinders)
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