Blog : Classic cars – Time for an overhaul

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

If AROnline had its way, the Morris Marina would be categorized as an 'Oldtimer'
If AROnline had its way, the Morris Marina would be categorized as an 'Oldtimer'

A recent online discussion about old cars, the tag ‘classic’ was applied to a car I was discussing; more specifically, that the motor in question, a Peugeot 205 Gentry was ‘not a classic’. Considering I never said it was – but actually think these cars are quite special – I was more than a little miffed.

It did get me thinking – once again – about the whole tagging situation, and old cars in general. The ‘classic’ car thing sometimes does leaves me baffled. It’s too vague, too blurry, and as a term, far too open to misinterpretation. It’s clear that as a catch-all term, it does have its uses – but when no two people have the same idea about what should – and should not – be included in the club, it really is time to do it European style and start categorising old cars rigidly, and apply names and formulas, based on age.

After all, the dictionary definition for classic is:

  • Having a high quality or standard against which other things are judged

Thinking about it in those terms, a brand new car could be a classic. Wouldn’t you say that the Jaguar XF or Land Rover Evoque, for instance, are two British classics that define their sectors, and are cars their rivals are judged against?

And with that in mind, I do think it’s time to do what the Germans, and most other Europeans do, and simply divide by age. It’s been done before, and still goes on for the really old cars – so why not extend? And do away with tedious, tiresome ‘classic’ car elitism once and for all?

Here’s my proposal:

  1. Veteran car – pre-1905 (as before)
  2. Vintage car – 1905-1929 (as before)
  3. Pre-War car – 1930-1939 (commonly used, but not clearly defined)
  4. Oldtimer – 1940-1982 (originated in Germany and used across Europe now, rolling to cater for all post-War cars that are older than 30)
  5. Youngtimer – 1982-2002 (as above, a rolling band, from 10-30 years old)

The reason I’ve gone with a rolling set-up for the post-War cars is simple, and again ‘borrowed’ from the European way of doing things. In all countries (UK aside, which has its silly 1973 cut-off; and – I think – Denmark), 3o years is the typical point where cars become Oldtimers, and start to attract those ‘classic’ exemptions we like so much. So it seems completely logical, to me at least, that we should do the same – and also accept that in time, and the passing of the years, new cars are consistently joining the historic motoring scene.

And that means that in a stroke, the scene would be more inclusive, more welcoming, and finally accepting that as time goes by ‘younger’ cars are getting old. And more importantly, cherished and enjoyed.

As for ‘classic’ cars, let’s re-take that word’s true meaning, and accept that in order to be classic, it needs to be good. Not old. That’s something else entirely.

But as ever, I’d love to hear your views on the matter.

...and this Rover 213 would be a 'Youngtimer'. until 2017.
...and this Rover 213 would be a 'Youngtimer'. until 2017.
Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)

68 Comments

  1. So if something has to be good AND a benchmark to be a classic, that leaves us with the Range Rover, Mini and not much else.
    Keith, your new system seems a good idea, but do you think there should be another gap between 1940 and 1982? Thinking of the advances in design and technology in that period? Then again you could say the same about 1982 to 2002.
    I totally agree that the term “classic” is simply too vague. What the dictionary says isn’t much help is it? So that would mean “classical” music would be the bench mark against everything from Isaac Hayes to AC/DC to Jedward?

    Anyway, does it really matter?
    We know what we like here, so do we need to give it a class, order and phylum as if we’re in a biology lesson?
    Of course, the term “classic” could be useful when it comes to taxation and insurance, so in that case I’m happy for absolutely anything to be a classic if it makes it cheaper to run! But when it comes to loving our cars, will we all ever agree if something isn’t a classic or not?
    If we love our cars and keep them on the road, then in my opine, that’s enough.

  2. Good call… I think the debate has already started over here if 30 isn’t too young with good, durable cars like the Mercedes 190 now joining the ranks… Some fear that the amount of oldtimers will be growing too fast. But on the other hand, we have requirements for condition tied to the age – which means that the car has to be in very good and original condition (or restored, or modified to contemporary standards). Even if some may personally think of my Maxi as just an old car, the legal definition clearly states it is an oldtimer – so no discussion about classic or not with insurance, exemption for low emission zones etc.

  3. Here’s something I forgot to say: how about doing away with the term “classic car” and replacing it with “character car”?

  4. Good idea, but needs tweaking. The ‘Oldtimer’ section is way too long a timescale, I’d have a split so that no section was more than 20 yrs long.

    Pre-war needs redefining, any car before WWII is actually pre-war, why should cars from 1929 be classed different from those from 1930?

    • I don’t think it needs subsections at all from a general point of view. I.e. from a legal perspective anything over 30 years old and meeting certain conditions is classed as oldtimer here in Germany (and named so by the general public). I’d say finer definition is something left to show and rally organisers who want to select certain age groups only or need some classification for price giving etc.

  5. I think Classic in the car sense can mean rare.

    So things like a mk4/5 Cortina, which used to be everywhere, are now Classic as they are rare.

    Anything that survived “banger valley” and made it out the other side alive.

    205s aren’t quite rare enough, in part due to the rustproofing and that they were fairly reliable.

    It also means that cars that were rare to start with like the XM will soon be classics, even though they didn’t stop production til the early 2000s.

  6. The age criteria thing is good, and should be used by legislators and insurance companies when defining what they call a ‘classic’ within their particular area of responsibility (especially for road tax…)

    Another definition of whether or not a car is a classic could be if it is deemed worthy of having clubs set up for it by enthusiasts. Ok, you might say, that makes things even more vague but to be honest I have never seen any clubs for Range Rover Evoques, but have for Imprezas. The Impreza makes sense and you could not argue against it being a benchmark for what it was – a world beating rally car- and deserves its place in motoring history.

    We all have fond memories of cars of our youth, whether owned or merely driven. This is why I have a love for Minis (I own 3, including a Hornet), Allegros, Mk4/5 Cortinas and MGs. I go to many car shows each years and see many prized and pristine examples of Triumphs, Marinas, Hillman Imps, Allegros and various other cars that have been accused of causing the decline and destruction of the British car industry. However, at the end of the day they are classics to their owners (either because of their age or the owners’ love)and deserve to be considered as such. Even if only to help us learn the lessons of history, so that we never forget the bad as well as the good.

  7. Will M – January 19, 2012

    I think Classic in the car sense can mean rare.
    So things like a mk4/5 Cortina, which used to be everywhere, are now Classic as they are rare.
    ————————————————————

    Agreed.

  8. I think many people see classic cars as the cars from their chidlhood. I will never see cars from the 80’s as classic but many younger people will. This is not a problem for most people but upsets those who like to think they are experts and only their opinion counts. The simple fact is if you like your car and think it’s a classic then it is to you and that’s fine, love it clean it show it but don’t worry about which “box” you fit into.

  9. But does this mean rare in a country, or rare globally?

    For example, the Peugeot 504 would be a Classic in this country (old and rare) whereas in Egypt, they’re everywhere!
    You don’t see many 70s and 80s Toyota Corollas in this country, but globally I’m sure there’s still loads around.

  10. Everyone’s got their own criteria really, afterall one man’s classic is another man’s old banger. Consensus on a subject like this just isn’t possible, and who really cares anyway.

    Cars are for driving, not arguing about definitions.

    • @ James, #11:
      That is true and fine – but a firm definition will keep the arguments in the club circles and on the show grounds (and these will not stop, granted!). No discussion would be needed with the insurance company if the car is a classic or with the local council in case some exemptions are offered…

      In the end a definition that could be proved in an objective manner, similar to roadworthyness is needed.

  11. @ James, comment 11

    Yup, agree with that. Spend all your time arguing about cars and you’ll never find the time to enjoy them.

  12. @Mikey C

    Nationally I’d say.

    But then, something like a 504 wouldn’t be classic in Egypt, it is here, if you imported one you could gain entry to a classic car show as a curiosity.

    The 504 had a bit of a longer life there too (as did the Cortina in Turkey) so were more recent.

    I’m sure in Egypt, like a lot of middle eastern countries, they have little need to put salt on the roads, so the cars last longer. They probably also don’t have the same disposable society mentality as the UK, which deprecates a car every 6 months because the numberplate is out of date (on GB mainland anyway) and you are nobody in suburbia without the latest 316i.

    Maybe classic cars have a different meaning in Egypt, maybe things like Traction Avants but maybe not CXs are considered classic?

  13. Although older cars are my principal hobby, I stopped using the term ‘classic cars’ in conversation a few years ago for the reasons Keith has set out.

    Another term I rarely use is ‘sports car’ – often applied to models not known to have taken part in organised sport. Sometimes it’s used to describe any 2-seater, regardless of its capability.

  14. ..No, it’s post piano dropping.. as in “Oh man, That’s classic”..

    But seriously, I agree.. A categorised system IS needed.. Even if it’s only to sort out the ever expanding mess that is “The Classic Motor Show”.. That place is a mess now, as 80’s and even early 90’s cars creep in..

    If that show was displayed in the categories above, then the terms would quickly stick and you could compare rivals as contemporaries.. Though, you’re always going to want clubs that would like to stay together, and I can appreciate that..

  15. It sounds good to me in principle. Of course, it will never stop the grumblings of the handlebar moustach brigade who think the pinnacle of automotive development was the lever arm shock absorber and that the SD1 is the spawn of satan.

    BTW, I can’t remember the last time I saw a 205. Always liked the Roland Garros edition – A classy, good looking small car.

  16. @Tim Pearson

    The only car of mine I have ever described as a ‘Sports Car’ was the GTV, because it felt like a mini Ferrari.
    It was more of a coupe though.

    It grinds me to hear Crossover / SUVs described as ‘Sport’.
    Kia Sportage, Mazda CX7 described as a “sport crossover” and, yes Range Rover, I’m looking at you! Sport indeed.

    Reminded a bit of those PE/schoolbags some of us carried at school at some point. The ones that were blank apart from a transfer that said “SPORT” with a silhouette of a football on it.

  17. We’d need some real re-education of the word ‘classic’ which is used as a differentiator between original Mini and new MINI for example, with the old one being called ‘Classic Mini’. Is that because it is better or because it is defunct?

  18. I think a ‘classic’ car is one which raised the bar significantly when launched AND became a benchmark for other manufacturers to adopt. To wit:- Jaguar E-Type and XJ6, BMC Mini, Citroen DS, Rover 2000, SIMCA 1100, VW Golf.
    More modern examples might include the Ford Focus.
    There are plenty of other old cars which are interesting, or popular for other reasons such as quirkiness or character, Citroen 2CV, MG MGB, Triumph Herald for instance.
    Then there are plenty which some people love despite lack of technical merit, BMC Oxbridge, Hillman Minx for example.
    Here in AROnline-land of course we seem to like the valiant duds – Allegro, Maxi, Marina, TR7 et al.
    It probably doesn’t really matter though as long as you enjoy your old car and can take it to shows where the rest of us can reminisce about them!

  19. @ Will M.

    And dosen’t SUV stand for Sports Utility Vehicle? I’ve heard people call the XC90 an SUV, when it’s as sporty as a cabbage.
    And what does “crossover” mean anyway?

    Ah my PE bag was waaaay cooler than yours ;-). Day glow yellow with pictures of little stick men doing sporty stuff.
    Still have it somewhere 🙂

  20. @Frankie

    Good point about what SUV stands for!
    If sport is ferrying spawn to nursery school and bullying other motorists then fair enough.

    @Ayd

    I think that marketing can use ‘Classic’ to differentiate old and new products. cf. Range Rover Classic, Mac Classic, Coke Classic etc. Classic Mini is thus because it refers to the original Mini.

  21. According to Footman James, from an insurance point of view, a 205 GTI became eligible for their classic car policy at 10 years old but ‘lesser’ models of the 205 have to wait until they are 20. The Peugeot 309 is not on their classic list nor their modern list so they simply wont insure one.

  22. To me it’s like this.

    Lets think outside the box and think on say Toyota for a minute.

    A Mk1 MR2 and a 1986 corolla are both classic cars. However not both are ‘classic’ so to speak. The MR2 clearly is as it was a game changer when compared with it’s only real opposition at the time, the fiat x1/9 and the pontiac fiero. The corolla whilst a classic car based on age is not actually ‘classic’

    To muddle things up further, had the corolla been the RWD twin cam 16 coupe jobby then it would be classic. Had the MR2 been the Mk2 version, then it would just be a bloated diluted version of the original and not classic anymore.

    All of these cars however are classic cars. Some however are more ‘classic’ than others.

    Final point, remember that this was only a one decade cross section of one foreign brand!!!!

    Basically, bring back rolling 25 year free road tax!

  23. Maybe our perception is colored by our age relative to the cars we call classic and those we don’t. I was born in the late sixties and started driving in the eighties. I’m American so I’ll mention some cars I owned as a teenager. A 1970 Dodge Dart and a 1971 Chevelle. The Dart, had it survived, would be a very old car now, possibly headed to antique status, but I wouldn’t consider it a classic. The Chevelle 2 door hardtop v8, which was a pretty desirable car would be closer. For a time I owned a 1979 Dodge Aspen. The Aspen especially of these three, was garbage. It was garbage when it was new and it was garbage when I owned it as clean second hand car. I cannot ever consider it a classic. However I’d probably consider any pre-war or even 1950s car a classic. It’s just how I’m used to the term being applied.

    Now take a car like the Crosley with the COBRA engine which was given to self destruction. Someone who knew of these cars first hand back in the day might think it’s crazy to refer to that car as anything but rubbish; little more than an enclosed lawn tractor. They even sold them at hardware stores. But to me it’s a classic.

    However to someone who wasn’t born until 1990, my old Dart could be a “classic” even though to me it’ll always be the kind of car I could afford as a teenager because no one else wanted it. Besides which, even thinking about it as antique or classic is an acknowledgement that I’m headed towards antique status myself.

    Maybe someday if I make it to my ninties and come upon a well preserved Dart, I’ll refer to us both as classics.

  24. There’s something strangely quite satisfying about the combination of cheap, badly fitting French plastic alongside wood-u-like and leather…

  25. @ steve bailey. There really is something nice about that biscuit / boke interior isn’t there? You may also notice for the interior photo showing the sills / side door thickness, that the gallic chaps that built this car were clearly not at the forefront of side impact protection development!!

    Haha Great!

  26. I think the insurance industry’s definition is ANYTHING over a certain age – I think Footman James once told me it was 16 years as my Rover 820 was one year too young to qualify – should count next year though!

    Personally I prefer the liberal definition of classic, my contemporaries don’t – having seen my Allegro and Maxi and even my DeLorean, he’s asked if I would ever buy a classic car – by which I assume he means an old Jag or soemthing.

  27. Trouble is take the ‘classic mini’ (BMW’s terminology), the newest of the issigonis design are coming up for 12 years old, but is a 12 year old one, any more or less classic than one 10 years older?

    I think classic can be applied to a design that’s no longer in production, although is a design of some merit. The 205 in my opinion is a classic design, it’s instantly recognisable and set the trend in automotive design for years to come.

    Although some cars are classics before they’ve even been built, the late 90’s Mini’s for example.

  28. @Alan Mitchell

    I see what you mean about the sills! I had a 205, cracking car but made out of the thinnest steel imaginable – one step up from the metal foil found in cigarette packets. It would dent at the merest touch. Otherwise a great car though!

  29. It’s a difficult one this, mostly because as time goes on, what’s termed as a ‘Classic’ is chosen from a larger group as it’s basically anything between Vintage (which stops at 1929), and now – currently an 83 year span!
    Maybe we could stop using the term Classic (leaving that for pre-Cortina Fords) and just define the cars by the decade they came from but then that’d be difficult for models that were sold from late one decade into early the next…

  30. The old man managed to get classic insurance on a mk2 Granada 2.8i when it was barely over 10 years old.
    Though it did have to be garaged and do a ridiculously low mileage.

  31. This debate will rage for ever and a day, and as every generation comes along a whole new breed of what is or isn’t a classic starts again.

    Being a 70s child and being ferried around in Dolomites, Rover 2000s, Princess, Maxi, Cortinas etc etc to me they are the classics of my childhood and youth, passing my test in the late 80s, those cars I bought then I suppose I could now class as classics, the Capris, the Cortinas, Granadas, Montegos Maestros et al, where someone say 20 years older than me will scoff at a Montego ever being called a classic car!

    I’m sure the latest generation coming through now will see things like the XR3i, Escort Cosworth, hell even a Nissan Sunny as a classic as these are the cars they’ve grown up around and with, I would expect my lad in 10 years time when he starts driving looking back to cars of today as classics as they’re the cars from his childhood. It may seem strange to think of an S-Max as a classic, but I bet in the 1960s no one thought of a Cortina as a classic (excludes the original Capri :P) and in the 70s a Dolomite was just another shoddily thrown together BL product that will breakdown after 10 miles, both the above now regarded as ‘classics’

    Classics Monthly had a feature in the last issue on an 18 year old lad, the next generation of enthusiasts coming through, I think his oldest car was from 85 or thereabouts, as those are the cars of his time.

    I think the summary Keith posted up top is a pretty good one and would work well, maybe one of the few good things to come from the EU???

  32. I’m with Europe on this one. Personally however, despite the official definition I always think of a classic car in the same way as a classic record. Something that gives you a feeling of nostalgia.

  33. I think AROnline ought to campain for the 30 years “Old timer” rule. It is a serious classification; shortly morethan likely Britain will adopot the German style “Emissions” levys. The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in London is the first of it’s breed, and hand on heart our cities need de-smogging. Anyone who disputes this can be locked in an MOT bay when a non catlyst vehicle is being tested…

    If we set the stall out now for an “Old timer” (or whatever) classification, those under 40 (just!) might be able to enjoy classic’s when they retire…?

  34. I agree that the definition of a classic should be because of its age rather than whether anyone thinks a car is worthy of the term, because no one will ever agree on that.

    As someone recently commented on my Princess that I restored, “Why on earth would anyone “rescue” this car from a barn or anywhere? Like the Allegro, a monstrosity that should have never left the designer’s table. Mockingly called the “cheese wedge” in its day.”

    So whatever classification we put classics in, there would no doubt in this commentators mind where it should be.

  35. I think a classic car can be anything, the Marina is an example, it can be a classic because everybody hated them, and the (classic) mini can be a classic because everyone loved them adn they did the world a greate favour despite the oppinion of them being typical british in reliability (Mini and Series i/ii/iii Land Rovers built the world they did). Toyata Supra, ive never owend one or wanted one, but any of the older ones(and some of the new ones (the two most recent generations of Commodore) whcih are still going why not, a classic. The point is, anythin which invokes any particular interest, in my oppinion is worthy of being a classoc, the very last Austin Princes automatic on British roads, sure, the Trekka farm ute think from new zealand (loved and hated) But at ARO online it was I understand oringially Austin-Rover. I have no problem with it spreading its being but would like to see it mostly British, with some dabbling in other markets :-). alex

  36. Citroen BX 🙂 Saab 9000 turbo 🙂 Toyota Surpa 🙂 Mistsubishis Colt, Cordia turbos :-), Rover 827 Vitesse :-), anything from Jaguar Daimler except the 420, any car that survives for than 300000 miles, alex

  37. Where’s that can of worms thats just been opened 🙂
    One mans poison and all that…………:)
    If you knew how hurt I was, when who ever it was on here took pictures at the NEC Show last November. They took loads of pictures of the Yogo & Zastava stand. whilst 10Ft away I was there in my pristine low mileage MK1 Scirocco 🙂
    Each to there own!

  38. I agree, the classic car tag causes too much trouble when its about personal taste, eg. I detest Audis and think the Quattro as a dull, bad handling curio – certainly not as fun as say a Jenson FF and to my mind not worthy of the “classic” monniker. However, I think I’m probably the only one who thimks like that.

    Also, I love the Rover 100 and no one would ever call that a classic…

    Age limits take away discrimination which is good – does it matter that I think the Quattro should be ignored? No, and I never hope it does (it May be a very warped world) but atleast everyone from their Quattro to their 100 could be happy knowing that they don’t need to argue for their right to be a classic.

    Also, cars from 1930 to 1945 should be pre-war and 1946 to 1959 should be post-war.

  39. @Will M – January 19, 2012
    “I think Classic in the car sense can mean rare.
    So things like a mk4/5 Cortina, which used to be everywhere, are now Classic as they are rare.”

    …..by that definition the MG6 is definitely classic and still on the dealers forecourt!

  40. Good point. There has to be a passage of time first obviously 😉

    A lot is down to memories too ‘Oh I remember those’ etc. Which may not count for the 6, unfortunately.

  41. I agree that the term classic is a bit vague, I always thought when somebody said they had a classic car, I had visions of a car from 50s or 60s,we could have early classics and for the cars from 70s and 80s as late classics perhaps.As an owner of one of he very last Austin Princess amd Maxi as well for some earlier cars too,its good I can place them in correct way when discussing them. Regards Mark

  42. Just a further though on what I posted earlier. I suppose we could still use the ‘Classic’ moniker, but qualify it with the decade too, making my much missed Viva GT a 1970’s Classic, and my first car, a Standard 10, a 1950’s Classic…

  43. “Why on earth would anyone “rescue” this car from a barn or anywhere? Like the Allegro, a monstrosity that should have never left the designer’s table. Mockingly called the “cheese wedge” in its day.”

    An outrage!!

    It’s all down to personal taste isn’t it? But don’t diss another chaps personal likes.

  44. How about for a flawed classic, the Austin Maxi, a very progressive car when launched in 1969? It rewrote the rules for British family cars, that they must be saloons and preferably rwd, by being a hatchback with a boot bigger than most estate cars as well as having fwd. Also it came with a five speed gearbox that proved to be more economical and smoother on the motorway than the four speeders that were almost universal at the time. Add to this its distinctive shape, wood dashboard and spacious interior and the Maxi should have scared the Cortina into the hard shoulder.
    Sadly, serious problems with the gearbox on early models( never totally resolved as the gearchange was leaden on all models), trim faults and an underpowered 1500 cc on the first Maxis wrecked the car’s potential. Although the faults were ironed out and the Maxi matured into a decent car, it never took over from the more conservative Marina and Cortina as the fleet car of choice.

  45. “wood dashboard”

    you mean Ply-wood dashboard. Frankly the cheap ply-wood they used in the Maxis and Dolomites looked worse than the printed plastic used by others.

    • you mean Ply-wood dashboard. Frankly the cheap ply-wood they used in the Maxis and Dolomites looked worse than the printed plastic used by others.

      I can’t speak for the Dolomite, but my Maxis have a very nice and good quality walnut veneer on top of the plank – all non-gloss Maxi dashboards had that apart from the last HLS, where the veneer was burr walnut, similar to the one used in early Rover 75s (apart from the hig-gloss top coat of the 75).

  46. @59 I’ve had a couple of firm carsbwith a ‘wooden’ dash. My 67 Elf had a lovely walnut veneer example, but the Dolomite was a some other wood veneer and not anywhere as good. Still nice to see a bit of wood on a car, and I have been scouring he net to see if I can find a ‘wood’ kit for my 9-5.

  47. what about back to the old school cars?cars we can identify with our youth and other landmarks in our younger days,mine would be 205GTI,astra GTE16V,sierra cosworth,or any car from that era really.

  48. If anyone remembers a brilliant little car magazine from the early 90’s called Jalopy (Ive still got about 6 copies) will remember that every time the dreaded “C” word came up, it was always put down as “Cl****c”

  49. Trouble is, I don’t like ‘old-timer’ – sound’s more like the bloke who fixes clocks (sorry to be so clockist here!) I have two classic cars – an early Rover P5B and a Triumph Stag Mk II (even though they never officially made them!) 1968 and 1976, both brilliant in their own ways, and both examples (note I didn’t say good)of the British Motor Industry which I, and most of the people on here love and cherish. My brother refers to them as Vintage cars, my friends often refer to them as Veteran cars – but to me they’re Classic cars – sorry Keith, this one needs some discussion. Classic really refers to any car imho. The Evoke, the 75 (new one) the XF and whatever modern Astons are at the moment – possibly even the new Mondeo when it’s launched next year. I think that it should also apply to post war cars – with 1918-1939 being Vintage, and pre 1918 being Veteran. Veteran, Vintage and Classic – simple really 🙂

  50. “I think that it should also apply to post war cars – with 1918-1939 being Vintage, and pre 1918 being Veteran.”

    What about the Millions of vehicles built for the war effort between 1939 and 1945 though? :p Mostly Humber Staff cars, but there were various other vehicles produced, Longbridge Churned out quite a few.

  51. Sorting each Vintage into category is one thing but I always find that the people who cause problems and stir things up are the very ones who have “classic” or should it be “Cherished ” cars, Nearly every “Classic” Car show I go to (They are all categorised as Classic depending on the show… 10 year old cars can get in ! though of late nothing before 1975, Newby Hall springs to mind) Friendly Man with Beard and strange body odour will either comment on “Thats not the right Interior/Parts for that year” or Snarl “that isnt a classic”…

    I have 2 Hillman Imps (Sunbeam Stiletto’s) and have found the Sunbeam Tiger owners are some of the worst ! If you park you Blimp next to theirs (Despite wearing the same badge) They tend to move their car away to another spot ! And generally dont talk to lesser mortals…. (Of course am sure there are some nice Tiger owners out there,….In case I get a solicitors letter), As apparently a car wearing a makers Badge doesnt mean it is one ! (So does that go for Riley’s, MG’s etc incl MG6 ?) Are Vintage MG owners the same
    looking down at MGB’s who look down on MG Metro’s? etc

    We Imp owners tend to wind Tiger owners up by saying ” Rootes did a Good job on the Hillman Husky” (which itself was a shortened Minx platform, to produce the Husky estate car and Commer Cob van, that formed the basis for the Alpine’s which the Ford V8 engined Tiger was based on) This sometimes puts Tiger owners in the Huff or make friends with them, though they still dislike Imp owners, Some say they still blame the Blimp for Rootes downfall, though Historians blame Rootes purchase of Singer, …. as they say Mother was ill before troublesome Infant came along.

    Back to Classic Car/Badge snobbery it wasnt long ago that 70s datsuns were not allowed in! (Have seen a few immaculate Y’s lately) But if you Cherish your Tin Box and can put up with the opinions/remarks by some then thats all that counts, So who cares if it is a Trabant or Marina although I can understand why some just keep their cars to themselves and not show them, just driving weekends for the hell of it !

    I understand the Government has to apply a cut off point for “Historic Vehicle” but is a shame that an owner has to pay road tax because his car was built a month after the Deadline, It should be a rolling event but some are concerned that Free R/T and some new cars are also free or under the £100.00 means little money to fix crumbling roads… However the Fuel costs should in theory fix sort this, for every £100 fuel you spend £80.00 goes to the Government.

  52. Yes, I guess that the definition of a classic car is subjective and open for discussion but a good question to ask is “Was it any good when it was new?” With that in mind, I don’t rate the Marina and Allegro as clasics, even though they may be collectable and interesting (for the wrong reasons!) but the SD1 certainly WAS good, before it fell to bits, as were countless other BL cars. the thing is, I guess that the Metro was good when it was first new but was still being sold when the opposition had caught up, had a nap then jetted off again !!

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