How to Identify a Classic Car

identify classic car

The ability to identify a classic car is both instant and natural for any vintage or veteran cars if you are like me. With any luck, they are not traveling in the opposite direction, and you will get a chance to stop and admire these magnificent autos of old from close up. Mostly, I can identify the make and model with ease, sometimes even the year these collectibles first hit the road.

If you would like to know how to identify a classic car, please read on. Fortunately, a veritable non-stop supply of beautiful old cars exists, with more joining the ranks every year. That said though, the number of classic cars making it through to veteran or vintage status represents a tiny fraction of the original model range that rolled off the production lines all those years ago. That is what makes them so collectible.

What Makes a Car Classic?

The precise definition of a classic car differs from one country to the next, but the vehicle does need to be an older auto since modern cars do not qualify. Classic car status would fit a vehicle that is old enough historically, to make it collectible owing to its scarcity factor. The Classic Car Club of America defines a Classic as a “Fine” or “Distinctive” automobile, American or foreign built, produced between 1915 and 1948.

This, of course, implies that such a vehicle is worth preserving and restoring as close as possible to its original condition. Sadly, far too many older motor vehicles just end up on the scrap heap at the end of their useful life. The option of going into a pampered and enjoyable retirement in some motoring enthusiast’s garage seems to have passed many vehicles by.

Learning to Identify a Classic Car

One of the best ways to brush up on your knowledge of some of the older, sedate sedans is to attend expos and road shows. These take place to raise awareness for various clubs around the country. Some towns and cities have museums dedicated to automobiles of old – click here to view the list of National Association of Automobile Museums. Most exhibitions have very strict qualifying criteria before allowing a vehicle to claim the distinction of classic car status.

Once you have attended a number of classic car events, it will not be too long before you start the identification and recognition routines. The next step is to research the archives containing important refinements for each model over time – type in a relevant search string on google and sift through the results and images. Soon, you will develop the ability to note features of a particular make and model so that you can assign an accurate year of manufacture.

Talk To the Classic Car Owner

Apart from renting a classic car yourself, one of the best ways of getting the download on a particular make and model is to find the owner. Most classic car owners will be well satisfied with their handiwork and delighted to share their knowledge with interested parties. One of the quickest ways to identify a classic car is to track down the various vintage or veteran car clubs and take up membership. At very least, get your name on their mailing list; it may prove the first step towards correctly identifying beautiful autos from yesteryear.