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Is Your Car Classic, Antique, Vintage….or Just Old?

Holli Fisher
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If you are thinking about collecting “old” cars, you may be confused about car classifications. If you are serious about being a car enthusiast, you should learn which cars are considered classic, antique or vintage. Each class has its own meaning, and while there is some overlap (and the definitions can vary from state to state and by the insurance company,) the general guidelines for Pennsylvania are as follows:


Antique Car: A car that was manufactured over 25 years ago and has been maintained or restored to its original condition.

Classic Car: A car that was manufactured over 15 years ago and has been maintained or restored to its original condition.

Vintage Car: In Pennsylvania, you can get a vintage registration plate if your car was manufactured between 1906 to 1976. Unlike the other two classifications, a vintage car does not have to be in its original condition.

But what about car clubs? How do they classify antique, classic and vintage cars? 


The Antique Automobile Club of America defines an antique car as a “fine” or “unusual” foreign or domestic car that is over 50 years old

The Classic Car Club of America defines classic cars as “Fine” or “Distinctive” automobiles, American or foreign built, manufactured between 1915 and 1948.

Most car clubs consider a vintage car to be one that was manufactured between 1919 to 1930, although some shorten the cut-off date to 1925.

Even though a car’s classification can make a difference for taxes and insurance purposes, it really shouldn’t get in the way of you enjoying your car. Happy Driving!


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