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Antique or Classic


buellhall
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Okay! So I'm relativly a new member and looks like I have missed the memo on how to determine an Antique from a Classic. Do we have some set rules that establish quidelines on the issue. I do hope we don't let our individual state MVD determine or do we???

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Everyone has their own ideas and every state has theirs. The only guidelines that are generally agreed upon are the ones set up by the CCCA and the AACA. You will argue until you are blue in the face with people who say their Pinto or their Chev Caprice is a classic

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365, Welcome to the AACA Forum. To answer your question we should know how old you are, the politicaly correct answer to your question depends on it. I'm 57 and went to my first show in 1961, an Antique was a vehicle built PRE 1916 and a Classic was a high end vehicle that is on the list of CCCA list of accepted vehicles. Today any rusted out piece of crap that is 25 years old can get an "Antique" plate here in Connecticut and generaly speaking a "Classic" has left the dealership and the first payment may or maynot have been paid. The hobby was great up till 1975, then it nosedived.

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"Classic" is a term thrown around by the general public and the media, used to describe anything that is out of production, an '89 Caprice Classic with 22" ghetto rims is described as "classic" To further explain what 58 mustang said, most states determine that any vehicle 25 years old or older to be an antique. I came into the antique car hobby in the 60s as a kid, so I have a hard time seeing a 1980 Monte Carlo as an antique, but by definition it is.

The Classic Car Club of America made a list not long after their forming that clearly states what is a classic car by their recognition, and what they will accept/judge at their meets. The cars the CCCA defines as "Full Classics" (a term they had to invent and trademark due to the inability of any group of people to "own" a word) were very expensive when new, sold to an exclusive clientele and sometimes featured advanced engineering, sometimes very un-advanced engineering, and were built between 1925 and 1948. Most, if not all of the post-war cars on their list ('46-'48) are built on chassis' that were used before the war and sometimes have superficial cosmetic changes to the bodies.

I personally prefer to only refer to cars on the CCCA list as "Classics" and use the other terms that apply to a given vehicle such as:

Gas Buggy

Early automobile

Brass car

antique car

'teens car

twenties car

thirties car

exotic car

forties car

fifties car

fin mobile

22 feet of bad taste

sixties car

compact car

sports car

muscle car

seventies junk

General Lee clone

eighties junk

struggle buggy

hobby horse (jacked up pick-up truck)

beater car

hooptie car

Pimp mobile

this is only a partial list. I am not in the CCCA, don't have any problem at all with their list or goals as a club, I just don't like the word "Classic" thrown around.

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Boy, this topic really hits home. Whenever I see the word 'Classic' used on a 1970 or 1980 something car on Craigslist I contact the owner and try to tell them what a real classic is by suggesting they do a Google search under the letters CCCA. 4 out of 5 times I get a reply that tells me to go F myself or to mind my own F'n business. I've been in some interesting and colorful verbal sparring matches with a few of these nitwits. Another thing I've tried to do, and in this case was successful, was to contact the local newspaper and the Swap Sheet and explain to the editors what a classic car was since they never seem to have any real classics (as defined by the CCCA) in their columns labeled 'Classic'. Both editors listened and understood my explanation and both changed their column headings by taking out the word 'Classic' and replacing it with Antique and/or Collector cars. It's a small step but one that may help younger collectors who don't have a clue as to the meaning of the word 'Classic' better understand the category to which their 1985 Monte Carlo or 1974 Chevelle fits in. I agree wholeheartedly that the word 'Classic' is probably the most over used and wrongly used term in the car hobby right next to the term 'frame off' restoration.

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Chacheska, You are a real bear for punishment! I gave up long ago trying to educate people about what is a Classic car and what is not. One local club, composed of mostly steet rod owners, calls itself the " Northern Ontario Classic Cruisers" and there is not a bonefide Classic car in the bunch. In Ontario a car must be 30 years old before it qualifies for Historic Vehicle licence plates so I still have 5 more years to go before my winter beater daily driver "CLASSIC" 1983 Volvo 240 is eligible but I can now enter it in the local car shows as an "antique" or "classic", which seems to most people to be interchangeable definitions. :-)

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What irritates me is seeing articles where a streetrod is described as restored, as in, "Joe Speedbump purchased his Classic 1931 Ford Roadster at the Carlisle Flea Market 17 years ago and has spent the last decade restoring it with a new SBC engine, IFS, etc. It's either restored or it's rodded, can't be both unless one is speaking of restoring a vintage rod to it's originsal, as rodded, condition. I learned long ago not to get excited when the phone rings and someone asks "Do you buy classic cars?" Invariably it's a 15-20 year old 4 door sedan in "original" condition.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: oldcarfudd</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I refuse to acknowledge, as an antique, any vehicle my children could lawfully have driven out of the dealer's showroom brand new!

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ </div></div>

Good for you! The yearly changing of the "Antique" defination is just plain STUPID! Pre WWII, Brass Era Pre 1916 and CCCA Classics are all you need to know to educate newbies, all the rest are Collector Cars.

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I'm going to guess that Bob must've once had a "run in" with some house painter who happened to have CT "antique" plates on his decrepit older work vehicle, and has never forgotten it.

As for me, I'm thankful that our state is so antique-vehicle-friendly ("antique" as definited by AACA, of course!).

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Thank you all for your input... Unfortunately the more I research this issue the more I become confused!!! I will try to compose myself and address the Antique/Classic subject after work tonight. I will close for now only to mention that I do find it interesting that somehow we have gone from "Vintage" automobiles to "Antique" automobiles to "Classic" automobiles and somehow gone back to Antique.

Would it not be cool to set some realistic guidelines.

Vintage: 1889-1919

Antique: 1920-1949

Classic: 1950-1964

Modern: 1965-1985

JUNK: 1986-2008

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I like precision in my language, too, and pretty much try to stick to the definitions given by the clubs. It grates on me when people call a 1971 Torino a classic. I've been around the Full Classics my entire life and don't have any trouble innately understanding which ones qualify and which don't. If you're familiar with the cars, you just know when something is special enough to be a Classic. If you read the CCCA message board below, you'll see an occasional Ford or Pontiac guy show up and ask something about his "classic" car. This is really one of only a few places where not knowing the specific definition can make things awkward.

I also struggle with what I call "modern" cars at shows (say, cars from the '70s on up), although their owners are rightfully very proud of their "old" cars.

On the other hand, it is just semantics and they're only words.

Get an "old" car and enjoy it no matter which category it fits.

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I also grew up around old cars and have watched the degridation of terms over time. I enjoy and appreciate cars of all types and from all eras, including the modified ones. I just don't understand how anyone at any level can consider a 25 year old car an antique. Would a circa 1983 kitchen table and chairs be found in an antique furniture store or display? I enjoy the brass era cars, but to me it makes about as much sense to call a 1982 Ford crown victoria an antique as it would to call a 1918 Ford Model T a muscle car. In the 1960's and early 70's the groups of collector cars were very plainly and accurately grouped into classifications that made sense. That has been lost and I think it is too bad. But it's just my opinion and I am pretty sure what that is worth to most people.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Chacheska</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Boy, this topic really hits home. Whenever I see the word 'Classic' used on a 1970 or 1980 something car on Craigslist I contact the owner and try to tell them what a real classic is by suggesting they do a Google search under the letters CCCA. 4 out of 5 times I get a reply that tells me to go F myself or to mind my own F'n business. I've been in some interesting and colorful verbal sparring matches with a few of these nitwits. Another thing I've tried to do, and in this case was successful, was to contact the local newspaper and the Swap Sheet and explain to the editors what a classic car was since they never seem to have any real classics (as defined by the CCCA) in their columns labeled 'Classic'. Both editors listened and understood my explanation and both changed their column headings by taking out the word 'Classic' and replacing it with Antique and/or Collector cars. It's a small step but one that may help younger collectors who don't have a clue as to the meaning of the word 'Classic' better understand the category to which their 1985 Monte Carlo or 1974 Chevelle fits in. I agree wholeheartedly that the word 'Classic' is probably the most over used and wrongly used term in the car hobby right next to the term 'frame off' restoration. </div></div>

and "mint"

my mother taught me never to argue with a drunk or an idiot ...

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ted sweet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">attitudes that are killing the hobby. </div></div>

AMEN! smile.gif

People act like this is a new phenomenon, and that they're the first ones to complain about stuff they don't think is old getting a due that (in their eyes) it doesn't deserve. It's actually gone on since the beginning. At age 50 I can remember 1957 Chevy restorers derisively being called "used car dealers".

If anything today's accredation of older cars is lightyears slower than it used to be. To wit:

1. The Studebaker Avanti first appeared on the cover of Hemmings' <span style="font-style: italic">Special Interest Cars</span> when it was an <span style="text-decoration: underline"> 8 year old car!</span>

2. By 1980 at least 2 seperate publishers (Bookman Press and Evergreen Press) had published originality guides for Camaros, Mustangs, Corvettes, and Thunderbirds. One or the other of them had produced guides for Falcons, GTOs, Chevelles, full-size Fords & Chevys, and about a dozen or so muscle cars that weren't quite 10 years old yet at the newest.

3. The Carlisle Swap Meet grew to rival Hershey in the 1970s largely as a result of catering to the very cars elitists within the AACA looked at down their noses. I understand that the start and growth of Carlisle was among the major reasons used to liberalize the AACA acceptance standards in the first place, lest it become a quaint relic itself.

<span style="font-weight: bold">Anyone who likes a car enought to preserve it (rather than to make it into something else) deserves recognition, whether that car is a curved dash Olds or an Olds Achieva. (<span style="font-style: italic">Too new? Check out the rapidly increasing growth of Mazda Miata clubs!</span>) If the AACA hadn't wisely seen fit to incorporate that element (with the reasonably prudent provision of a 25 year limit), it would've been lost by the side of history's road by now. </span>

Those who don't like cars newer than the ones Barney Oldfield owned may not like having to share their hobby with the rest of us, but <span style="text-decoration: underline">they're</span> the beneficiaries of the co-mingling, not the other way around.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 365</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Thank you all for your input... Unfortunately the more I research this issue the more I become confused!!! I will try to compose myself and address the Antique/Classic subject after work tonight. I will close for now only to mention that I do find it interesting that somehow we have gone from "Vintage" automobiles to "Antique" automobiles to "Classic" automobiles and somehow gone back to Antique.

Would it not be cool to set some realistic guidelines.

Vintage: 1889-1919

Antique: 1920-1949

Classic: 1950-1964

Modern: 1965-1985

JUNK: 1986-2008

</div></div>

The VW Bug was built accross 4 of the eras you've outlined here. The Morgan +4 as well. There are prbably a dozen that cross 3 of these eras, and any such classification system will have the same problems.

Trying to give hard and fast categories in a product stream as fluid as automobiles over the years is impossible. Terms will come and go witht he ages they're from, much like the terms for the cars themselves do. If Phaeton, Cabriolet, Sedan, Coupe, Hardtop, etc. are negotiable terms, how can anything be set in stone just based on a year of manufacture?

We will forever be in a hobby where "collecting 1964 Dodges" will be a more meaningful term than "collecting antique cars". That's not all bad. Personally I think it's better overall not to try and pin everything and everyone down with arbitrary terms. smile.gif

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"Classic car is a term frequently used to describe an older car, but the exact meaning is subject to differences in opinion. Some are very inclusive, considering any older car in fine condition a classic. Others, including the "Concours d'Elegance" and the Classic Car Club of America maintain that 1948 is the last year for the true classics." - Wikipedia

So, there goes the '57 Bel Air, all the '50's Cadillac's, Amphicar's, some Packard's, Edsel's, Hudson's, etc.

Michigan issued a "HISTORIC VEHICLE" plate for my '55, charging only $30 for ten years. Michigan prides itself for hosting so many fine auto manufacturing companies. Instead of penalizing for owning a historic vehicle, they offer a little incentive. That's more consideration than the OEM's ever gave for their historic cars.

Your connotation of ANY term is generally and widely accepted, even when you don’t realize it. What is a Kleenex? It’s a paper hankie. I make Xerox copies, not photocopies. What the hell is a COKE, down south? Any soft drink.

My point is, I realize this site is about antique autos, and you may or may not even have one, by definition. All you Riatta guys, GET OUT! (Just kidding.) You get my drift. I saw discussion about proper grammar and spelling here last week, but generally, those English essentials are forgiven in this forum. Now we are defining old terms to be very specific. It ain’t going to happen. Pass me a paper hankie, I soiled my denim trousers with soda and potato crisps...

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mrpushbutton</div><div class="ubbcode-body">"Classic" is a term thrown around by the general public and the media, used to describe anything that is out of production, an '89 Caprice Classic with 22" ghetto rims is described as "classic" To further explain what 58 mustang said, most states determine that any vehicle 25 years old or older to be an antique. I came into the antique car hobby in the 60s as a kid, so I have a hard time seeing a 1980 Monte Carlo as an antique, but by definition it is.

The Classic Car Club of America made a list not long after their forming that clearly states what is a classic car by their recognition, and what they will accept/judge at their meets. The cars the CCCA defines as "Full Classics" (a term they had to invent and trademark due to the inability of any group of people to "own" a word) were very expensive when new, sold to an exclusive clientele and sometimes featured advanced engineering, sometimes very un-advanced engineering, and were built between 1925 and 1948. Most, if not all of the post-war cars on their list ('46-'48) are built on chassis' that were used before the war and sometimes have superficial cosmetic changes to the bodies.

I personally prefer to only refer to cars on the CCCA list as "Classics" and use the other terms that apply to a given vehicle such as:

Gas Buggy

Early automobile

Brass car

antique car

'teens car

twenties car

thirties car

exotic car

forties car

fifties car

fin mobile

22 feet of bad taste

sixties car

compact car

sports car

muscle car

seventies junk

General Lee clone

eighties junk

struggle buggy

hobby horse (jacked up pick-up truck)

beater car

hooptie car

Pimp mobile

this is only a partial list. I am not in the CCCA, don't have any problem at all with their list or goals as a club, I just don't like the word "Classic" thrown around.

</div></div>

Same here.

I consider the CCCA's list as gospel when it comes to the word Classic being used in reference to a car.

Having a father who was a CCCA member while growing up, it is ingrained in my head.

I have given up trying to educate people as to the proper application of the term.

It still gets under my skin to hear the term thrown about to describe any older car.

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1937hd45... Thank you for your message! I'm beginning to see heartfelt opinions on this subject. I'm Still having some issues with the 25 or older to be considered antique.

"I don't like the word "Classic" thrown around"

I don't like the word "Antique" thrown around

These are just words yet they mean many things to many different people!!!!

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Chacheska... Thank you for your message! I must honestly say that I did not know others had mixed feelings about the use or misuse of classic/antique. My reason was never to rewrite the history books or change legislagation simply just get a better perspective on car classifications. With out going any further, it becomes somewhat apparrant that CCCA and AACA have everything under control and are quite content to let the weekend car enthusiast fight it out among themselves. In short "I feel your pain!"

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Stllrng... Thank you for your reply! I believe your analogy of the 1983 kitchen table is what My mind is trying to relay but the words fail me. After all the debate nothing describes my thoughts on the subject better than you have. It would seem that in a most tactful way you have described the true light on the subject. Soooo I shall abandon this thread/topic for now with the intention of joining the AACA in the very near future. Hopefully, I can gain some knoweledge from a professional point of view and be able to academically post a view point of worth... Thank you everyone!!!

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I hate seeing the term "Classic" thrown around on any Chevy, Ford or muscle car. On the other hand, it also bothers me to hear old timers say that cars from the '70's are not antique, and are not worth any collectible description because they are junk. Usually they just don't like any car that was not around when they first got into the hobby being referred to as an antique because it makes them feel old and isn't the same as what was an antique at that time. Sorry, time marches on. It makes me feel old that cars of the early '80's are now antiques, but they are. Just because that makes me feel old, and I do not find '80's cars as interesting as '50's to '70's cars, is no reason to bash them. If nobody collected Hudsons, Packards, and Studebakers in the '60's and '70's, there wouldn't be any around today. Nothing like a '76 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, Lincoln Mark V, or even '81 Oldsmobile 98 Regency coupe will ever be built again. So they deserve respect and preservation as well.

These are the definitions I go by.

Classic - as defined by CCCA

Antique - any car 25 years or older, yes that would add cars yearly.

Collectible - this is the most vague description, but it would be any car which has a collector following that preserves and collects them. It may or may not be an antique or classic, but it is not just any used car. For example, 1987 Buick Regal Grand National GNX would be collectible. A 1987 Honda Accord 4 door would not. A Duesenberg or '57 Chevy would also be collectible cars, but I would prefer to use the term Classic for the Duesenberg, and Antique for the Chevy, and use Collectible for cars that do not fall into either of those categories.

As for the 1983 kitchen table, no that would not be an antique. I collect antiques as well. Antiques are 100 years old or older. However, that is an antiquated description. I generally accept 50 years old as the new idea of antique. Unless it is a car, then it is 25. If you waited 50 or 100 years for a car to be an antique, I doubt many would survive to that age.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As for the 1983 kitchen table, no that would not be an antique. I collect antiques as well. Antiques are 100 years old or older. However, that is an antiquated description. I generally accept 50 years old as the new idea of antique. Unless it is a car, then it is 25. If you waited 50 or 100 years for a car to be an antique, I doubt many would survive to that age.

</div></div>

"Antique" will always be a relative term. Many people collect computer components, video games, belt buckles, dental tools, beer bottles, and bricks in addition to cars. There are many publications of all sorts for all manner of "collectble antiques", and every category has to individually decide what is "antique" relative to the time scale for that particular item.

Some of you may be reading this on an antique. I know mine's pretty d@mn close at this point! smirk.gifsmile.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ted sweet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">attitudes that are killing the hobby. </div></div>

AMEN! smile.gif

If anything today's accredation of older cars is lightyears slower than it used to be. To wit:

<span style="font-weight: bold">Anyone who likes a car enought to preserve it (rather than to make it into something else) deserves recognition, whether that car is a curved dash Olds or an Olds Achieva. (<span style="font-style: italic">Too new? Check out the rapidly increasing growth of Mazda Miata clubs!</span>) If the AACA hadn't wisely seen fit to incorporate that element (with the reasonably prudent provision of a 25 year limit), it would've been lost by the side of history's road by now. </span>

Those who don't like cars newer than the ones Barney Oldfield owned may not like having to share their hobby with the rest of us, but <span style="text-decoration: underline">they're</span> the beneficiaries of the co-mingling, not the other way around. </div></div>

AMEN, Dave, AMEN......

Discussions on this topic are always entertaining. Everyone is entilted to their opinion which is fine.

It is interesting/amusing to see how open or closed minded those opinions are.

Whether some here like it or not the 25 year rule for "Antique" vehicles is GOOD for the hobby.

It affords the opportunity for more people to get involved in the hobby and brings more diversity as well.

Had the 25 year rule not been adopted in the past the hobby and the AACA would not be growing and thriving as they are today.

I think it would be VERY INTERESTING to see just how many AACA members own vehicles from each of the decades from 1900 to the present.

Chances are, the number of members with "later model Antique vehicles" (ie 1950s & up) are growing in numbers MUCH FASTER than those from years before that.

FYI, Dave, I agree that Madza Miata clubs are growing.

Another MUCH, MUCH larger example would be clubs, get togethers and shows relating to water cooled Volkswagens.

The number of people and cars involved with these events totally blows away most other brands.

For example, the largest on-line VW forums has 391,539 users, 3,638,374 threads and 44,485,668 posts as of right now.

How would the moderators of this forum like to moderate something like that????

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As for the 1983 kitchen table, no that would not be an antique. I collect antiques as well. Antiques are 100 years old or older. However, that is an antiquated description. I generally accept 50 years old as the new idea of antique. Unless it is a car, then it is 25. If you waited 50 or 100 years for a car to be an antique, I doubt many would survive to that age.

</div></div>

"Antique" will always be a relative term. Many people collect computer components, video games, belt buckles, dental tools, beer bottles, and bricks in addition to cars. There are many publications of all sorts for all manner of "collectble antiques", and every category has to individually decide what is "antique" relative to the time scale for that particular item.

Some of you may be reading this on an antique. I know mine's pretty d@mn close at this point! smirk.gifsmile.gif </div></div>

Nope, antiques are still 50 to 100 years old for non-car items.

I guess 100 years old would be the equivalent of CCCA Classic for cars.

50 years old would be the equivalent of Antique 25 years for cars.

Anything else would be Collectible, not antique, such as Star Wars toys, "Dukes of Hazzard" lunchboxes, Pez dispensers etc. Of course it is even worse for non-car items as brand new stuff still on the store shelves is marketed as collectibles, such as Christmas villages, Christmas ornaments, and model cars. And I guess they are as people do collect them, and some of it goes up in value as soon as it is discontinued.

Just because a magazine calls itself "Collectible Antique" does not mean that the stuff it features is. I have seen the show "My Classic Car" several times. I have yet to see a full CCCA classic on it. It features mostly streed rods and customs, with a few muscle cars and an occassional stock '60's car. Hardly anyone's idea of a classic here.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Nope, antiques are still 50 to 100 years old for non-car items. </div></div>

In that case I better call brickcollecting.com right away. I'm apparently surrounded by a fortune in 50 year old bricks! smirk.gifgrin.gif

The idea that something is "collectible" without being of some age is a bit silly. It raises it's ugly head every few years (Yu-Gi-Oh cards, Beanie Babies, etc.), but it never lasts. (<span style="font-style: italic">This is different from things that are just plain expensive, like Hummel figures or Franklin Mint cars. They're just plain expensive items. I'm talking about things that have appreciated substantially at one point, only to crash.</span>)

Everything else has an age threshhold where value begins to grow, and that threshhold will vary depending on the unique characteristics of the item and it's demand. People have been paying thousands of dollars for certain Barbie dolls now 50 years old since they were 20 years old. They are, in the relative scale of Barbie dolls, antiques. You can hide from using the word, but the concept of rarity and age imparting value apply none the less. The same thing is now happening to Sega and Atari games, to say nothing of personal computers. A first year 1984 Macintosh is an antique in relation to whatever you're reading this on in every sense of the word.

Cars age faster than watches or bricks, though not as fast as electronics. At 25 years they've already begun to appreciate in value in virtually every case. <span style="text-decoration: underline">That</span> is the beginning of something becomming antique, like it or not. Just because other cars are older and therefore have more "antique value" doesn't change that either. It is that aspect of these cars that this club was formed to preserve.

Think of it as a garden where smaller flowers are being cultivated to augment the larger flowers that are already there. There's value in all of them. smile.gif

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