Sign in to follow this  
asinger

Old vs Antique vs Collectible

Recommended Posts

How do you know what to call your car?

I've heard if the car is 20 years old, it's officially an "antique," so that means any 1990 vehicle, i.e. a 1990 Honda Civic, would be considered "antique."

Right?

I look at a 1950s era Chevy and say "antique."

I look at an old Honda Civic and say "old."

A 1970 Challenger? Antique, right? Collectible? Old?

If it's a piece of crap junk car with no hope for restoration, does that make it an antique?

I guess what I'm trying to ask is, when do we use the term "antique?" Or "collectible?" Or just "old?"

I have a 1967 Mercury Park Lane convertible, and it's old and I guess antique. But technically not collectible since fewer people want that particular car.

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Asinger, the AACA (the club that runs this site) defines an antique as being 25 years old or older, and most states also use that cutoff for their antique plates. So any car 25 years old can be shown at an AACA show, and any car newer than that cannot.

Old and collectible are in the eye of the beholder. Indy pace car replicas are marketed as being collectible when they are new. Your Mercury is old, an antique AND collectible in my opinion.

However, lots of us like to just refer to "old cars" and remove any possible arguement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, 25 years. I wasn't sure about that cutoff year.

It's just difficult for me, personally, to consider the 1985 Chevrolet Caprice my parents used to own as an "antique." In the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

But what makes a car "collectible?" Just because it's rare, doesn't make it desirable, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe a t-shirt I saw someone wearing as they strolled the swap meet at Macungie sums it up:

"I buy junk and sell priceless antiques" ;)

Technically, by AACA and most state DMV's, once a vehicle is 25 years old, it can be considered an "antique"...

Any vehicle or other item with some feature that makes it distinctive or unusual could be considered "collectible", regardless of age.

"Old" could be that no-mans' land between "lost its gloss" and "antique" ;)

Beyond AACA and DMV standards (which are fairly indisputable: either a vehicles is 25 years-old ( or older), or it's not... therefore, it's an "antique" or it's not.), these terms are incredibly subjective - ask 10 different people, you'll get 10 different views on the topic.

"Antique" can be considered purely a factor of age: if anything (or anyone) hangs around long enough, it is considered "antique".

"Collectible" is much more subjective.... if one person collects a certain make / model , say 1950 Ford Tudor six-cylinder strippers, does that mean that particular car is "collectible" ? Certainly not in the same sense as Tri-Five Chevies, '64-'66 Mustangs, or even 1950 Ford V-8s....

Most people would say that all "Super-Sports" are "collectible"....

"Old"... I don't know... anything that's not new ?

"Junk" is more a factor of condition rather than age... if you're talking about

the flaking hulk of a 1919 Overland, that's been laying in a New England forest since the Coolidge administration, all its wood gone, engine hopelessly weathered, many parts missing, it's probably "junk", or close to it, even though it is also "antique" and possibly "collectible"....

In the world of antique cameras, you have the name-brand stuff that brings bucks: Nikon, Contax, Leica, Voigtlander... then you have that area of "Collectibles" , which encompasses stuff that's "neat" , or "quirky", or "wierd", etc. that is not particularly valuable, but still has some appeal....

Your '67 Mercury convertible certainly qualifies as "antique", might be "collectible" ( I don't know when or if I've seen one), if it's in nice condition, that probably swings it towards "collectible"; if it's a really clapped-out jalopy, then maybe it's just "old"... ?

Personally, if I can remember a vehicle being on the road as a "new car", I will always have difficulty accepting it as an "antique"... so for me, that means anything 1970 or newer... ( no Vegas, Gremlins, Pacers, Camaros, Pintos, Firebirds, Matadors, etc...) :o:rolleyes:

Edited by DeSoto Frank (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's just difficult for me, personally, to consider the 1985 Chevrolet Caprice my parents used to own as an "antique." In the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

But what makes a car "collectible?" Just because it's rare, doesn't make it desirable, right?

Well, on the Caprice, eye of the beholder indeed. A lot of old timers have a problem with this, as to lots of us a 1985 car does not seem antique like a Model A does. Some think a new classification is in order, but the problem is that we can't all agree to use the terms we already have. "Classic" will get this post into four pages of arguments (go ahead, search for the last one).

On the rarity, that is a quirk that is true--a rare car is not necessarily more valuable than a common one, in fact the reverse is often true. If you think about it, a car is often rare because no one wanted one when it was new. And in the collector world, a popular car often remains popular because more people (with money) want them now. A 1957 Chevy convertible is very common but it is popular and valuable. A 1957 Studebaker Scotsman is quite rare and worth a fraction of the Chevy because few people crave owning one. It is all very subjective. I say drive the Mercury (I think a 1967 Mercury is very cool) and enjoy the fact that you do not see one everywhere you go. You may find your car attracts more interest at local shows from REAL old car enthuisiasts than the Mustangs and Camaros. Todd

PS--please, no hate from the Studebaker folks, I was just making an example with no offense intended....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is funny to me that I can take an unrestored slightly rusty 1976 Ford Country Squire station wagon to a local car show and have more people want to look at it and talk with me about it than want to look at and talk about my Senior Grand National 1929 Model A Ford Phaeton. Of course, I am also trying to sell that wagon and can't seem to find anybody who wants to pay me about 1/10 to of what the Model A is appraised at. So, it seems that everybody loves the wagon but nobody seems to want to buy it.

I still vote that we just call them all "old cars", nobody agrees what any of the terms mean anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My grandfather owns 3 14' Overlands. I also work with some stanleys. I call any car older than the 1930s antique or old myself. Then from 30s-60s I feel are classic cars. Then after that they are just a decade car to me 70s car, 80s..., etc.

I'm not trying to offend anyone by saying wha I'm gonna say next, but I feel by the late 60s, 70s cars can run pretty much like modern cars on modern roads in modern day traffic essentially like modern cars and look like modern day cars, the main difference is the maintenance.

Like someone has said a 80s car isn't really antique when compared with something like a 14' Overland.

I feel the word collectable depends on the person and the number of cars. If you have more than two or three cars of the same or multiple types then you have a collection. The organization that owns the Stanleys I work with has a Stanley Collection with 12 Stanley Steamers.

Edited by Rhop (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not trying to offend anyone by saying what I'm gonna say next, but I feel by the late 60s, 70s cars can run pretty much like modern cars on modern roads in modern day traffic essentially like modern cars and look like modern day cars, the main difference is the maintenance.

Like someone has said a 80s car isn't really antique when compared with something like a 14' Overland. QUOTE]

I share this sentiment; but I also feel in my own case that it is a matter of personal perspective.

Now and then I like to tease a good friend who has a very nice '85 AMC Eagle Wagon... he's all excited that this year it's finally elegible for AACA judging... I ask him, "Oh... did the AACA create a class for "used cars" ? " :D

This friend described riding in my '28 Ford Coupe as "sheer terror at 50 mph!" ... I told him he "had NO idea"... ! ;)

:cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Asinger,

The old vs. antique discussion has been here before, owning prewar cars I do not think 70s or 80s cars are "antique" but it doesn't bother if others do. Your Mercury is definitely collectable due to its rarity. 67 Merc Parklanes were far from common even when new and I imagine the number of convertibles produced was pretty small compared to something like Chevy or Ford. Factor in the very low survival rate for convertibles in general and your car becomes desirable. It may not be as popular as a Chevy or Ford but there are a number of people who would consider it very collectible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the insight. It seems that while there is a generally agreed-upon definition of "antique," opinions may vary. And I agree also that a car from 1985, while fitting the definition of antique, might not really be, in the classic sense, an antique car like a 1924 Ford Model T.

I always tend to use "old" when describing a dumpy, faded, tired-looking car from the 60s or 70s, that might actually look pretty sharp if fixed up and painted.

And then "classic" or "collectible" just opens up new cans of worms.

It's good to know that many people might find the 67 Park Lane convertible a collectible car. They only made 1191 of that particular model. That makes it rare, and it sucks finding parts that might only be available in a junked model (like an ashtray door, for instance). But then, it's collectible if other people want them, then their prices go up.

I heard they used a Park Lane in the show Hawaii 5-0, but I don't know what year model it was.

Found it, it was a 1968: http://www.mjq.net/fiveo/50mercury.htm

Edited by asinger
found hawaii 50 page (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1910 Anon, you raise good points. You're suggesting that the "official" way to make the car an antique is to register it as such with the license branch. I have a "Historic Vehicle" plate on my 1967 Park Lane, but I have seen other 1960s cars on the road with standard plates.

Having a historic plate on the car limits you to driving it on the weekends to shows only, but I don't think that restriction actually stops anyone. Nor have I ever heard being pulled over driving one on the weekdays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey asinger, see what I mean about the terminology? I suggest just say "old cars" and stop reading this thread right now. Then everyone else can argue and you will not have to be involved. And whatever you do don't say classic.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now and then I like to tease a good friend who has a very nice '85 AMC Eagle Wagon... he's all excited that this year it's finally elegible for AACA judging... I ask him, "Oh... did the AACA create a class for "used cars" ? " :D

:cool:

I only saved part of your quote DeSoto Frank because it’s the part that reminded me of someone I respect in this hobby, a fellow AACA member of many years. He once said to me that "The show field was starting to remind him of a used car lot". I stuck my neck and asked why? His response: "I guess it’s hard for me to accept the newer cars because I was driving them as daily driver’s years back". I saw his point immediately. Last year when my '84 VW Rabbit turned 25, and received Antique plates, I put a homemade vanity plate on the front bumper that stated "Just Another Used Car?" as a joke. When my friend saw it he laughed so long and hard that I thought he might pass out! He also remembered his statement to me of years back, and he told me that his position had softened over the years as he saw more and more new antique cars being preserved, and appreciated. We all have room to grow.

This year I have a ’85 Jetta that I bought used in September 1989, as the 2<SUP>nd</SUP>.owner. It’s very original, shows some interior wear, needs a repaint, and has 300,000 plus miles on the original drive train. Yes, I’ll be placing antique plates on it. This car has a ton of sentimental value for me, and my family. Both my daughters want the car! They grew up with it, and my wife stills drives it occasionally. It was her daily driver for years. <O:p</O:p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is something so obvious that it is often overlooked in these endless discussions.

A car more than 25 years old is NOT an antique until the owner takes positive action to make it so. In most states, changing the registration over to Antique also places restrictions on its use as well as freeing it from some equipment requirements and requires a trip to the DMV to fill out forms. The AACA does not declare a particular car an Antique until the owner chooses to show it. A car over 25 years old is Allowed to be considered an antique but age alone is not enough. Owner intent is also needed. (Hence, my 1966 is NOT an antique but my 1910 is. This is my choice.)

By that standard, NONE of my old iron are "antiques"...

'64 Valiant Signet 200 convertible, '61 Rambler American convertible, '60 Chrysler Windsor, '55 De Soto...

Not even the '41 De Soto or '28 Ford Special Coupe, as I do not have "antique tags" on any of them, nor do I plan on putting "antique" tags on them, as I find the PA antique plate too restrictive. ( No, I do not rely on them as "daily drivers".)

All of them have been shown at AACA regionals...

If I had a 1910 auto with a regular tag, would that too not qualify as "antique"... ?

Even with an "antique" tag, a '73 Pinto ( or a 1985 Camry ?) wouldn't qualify that car as an "antique" in my mind...

:o

Edited by DeSoto Frank (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only saved part of your quote DeSoto Frank because it’s the part that reminded me of someone I respect in this hobby, a fellow AACA member of many years. He once said to me that "The show field was starting to remind him of a used car lot". I stuck my neck and asked why? His response: "I guess it’s hard for me to accept the newer cars because I was driving them as daily driver’s years back". I saw his point immediately. Last year when my '84 VW Rabbit turned 25, and received Antique plates, I put a homemade vanity plate on the front bumper that stated "Just Another Used Car?" as a joke. When my friend saw it he laughed so long and hard that I thought he might pass out! He also remembered his statement to me of years back, and he told me that his position had softened over the years as he saw more and more new antique cars being preserved, and appreciated. We all have room to grow.

This year I have a ’85 Jetta that I bought used in September 1989, as the 2<SUP>nd</SUP>.owner. It’s very original, shows some interior wear, needs a repaint, and has 300,000 plus miles on the original drive train. Yes, I’ll be placing antique plates on it. This car has a ton of sentimental value for me, and my family. Both my daughters want the car! They grew up with it, and my wife stills drives it occasionally. It was her daily driver for years. <O:p</O:p

I guess there's a part of our conciousness that doesn't like to acknowledge our own "getting older"... ;)

A car that's been a faithful member of the household can become almost a "cherished member of the family"... I can appreciate that aspect, even if it's a very personal preference.

I have a great fondness for 1962 Falcons for the very same reasons...

I'm sure there were / are many AACA members who shook their heads when "Post-War" cars became eligible for AACA judging...

While my "favorite" antiques are Pre-War cars, especially Brass and Nickel era, I'm trying to relax a bit regarding "late-model antiques"... not always easy to do !

:cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing new, I remember the "silver streak" crowd complaining that my 70 GTO was too modern. 4speed, a/c, ps, db, & LA is just a right at Wildwood and a left at Lake City (was touching the ton at the speedway in the picture. "Parade laps". Right.)

Fun part is that from the teens's to now they can all fill up at the same gas station. How long do you think that will last ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I was referring to was less the ability of cars to go fast, you do have a point about expensive cars I was talking more generically. I've rode in 20's cars that can go highway speeds, but I was referring more about how cars looked and though most cars after the 30s could go highway speeds it's just they weren't designed for a comfortable quiet ride at those speeds. After the sixies I feel like cars slowly have become less ascetically pleasing more about power and speed. Even through today there's nothing that can compare ascetically to many cars of the past. What happened to the fins and nice paint jobs and chrome and everything, that made cars really individually stand out.

Though many cars do develop quote personalities, but that's sort of owner car thing for most cars.

Sorry didn't mean to offend you Desoto.

Edited by Rhop (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What I was referring to was less the ability of cars to go fast, you do have a point about expensive cars I was talking more generically. I've rode in 20's cars that can go highway speeds, but I was referring more about how cars looked and though most cars after the 30s could go highway speeds it's just they weren't designed for a comfortable quiet ride at those speeds. After the sixies I feel like cars slowly have become less ascetically pleasing more about power and speed. Even through today there's nothing that can compare ascetically to many cars of the past. What happened to the fins and nice paint jobs and chrome and everything, that made cars really individually stand out.

Though many cars do develop quote personalities, but that's sort of owner car thing for most cars.

Sorry didn't mean to offend you Desoto.

Hi Rhop,

Was reviewing this thread, and I don't believe you made any statements that I would take offense from... I think I'm pretty-much in agreement with your original post...

Sorry if any of my subsequent comments made it seem otherwise !

And I would agree that from a driveability perspective, there's a LOT less difference between riding in a 1960 car and a 1980 model, than would be found between say a 1930 and 1950 model car.

The only "modern" ammenities missing from my '60 Windsor are AC and FM stereo / CD player...

Cheers !

:cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, antique would be anything before the 1930's. 1940's thru about 1970's depending on the make and model are collectibles and anything else is old/junk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1914 T is an antique classic pre-war veteran old car, whereas my 67 GTO is a vintage collectable classic muscle car licensed as an antique, but is really just an old car that is quite historic because it represents the "muscle car era." Our 74 MG is a newer vintage classic collectable sports car that is a more modern post-war antique. The state of Virginia has deided for sake of simplicity to just call them all "antique." It says so on the license plate.

The thing they have in common is that they are all old cars - that's why we love them!

Call them anything you like, just enjoy them and bring them out to share with others.

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything newer than 1930 is a 'used' car. :D

That's what my grandfather called them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't understand why some people have such issues with the word antique. It means a car is a certain age, nothing more, nothing less. For AACA and most states it is 25 years. Some might vary by 5 years either way, but basically 25 years old is an antique.

Antique does not mean a car is good or bad, rare or valuable, has high quality materials or cheap plastic, is well built and reliable or a nightmare to repair and keep running, has fantastic technological innovations or is primitively simple, is prewar or what you grew up with. You do not like to have to like all cars that are antiques even. So I really don't see the point in arguing that some cars are "more antique" than others. Is a 95 year old person "more senior citizen" than a 65 year old? Should 65 year olds be redefined as vintage or classic people because they are not as old as a 95 year old senior citizen? And I don't see the point in reinventing new definitions for the word to exclude cars you don't like. I don't like 1985 Cadillac DeVilles. I think they are a pale comparison to any pre 1985 DeVille, and an example of what sent GM on a downward spiral. However, this year they are an antique. So I am not going to argue that they are not worthy of the term antique because I don't like them, and I remember when they were new and didn't like them then either. This year, they hit the number 25, and so they are antiques. Regardless of my or anyone else's opinion of them. Antique is a term that indicates age, pure and simple.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Linc400, once again we are beating this dead horse and once again I agree with the above and I think you said it very well. When a newcomer comes in I will tell give them the 25 year rule as a courtesy and then we all have to throw out our personal differentiation ("it is a Vintage Collectible Classic or a Vintage Collectable Classic Sports Car, that is unless it has regular plates, then it is not a real car at all...."). THAT is helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its hard for me to consider a 85 antique or collectable since I use vehicles of that era for daily drivers/winter beaters and they just dont seem old enough to me,if you need parts for that merc convertible I know where two are in junkyards I frequent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this