Grumpy's Auto Shop

What is 'Antique'?

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Hello all.  Let me start with a short introduction.

I was born a 'car guy' and will likely die one. While my interests and expertise lean toward Euro and Brit, I have a deep affinity for good ol' American steel from any era.  There are simply too many cool cars, trucks, bikes etc. made over the past hundred or so years to play favorites.

 

Through a series of adventures and misadventures over what has gradually turned into a lifetime, I have recently grown my Shop from a 1500sf goat shed to a massive 12,000sf facility, with room left to grow!  At present, the potential level of service I can now provide hasn't even had the surface scratched.  It's a matter of being properly equipped and having sufficient space.  The 'space' part has finally been solved.

Anyway, I am glad I found this group and hope that I have something of value to offer as a member.

That said, I am wondering what constitutes an 'antique' car in states other than Ohio.  Here, any car over 25 years old is legally an antique and can be registered as such for a nominal fee -- the caveat being that one is not to use it as a daily driver (though this is not to say that rule doesn't get bent a bit).  Also, cars registered as antiques may display a 'year plate' provided they also have the proper registration as an antique.

 

How is it done in your parts?

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

The twenty-five year rule is common.  However, from my point of view, which is basically the cars I grew up with, I say anything without turn signals and real head lights is an antique.  Anything else is just a vintage vehicle.  Do you want to be called an antique at 25?  

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They may use the 25 year rule but I don't believe anyone considers a 1991 anything with it's plastic bumpers and on board computer to be "antique".

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1 hour ago, Grumpy's Auto Shop said:

That said, I am wondering what constitutes an 'antique' car in states other than Ohio.  Here, any car over 25 years old is legally an antique and can be registered as such for a nominal fee -- the caveat being that one is not to use it as a daily driver (though this is not to say that rule doesn't get bent a bit).  Also, cars registered as antiques may display a 'year plate' provided they also have the proper registration as an antique.

 

Hello Grumpy, welcome aboard, the forum here is a great resource with many knowledgeable regulars always willing to chime in.

 

Regrettably your first post here asking the definition of antique will bring out every personal opinion under the sun and please whatever you do don't ask about the word "classic" or it will get worse.  :)

 

SO in answer to your question Illinois uses the same guidelines as you list in Ohio and note the 25 year cutoff was established by the AACA itself and sort of set the standard for most states.  As you see above many grumble that a 1991 model today hardly seems old enough to be an antique and when the standard was set in the 1960s-1970s a 25 year old car was generally a recognized "old" car.  Enjoy the forum, Todd C             

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4 hours ago, GregLaR said:

They may use the 25 year rule but I don't believe anyone considers a 1991 anything with it's plastic bumpers and on board computer to be "antique".

 

Not to people our age anyway, I dropped off my Sierra at the GMC dealer to get serviced and my son followed me in my 1985 Caprice wagon, many of he mechanics came out to take pictures of it because it was an old car. I remember being told in the 70's by some fellow club members at the time when I showed up with 56 Chevrolet I had at the time that it was a "nice used car" The car was as old as me and I really did not understand where they were coming from, It is very subjective, and really based on ones age that gives a different perspective of what is considered to be 'old' or 'antique'  I kept my mother in laws 87 Celebrity wagon for my sons if they want it one day. The have no real interest in my cars but that car draws them in, it is as old as they are and they have memories with that car taking trips to Florida with my in laws

On board computers have been around in wide use for over 40 years. In 1980 was a 1939 car considered an antique? It sure was

 

The state of Florida has a 30 year rule for antique tags and titles.

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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Welcome to the forum, Grumpy!  Lots of expertise here,

and many opinions on all sorts of car-related topics!

 

Pennsylvania, like many other states, uses the 25-year rule

to define antique.  As other people have hinted, achieving 

25 years of age doesn't make a car collectible or desirable.

That may take considerably longer.  You probably know that convertibles

or special models may become collectible earliest--the

2002-era Ford Thunderbird convertibles, and the recent

Ford GT supercars, were collectible from new, for instance.

Next in interest are 2-door hardtops and station wagons.

 

But any old car has value for history's sake, and forum members

like a wide array of vehicles.  I like seeing the seldom-seen and overlooked cars.

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Just to be clear, I am also in Ohio.  Last week when I registered my '55 Ford, I asked for "antique vehicle" plates.  The person behind the counter said, " You mean 'historical vehicle' plates?".  A vehicle needs to be 25 years old to be considered " historical" in Ohio and receive special plates etc.  "Antique" is still open to interpretation.

 

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Thanks to all for the warm embrace.  I feel as if I have found a home. Rather than answer everyone individually, I'm going to try to do it en masse.

 

Back in '92 I bought a '79 F250 with the thought 'this is one of the NEW ones'.  Facts are though, it was an old truck by then.  Even though I owned it for another 17 years it somehow went from being 'used' to 'used-up'.  I face this every day with the vehicles that come to my Shop and too often I have to tell a person to go buy another car when I should (for my own sake) bleed their wallet.

But that's not what I'm about, and I sleep well at night having a clear conscience.

At present I have cars ranging from an '08 s40 to a '29 Model A.  Between them (oldest to newest) are a '53 MG TD, a '68 A/H 'Spridget', a '73 MGB Roadster, a '78 MG 'Spridget', a one-owner '78 MGB Roadster with 'Factory Air' (which hasn't worked since '82, btw.  'Til NOW, that is...), an '87 944, '99 Saab 9-5 and '02 9-3.  Then there are MY cars...

 

I haven't decided if I am a glutton for punishment or not, but people tend to bring me the strangest problems nobody else could resolve.

 

Back to 'antique' or not, there is a design life to a car.  At present the standard seems to be 10 years or 150k on the Odo, whichever comes first.  ALL Service Schedules end at 150k and NADA figures values at an average of 15k/yr.  Used to be 12k/yr and if the Odo rolled over it was considered beyond it's design life, or 'exceeded'.  These days there is a falseness because of the 6-digit odometer.  It's like the old joke where the guy says to his wife, 'Honey, we're broke' and she says, 'We can't be.  I still have all these blank checks!'

Bottom line here is that if the car was $35k new and you bought it for $1500, SOMEONE owes that car a lot of money. ('What do you mean my struts are worn out?  They only have 178,000 miles on them!'  My answer is that they got around a 100k gift).

Sorry if I an ranting -- I'm probably preaching to the choir here.  I tend to be guilty of 'think-speak' or perhaps 'stream-of-unconsciousness' when I post.

Anyway, thanks again for the warm welcome!  My only regret is that I didn't find this group years ago. 

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What is an Antique? That all depends on how old you are, and when you joined the hobby. Born in 1950, dropped off at my first car show when I was ten, it had a 1942 and older cut off date. I still think an Antique and Brass Car are one and the same built,    before 1916, Vintage and Prewar are all vehicles 1942 and older. Post war 1946 are late model in my view, if it was in a show room in my lifetime it has to be REALLY special to walk across the street to bother an up close inspection. Sports cars and race cars being an exception.  Bob

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12 hours ago, Grumpy's Auto Shop said:

 It's like the old joke where the guy says to his wife, 'Honey, we're broke' and she says, 'We can't be.  I still have all these blank checks!'

 

Excellent joke!  Sounds like that family must have been 

paying to restore a car!

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 When I was 10, in 1950, my neighbor had an open touring car, about a 1927.

 That was an antique! And it was only 23  years old.

 

 Now anything that I had bought new is certainly not an antique. (I cringe when I think about it, that I may be called an antique)

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To me antique means the car has a distributor, a carburetor, no power steering, brakes, or AC.  It does not contain plastic or fiberglass.  It does not have a stereo sound system.  It does not have a GPS.  It does have windows that roll down with a crank.  It is so simple that today's dealer mechanics cannot work on it.  People smile when I drive by.  Now that's an antique automobile.  

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1 hour ago, Roger Walling said:

 ... Now anything that I had bought new is certainly not an antique. (I cringe when I think about it, that I may be called an antique)

 

Cars become antiques much sooner than people,

since people last much longer than the ordinary car!

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3 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Cars become antiques much sooner than people,

since people last much longer than the ordinary car!

And generally get better maintenance.

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23 hours ago, Grumpy's Auto Shop said:

Hello all.  Let me start with a short introduction.

I was born a 'car guy' and will likely die one. While my interests and expertise lean toward Euro and Brit, I have a deep affinity for good ol' American steel from any era.  There are simply too many cool cars, trucks, bikes etc. made over the past hundred or so years to play favorites.

 

Through a series of adventures and misadventures over what has gradually turned into a lifetime, I have recently grown my Shop from a 1500sf goat shed to a massive 12,000sf facility, with room left to grow!  At present, the potential level of service I can now provide hasn't even had the surface scratched.  It's a matter of being properly equipped and having sufficient space.  The 'space' part has finally been solved.

Anyway, I am glad I found this group and hope that I have something of value to offer as a member.

That said, I am wondering what constitutes an 'antique' car in states other than Ohio.  Here, any car over 25 years old is legally an antique and can be registered as such for a nominal fee -- the caveat being that one is not to use it as a daily driver (though this is not to say that rule doesn't get bent a bit).  Also, cars registered as antiques may display a 'year plate' provided they also have the proper registration as an antique.

 

How is it done in your parts?

I am also in Ohio. On the year of make plates the rules are that you can display them but you must purchase historical plates and have them in the car with you at all times. you also have to abide by historical plate rules. the whole historical plate thing is a joke if you ask me because of the limitations and how it can effect your insurance. just like calling a 1991 a historical car is a joke.

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On 7/27/2016 at 3:46 PM, John_S_in_Penna said:

... You probably know that convertibles

or special models may become collectible earliest...

Next in interest are 2-door hardtops and station wagons.

 

Four-door sedans seem to take forever to become collectible.

Those from the 1950's are being saved and probably restored,

though they remain very affordable.

I think most 4-door sedans from the 1960's--a Ford LTD

or a Buick LeSabre, for instance--are barely noticed by collectors.

But they make a fine car for a budget, and in excellent condition

they are considerably scarcer now than the cherished and restored convertibles.

 

So Grumpy, what are the interesting overlooked cars in the British-car world?

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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46 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Four-door sedans seem to take forever to become collectible.

Those from the 1950's are being saved and probably restored,

though they remain very affordable.

I think most 4-door sedans from the 1960's--a Ford LTD

or a Buick LeSabre, for instance, are barely noticed by collectors.

But they make a fine car for a budget, and in excellent condition

they are considerably scarcer now than the cherished and restored convertibles.

 

So Grumpy, what are the interesting overlooked cars in the British-car world?

 

 

On the Sedan thing above, I recall that not too long ago you couldn't GIVE away a Bel Air Sedan, but now that all the 2D HTs have already been done, that's all that's left for someone who had the dream of doing one.

As for Brit stuff, that's hard to say because other than MGBs there aren't so many survivors from which to choose.  This creates a 'rare'-ness in and of itself.

The 'T' series MGs are a foregone conclusion but can be really costly since they are a truly coachbuilt car.  MGAs are desirable because they are sexy as hell. Midgets and Sprites (A/H badge-engineered version of the same car) have a cult following that I don't fully understand, but they sure are fun to drive once you figure out how to get in them.

Personally I always was partial to Triumphs, from TR3-TR7 and of course the Spitfire.  They were plagued with problems of build-quality though and this reflected in the production numbers as well as both the number of survivors and the relative price they can demand.

 

From there the discussion changes, as the Brit cars either become more exotic or they just didn't get exported to this side of The Pond.  For instance, when was the last time you saw a Vauxhall in real life, other than never? (unless you saw a Saab 9-3, which is also built on the Opel Vectra platform).

Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Astons were never the 'working Man's car', and each is it's own problematic beast which leaves them mostly still out of reach to mere mortals or those with any fiscal sensibility.

There are other marques, not necessarily forgotten but so scarce that none really remembers, such as the Sunbeam and the pre-Healy Austin (Mini not included here as they have enough cult following for that model already).  And the Morgan, which still has one of the most innovative front suspensions ever designed, rivaling even Henry Skinner's Carburettor for cleverness.

 

To finally answer your question, I would say that there is at least one Brit car to look for as a project almost guaranteed to be the envy of all your friends and acquaintances.  Its the MG Magnette.  The company tried REALLY HARD to make a 'real' car, putting wood trim in the interior, etc.  But alas, it was an abject failure of marketing.  The typical customer they were attracting didn't want a less-desirable car for more money.  But there's something about them, the same way as there's something about a Pug dog that makes you go 'Awwww...' and want to scratch behind its ears.

Other than that I'd have to say look for a Morris Oxford II-VI as a 'sleeper' or 'so-oddball-it-HAS-to-turn-heads', or any of the same car as an Austin.  That is, IF you can find one.

Now, Damn you!  You made me go and talk cars again!!  I doubt that I really answered your question but at least I can sleep well knowing that I said more than you wanted to know.

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And my criteria is when it becomes eligible for collector car insurance. For some companies that is 20.

 

Florida used to have a historic plate, I prefer the standard one.

 

Know I have strange attitudes and has always been that cars are for driving (raced a split window in B/P and a flat floor in Autocrossing. Find it humorous what people will pay for those today since both were cheap then (then built a family and stopped serious racing since knew what the future held.).

 

Prefer a manual trans & can make shifts sound like an automatic. If the redline is 7000 (have one) then it should go there.

 

My real bottom line is that an antique is for displaying and all of mine are for playing.

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As originally defined an antique car would be one from the pioneering days of the automobile, the brass age cars, before 1915. After 1915 cars were a common thing, mass produced,  in everyday use, and you did not have to be a trained chauffeur and mechanic to operate one. The brass age cars were different and special.

 

Then from 1925 to 1941 (extended to 1948 for Lincoln Continental)  there were what were called Classics, the big expensive hand built cars that represented the pinnacle of design and craftsmanship of the time.

 

Those are definitions that make sense. Now everyone thinks they are an expert and words like classic and antique get thrown around so much they have lost all meaning.

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Grumpy, 

While I haven't been too much involved with British cars over the years (other than one Jaguar, which turned out badly)  my father in law was a real collector of vintage MGA's and Austin Healys. He still owned about a dozen of them when he passed away. Among them he had a fairly rare Twin Cam which always piqued my interest. I'm certain it is still sitting in the barn. I keep promising to go back there one of these days and recover that one for my wife. ;)

Best, Greg

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

 

Florida used to have a historic plate, I prefer the standard one.

 

 

Mr P,

I am confused, Florida used to have?  I just got a set of antique plates for my 62 last week. The tag say's "antique" and not "historic" like NYS tag did, is that the point you a attempting to make?

 

1 hour ago, padgett said:

 

Prefer a manual trans & can make shifts sound like an automatic. If the redline is 7000 (have one) then it should go there.

 

 

Mr P. What does that statement have to do with the topic?

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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Not sure on this one:

 

It will turn 34 this year.. My work truck.. Maybe it is an antique..

My guess is if you put yearly plates on the car or antique plates??

 

 

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Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)

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This one is 27 years old..  This car pulled 40 antique  car out of the barn if this counts...  It has a hook on the front for the log chain..

Here is a pic of it in use..

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