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A Guide to Classic Cars

Classic cars invoke a sense of nostalgia for many, along with fond memories of past projects and fun road trips. In fact, the popularity of buying, restoring and showing classic cars has risen to such an extent that there are many car clubs across the United States alone - even more if you consider International ones. A well-known one is the Classic Car Club of America. There are also numerous clubs and associations that only deal will specific models of classic cars, like the BMW & Classic Car Club of America. However, before a vehicle can be entered into a car show as a classic, it must meet certain criteria first.

What is a Classic Car?

There are differing opinions on what makes a classic car. In general, a car must be at least twenty to twenty-five years old to be called a classic, but not more than forty years old. A vehicle that is older than forty-five years old is considered by most as an antique car. Additionally, some enthusiasts only recognize cars that still have their original parts as a classic, while others are more lenient in what their definition will allow. The type of parts and features that it has also play a significant part in the categorization of the vehicle.

Buying a Classic Car

Research is a crucial step to purchasing a classic car. It's imperative to find out what type of maintenance the previous owner has kept up on, and if they have done any type of restoration to the vehicle. Specially, it's important to inquire if the car still has its original factory parts. Tracking down the missing original parts can be a very time consuming and expensive task.

Restoring a Classic Car

Before restoring a classic car, it's very important to identify your goal for the project. To maximize the resale value of your vehicle, it's crucial to use original parts. Of course, some people choose to drop larger engines into their projects, or replace the paint with non-factory standard colors. However, doing so will drastically reduce the appeal and resale value of your classic. Removing rust, welding sheet metal and stripping paint are all necessary skills to have.

Classic Car Maintenance for Owners

One of the most important parts of maintaining your classic car is preventing it from being exposed to the elements. For the majority of owners, this translates into keeping their vehicle inside of a closed garage. Periodically driving the vehicle will also help it remain in top condition - never allow a car to sit for more than a couple of months at a time. Staying on top of fluid checks and replacement will help keep older cars in running order, and regularly detailing the exterior will prevent the paint from deteriorating.

Types of Classic Cars

Some of the most well-known classics are the Ford and Chevy muscle cars. For example, it's fairly common to see restored Ford Mustangs and Chevy Novas on the road. However, those only scratch the tip of the iceberg - there are many different types of classic cars to choose from. For example, the following are all types of classic cars: Pontiac GTO, Dodge Challenger, and the Plymouth Barracuda. Some of the more popular foreign classic cars include models from Rolls Royce, Volkswagen, and Mercedes Benz.


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