Sunday, August 21, 2011

What Constitutes A Classic Car?

What constitutes a classic car, Who determines if a car is a classic, when does a car become a classic?

How many times are those questions asked? This classic car debate is a very subjective one and in my opinion there is no right or wrong answer.

There have been iconic cars that attained classic status upon introduction, the Jaguar E type roadster for example is a case in mind, when introduced at the Geneva motor show it stole the show. The model on the stand had been driven to the show over night and had rolled off the production line a day or two previously.

The Aston Martin DB 5 attained classic status as James Bond 's choice of car.

Preston Tucker and the Tucker Torpedo became an iconic car and gained classic status from inception due to the publicity and the court case. The interest it created in 1948 has not waned in the intervening years. I was fortunate to see one in the flesh and found it difficult to believe it was created pre 1960 never mind pre 1950.

The majority of us will never get to own any of these super cars however that does not stop us owning and enjoying our own classic cars. For most of us the cars of our childhood constitutes our definition of a classic car. Who would argue the Mini or the fiat 500 are not classics, yet these models were created as transport for the masses, produced in very large numbers, and yet fifty years after their introduction are very desirable.

The cars our parents or other relatives owned often stay in the mind as being a thing of beauty, each time we see one it evokes pleasant memories and perhaps the aspiration to own one. For me it was a Humber Hawk MK VI, my childhood memory of seeing one being driven by a factory owner, it looked so graceful as it glided along and in comparison with other cars of that era it was so silent. I spent many evenings as young boy looking in the showroom window of the local dealer and dreamed of owning and driving such a beautiful car. Forty-four later I realised my dream. To me it is a classic car to others it has no meaning.

We can have a yearning for the car we learned to drive in, again it evokes pleasant memories. When I attend classic car shows and see the cars from each of the decades I also notice the choices of the various generations represents the cars of their youth. So the debate of what constitutes a classic car is often personal to the individual as our memories are personal.

Each decade produces a car that will appeal to almost everyone however due to cost it will be out of the reach of the majority, equally each decade produces cars that are affordable to most and will reach classic status.

The Fiat X 19 a mid engined two-seater is an example of what is considered a classic today, it was not expensive and was built in large numbers and today is considered an iconic design.

My conclusion is there are no boundaries as to what constitutes a classic car. The appeal of a particular model or manufacturer is often deep-rooted in our childhood. If you are considering attaining a classic join the owners club before you purchase the car, the knowledge of current owners as to spares availability and what to look for when looking at your potential purchase is invaluable. They may know of your potential purchase.

No comments:

Post a Comment