What’s the magic number when you can consider a car to be a classic, or historic car? There’s no exact number, says experts.

Some states may have their cutoff date for classic car tags, or how they classify a car as ‘classic’ in terms of what that means in terms of registration, but that’s not always inline with what an enthusiast believes. The term ‘classic’ is a highly debated term that can be applied to one year model of a car, while not the same year/different model of the next. Recently, FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles), attempted to clear up how they classify a car to be classic, or historic.

“There’s no magic rule to say when a vehicle becomes a ‘classic’,” says Tiddo Bresters, president of FIVA, “but reaching 30 years of age is one of FIVA’s clear criteria.

“So in 2020 we’re delighted to welcome a whole new raft of 1990 classics to the fold, as they celebrate their 30th birthday, thanks to their caring owners. Historic vehicles don’t have to be hugely rare or valuable; the ‘new classics’ range from supercars to city cars to motorcycles – but all are important milestones in the story of our motoring heritage.”

Another sportscar from Japan, the affordable and attractive Mazda MX-5, reached Japan and the USA the late 1980s, to become the best-selling two-seater convertible in history.

At the other end of the performance spectrum, the Lamborghini Diablo – with its mid-mounted V12 and top speed close to 200mph – went on sale in January 1990.

On two wheels, rather than four, the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy went into production from 1990, a V-twin cruiser motorcycle with solid disc wheels.

What makes a vehicle ‘historic’?
 According to FIVA, a historic vehicle is ‘a mechanically propelled road vehicle’ that is:

-At least 30 years old
-Preserved and maintained in a historically correct condition
-Not used as a means of daily transport
-Part of our technical and cultural heritage

Do you agree with this assessment? As an Editor's note, I highly disagree with a car being disqualified from the idea that it's no longer 'historic' or 'classic' if it's driven regularly. While I agree on the importance of keeping the miles off the car, it's more important to maintain and preserve a vehicle than it is to keep it off the road, it is meant to be driven, after all. I suppose this is where we can define 'historic' and 'classic' as being different, although the quotes from the press release intertwine those terms.

Source: FIVA/Photograph by Makarand Baokar

Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Motorious.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Motorious.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.