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The meaning of Vintage, Classic & Pre-war

talbot m75_1930_470

John Bates writes: 
"Whenever one reads about 'vintage' cars one usually takes it with a pinch of salt as the term is so often used to cover any car made before about 1980. The Veteran Car Club of Great Britain defines 'veteran' as a car made up to World War One. The Vintage Sports Car Club of Great Britain defines 'vintage' as being any car made from WWI up to the end of 1930. It defines 'post vintage' as 1931 to 1940. That leaves 'classic' as cars made after World War Two but with no end date. I think that needs rectifying and would suggest a cut off for classics as 1959. After that date I have no thoughts but would welcome those of others. 
John Bates

Editor: Thanks for your notes John. However you should understand this webmagazine is not meant specificly for UK. It is meant to connect old car fans worldwide. The readership is primarily USA, UK, Western-Europe, Australia, New Zealand and some 80 more countries. The meaning of words like antique, classic, vintage, pre-war etcetera is different depending of which part of the world you live in. You may know that in the USA the wording 'classic car' is preserved for a certain group well defined cars (see website of the Classic Car Club of America). And yes, the word vintage has another meaning as well. Think of  'Late bottled Vintage Port', a phrase which does not go back further than 1964. A vintage Mustang is a well respected expression, even though not acceptable to your eyes. Having said that an international classification of car age categories is simpel when you would only refer to twenties, thirties, fifties, sixties, etcetera. Finally the expression 'pre-war' has a different meaning depending on your age and location. To older car afficionados a pre-war car is a car built before WWI. And if this is not the case, WWII started in different years depending on where you lived, starting with the german invasion of Poland in 1939 and last the USA in December 1941. In other words, there's more under the sun... Looking forward to hear any additonal views. JB  

(Photo showing our recently acquired undated Talbot M75 Saloon, is it vintage or post-vintage?)


#9 2013-12-07 23:49
So my 1912 Peugeot is Edwardian and My Louis XVi desk, where I keep its log book is now Georgian....
#8 2013-12-06 23:10
As Peter Dew hints, the VCC defines Veteran cars as manufactured before Dec. 31st 1904. Between 1905 - 1919, the VCC refers to the cars as Edwardians.
#7 2013-12-06 12:18
Stick to V.S.C.C. principles and you won't go far wrong; they are after all one of the founding fathers of hobby along with the V.C.C. and were first to apply the label "Vintage" to anything other than wine.
Your Suresnes Talbot is a Post Vintage Thoroughbred by their definition.
#6 2013-12-06 03:27
Oh what a can of wurms we have o-penned. It is atrocious here in the yank country, with even "kit" and replica cars being touted as "original" Auburns, cobras etc. There is a guy here in my town that passes his fiberglass dual cowl Ford windsor powered Auburn off as a factory original. Parks it next to a 28 20 hp RR and sais it's worth scads more. Sad thing is folks but into that. Another puts down original Edwardian cars as crap because they aren't fast enough or safe enough to be drivin on a freeway. Maybe it is time governments, states etc really clamp down, follow the VSCC, HCCA, ACCA, and the other fine clubs we love and support. We do have our "legal" classics, Pioneers etc. And you can't put a "classic" plate on a mustang in our state, but you can put a "poineer" on a E bucket hot rod, which demeans the Edwardian brass cars. Another point is Tony's, VALUE. Sadly, that glass Auburn probably will bring more than that RR, because anybody can fix it anywhere. Enough of my ranting, back to a good single malt......cheers all!
#5 2013-12-05 16:01
I like it best when you refer to Edwardian French cars, as though they were made while the English King was on holiday in Paris, Cannes and Evian, which he was each year, of course.
#4 2013-12-05 14:05
The VMCC tried a rolling 25 year rule and it's proven catastrophic with a plethora of mundane, plebeian and indifferent bikes that have nothing in common with Vintage bikes, (either in the VSCC definition or the dictionary definition) completely overwhelming the very bikes the club was set up for. Stick to what works like the VSCC formula. Don't they call these more modern things "Youngtimers'?
#3 2013-12-05 08:38
There have always been people in the old car hobby who have felt that nothing after a particular date was worth preserving, but there is always a new generation which feels nostalgia for a newer era. There have been plenty of potentially valuable old cars lost because they did not fit into some 'desirable' category. The good part about the hobby is that no matter what the car, no matter how bad some may consider it to be, there is a group of enthusiasts for it somewhere.

Setting a cut off date simply does not work. For example, what is so good about a 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud that is bad about a 1960 specimen of the same model?
#2 2013-12-05 07:16
I do not care if someone calls my car an old car, a classic cars, an oldtimer, a car car you buy if you can't afford anything better or if you call it something else: I just want to enjoy it.

#1 2013-12-05 04:24
In Australia we hold to the well tested UK formula.

A pre 1930 'vintage' car is much more valuable than a post 1930.

With my interest in Austin Sevens, a pre 1930 Chummy in excellent condition could cost upwards of A$23-25,000, with an original early car (1923-24) costing more.
Post 1930 it drops to around A$10,000, much less for a later car such as a Ruby saloon.


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