Any automobile vehicle recognized by the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) and manufactured more than 25 years prior to the current year, which may or may not be maintained in or restored to current professional standards and/or conforming to the manufacturer original build specifications.
To qualify cars must be of the classic era 1925-1948 (no cars built before or after that period are eligible) & the vehicle must exemplify the best in engineering, workmanship (an automotive masterpiece). A true classic is timeless, and has lasting significance and worth.
Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) has published an approved list of "classics", most are large, luxurious with an emphasis on appointments, elegance, or design breakthrough.
Examples: Bugatti, Cord, Daimler, & Rolls Royce.
This term came about as an attempt by the Milestone Car Society to more precisely identify potential future classics. The Milestone Car Society (MCS) recognizes the great post-war cars of the 1945-1972 era. The car is nominated based on the stated & documented excellence in at least two of the following areas: Styling, engineering. innovation & craftsmanship.
Examples: Buick Riviera 1963-70, Chevrolet Corvette 1953-1970, Ford Mustang GT/GTA 1965-1967, Jaguar XKE.
Any vehicle believed to possess future value, collected by a discernible number of hobbyists, and for which a market has been established and a club formed. Currently a vehicle that may or may not be widely sought after. A car built in limited numbers that has unique characteristics (styling, engineering, features), low production build & is no longer currently produced.
Examples: Mustang SVO, DeLorean, Taurus SHO, MG.
Cars that capture a niche following & do not fit into the Classic or Milestone groups, and may or may not be antiques. Cars that are endeared by their owners because of sentiment or personal ownership experience. These special interest cars might not have any real future value, but represent a great deal to the owners who maintain and enjoy them.
Examples: Studebaker Avanti, Pontiac Fiero, Volkswagen Beetle, 1989-1994 Ford/Mercury Capri.