It can be difficult to distinguish between antique and classic cars since all too often, the terms can seem interchangeable. However, there are officially differences between them as defined by different organizations. The definitions are quite rigid for both antique and classic cars although the definitions probably aren’t what most people will expect.
Definitions do vary about the distinction between antique and classic cars but the Classic Car Club of America states that to be called a classic car, a vehicle must have been made between 1925 and 1948 and has to be fully restored and running. It doesn’t matter where the car was built and other factors do come into play, such as whether or not the vehicle has power brakes or other qualifying items.
It’s extremely rare that any other vehicles are added to the classic car list maintained by the group. However, the definition of a classic car can vary greatly depending on which organization is involved. In some states, it can be a car that’s more than 15 years old and fully restored.
Most people would imagine antique cars to be older than classics cars but that’s actually not the case. According to the Antique Car Club of America, to be an antique car the vehicle has to be more than 25 years old, completely restored and in full running order. The definition of an antique car does vary from state to state with some giving 20 years as a minimum but as a general rule of thumb, the vehicle does need to be more than 25 years old.