Stamp expert & buyer with over 40 years of experience.
A Glossary of Antique & Classic Automobile Terms
The 1887 Benz was the first automobile ever sold and had wooden wheels. By 1913, more than one million cars had been registered in the U.S. Today, classic car buffs trade and collect vintage cars with great enthusiasm and strong opinions about what different terms mean. Here’s a look at some of those terms.
Antique – The Antique Automobile Club of America claims that any car or truck that is more than 45 years old can be called antique.
Classic – According to the Classic Car Club of America, “classic” refers to luxury cars built between 1925-1942. The term is used more casually to describe old and vintage cars.
The Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) – This organization was founded in 1952 to celebrate a specific niche of expensive pre-war cars built between 1925-1942. The CCCA sponsors car shows and long-distance driving tours.
Frame-off Restoration – When cars are restored this way, the entire vehicle is taken apart and the cleaning, rebuilding and repairing of necessary parts is based on original factory rules.
Frame-up Restoration – With frame-up restoration, a car's paint, mechanics and other aspects are restored, but the vehicle isn’t completely disassembled in the process.
Hot Rod – The term “hot rod” was first used in the 1930s to described cars that had somehow been customized to improve their performance. These sporty cars possess motors that have been modified to increase acceleration and speed.
Matching Numbers – The rarest and most valuable classic cars still have all of their original parts. “Matching numbers” means that the VIN number on the car matches that on parts such as the transmission and motor.
Muscle Car – Muscle cars were mid-sized automobiles with V8 engines built between 1965-1973. They had strong lines, and broad, muscular profiles.
Antique and classic automobiles come in all shapes and sizes. These rare, vintage cars and trucks date back several decades. While some are from the 1930s, others date back to the 1950s. It is common for individuals who collect cars to restore and rebuild these high performance muscle cars and old pick-ups. The key is to pinpoint an auto parts dealer that offers original engine and body parts. In the United States alone, there are all sorts of collectors and auto clubs that deal with classic vehicles.
There is a lot to antique sports cars, muscle vehicles and pick-up trucks. In regards to vintage vehicle restoration, both the interior and exterior of a car must be considered. This means the seat covers, doors, transmission, and other engine parts. Since many people put classic and vintage vehicles in car shows, it is crucial to make certain every part is restored. This may mean you have to purchase a number of parts and accessories to rebuild an antique vehicle. Not only can this take a great deal of money, but it can also take quite a bit of time. Fortunately there are plenty of professionals available who restore and rebuild classic trucks and cars.
If there are any vehicle restoration garages or auto body professionals in your area, you may want to consider contacting them to acquire more information on antique and classic automobiles. It is also a good idea to investigate local car shows and vintage vehicle competitions to learn more.