What is a classic car? You probably have certain images run throughout your mind when you hear the expression. But at what stage does a car become ‘classic’ and will today’s models someday join their ranks?
Defining The Undefinable
The problem with defining classic cars lies with the fact that, ultimately, everyone has a different understanding of what makes something ‘classic.’ The very word means ‘judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.’ It can also mean, more straightforwardly, ‘a work of art of recognised and established value.’ It’s hard to imagine most people disagreeing with these parameters; although they certainly do. But it’s precisely this talk of ‘quality’ and ‘outstanding’ that causes so much confusion; it’s inherently subjective.
If you had to name a classic car, what would you go for? You might be tempted to say something like the Aston Martin DB5; etched into the popular imagination as the most iconic vehicle in James Bond’s arsenal. Alternatively, you could opt for the hyper-rare Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic; only four of which were made. But why not turn the clock back even further and settle on a Bentley 4.5 Litre, hailing back to the late ’20s? All of these cars are profoundly different in style, history and performance. But they’re all listed on ‘best classic car’ lists found across the Internet.
As we’ve seen, cars that are typically called classic don’t share a tremendous amount in common. But they all do seem to have one universal characteristic. They’ve all survived. That is to say, despite changing tastes and sensibilities, they’re still here amongst us in the world of motoring. This, in of itself, might not sound like much. But consider the level of love, care and attention to detail that will have had to go into maintaining the likes of a Bentley 4.5. For nearly a 100 years someone (or rather someones) has had to take care of them. If they hadn’t, you would be able to see them at shows or even drive around in one. But you can. In essence, then, a classic car is a car that’s considered worth preserving.
What’s considered worth preserving will vary from person to person, motorist to motorist; hence why classic cars can be so diverse. But each and every one, for whatever reason, has stood out amongst the crowd and found itself timeless; a reference point for the industry indefinitely. The good news is, if we accept this definition, we can almost certainly look forward to more classic cars in the future. Whilst it’s unlikely that a Ford Mondeo will ever make the grade, a Volkswagen Golf just about might. Then again, who’s to judge if someone in the comfort of their own garage tinkers away at their Mondeo, preserving it for future generations…That’ll be up to the people who pay for the price of admission!
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Saving The Sedan: 8 In 10 Millennials Would Consider One – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/saving-sedan/