Legal definitions of Antique & Classic Cars - Most states have time-based rules for the definition of historic or classic cars, for purposes, such as, antique vehicle registration. Most historic vehicles have to be 20 calendar years old or older. To fit the criteria, they must not have been substantially altered, remodeled or remanufactured from the manufacturers original design. There are even laws in place in ALL states that limit the use of "Classic Car License Plates".
Many American classic car shows have automobiles that range from the 1920s to the 1970s. Recently, many 1980s & even early 1990s cars are considered being Classic Automobiles. Examples of cars at such shows include, but are not limited to; Chevrolet Bel-Air, Ford Model T, Dodge Charger, Ford Deuce Coupe, & 1949 Ford.
The Concours d'Elegance car shows feature prestigious automobiles such as the Cadillac V16 or pre-1940 Rolls-Royce models. Another classification term for Classic & Antique cars is; modern customs, exotics, or collectibles. Other cars that qualify in this category are the AMC Gremlin & Ford Pinto.
The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) recognizes motorized vehicles 25 years old or older, which were built in factories and specifically designed & manufactured for transportation use on public roadways and highways. Judging by the AACA evaluates such vehicles to be in historic or that have been restored to the same state as the dealer could have prepared the vehicle for delivery to the customer. Specified AACA classic vehicles include fine or unusual domestic or foreign automobiles that were primarily built between & including the years 1925 & 1942.
The Classic Car Club of America describes a CCCA Classic as a fine or distinctive automobile, either American or foreign built, produced between 1915 & 1948. The CCCA is dedicated to the preservation & enjoyment of select cars that are distinguished by their respective fine design, high engineering standards & superior workmanship. Other differentiating factors include; engine displacement, custom coachwork, & luxury accessories, such as, power brakes, power clutch, & one-shot or automatic lubrication systems. These factors help determine whether a car is considered a CCCA Classic. The cars on their list represent the pinnacle of engineering, styling & design for their era.