How to Identify Classic Cars

by Contributor

Have you ever met one of those people that can identify the make, model and year of every classic car they see? Would you like to become a classic car expert too? There are many beautiful old cars on the road and with practice and the right approach, you'll be an expert in no time.

Identify the date range of classic cars. Veteran cars were manufactured before 1903, vintage cars were made between 1903 and 1933, and classic cars are considered to be vehicles manufactured from 1933 until fifteen years ago.

Attend classic car shows and exhibitions. These are great places to see a variety of classic cars up close and meet other enthusiasts. Most exhibitions will separate the classic cars from antique and muscle cars, so by visiting professional car shows, you will begin to identify the difference yourself.

Narrow the field. You may already have a favorite make and model. Take that manufacturer and start observing their models year by year. For example, research Ford Mustangs and the differences made in every year, try to name the year of every Mustang you see on the road. When you've mastered that, or you become bored, pick another manufacturer, model or year to study.

Take note of the features on each car that you are working to identify. Does the car have a signature grill or tail light shape? Watch for finite details in tail fins, running boards, rear view mirrors, hubcaps, tires and interior d├ęcor.

Practice, practice, practice. It's not hard to pick a classic car out of the crowd, so when you see one casually, try to identify the make and model. Then try to read the insignias when you pull up next to it, or walk past it, or better yet, ask the owner, "Hey, is that a 1973 Ford Mustang?"

Warning

  • close Classic car owners have worked very hard and spent a lot of money on their babies, so be aware that they will be protective. Never touch a car without permission, and be prepared to explain why you've been caught gawking.

About the Author

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