I recently found this great website offering
And it reminded me of a job I nearly did once for a guy who restored vintage 1920’s and 1930’s Bentley’s. I say a marketing job I nearly did because in the end he was so disorganised that it didn’t come to fruition, but I have to admit it’s a job that I would have absolutely loved to have done.
I don’t know what it is about classic and vintage cars, but for him I had the entire idea mapped out in my mind, and I think it would have worked out really well.
What he needed really was a website and literature producing and I had the idea to really style the whole lot just like the actual Bentley’s adverts and brochures from the period in a very Art Deco style.
I’d even found a font face that was virtually identical to the one used by Bentley at that time, and I’d managed to get high resolution images that they’d used on their advertising, but alas it was never used.
I don’t know what it was about this job that really appealed to me, whether it was the thought of the style and panache of that era, and the emotive way that a classic car from that period kind of takes you back to it, but you have to admit – there really is something magical about cars from that time.
It doesn’t really matter if it’s a vintage Jaguar, or Bentley, or any other make or model, there is something that is almost intangible about them and they just look and sound amazing.
Perhaps the recent TV series Endeavour, Morse, and other period dramas set back in earlier days have revived the romance of these cars for “ordinary” people, but for enthusiasts it’s something more, it’s not just a passion, it’s more like an obsession.
What makes a car a classic car?
Back when I was looking at the Bentley job I remember having a conversation with the chap involved and he was quite adamant that these were not classic cars, but vintage cars.
To me there wasn’t much of a difference, but to collectors there is apparently the world of difference – although even they can’t seem to agree totally on the definition.
Maybe it’s a personal subjective thing and it’s different for everyone.
For some people a classic car is defined as being after WW2, but before 1980, and for others its cars that aren’t being built any more.
But both of these definitions I think miss out the special ingredient, the magic that makes a car classic and desirable, and I suppose that the thing that really defines a car as classic isn’t just the age or whether it’s still made, but if it is iconic.
By iconic I mean if it is representative of its era, that it evokes feelings, memories, and probably dreams too.
Also I suppose condition is important too, it needs really to be in good condition and driveable, I mean you could probably buy a tatty old Ford Cortina – that is pre 1980 and isn’t being made any more, but would you class that as a classic car?
However it is certainly iconic and represents it’s time, so if it is in excellent condition then maybe it is a classic car?
Like I said it’s a very personal thing and probably each person’s definition of a classic car is unique to their own feelings and imagination of what the car means to them personally, however if you look at the many classic car websites out there like this one or this one, and here as well, you’ll see lots of cars that really do – well, they “look” like classic cars!
You see how difficult this is?
I suppose that vintage cars are a bit easier to define, or they are to me anyway.
In my mind when I think of a vintage car, I imagine films like Bonnie and Clyde and those much older 1900’s to 1940’s big American beasts with the footboard, of the Model T, or the old 20’s Buicks, although again some people class the older cars as “veteran” and vintage as cars from between about 1920 and 1930.
Some people also class the older models as antique as well, just to really confuse things.
Another thing to consider is the official verdict I suppose. In the UK classic car insurance kicks in for cars 20 years or older, and there’s also road tax emption for classic cars as well.
So what makes a car a classic car?
I suppose the answer is – you!