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Classic Red Car Parked on the Street

Understanding the Different Types of Classic Cars

Are you considering buying a classic car? Before you start comparing the different types of classic cars, you’ll want to answer these important questions:

  • Do you want an antique, vintage, or classic car?
  • How often are you going to drive the car?
  • What price range are you comfortable with?
  • How will you use your classic car?
  • How much restoration or repair work are you willing to put into the car?

From muscle cars and grand tourers to sports cars and roadsters, this classic car guide will help you understand which kind of car best suits your lifestyle needs!

Antique Cars

Looking for a classic car that was manufactured before 1918? Antique cars, also known as veteran cars or Brass Era cars, were made at the dawn of the auto industry and began mass production around 1914. These “horseless carriages” weren’t designed for the open road, so they may be difficult to drive due to their lack of power steering and brakes. Car enthusiasts enjoy these vehicles for restoration projects and car shows!

Vintage Cars

1930 Cadillac V16 Two-Seater Roadster. Photo by Instagram user @best_eurotruck

Photo via @best_eurotruck

Vintage cars—manufactured between 1919 and 1930—are great for anyone who wants a rare auto find with more features than antique cars. Similar to antique vehicles, vintage cars are not ideal for everyday use because they’re difficult to drive and find parts for. And while these rare vintage vehicles require a significant investment of money and time for restoration and maintenance, they’re perfect for showing off at car shows!

Classic Cars

Most people call any old car a “classic car,” but to be considered a true classic, a car should be older than 25 years old. There’s a variety of makes and models that fall under the wide umbrella of classic cars, and they’ll have varying restoration needs. These cars are similar to the cars we’re used to today in terms of design, handling, and safety features—and unlike vintage cars and antique cars, classic cars can be used from everything from daily commutes to road trips!

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Sports Cars

Known for their great handling and performance, sports cars are ideal for those who love the thrill of driving—particularly on winding roads! These cars are small, have a high-performance engine in the front or middle of the car, and come with two seats. Within the sports car category, you can find two unique kinds: Grand Touring (GT) and Roadster. GT options, such as the Aston Martin DB5 and Ferrari GTS, are more comfortable for long-distance driving, while roadsters like the Jaguar E-Type and Alfa Romeo Spider are perfect for cruising.

Muscle Cars

Looking to go from 0 to 60 in seconds? Muscle cars might just be the car type for you! These cars are known for their large performance transmissions, V8 engines, dual exhaust pipes for straight-line performance, and rear-wheel drive—all of which allow muscle cars to get up to speed quickly and leave other cars in the dust. And unlike sports cars, muscle cars can typically seat four people, thanks to availability of rear seating.

Coupe Utility Vehicles

If you’ve always wanted a pickup that handles more like a car, Coupe Utility Vehicles (CUVs) are a classic option. These unique cars were designed with the intent of being both a truck for farm work and a get-around-town car. Unlike traditional pickup trucks that feature a cargo bed detached from the passenger cab, these car-based trucks have a two-door passenger compartment with an integrated cargo tray.

Sport Utility Vehicles

1972 Olive Green Ford Bronco. Photo by Instagram user @stalwartmat

Photo via @stalwartmat

While today’s SUVs are used more as large family vehicles, the original sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were designed to be the ultimate car for those who loved outdoor adventures. Like current models, classic SUVs have plenty of room for passengers and storage, and they’re able to pull a camper or go off-roading. So if you’re someone who loves classic vehicles and weekend outings, this could just be the car for you!

Station Wagons

1956 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari. Photo by Instagram user @bidgarage

Photo via @bidgarage

Station wagons may not be as fast or as powerful as sports cars and muscle cars, but they’re excellent vehicles for road tripping and cruising—and they certainly stand out in the crowd! Once viewed as the classic family vehicle, these collector cars have iconic long frames, wood paneling, and spacious seating and storage.

Now that you’ve decided which classic car is right for your lifestyle, you can start planning your next road trip, get up to speed on how to winterize your car, and what storage options you have in the off-season!


Need secure storage for a classic car? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities across the nation that offer outdoor, covered, and indoor vehicle storage solutions. Find car storage near you!

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