My Cartcart-plus
Home > Blog > Cars > Defining A Collectible Car
blog Defining A Collectible Car
3 Minutes read

Defining A Collectible Car

There are a lot of different types of collectible cars – from antique cars produced during the very beginning of automobile manufacturing up to the muscle cars of the sixties and seventies and everything in between. A lot of it comes down to individual preference, but there are a few factors that go into truly defining a car as collectible. First, let’s look at the different types.


The Classic Car Club of America has defined a classic vehicle as any running or restored vehicle manufactured between 1925 and 1948. However, states vary in their definitions of what qualifies a car to receive collector licensed plates, with some granting the titles to cars that are simply between 15 and 20 years old. That means a Jeep Cherokee from 1995 can receive the same plates as a 1967 Chevy Camaro!


An antique car is defined more by its age, although different sources cite different criteria. Some sources classify antiques as any car manufactured before 1950. Some are stricter, like, defining an antique car as one manufactured between 1886 to 1915. However, the general consensus is that of The Antique Car Club of America which defines an antique automobile as one that is over 25 years of age.

Muscle Cars

Muscle cars are named and classified according to their horsepower and performance characteristics. Manufactured generally during the 1960s and 70s, muscle cars are coveted for their large engines and performance-quality transmissions. Muscle cars are a favorite of the baby boomer generation and have become heavily popularized by film and television.


Exotic cars feature beautiful styles and designs often seen on posters alongside scantily clad models. With their impeccable bodies, pristine paint jobs, and stellar performance specs, exotic cars are the aspirations of many automobile enthusiasts. Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Ferraris all fall into the category of exotic cars.

Now for the factors! Cars hoping to be classified as collectible are judged primarily on the following areas.


Naturally, the older a car is, the harder it is to find. They are also likely to be viewed as more culturally or historically significant. Since older automobiles often showcase innovations in technology and design manufacturing, they are more likely to attract the attention of collectors and enthusiasts.


A car can sometimes qualify as a collectible solely due to its availability. Special edition cars, models with limited runs, or those named after historically significant industry figures quickly become coveted collectors’ pieces. Some manufacturers, like McLaren and Lamborghini among others, specialize in delivering rare models that become instant collectibles regardless of their age.

Body Design

Stellar detail, beautiful interiors, new technology, and bold design are all features that can push a car into collectible status. Innovations of these features appeal to a myriad of collectors worldwide and have elevated cars like the Ferrari 250 GT into the limelight of sought-after collectible vehicles.

All of these criteria factor into what makes a car a true collectible. But anyone can read about what makes a collectible car, it’s entirely different to experience them firsthand! For a true look at what makes a collectible car, take a trip into the showroom at Throttlestop! A consigner of collectible luxury and sports cars from all over the world, there’s no better way to dive in and experience automobile culture in all of its glory. Visit us in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and see how we live Driven By Passion!

To view our for sale inventory & services, check our sales site: