A History of Classic Cars for Kids

A History of Classic Cars for Kids

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Cars are everywhere in modern life, and many people depend on cars to take them anywhere they need to go. Most cars are designed to be workhorses that dependably and efficiently move families around, but some are built more for fun, made to look cool and be enjoyable to drive. Classic cars are some of these special cars sometimes seen on the road.

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What Is a Classic Car?

A classic car is a car that's at least 20 years old. Generally, it should also be interesting or unique in some way. Often, certain makes or models of cars are considered classics, while other makes or models are just considered old. Insurance companies consider cars between 20 and 40 years old "classic," but the definition varies depending on who is asked.

Classic Cars vs. Antique Cars

Most people use the terms "classic cars" and "antique cars" to mean the same thing: an older, desirable car. However, they actually mean two different sorts of cars. Classic cars are between 20 and 40 years old. Antique cars are more than 40 years old. Insurance companies typically use these classifications because they offer different coverage for different types of cars. Some states require insurance companies to offer special historic car coverage for antique cars. Car enthusiasts sometimes also use a third category, "vintage cars," to describe cars made between 1919 and 1930.

What Makes a Car Collectible?

A car can be considered collectible for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a car is collectible because it has some historical significance. In the case of a single car that's been deemed collectible, it might be because someone historically interesting owned it or used it (the car from the Bonnie and Clyde shootout is one such car with historical significance) or because it was used in a television show or movie.

Sometimes, a car is considered collectible because it has very low mileage for its age and is in pristine condition. Collectors will often place a high value on a car that's 40 years old but looks like it just came off the showroom floor.

Other times, a car is collectible because it's a model that people find interesting or appealing. Perhaps that model (or that model year) introduced new technology or the model was the first of its kind. And good-looking cars are almost always more collectible than their less attractive counterparts.

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Classic and Antique Cars

Chevy Corvette

The Chevy Corvette is a good-looking car model that has introduced a lot of new technology to the consumer market and defined the American sports car when it first came out in 1953. It's been in continuous production since, except for 1983, when the model was retooled to comply with stricter emissions laws introduced in California. One 1983 Corvette, built during testing for the 1984 model, survived and is in a museum. It's thought to be the most valuable Corvette in existence.

Porsche 911

The Porsche 911 is a two-door sports car that was first sold in 1964 and is produced by a German company. It's a popular race car. Featuring a rear-mounted V6 engine, the car has been retooled over the decades, but the basic premise of the car has remained the same. The one-millionth 911 was made in 2017 and is held in the company's archives. In 1999, the 911 placed fifth in a Car of the Century poll.

Ford Model T

Henry Ford produced the Ford Model T so that the average person could afford to buy a car. It was made from 1908 to 1927. In order to build an affordable car, Ford made the production line more efficient and introduced the assembly line to automobile manufacturing. Also known as the Tin Lizzie, the Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century. Not only was the car affordable, but it was durable. During its run, 15 million new Model Ts were sold.

Chevrolet Camaro

The Camaro was introduced by Chevrolet in September of 1966. Mechanically and design-wise, it was very similar to the Pontiac Firebird; both Chevrolet and Pontiac were owned by General Motors. The Camaro was designed to compete with the Ford Mustang. A mid-size muscle car, the Camaro was prized for its look and performance. From the 1967 model year to 2002, four generations of Camaros were produced. The nameplate re-emerged in 2009 with a fifth generation.

Vintage Jeep

Jeep began life as an American brand but is now owned by a European company. Jeeps were originally produced as Army vehicles during World War II. The first Jeep was a lightweight four-wheel-drive utility vehicle. The first civilian Jeep was produced in 1945. Since 1986, this basic Jeep has been known as the Wrangler and is well-known for its open top and rock-solid axles that allow the vehicle to be used for off-roading adventures. Two Jeep models, the Wagoneer and CJ-5, were produced for more than 30 years without ever making significant changes to the body style.

Jaguar E-Type

The Jaguar E-Type was produced between 1961 and 1975. It is a British sports car loved for its design and performance. The car was based on the Jaguar D-type, which was a very successful race car; it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for three straight years in the 1950s. The E-Type was ranked as the most beautiful car of all time by the Daily Telegraph, and it has made numerous appearances in pop culture, including in the first Austin Powers movie.

Land Rovers

Land Rover is a British car brand that mostly makes four-wheel-drive vehicles capable of going off-road. The Land Rover first debuted in 1948. Three years later, King George VI granted a Royal Warrant to the car brand. In 2001, George's daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, gave the car the Queen's Award for Enterprise. The nameplate is currently owned by Jaguar. Significant models include the Range Rover, Discovery, and Freelander.

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Shift Editorial Team