The Classic Car Club of America: Definition of a Classic car
In the words of the CCCA: A CCCA Classic is a "fine" or "distinctive" automobile, either American or foreign built, produced between 1925 and 1948. Generally, a Classic was high-priced when new and was built in limited quantities. Other factors, including engine displacement, custom coachwork and luxury accessories, such as power brakes, power clutch, and "one-shot" or automatic lubrication systems, help determine whether a car is considered to be a Classic.
The CCCA is considered to have invented the term classic car, which was coined to describe the vehicles covered by the Club's interest. While the term is nowadays used to describe any interesting old vehicle, many consider it only properly used to describe vehicles considered eligible for the CCCA. This may be considered analogously to the correct usage of 'Classical music' to mean only from a specific historical period, even though many people use the term to mean any orchestral work.
In order to avoid ambiguity, classic cars that are eligible for the CCCA are generally called 'CCCA Full Classics', 'CCCA Classics', 'Full Classics', or just capitalised as 'Classics'.
The CCCA has an admittedly narrow focus, being interested only in the high-priced cars available in a limited time period. Racing cars and serious sports cars are not covered by the CCCA, either.
Eligible VehiclesCars built after 1942 and up until 1948 are only accepted if they are nearly identical to prewar vehicles; the focus of the club is on the prewar, but this accepts that many cars built immediately postwar were actually the same vehicles as were available immediately before hostilities began.
Cars older than 1925 may be accepted if they are fundamentally the same as eligible vehicles built in 1925 or newer.
The CCCA's car shows and judged championships are known as Grand Classics and are held at various points throughout the US over the summer months.
About a half-dozen Grand Classics are held annually. While not as large nor as glamorous as the largest concours d'elegance such as Pebble Beach they are most certainly prestigious events in their own right.
While many cars go to be entered into competition, the Club encourages its members to bring their cars even if they are in no condition to win at show.
Concours judging is based on a comparison of the car to its condition when new. If the car now is identical to its as-new condition (or indeed better, given the quality of modern restoration) then 100 points are awarded. These days, quite a few vehicles rate 100 points at show.
Some alterations for safety purposes are permitted and do not cost judging points. Glass must be safety glass except in classes purely for unrestored, as-original cars.
Many original vehicles from early in the period had only one tail light and stop light; fitting a second one is OK as long as it looks right. Equipping a car built with only brakes on two wheels with brakes on the other two wheels is also permitted, as long it is done in keeping with the car's period.
The CCCA organises long distance driving tours under this name.
Distances covered are often well in excess of a thousand miles and the events take place over several weeks.
While some CCCA members' cars are strictly 'for show', others take great pleasure in driving them, even long distance.
Check out their official website for upcoming events:
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