What Makes a Classic Car Unique? Top 3 Unique Classic Cars

May 22nd, 2024 by

What makes a classic car unique?

Updated: May 22, 2024

Very little turns heads in broad daylight like a well-loved classic car. While determining the best classic cars is highly subjective, it’s obvious that there’s something in a vehicle’s uniqueness that lends to its classic stature.

Since 1980, LaFontaine Classic Cars has supported and celebrated the megalithic role of automotive culture on the American identity. Join us as we delve deeper into how the best classic cars are often highly unique. Vehicles of all kinds reflect the times – but only a true classic endures.

What Is a Classic Car?

More unique-looking cars can more quickly make it a classic beyond age alone. If age were the sole determination of whether a car or truck becomes “classic,” there would be no difference between classic and vintage (the latter being anything over 25 years, and not just any make or model from the 90s is heralded as a classic, right?).

Yet only the coolest vintage cars achieve truly enduring iconic status. Wait too long, but your classic becomes an antique better left on a showroom floor than taken down Route 66 or Highway 1. Some cars are so breathtaking that they even become an “instant classic,” at least in our hearts.

The consensus is that a “true classic” is between 20 and 45 years old (though some would argue classics never die). It also fully depends on mass appeal and the strength of a car’s nostalgia. This makes the most unique used cars more likely to become bona fide classics earlier. It’s a dynamic we can attest to, facilitating countless classic car sales from coast to coast.

What Makes a Classic Car Unique?

The most unique used cars more easily generate major fanfare and interest among collectors. Collectors generally triangulate between their impressions and widespread attitudes about unique classic cars. Vehicles may be unique but not considered classic if they fail to deliver in other ways.

Take these three examples to heart – and decide for yourself how much their uniqueness contributed to their status as a classic.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

The 1950s in America were marked by a time of industrial might and innovation. Hence, it’s no surprise that the rocket age inspired a chrome-heavy chassis, complete with tail fins on an otherwise friendly and approachable aesthetic (much unlike the very literal approach to rocket-ship facades of the 1953 GM Firebird or ’55 Chrysler Ghia Streamline).

There’s nothing quite like the ’57 Bel Air, especially for those harkening back to more idyllic times.

1963 Corvette Stingray

Its sleek, jutting design and lean muscle mass spoke to a more aggressive undercurrent – and all the more so for its stark contrast to the concurrent “flower power” aesthetic. While Corvette had already made waves as the quintessential American sports car for a full decade, it was the ’63 Stingray that made it a legend.

1981 DeLorean DMC-12

Purists may balk, but we’ve included everyone’s favorite time machine to prove a point: the most unique used cars are not always the best classic cars. At least, in terms of performance, the DeLorean isn’t all there. Yet it does show how a unique design, almost in and of itself, can render a car a major classic (though admittedly, “going Hollywood” was likely the driving factor).

Protecting Your Classic Automotive Investment

Even the most popular and unique classic cars will only do much good if they outlast the times. You know you have a classic on your hands when it begins appreciating, but this also bears greater costs for maintenance and insurance. In our experience, Hagerty’s Insurance is worth its weight in gold for getting proper coverage on classic and vintage cars, even contributing to certain refurbishment needs, without breaking the bank.

The Most Trusted Nexus for Classic Car Sales Nationwide

We treat all customers like family, meaning you can trust us to provide the fairest deal whenever you sell us your classic vehicle or trade it in. LaFontaine Classic Cars will even pick up your car from any location in the USA.

You can also explore our classic car inventory online or contact us with any questions – and discover why classic car enthusiasts across the country have the utmost confidence in the LaFontaine family brand.

Image Credit: erlucho / Shutterstock

Posted in Classic Cars