vintage cars

Vintage and Classic Cars NZ, What you should know about each.

Vintage and Classic cars are hugely popular across New Zealand. Some car lovers can be fanatical about a certain brand, while others appreciate a variety. However sometimes it can be hard to know or understand the ins and outs of buying an old car. Things such as how well is it built? Why is it so expensive? Or will it make me money? Can be on the minds of buyers looking to get into the classic or vintage car world. 

Shopless has created a basic guide to help you understand the world of classic and vintage cars. So that you can enjoy your purchase and connect with others passionate about timeless cars.  

What is a Classic Car? 

A classic car is broadly considered any car that is so old that it looks as if it should no longer be driven on standard roads. More specifically, the term classic cars refers to any car that is more than 20 years old. Obviously there are still many cars on the road currently that have been around since the 1990’s. However as time goes on many of the rarer or more uniquely designed cars hopefully increase in value. Also enthusiasts interested in certain brands of car, may prefer certain makes and years of cars. 

The current classic cars tend to range from 20 – 40 years old.  Popular brands also include early land rovers, BMWs and Aston Martins. With many of these classic cars have increased even more in value over the pandemic period, 2020-2021. “Buying a classic car can be a sound investment – providing better long-term returns than art, property and even gold, in some cases.”

What is a Vintage Car?

An antique or vintage car is generally older than 45 years old. Vintage cars typically fall under collectors vehicles, as they can be harder to source and certain makes/models are more revered. Some countries will deem a car as having a historic status in order for it to be considered a vintage vehicle.  Within the classification of a vintage car there are subgroups including the ‘vintage car’ – which is technically manufactured between 1913 and 1930. The “antique car” which was manufactured before 1975. And the “street rod” which was manufactured before 1949 but has been modified to ensure the vintage is up to modern road safety  standards. 

The price of the vintage car can distinguish it from a classic car. Often indicating the worth and desirability. A classic car can be more ambiguous in the price, as there are often slightly more of each make and model available. 

Which is more likely to make more money? 

This is variable, but a vintage car is more likely to cost you more due to the age and collectability. There are also many collectors of classic cars as well. When purchasing a classic car with the hope that it might increase in value, it is good to look for brands that may have produced cars for a certain purpose. For example, this article names a number of vintage and classic cars that are looking to increase in value in the next 10 years.

The article names cars such as a 1990’s Toyota Landcruiser which was a vehicle specifically built for the United Nations. The list also includes Volkswagen Type 2 T3 Westfalia (1980-91), for the main reason listed as the nostalgia of this vehicle in relation to the hippie period. 

Cars in the classic car period are more likely to have a relatability to the purchaser of the car. Whereas the vintage vehicles will hold their value, already starting at a higher price point. Both can make you money, it tends to come down more to personal preference and interest.  

What rallys and meets are there around New Zealand? 

There are vintage rallies and meets across the country most months. The New Zealand Classic Car Rally is held every year around October. This features a range of vintage and classic cars and are a good place to start if you are a car enthusiast but are unsure where you fit in the community. Additionally there are local meets in all major cities and many towns. Some for certain brands of cars, with rallies are held regularly. You can find this information by searching your local vintage car club. They will usually have a list of upcoming events on their site and contact information if you want to talk to a fellow car enthusiast. 

How can I improve the Quality of the Car, To today’s standards? 

There are ways you can improve the safety and quality standards of your vintage or classic car. Standard upgrades in tyres and other parts can be great options. Classic and vintage cars can not have airbags installed into them, as they do not have the design capabilities. However one trend that is good to consider is the purchase of an EV kit, making your vintage into an electric vehicle. In the long run this could significantly save petrol costs as older vehicles are high petrol users. You can find more information on EV conversion kits here.

Kiwi’s do like their cars, and many appreciate collectors car rallies. Whether you are looking for a classic car or a vintage car it is good to get to know the market and do your research. If you are looking to buy a car, make sure to take a look at the motors section of Shopless.