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Why Are Only Some Old Cars Considered Classic Cars?

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1991 Nissan Figaro how cars become classic cars old vintage models

1991 Nissan Figaro

Some folks have the luck of buying a car that increases in value as the years pass, while other potential classics wind up being considered aged beaters. If you’ve been driving the same car for a while, you’re probably wondering what the chances are that your vehicle will become more valuable with age. Maybe one day it could even gain the status of being a classic car!

Why do some cars reach “classic” status in their old age when other old cars are simply considered junk?

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Reasons why some models become classic cars

1960 VW Beetle Blue

Classic 1960 VW Beetle

Multiple factors can influence whether a car will become a classic as it ages or will simply be cheap, undesirable transportation. However, the qualification isn’t based on a single aspect alone. The three primary factors are popularity, rarity, and quality.

To become a classic car, a model needs to have been praised and desired — and continues to be over time. Higher demand will increase the price people are willing to pay for the car, especially if only a set quantity are available after production of it ceases. Most of the time, these in-demand vehicles are luxury or performance models. Economy cars might be popular and in-demand, but their production quantity and MSRP don’t contribute to their rarity. Plus, low-quality vehicles rarely become classics, unless they’re regarded as a novelty or rare collector’s item.

Not all high-end cars will see their Kelley Blue Book value increase as it ages and becomes more rare, though. That’s because its popularity isn’t high. The Chrysler Crossfire, for instance, still has a relatively low resale value considering its low production quantities, luxury status, and original price tag.

If you want to ensure you purchase a car that’s destined to increase in value by becoming a classic model, your best bet is to pick a limited-production edition of a luxury or performance model that’s currently popular and has a track record of being in-demand.

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