“Classic car.” A term that’s bandied about all the time anymore. So, what makes a car “classic”? Is it age (I argue against that, as a Yugo is a classic by age.), looks, pedigree, performance? Or some intangible? Did it have some quality that set it above the rest? Or was it a ground breaking first somehow?

I look upon classic cars I’ve owned or driven, and one trait they all share in common is they draw a crowd or attention. Not in a negative way, but in a way more modern cars seem to not yet do. I can’t drive anywhere without people taking pictures or video while behind, next to or in front of me. I’ve been pulled over just so the officer can ask me about my car.

Now I currently drive a Triumph Spitfire. It’s not flash, needs a paintjob so at least it’ll be one color, and is small. But the responses I get from strangers always means I need to add 10-15 minutes to my planned time to get something done. I don’t mind it, it was the same with any of the the other Triumphs, Jags, MGs, Porsches, or Austin Healeys I’ve owned.

In fact, the Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite is a great example of a classic. Quirky looks, good handling, but primitive equipment. Also, in original form 0-60 times needed a sun dial, maybe a calendar. Fun, yes. But that’s about it. Yet people fawn over them like crazy, and I’d not refuse another if I happened upon one needing a home.

From my high school days the classics are Acura NSX, 911 Turbo, Ferrari 308, Testarossa, Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, and a little later the FD RX7. Plus of course the Ferrari F40.


Newer cars are going to be classics, no doubt. The new Alfa is one in my mind. Too bad I’m just slightly too tall for it. I’m excited to get more seat time in an ND Miata, as well. Time will tell. Until then, I’ll stick with proven ones, like the Jag XK120 and XK140. Coupe or roadster, though? tough call, I love them both and both drive so well, though the 140 is a little better. Like I’d turn away a 120...