A classic car is an older car; the exact meaning is variable. The Classic Car Club of America maintains that a car must be between 20 and 40 years old to be a classic, while cars over 45 years fall into the Antique Class.
The Classic Car Club of America defines a CCCA Classic as follows: A CCCA Classic is a "fine" or "distinctive" automobile, either American or foreign built, produced between 1925 and 1948... 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.
There was a worldwide change in styling trends in the immediate years after the end of World War II. The 1946 Crosley and Kaiser-Frazer, for example, changed the traditional discrete replaceable-fender treatment. From this point on, automobiles of all kinds became envelope bodies in basic plan. The CCCA term, "Antique Car" has been confined to "the functionally traditional designs of the earlier period" (mostly pre-war). They tended to have removable fenders, trunk, headlights, and a usual vertical grill treatment. In a large vehicle, such as a Duesenberg, Pierce-Arrow, or in a smaller form, the MG TC, with traditional lines, might typify the CCCA term. Another vehicle might be a classic example of a later period but not a car from the "classic period of design", in the opinion of the CCCA.