types of classic cars (and how to insure them)

Saying you have a classic or collector car is just a fancy way of saying it's really old, right? Not even close! Like fine wines, classic cars have much more to them than age alone. We'll differentiate between several makes and models and serve up insurance tips unique to your automotive palette.

brass-era cars

Distinctive notes: Brass-era cars were manufactured prior to roughly 1915 and feature (duh) a whole lot of brass. Prominent uses of this namesake metal range from horseless-carriage lanterns to giant radiators to headlight trim. Early brass-era cars feature steam engines or electric motors, while later models have large internal combustion engines mounted right on the front. Owning one, it's safe to say, is a thrilling way to feel the initial pulse of the car industry itself.

Fine examples: 1908-1915 Ford Model T Roadster, 1911-1914 Mercer Raceabout, 1903-1905 Cadillac Model A.

Insurance tip: Brass-era cars epitomize elegance — but not convenience. They don't accelerate, brake, or handle normally, which makes driving them a challenge. Make sure to have high liability insurance limits to help keep at-fault accidents from jeopardizing your savings.

antique cars

Distinctive notes: Antique vehicles can be similar to brass-era ones, but with some key differences. Though the Antique Automobile Club of America classifies any car over 45 years old as an antique, popular usage hews to a narrower definition. To most collectors, an antique is any car built between the beginnings of car manufacturing up to the end of World War I in 1918. Antique vehicles are also usually mass-produced and use gasoline-powered engines (whereas brass-era cars are artisan products with steam or electric motors).

Fine examples: 1917 Pierce-Arrow Model 38 Runabout, 1916 Woods Mobilette No. 5 Staggered Roadster.

Insurance tip: Antique vehicles (or antique anything) can be a bit fragile, so you might spend a lot of time under the hood making repairs. With collector car insurance through Esurance, you can add spare parts and automotive tools coverage, which helps protect the valuable pieces around your garage and the instruments you use to get them humming.

vintage cars

Distinctive notes: Broadly speaking, vintage cars are from 1919 to1925. This is the period just after WWI, when the U.S. produced more automobiles than it would again for roughly 30 years. Naturally, part of what makes owning vintage cars special is that you have an artifact from such a major cultural shift.

Fine examples: 1919 Studebaker Big Six, 1920 Locomobile Model 48, 1924 Ford Model T.

Insurance tip: Street-paving increased during the vintage era, so its cars were better designed for the open road than earlier classic car types. All the more reason to keep your ride safe on the go. With a policy through Esurance, you can enjoy expert flatbed towing (never the dreaded hook). You can also use traveling collector coverage to score emergency funds on rallies.

classic cars

Distinctive notes: A classic car is commonly used as a generic term that can cover many genres of vehicles that are considered collectable. But, for aficionados, actual classics typically date from 1925 to1948 and display some extra importance or distinction. This is wide open to interpretation — meaning anything from luxury accessories to high price tags to historical singularity.

Fine examples: 1927-1939 Aston Martin, 1946-1948 Jaguar, 1928 Graham-Paige Series 835.

Insurance tip: With its bells and whistles, your classic is bound to draw attention (that's kind of the point, right?). However, this could increase theft risk. Not to worry: when you add comprehensive coverage, you can replace your classic if it's ever stolen. Plus, with Guaranteed Value™ coverage from our partner Hagerty, you know you're getting back its full value.

post-classic cars

Innovative car production certainly didn't stop when the classic era did. There's a bevy of other vehicles that can enjoy classic car insurance, including:

modified cars

Vehicles whose appearance you drastically alter. Includes replicas, low riders, and more.

modern classics

Limited-edition or distinctive cars from 1990 or later.

racing cars

Vehicles equipped for the track (coverage only applies when not being raced).

muscle cars

Rides primarily from the 1960s and 1970s that juxtapose light, 2-door frames with the largest engines that can possibly fit them.

utility vehicles

The road's more rustic gems, such as classic trailers, military vehicles, and tractors.

insurance for all classic car types

By narrowing down classic car types, you can get a clearer picture of the history — and future — of your rare beauty, and tailor your insurance accordingly.

Whatever you have, make sure to get the specialized protection you and your ride deserves with collector car insurance. Grab a free classic car quote today to get started.

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