How to Find Classic Cars
Where to Find Classic Cars in San Diego
San Diego is known for having a vibrant classic car community. It might take some digging to find a classic car, but we have a guide to help you in your search. 🚘
And why not begin right here at Express Auto Auction? Auto auctions, that aren’t specifically classic car auctions, might easily be passed over by the classic car hunter, but our San Diego lot often has hidden gem cars. You just have to keep an eye open for them. 💎
What is a Classic Car?
To be considered a classic car, it has to meet certain criteria:
A classic car is usually older. Yes, there are “instant classics” but they do need to withstand the test of time.
Likely, classics are at least 20 years old. It might be hard to imagine a car from the year 2000 being a “classic”, but there are many underappreciated classic cars that mean more to one person than another. No matter the manufacturing year, the classic car has cemented its place in auto history.
There are other classifications like “vintage cars” and “antique cars” which are usually based solely on when the car was manufactured. A classic car has superseded those statuses because of a number of factors, like design, rarity, and historical significance.
At the time of this writing, Express Auto Auction has a 1978 Ford Mustang, a 1969 Mercury Cyclone, and a 1977 Porsche 924 on the lot. Each of these cars might mean more to one bidder than another because of a personal connection, functional performance, the rarity of the make and model, or another reason.
As time goes on, we strongly think that the term “classic” will get more strict than just age. Car enthusiasts, collectors, and heck… movie fans, will weigh in on what cars truly stand above the rest.
Classic cars are quite often recognized for their look. Think of a Ferrari F40, Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, Dodge Viper, but also the 1970 Chevy El Camino SS, and Volkswagen Beetle. 🏎️
But a classic is not only the 60-year-old machine sitting in Jay Leno’s garage. The Ford-150 Raptor, Nissan GT-R, Honda S2000, Dodge Challenger, Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, Mitsubishi Lancer, and more, are likely within reach and often appear on our lot.
These are classics in the making.
3. Historical Significance
When you think of a classic car, you have to think about the car’s impact on the industry. Did it revolutionize design like the early hot rods, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, the Jaguar XK120, the Austin-Healey 100, Mini Cooper, BMW 2002, Honda Civic, or Mazda Miata?
I mean, by this standard, the Ford Model T is in the same company as the Tesla Model S or Toyota Prius. By the way, you’re more likely to find a Prius on our lot, than a Model T… just saying.
When you visit Express Auto Auction, don’t just look for the supercar or the vintage. Look for cars that are about to be classics, as they age into the category, or cars that changed how brands thought about transportation, design, and function.
Any car that was beloved but limited in production is more likely to become a classic. Think of the Lancia Stratos, AC Cobra, Datsun 240Z, Chevrolet Corvette 1963, Aston Martin DB5, or the Ferrari 250 GTO.
If it’s rare and not a lemon, it’s probably a classic. Even if it is a lemon, there’s a chance a cult following may have developed around the car. Think of the Nissan GT-R. Or think of the DeLorean DMC-12, made famous in Back to the Future. In real life it was faulty, faulty, faulty, plus it could not travel in time. But we love it!
Or remember the Amphicar, Corvair, Gremlin, or Pacer. We just love to hate on these.
You know the phrase “so bad, it’s good”?
Where are Classic Cars Sold?
Did we mention you can find them right here at Express Auto Auction? We probably did.
Classic car shows are a “classic” (sorry, bad pun) way of finding these beloved vehicles. You can also search for classic car dealerships specifically.
At the time of this writing, there were more than 130 vehicles on our lot manufactured before the year 2000. Classics in their own right like the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, the Chevy El Camino, Ford Thunderbird, and Ford Mustang.
Whether for a project, a collection, or just to enjoying driving a famous car, part of the thrill of auctions is finally finding that hidden gem.
Happy Bidding. We hope you find a classic!