Classic, antique, collectible, and vintage cars all have different meanings for different people. Some like to stick with strict definitions of what makes a car classic, antique, or vintage, while others use the terms interchangeably. For those who are nitpicky, a vintage car is one that was manufactured sometime between 1919 and 1930. Cars that are at least 45 years old can be classified as antiques according to most enthusiasts. The Classic Car Club of America defines a classic as a car that was made between 1925 and 1948. To further complicate matters, different states have varying rules on registration for antique and classic cars.
Regardless of the debate over different time periods and classifications, most car enthusiasts would agree that the vintage car era was sometime between 1919 and approximately 1930. At the beginning of the vintage car time period, cars were still a novelty. World War I had just ended and people wanted to have fun. Cars were new and exciting, and not everyone had one. By the end of the period, cars were much more ubiquitous.
During the vintage car era, a lot of changes took place. This was a time when car manufacturing companies popped up all over the place, and a time when many of them failed. The Big Three emerged as the forerunners and became so big and successful that other, smaller companies could not compete.
The vintage car era was also a time of change in the cars themselves. During this time period, cars became safer and more comfortable. Heating was introduced for the first time, as was the radio in the dash, hydraulic brakes, and power steering. In spite of these improvements, the vintage car is far less comfortable and less safe than modern cars. The seat belt was not even introduced until the 1960s. The era of the vintage car was an exciting one, and it is little wonder that so many automobile enthusiasts name it their favorite.