Antique car

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oldtimer automobile : Ford T , "best-selling car" for 50 years
Vintage vans : Volkswagen Transporter T1 (as a fire engine )
Oldtimer truck : MAN F8
Vintage omnibus : Magirus-Deutz TR 120
Oldtimer tractor : Lanz HR 8
The Oldsmobile 88 built in 1958
Jaguar Mark 2 built in 1964

The word oldtimer is a pseudo-Anglicism that in German usage refers to a motor vehicle (in particular an automobile , a truck , a bus , a motorcycle or a tractor ), as well as a locomotive or a ship , which, depending on the classification, has a certain age limit of, for example, 30 Years have passed.


German language area

The term oldtimer , like the term classic in German, is an umbrella term and as such is fuzzy. Oldtimers are mainly related to technical devices and consumer goods, i.e. not to living beings, buildings, works of art or intellectual property; For example, the peach melba dessert is a classic, but not a vintage car. While vintage cars owe their name to the fact that they were manufactured many years ago, went out of fashion and use, but have outlasted time to this day, a classic can also be brand new. It owes its existence to a timeless basic or detailed idea that has been taken up again and again, possibly even unchanged, since its introduction, e.g. B. the classic double-breasted garment .

What all of the items referred to as oldtimers have in common is that they have survived their time, but are often in good technical and maintenance condition and sometimes still function as they did on the first day. However, their regular use in everyday life is no longer up-to-date or is sometimes even prohibited because technical, ergonomic and safety requirements have changed. The term is also used in music, for example in jazz, where the term old-time sound or oldie is used.

Without further information, the term oldtimer in German means motor vehicles with collector's value that no longer serve as pure utility vehicles, but also for representative, speculative or ideal purposes. Classic cars are mostly collector's items . It does not always have to be a well-preserved or restored vehicle, including unrestored cars and motorcycles that have been left in their original condition.

Exact definition of the term can rarely be found, however, in some cases they appear in the regulations of the FIVA World Classic Car Association and the DMSB (German Motor Sport Association). Sometimes the aforementioned terms are used by motor vehicle insurance companies to differentiate between tariff groups, but inconsistently.

English speaking area

The word oldtimer is a sham Anglicism ( English old-timer ) and is used in the English language as a term for veterans , the elderly and as a play on words for Alzheimer's disease . There is no equivalent equivalent in English for the German meaning of “oldtimer”, which generally means all cars with collector's value from a certain age . Various preceding terms are used depending on the age classification: classic , veteran , antique , Brass Era ( German  “brass era” ), pre-WWII ( German  “pre-war model” - meaning the Second World War ), post-war ( German  “after the war ” ) or vintage , each followed by car, truck, motorcycle , etc. The meaning of the terms sometimes differs depending on the country and organization. In the USA, for example, antique car can mean something different than in Great Britain.


In the past, the name Schnauferl was also widely used, but today it no longer corresponds to the taste of the time - it is less belittling than one might assume, because it specifically refers to the sound of the sniffer valve , which was used as an inlet valve in early four-stroke engines. The typical noise gave the Allgemeine Schnauferl Club (ASC) its name, which was founded in 1900 and is now the oldest existing classic car club in Germany.


The term veteran is sometimes used synonymously with oldtimer , sometimes it refers to vehicles built up to the year of construction 1918. The term veteran , which is rarely used today in common parlance , was used until the 1960s and 1970s. The VFV ( Veteran Vehicle Association ), founded in Neckarsulm in 1959, refers to this term in its name. In Switzerland, "Veteran" is the official name for a historic vehicle.


Older vehicles that are not yet vintage cars are referred to as youngtimers in German-speaking countries . The word "Youngtimer" is a sham Anglicism that has no meaning in English. The comparable English name is " modern classic ".

Barn finds

Škoda 422 , exhibited as a “ barn find ” in the Škoda Muzeum

A barn find is commonly referred to as an old vehicle that has been parked under a roof for a long time and forgotten. Barn finds are often historical everyday vehicles with a relatively low mileage. Barn finds are usually not in a mobile condition.

Legal issues

The oldtimer is also a legal term and has a legal definition in § 2 No. 22 FZV . According to this, it concerns vehicles that were put on the market for the first time at least 30 years ago, largely correspond to the original condition, are in a good state of preservation and are used for the care of the automotive cultural property .


Classification by country


If motor vehicles are to be classified as oldtimers, § 23 StVZO has required an expert opinion since March 2007 . According to the legal definition of § 2 No. 22 Vehicle Registration Ordinance , oldtimers are "vehicles that were first put on the market at least 30 years ago, largely correspond to the original condition, are in a good state of preservation and are used for the care of the automotive cultural property." The term “classic car” was defined legally and uniformly for the first time. The date of first registration is decisive, not the year of construction . A minimum age of 30 years is now stipulated for both the “H license plate” and the red “07 oldtimer license plate”. Vehicles that were already registered under the old law with "07 license plates" enjoy comprehensive grandfathering ; this applies regardless of whether this label has been issued for a limited or unlimited period. With the new regulation, the legal recognition of youngtimers, which was valid until then, also expired .

The insurance requirements of old motor vehicles differ from those of everyday vehicles, for which the general services and TÜV / sticker inspections should be sufficient, and the technology is constantly evolving (safety, consumption, exhaust gas, etc.). There are basically two types of hurdles - different from case to case - when retrofitting classic cars: nostalgia or originality and the limits of feasibility (apart from costs). Different effects and risks make different rules necessary, e.g. a. with regard to the annual permitted total distance.

Collector 07 change number plate

Since March 1, 2007, a 07 interchangeable license plate can be issued that can be used for several vehicles that are at least 30 years old. The 07 number (e.g. ORT-07123) can be recognized by its red color, similar to the 06 dealer number (e.g. ORT-06123). The red 07 number comes with a red booklet ( different in the federal states ) in which the vehicles are entered. The tax is z. Currently, a flat rate of 46.02 euros per year for motorcycles and 191.73 euros for all other vehicles.

The definition of this in the 49th Exemption Ordinance to the StVZO: Test drives, test drives by motor vehicle experts, transfer drives, drives for maintenance and repairs as well as travel to and from as well as participation in events that include the presentation of vintage vehicles and the care of the vehicle are permitted Serve automotive cultural assets. This will not change even after the new FZV.

Before February 28, 2007, the limit was in place for 20 years. 07 plates that have already been approved for an unlimited period remain valid. For vehicles with limited 07 status, some that are younger than 30 years of age lose 07 status, while others do not. Some federal states have already guaranteed the registration of vehicles under 30 years of age registered up to the key date, regardless of a time limit for the license plate.

The pair of license plates is switched from one vehicle to the other so that only one can be in traffic at the same time. The normal everyday use of vehicles with 07 interchangeable license plates is not permitted. In turn, you can enter all environmental zones without an environmental badge.
In some cities and counties, the 07 plate is difficult to obtain, which is justified by concerns about possible abuse.

Requirements for the acquisition of this label:

  1. According to the intention of the legislator, the vehicle should be 30 years old, in exceptional cases (rarity status with expert opinion) also younger; in rare individual cases with very high numbers of the series also older than 30 years.
  2. It has to be temporarily shut down (and is therefore automatically omitted from the following statistics from KBA Flensburg after twelve months). This shutdown is mandatory in order to prevent hidden double registrations.
  3. In some grant cases - illegally - an all-year-round registered everyday vehicle had to be proven. When operated with seasonal license plates, two or more everyday vehicles should then complement each other in their registration intervals of twelve months.
  4. Individual registration offices misunderstand the change of the license plate as a barrier to entry and make the presence of at least two classic cars a condition - also without a legal basis. On the other hand, with 07 plates, up to ten, and on special request from the responsible district president, up to 20 oldtimers can be moved alternately.
  5. The license plate itself - not the vehicle - requires special insurance cover for old or youngtimers. Some insurance companies require photos of all sides of the vehicle, which prove a collectable condition or at least a rarity of the vehicle.
  6. Police clearance certificates are required in some districts.

The registration office calculates - as of 2006 - a fee of 96 euros plus 28 euros for the license plate plus 191.73 euros annual tax for cars, 46.02 euros for motorcycles and the like. In addition, there are the costs for liability insurance depending on the provider and vehicles.

Classic car H license plate
Example of an H mark

The registration as a historical vehicle , recognizable by the H at the end of the vehicle registration number (formal example ORT-DE 12H), is possible for vehicles that were first registered at least 30 years ago and that have passed an examination that shows the original or contemporary condition of the Vehicle confirmed. Changes (performance enhancement, chassis modifications) are only permitted if they are contemporary, whereby the examiners have a great deal of discretion. Sometimes a modern radio is enough to fail the exam. In principle, measures to reduce pollutant emissions are permissible, in particular a subsequently installed catalytic converter.

Usually, the license plates are issued as Euro plates , even if the vehicle previously had a DIN license plate . In Bremen and Hesse, an exception ordinance came into force after 2010, according to which, for an additional fee of 100 euros, instead of the EU “H mark”, DIN markings with the H suffix could also be issued; the option was abolished as it violated federal law.

All vehicles with a gasoline engine that were first registered before July 1, 1969, are exempt from the examination of the engine management and emission control system , as are all vehicles with a diesel engine that were first registered before January 1, 1977. All vehicles with an H license plate may enter all of them without a sticker Enter environmental zones in Germany.

The registration as a historic vehicle means a flat-rate vehicle tax (2005: 191.73 euros per year), which does not depend on the engine displacement or the emission class. However, especially for small vehicles, this can be higher than the taxation for normal registration.

The H license plate has no direct influence on insurance costs. However, many insurance companies offer significant discounts for vehicles that are at least 20 years old. The condition for such insurance is that the vehicle is not used in everyday life. In most cases, proof must also be provided that an everyday vehicle is available.

Stock of selected classic cars

According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority ( Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) , the number of passenger cars of selected vintage model series registered in Germany as of January 1st of the respective year is listed , regardless of their age or whether they have the H-plate.

model series 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Volkswagen Beetle 54,226 53,227 51,800 51,241 50.106
Sachsenring Trabant 38,912 37,124 34,846 33,726 32,997 32,485 32,311
Mercedes-Benz / 8 14,881 14,950 14,732 14,588
Citroën 2CV 14,063 13,613 13,120 12,874 12,646
Eisenach Wartburg automobile plant 8,727 8.222 7,769 7,485 7,349 7.195 7.134
Mercedes-Benz W 110 / W 111 / W 112 (tail fin) 5,843 5,896 5,831 5,794
Opel Manta 3,942 3,889 3,871 3,836 3,787
BMW 02 3,743 3,775 3,724 3,758
Fiat Nuova 500 3,340 3,438 3,476 3,528
Ford Capri 2,685 2,650 2,523 2,514 2,584
Renault 4 3,274 2,575 2,300 2.211 2,108


In legal texts in Austria one speaks of historical vehicles . Historically, according to Section 2, Paragraph 1, Item 43 of the Motor Vehicle Act, a vehicle that is worth preserving and not intended for permanent use is in an acceptable state of preservation

a) built in 1955 or before, or

b) that is older than 30 years and is entered in the list of historic vehicles approved by the Federal Minister for Science and Transport. (§ 131b) .

Room for maneuver: in cases of doubt, the minister decides; a voluntary expert advisory board gives recommendations for decision support: in general, for example for the vehicle list mentioned above (from Eurotax), as well as for individual applications, such as for models not listed or special equipment. Originality is worth preserving: for this, the main assemblies must be in their original condition. Accessories or spare parts may be offered in stores up to 10 years after the vehicle was manufactured and must be customary in the trade or close to the factory, must not impair the original impression and must be verified (literature, brochures, photos, etc.). If the basic character of the vehicle and its technical design features have changed within these limits, this leads to a reclassification according to the year of construction of the part concerned (with regard to correspondingly more recent, i.e. stricter conditions to be met: safety, exhaust gas, etc.).

Use (…) Historic motor vehicles may only be used 120 days per year, historic motorcycles only 60 days per year. Logbook-like records are to be kept of this use and presented to the authorities on request. Proof is possible 1) via a special insurance contract and deposit of the license plate number with the authorities (cheapest method), 2) via tachograph or control device, 3) via a logbook registered with a veterans club. (This must always be carried with you; detailed entry in advance, exact dates immediately after the journey; Organizations: 4 veterans clubs and the 2 largest motorist clubs.)

Furthermore u. a. Please note: EU-compliant noise limit of 89 dB (A), if no stricter criterion applies, and assessment every two years.


In Switzerland , automobiles are considered veterans from 25 or 30 years of age, depending on the canton. However, a vehicle does not automatically receive veteran status. In order for an oldtimer to be registered as a veteran, it must be in particularly good condition and be absolutely original during the motor vehicle inspection. However, there are no precise guidelines in terms of condition, officially the criterion “worth preserving” applies. In concrete terms, this means that the testing expert will only accept the vehicle as a veteran if, for example, welding work has been carried out on the body in a very high quality or if all rubber parts have been replaced that show even the slightest wear. Depending on the canton and the expert, the hurdle is higher or lower. Depending on the canton, up to five or ten vehicles can be registered under a tax-privileged veteran license, but the driver may not drive more than 3000 km per year with such a vehicle. Veterans vehicles that meet these conditions have only every six years in Verkehrsprüfzentrum ( Public Roads Administration ) to vehicle control (otherwise every two years). Veteran drivers are only required to wear seat belts if their vehicles were put into circulation after May 1972 (introduction of seat belt compulsory). However, if belts are fitted, they must also be put on.


In Italy , automobiles from the age of 20 are considered veterans (so-called: Auto d'epoca or Auto di inter- este storico e collezionistico).


In the Netherlands there was a simple rule until 2010 that a car that is 25 years or older counts as a classic car and subsequently - without a special check - was exempt from any tax payment and also from a special technical check for historically correct condition; an "oldtimer" was simply a car that was at least 25 years old according to the initial registration. Only the normal "technical control", safety of the brakes, etc. is mandatory to participate in road traffic. The state simply waives tax collection. In the Netherlands there is no need to check whether the status is "historically correct", as in Germany with the acceptance of the H mark. There are also no restrictions on use; the Dutch can simply continue to drive their older car. There are no other license plates for classic cars. Only the tax payment is omitted.

However, since January 1, 2014, new tax regulations apply to vintage cars in the Netherlands. In the future, a vehicle will only be considered a classic vehicle from the age of 40. For gasoline-engine cars with a year of manufacture (not model year) before January 1st, 1988, there is a special regulation until these cars are also 40 years old: privately-used gasoline-engine vehicles (including motorcycles, trucks and buses) built before January 1st, 1988. January 1988 up to 40 years of age vehicles cost at least a quarter of the normal tax rate, but a maximum of 120 euros per year and may not be moved or parked in public traffic in the months of January, February, December. Vehicles with gas (LPG) installations and diesel vehicles are generally excluded from the regulation.


In Namibia vehicles that are more than 25 years old are considered old wheelers . However, there is no special legal classification for such vehicles. B. concerns taxes. The owners of such vehicles are organized in the "Old Wheelers Club of Namibia". In detail, the following distinctions are made between classic cars:

  • Vehicles manufactured before December 31, 1904: Ancestor Vehicles
  • Vehicles manufactured between January 1905 and December 31, 1918: Veteran Vehicles
  • Vehicles manufactured between January 1, 1919 and December 31, 1930: Vintage Vehicles
  • Vehicles manufactured between January 1, 1931 and December 31, 1945: Post Vintage Vehicles
  • Vehicles manufactured between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1960: Post War Vehicles
  • Vehicles manufactured between January 1, 1961 and December 31, 1970: Post 1960 Vehicles
  • Vehicles manufactured after December 31, 1970 and at least 25 years old: Young Timer Vehicles

Classification according to year of construction

The internationally used classification, as used by the FIA, FIVA and national automobile clubs such as the AvD and the ADAC , is divided as follows:

  • A. Class: Ancestor. from the beginning to December 31, 1904.
  • B. Class: Veteran. from January 1, 1905 to December 31, 1918, also called Edwardians (GB) or Imperial Period (D)
  • C. Class: Vintage. from January 1, 1919 to December 31, 1930.
  • D. Class: Post Vintage. from January 1, 1931 to December 31, 1945.
  • E. Class: Post War. from January 1, 1946 to December 31, 1960.
  • F. class, vehicles built from January 1, 1961 to December 31, 1970.
  • G. class, vehicles from January 1, 1971 up to the 30-year age limit

A class H does not yet exist, one speaks, as in the case of Int. Concours d'Elegance in Schwetzingen , about classics of the future - classics of the future .

Additional terms such as Edwardians , Kaiserzeit , and Youngtimer (vehicles between 20 and 30 years old) are not in use internationally and only have national meaning. This is proven by the removal of the term youngtimer from Class F of the FIVA Technical Code, which will remain unnamed as of 2010. The terms pre-war and post-war classic cars, which are also frequently used, are unclear in their definition and are only used in common parlance. What is meant is the Second World War.

Classification by condition

Rating System

The following rating system has established itself in the scene to classify the optical and technical condition and to determine the value of vintage cars . It is mainly used to assess the financial value of the vehicle when buying or selling it and as a criterion for classic car insurance. For the use of the tendencies (+ or -) see under the definition of the condition marks .

Condition grades

  • Grade 1 (immaculate condition)
No defects, damage or signs of use in technology and optics. Completely and perfectly restored top vehicle. Like new (or better). Very rare.
  • Grade 2 (good condition)
Free of defects, but with slight (!) Signs of wear. Either rare, good unrestored original condition or professionally restored. Technically and optically perfect with slight signs of wear.
  • Grade 3 (used condition)
Without major technical or visual defects, fully roadworthy and roadworthy. No rust perforations. No immediate work necessary.
  • Grade 4 (used condition)
Only partially roadworthy. Immediate work for the required acceptance according to § 29 StVZO is necessary. Light to medium rust perforations. Complete in the individual assemblies, but not necessarily undamaged.
  • Grade 5 (condition in need of restoration)
Poor overall condition not ready to drive. Extensive work required in all assemblies. Not necessarily complete.

Grading system based on practical examples
  • Note 1
Often called "Body Off Restoration" in English: The body was separated from the chassis for this purpose, all axles were removed (ultimately every screw connection, etc. was loosened and every single part was inspected and overhauled). The car is like new or even better , because a very careful restoration can exceed the original factory delivery condition in terms of processing quality and rust protection. This also includes "matching numbers", i. H. Proof that a particular vehicle rolled off the assembly line with exactly the same engine and transmission that it is now equipped with. As far as can be understood, this also applies to all other parts (for example, with the Porsche 356 or Aston Martin , such a statement can be made for other parts). In addition, both the paint color and the color of the interior must match the original color.
  • Grade 2
Condition as a fully restored car would have after approx. Three years of careful use. Traces of use in the form of repaired stone chips, cleaning traces in the paintwork, traces on the pedals are permitted. State two is also achieved after an extensive restoration, whereby high demands are placed on the quality of execution and the fidelity to the original. Improvements, e.g. As a transmission from another model or about another gasifier at VW - boxer engines , are generally permitted, but must be contemporary and renaturalisation. Under no circumstances must a “Condition 2” car show rust, regardless of the extent to which it is or whether it is still invisible.
  • Note 3
Condition as a totally restored car has after approx. Ten years of careful use. Most classic cars meet this grade. The most obvious difference to grade 2 is that vehicles in condition 3 may have rust (but not on load-bearing parts). The engine should correspond to the engine of the original vehicle in type and performance (not in the year of construction)
  • Grade 4
A "Condition 4" car is ready to drive, but has significant defects and significant wear and tear, such as structural rust damage, worn interior or an engine in need of overhaul. The vehicle is complete in all parts (even if not always original) and not dismantled. The next general inspection can only be passed with considerable repair effort. For the value of such a car it is crucial whether the car is “on the mend” or “on the decline”. The first category includes a vehicle whose restoration has already begun. The latter group includes vehicles that have been steadily worn over the years and which have reached condition 4 in this way.
  • Grade 5
Vehicles in state 5 are not ready to drive and can only be restored with great effort. They have often been shut down for several years and not completely in all parts. As a rule, these vehicles are traded as so-called parts carriers (or with the indication “to be cannibalized”). The value of the car depends largely on two factors, namely the availability of spare parts on the one hand and the extent of damage to the floor pan or the body on the other . Vehicles in condition 5 are worth more if the supply of parts is still good. This is particularly the case if the manufacturer has a good supply of spare parts for oldtimers too, or if a scene of enthusiasts and dealers ensures a functioning supply of spare parts, such as B. in many English vehicles. The spare parts supply by BMW , Porsche and Mercedes-Benz for their old models is at a similarly high level . However, this usually results in a price corresponding to the quality of the spare parts supply.
  • Special note "unrestored original"
Unrestored example as found: the
Lancia Florida study
For some time now, the view has been gaining ground that a vehicle that has a " patina " and whose appearance tells of another time should enjoy a higher value. A car that is a contemporary witness and can tell a story is then referred to as an "unrestored original". Although a grade of 3 or 4 is possible according to the above criteria, if only because of wear and tear, such vehicles often achieve the value of a car in condition 2. This is especially the case with vehicles that have achieved a certain fame , e.g. B. through television appearances, race victories or record drives.
This question is often controversially discussed in the clubs because the owners of cars that have been restored at great expense and with a lot of time feel provoked by a car that is claimed to be valuable, unrestored: how could it be that a car with bad, old? paint is more valuable than a newly painted car? The argument is: You can buy a new paint at any time, but not the original new paint at the time of production: it is irreplaceable.
The fact that this opinion was even able to emerge and prevail is probably due to the manufacturers' better corrosion protection since around the 1980s: In the case of years of construction around this time, the probability is higher that a car with a "patina" does not yet have any serious corrosion damage and thus both usability and restoration are more easily given.

Today, unrestored vehicles are rated according to the so-called A criteria, which document the degree of original substance. In fact, especially original vehicles today cost up to 3 times the condition 1. This trend can be observed especially in America, where original vehicles are publicly auctioned and the demand is high. In the course of the creation of the “Charter of Turin”, which is intended to provide instructions for the handling and preservation of the technical heritage, these vehicles are classified as works of art and irretrievable witnesses.

Delimitation of the condition grades

The great majority of the condition grades given by a seller do not correspond to the actual condition. In particular, it should be noted that the "tendencies" (e.g. 2 minus) in status information are often an invention of the seller and are used to determine the starting point for negotiations, i.e. a discussion that a vehicle in the claimed status "two minus" in truth only in state three or four is not wanting to allow it in the first place. Within the status grades there are then trading margins for the prices , which can be used up or down.

As a rule, the grade 1 is not openly traded, if it is, then rarely only among insiders and club members, since the costs required to keep a car in state one or even to bring it back to state one are extremely high . A first owner will usually not want to give up his car for life, so inheritance is the norm for a change of owner.

Although some definitions of the condition grade 2 agree with those of the federal German " H mark ", the evaluation is by no means congruent. In fact, there are more matches with the grade 3: the freshly received H license plate more or less secures a status 3, but is by no means proof that a vehicle is in status 2. This will often be the case, but often not, because not all details are original. Bad purchases of alleged condition two vehicles are ultimately often the most expensive purchases if it then turns out that a number of features of originality are not given. Therefore, a knowledgeable accompaniment is always advisable when buying if the buyer lacks own competence. Experts can be found in the brand clubs, often with a higher level of specific knowledge than the broad-based motor vehicle experts and appraisers.

Although conditions only relate to the entire vehicle (ie not “essentially condition 2” or “ body condition 3”), the value of a classic car depends on many value-creating factors. If, for example, an assembly or a feature deviates significantly from the overall condition (condition 3 oldtimer with engine damage or with a new engine), added value or repair costs must be taken into account separately in order to obtain a realistic market price. The reconstruction costs are regularly higher than the market value. For this reason there is no significant market for “State 1” cars . As a rule of thumb for the value of a classic car, the "3-to-1 rule" applies, which states that for three euros, which is invested in the car, at a sale only one receives back. In addition, the value of one's own labor is not taken into account.

Classification using the FIVA vehicle pass

The FIVA vehicle pass (FIVA Identity Card) is issued by FIVA for recognized historical vehicles after a test. In Germany, the national representation of FIVA is the ADAC . The pass is valid for ten years and is used to unequivocally identify a vehicle in order to counteract the increasingly frequent counterfeiting of vehicles, especially in the high-price segment. However, the FIVA pass does not make any statement about the originality of a vehicle. This is indicated in a kind of disclaimer on the back of the document.

The classification according to the year of construction corresponds to the above. Classification from A to G.

The technical classification is based on vehicle classes and maintenance groups. The most common classification is "A3". "A1" and "A2" are very rare.

Vehicle classes

  • A. Type: Standard - standard equipment
  • B. Type: contemporary changed - changed in its time
  • X. Type: exception - changes according to their time
  • C. Type: Replica - replica of a historical vehicle

Conservation groups

  • Group 1: authentic - completely in its original condition
  • Group 2: original - complete history, never restored
  • Group 3: restored - restored, insignificant deviations
  • Group 4: rebuilt - rebuilt close to manufacturer specification


Drive-in cinema for vintage cars in the "classic city" of Frankfurt .


An avant-garde of the classic car scene was already forming in the early 20th century. In England, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run increased public interest in the extravagance of historic vehicles. From there, collectors brought unusual cars to Germany. The owners joined clubs and are now represented on an international level by FIVA . The visual attractiveness of the oldtimers combined with a general enthusiasm for technology and the high recreational value of the hobby ultimately created a broad scene. To preserve the originality of the vehicles, a business environment has developed that includes dealerships and specialized workshops as well as the trade press and websites. Classic car fans are also increasingly a target group for tourism advertising. One example of this is the "Oldtimerland Bodensee", which is used by tourism organizations, museums, trade fair organizers and the like. Ä. Is marketed together.

In the meantime, in addition to the originality faction of the classic car scene, which has mainly been dealt with up to now, a mostly quite young and lively scene has emerged that view classic cars as part of their lifestyle. Outstanding here is certainly the rockabilly and hot rod scene, which certainly represents a significant part of automotive history and culture, albeit mostly US. Due to their subcultural demarcation and the lack of regulations, these scenes are more accessible if financial resources are less of a priority for dealing with interesting vehicles. For example, oldtimers that are not in their original condition are also sought and valued here. Most of the time, a contemporary tuning of vehicles is definitely the goal of conversions and performance increases. This growing scene in Germany has so far received little attention in the conventional evaluation for the award of an H-license plate, as well as for classic car insurance.


Oldtimers are only noticeable to a limited extent in public streets, as the number of registered oldtimers only accounts for a good half a percent of the total number of vehicles and their mileage is around a tenth. Therefore, they are presented to the interested public in traffic museums. In addition to these permanent facilities, classic cars are temporarily shown at trade fairs and at classic car meetings.

Classic car meeting

Classic car meetings take place around the globe between spring and autumn . At these events, which are often organized by relevant clubs, the owners, who have usually invested considerable effort in the procurement of spare parts and restoration work, can show their classic cars to the public. The vehicle manufacturers have also discovered the advertising value of the older vehicles in their production in recent years, have set up vehicle museums and (mostly) support the brand clubs.

Classic car rallies

Classic car rallies are run on a local, regional and international level. Examples of rallies with an international character are the Mille Miglia in Italy, the Sachs Franken Classic and the AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix in Germany, the Flying Scotsman in Great Britain or the Silvretta Classic and Ennstal-Classic in Austria.

This is mostly about regularity tests (at a non-international level often also orientation tasks) and not about achieving the best times. For this purpose, a large number of sporty devices are built into the vehicles, from radio clocks and odometers to rally computers. As with other sports, for many participants it is more about driving and the social aspect than getting first place - despite the ambition that some participants develop, it is not a professional sport.


In recent years, historic automobiles have also been in great demand as an investment after the global economic crisis . Series vehicles from the Bugatti , Duesenberg and Mercedes-Benz brands as well as racing vehicles from the manufacturers Ferrari , Maserati and Porsche “experienced” rapid increases in value of up to 600 percent compared to 2008. The DOX (German Oldtimer Index), which has existed since 2000, has an average growth rate of 5.6 percent and more than doubled by 2014. Individual vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz W 198 or the Porsche 911 Carrera RS received a 12-fold increase in value from 2000 to 2014. In the high-price segment of the "ten masters of returns" there are also AC Cobra , Aston Martin DB5 , Bentley R-Type Continental , BMW 507 , Bizzarrini GT 5300 , Ferrari GT Lusso , Lamborghini Miura and Maserati Ghibli Spider , whose values ​​range from 2000 to 2015 has at least sixfold, while the value for classics in the lower price segment has doubled over the same period.


  • Brauckmann, Missbach, Schroeder, Schütt: TÜV Rheinland-Handbuch Oldtimer . Kirschbaum Verlag, Bonn 2016, ISBN 978-3-7812-1943-4 .
  • Oldtimer Markt , OldtimerPraxis Spezial: Motorcycle prices 2007. p. 11 (see also the article “The sheet music” in the same booklet from page 8).
  • Klaus Himmelreich, Wolfgang Hahn: Handbook of the specialist lawyer for traffic law. 3. Edition. Verlag Luchterhand, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-472-07593-6 , chap. 46: Classic car law. P. 2641 ff. (On the individual topics of "classic car sales", "classic car restoration", "classic car approval", "classic car insurance", "classic car event").
  • Mark Schönleiter: Oldtimer Law in the Jurisprudence of German Civil Courts - A compilation of oldtimer-specific judgments. Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-00-045077-8 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Oldtimer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : historical cars  - collection of images


  1. Thanks to new technical possibilities as well as changed materials and comprehensive corrosion protection, a completely restored vehicle can exceed its new condition.

Individual evidence

  1. Karsten Röbisch: Rolling cultural assets - this is how oldtimers are insured. GDV, May 12, 2015, accessed on May 13, 2015 .
  2. a b c Annual Report 2009 (PDF; 2.1 MB) Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, p. 22 , accessed on October 15, 2014 .
  3. Less and less Trabis. (PDF; 123 kB) Federal Motor Transport Authority, accessed on October 15, 2014 .
  4. Number of passenger cars on January 1, 2012 by manufacturer and selected features. (PDF; 5.0 MB) In: Statistische Mitteilungen des Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt FZ 2, January 1, 2012. Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, July 2012, p. 6 , accessed on October 15, 2014 .
  5. Every 100th passenger car is a classic car. (PDF; 137 kB) Federal Motor Transport Authority, accessed on October 15, 2014 .
  6. Passenger car stock on January 1, 2013 by manufacturer and selected features. (PDF; 4.2 MB) In: Statistische Mitteilungen des Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt FZ 2, January 1, 2013. Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, July 2013, p. 6 , accessed on October 15, 2014 .
  7. Passenger car stock on January 1, 2014 by manufacturer and selected features. (PDF) In: Statistische Mitteilungen des Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt FZ 2, January 1, 2014. Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, July 2014, p. 8 , accessed on October 15, 2014 .
  9. ^ Constitution of the Old Wheelers Club of Namibia. Old Wheelers Club of Namibia. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  10. Oldtimer Market : Classic Motorcycles . No. 8. 2014, p. 12
  11. TÜV Rheinland Handbook Oldtimer: Registration - Purchase - Trends - Value Retention. Kirschbaum Verlag, Bonn 2016, ISBN 978-3-7812-1943-4 , p. 167.
  12. Bernhard Ebel (Ed.): Automotive Management. 2014, p. 467 ff.
  13. Martin Halder: From buildings, people and engines. In: Nicolai Oliver Herbrand (ed.): Scenes of three-dimensional brand staging. 2008, p. 433.
  14. ^ Christian Suhr: GDR truck classics. 2005, p. 6.
  15. Matthias Becker, Axel Grimm, A. Willi Petersen, Reiner Schlausch (eds.): Competence orientation and structures of commercial-technical vocational training. 2000, p. 39.
  16. Dossier: Oldtimer on Lake Constance Collection of newspaper articles and internet links, accessed on November 27, 2014.
  17. Oldtimer inventory continues to grow
  18. Vehicle inventory
  19. TÜV Rheinland Handbook Oldtimer: p. 187.
  20. TÜV Rheinland Handbook Oldtimer: p. 188.
  21. Oldtimer Index (accessed on October 3, 2016)
  22. TÜV Rheinland-Handbuch Oldtimer: pp. 191, 196.
  23. TÜV Rheinland-Handbuch Oldtimer: pp. 198 to 201, 202 to 205.