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What Makes a Classic

An often asked question, but perhaps more relevant to this blog, when does a car become a classic? The reason I raise the question is that over the last weekend we were fortunate to attend the Silverstone Classic. Without doubt this is one of the best events on the classic calendar, it showcases a vast array of both classic road and race cars, as well as fantastic racing. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Retro run which allows drivers of classic cars to participate in a countryside road tour culminating in a lap of the race circuit.

And this brings me to the earlier question. The Retro run included the familiar classics such as MGBs, Spitfire, Stags, Jaguars and the like, but much to my surprise leading the parade was a Mark 1 Audi TT in Silver.

I must confess to a small chuckle, not because I have anything against the TT, in fact as you will see I like it quite a lot. But no the reason for the chuckle is that it was identical to my current everyday means of transport, and in truth I hadn't really considered it a classic. To me its a fun car, one that makes the drive to and from work a little less mundane. Ours is 16 years old (too young perhaps for classic status?), shows a few signs of age and needs a little more care than a newer model.

But if we take age out of the debate then there are perhaps some clear indications of its classic credentials. A 1.8 litre turbo charged engine with 225bhp means this car still packs a punch far bigger than many so called sports cars being built today. Of course what this car really packs is a set of looks that have set it aside from any other on the road. It looked special when it rolled of the production line, and still does today. Indeed I would propose that the first generation of TT looks better then each subsequent one. Inside the interior remains a special place, with a low sporty driving position, and a design that is coherent all the way through.

So its probably inevitable that the TT will be a classic, and for some it already is. For me I'm just not sure that a car I use everyday is.

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