When Plastic Becomes Classic – The New Historics 20 March 2017 08:11 Rare Spares General, Rare Spares (0) ShareIf you are anything like us, in the last couple of years you may have found yourself with a confused look on your face as you sit at the traffic lights or cruise down the highway on the weekend. In front of you is a car on Historic or Club plates that is absolutely not historic from your perspective! Of course Historic and Classic are different things to different people and even definitions vary, but we would be safe to assume that most people view an XYGT Falcon, an original Mini Cooper, a Datsun 1600, a ’57 Chevy and a A9X Torana as classics, whereas Historic vehicles tend be 1940’s and earlier in our book. As time marches on though, so does the rolling Historic/Classic/Club registration systems that have been adopted across the country. Most Australian States and Territories employ rolling 30 year Historic/Classic permit schemes, whereas Victoria and WA have a rolling 25 year cut off for Historic vehicles. SA has adopted an alternative philosophy, with a fixed date for cars needing to be built before 1/1/1979 to be eligible. For the most part, these schemes rely on a club’s helping to administer the approvals and there are generally some additional requirements and technicalities across the states, however we would have to write a thesis to explain all the ins and outs for each state. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have some Australia wide regulations on these types of schemes! It may be a pipe dream, but we can always hope. It’s important to note that as we write this article, if we wind back time 30 years, it would be March in 1987. Even scarier however for the status of ‘Historics’ is that WA and Victoria are now accepting vehicles older than March 1992! As 1992 represents the newer wave of what is eligible in these states, we will focus on this year for the sake of simplicity; and for other states, take it as a sign of things to come. As we scan our way across models released in 1992, a picture starts to emerge of the reality we are starting to see appear on our roads. So what cars were built in 1992? Starting locally, the Holden VP Commodore was well into production and everything from a Berlina to a rare VP HSV Maloo Ute could receive the historic treatment. Over in the blue oval corner, Ford had just released the EBII Falcon GLi and in fact next month is 25 years since the EBII XR8 hit the showrooms. The records show that after the Falcon and Commodore, the remainder of the Top Ten cars sold in Australia in 1992 are the Mitsubishi Magna, Toyota Camry and Corolla, Ford Laser, Toyota Landcruiser, Nissan Pulsar, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Lancer and the Holden Rodeo. Perhaps not all of these cars will meet criteria or will be approved, but from what we can see generally could be considered under the schemes in Vic and WA. If money was no object, why not register a 1992 McLaren F1 road car? Another shock has been was seeing imported JDM vehicles such as the Nissan Silvia and Skyline’s already running around on Club/Historic plates. Hyundai X2 Excel anybody? Didn’t think so, but if you were keen the option is there! The rest of Australia may be eyeing off 30 year old vehicles still, but if Victoria and WA’s schemes are anything to go by, we will be quickly shifting our definition of Classic and Historic, at least as it applies to registration. So the next time you double take on a car that is very un-historic, consider the future. There will come a time when that VF commodore wagon in the garage might be ready……..scary thought! Are you currently running a car on Historic/Club/Classic registrations schemes or eyeing off a model that is about to become eligible? We’d love to hear your stories and experiences in this area from around Australia.