I'd been wondering about this in regards to bicycles lately. Exactly how does one define a "classic" bike? In other words, what seperates the classic from the rest of the bikes? Age? Beauty?
One of the reasons I've been wondering this is I have a couple of friends who are into classic cars and they drag me (willingly) to various events, usually in the back seat of one of their classic automobiles. Perhaps not surprisingly, I've found them a good source of advice on older bikes as well-- not necessarily which models are best, but certain repair and appearance tips.
Now the "classic" in the car department is at least twenty-five years old. This is the age at which you can get antique plates for a car in my state, and also the cut-off for classic car shows like the one in Hershey (worth going to at least once, IMHO; I may head up to the classic auto trading show in Carlisle one year, too. Too bad there's not anything on the scale of either event for bikes). So there's a certain age a car needs to be before it's considered a classic.
Talking to these folks, I also get the feeling there's a certain undefinable esthetic quality to a classic as well. An old Ford Pinto doesn't qualify at twenty five years, but a 440 six pack Dodge Dart does... but as a car gets even older, this more aesthetic standard seems to get relaxed. For example, one friend reports her early sixties Rambler is now considered a classic, where a couple of years ago it really wasn't (her '59 caddy, on the other hand, was a classic the instant it hit 25). The dictates of fashion, I suppose, which strike me as too ephemeral to even attempt to define.
Just curious how you lot feel this relates to bikes. What the heck is a "classic", anyway?