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Understanding the Condition Rating System

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There are many different condition rating systems to ascertain the market value for a classic car. These rating systems not only affect the price of the car, but also estimate the amount of work and expense required to restore it. Rating systems will only consider the interior, exterior, rust and mechanics of the car. Desirability and rarity won't be a factor in the car’s condition or affect the condition rating.

Two of the most frequently used are the 100 point system or the Six Categories of condition. The 100 Point System is based on this scale:

100 = PERFECT A professional nut and bolt restoration complete and perfect in all aspects or a vehicle in absolutely perfect original condition. The interior and exterior details and condition of the car are usually better than when it came off the production line

90 = EXCELLENT A very well or superior restoration, or a car in excellent original condition that would be a near flawless.

80 = FINE A Completely operable vehicle that is possibly an older restoration or an original car that shows minimal wear. This rating would be considered “show” quality.

70 = VERY GOOD A nice, complete car, possibly an older restoration that might be showing signs of age. This rating might be used for a well cared for daily driven vehicle.

60 = GOOD A drivable vehicle that does show wear and may need minor mechanical work or cosmetics. This would be considered a mildly restorable vehicle with no major flaws.

50 = DRIVER A daily driver that is a complete functional car in good driving condition. It will have several flaws but is running and fair cosmetically.

40 = RESTORABLE This vehicle would need restoration of the motor, body, interior and/or chassis. A car in this class should be more or less complete and not require a tremendous number of parts.

30 = PARTIAL This is a car that would require an extensive restoration and a significant amount of parts and labor. This class of car will be a very time consuming and costly restoration.

20 = PARTS CAR This class of car is an un-restorable parts vehicle which would not worthy of a complete restoration. These cars are sometimes called “rust buckets” or "basket cases".

If you are reading a car review or attending an auction that uses the six category system, it is easily translatable from the 100 point system.

  • Category 1 would be a 90 + point car
  • Category 2 would be a 80 - 89 point car
  • Category 3 would be a 70 - 79 point car
  • Category 4 would be a 60 - 69 point car
  • Category 5 would be a 40 - 59 point car
  • Category 6 is any car under a 40 point car
When you are looking for the classic car of your dreams, using this rating scale will help you determine how many "points" your check book can afford. And remember to use our detailed "Inspection Check List" and the "Determining the Market Value of a Classic Car" outline we have made available to you on this site.

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