What is it about classic cars that make then so enviable? Is it the raw roar that echoes out of a 1969 Ford GT40 or the hair whippin' in the wind feeling of a top-down 60s-era Shelby Cobra? Whatever it is, collectors are willing to shell out big bucks for the car of their dreams. At auctions last year, the most expensive car purchased was a 1994 McLaren F1 LM-Specification for $19.8 million. (Most definitions consider cars over the age of 20 to be 'classic.')

Some car enthusiasts may not realize that many states have regulations that stand in the way of hitting the open road with a classic car. One example is The Golden State: "California doesn't always make it easy on car owners. For example, if you're driving a Bandit-ready 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, it had better have all of the emissions equipment it had when it rolled out of the factory or it won't pass a smog check," writes Craig Fitzgerald for Hagerty.

To determine which states are the most classic car-friendly, Hagerty, a specialty automotive insurer, ranked each state based on a number of criteria, including:

  • Registration
  • Inspections
  • Taxes
  • Emissions tests
  • Title requirement
  • Road quality
  • Traffic
  • Weather

Hagerty also searched each state's DMV website for additional information and spoke with classic vehicle owners to gather their opinions.

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Heather A. Turner

Heather A. Turner is the managing editor of ALM's NU Property & Casualty Group. She can be reached at [email protected].