What’s the oldest car you know of?
If you want to know what your grandpa drove, that’s fine, but if you want the oldest cars on Earth, that might be a bit harder to come by.
That’s because there are a few dozen old cars in the world, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
But these aren’t all the vehicles that existed before the turn of the century, and they’re certainly not all the cars that exist today.
“We’re just trying to keep up with the pace of research,” said Paul Vetter, a professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Institute who specializes in automotive history.
That means that old-school cars that are still in use today might not be in a position to tell us much about what the future holds for cars, which is why some of the oldest are being listed in archives.
Vetter said it’s difficult to say whether these old cars are really the oldest because many of them are so old that the original paint, wheels, and tires aren’t still there.
That makes them difficult to tell apart from modern models that have been repainted and are being sold.
“There are some cars that you would have thought were older than they are, but that are in some cases still operating,” Vetter told Newsweek.
“The most common example is a 1955 Dodge Dart.”
Vetter and his colleagues analyzed about 600 records for more than 100 cars dating back to 1869.
They found that of the 6,000 vehicles, about 800 were older in terms of their paint, but still in good condition.
Of those, roughly a third were older vehicles that had been repaint and were in good shape, but were still in the process of being repainted.
The other third were vehicles that were still being built and were being repaint.
In some cases, cars were being built with the original wheels and tires, but with new paint that had faded or had been painted with paint chips.
Some of the cars on this list that Vetter analyzed are older than 300 years old.
Veter said there are lots of cars out there that are out of service, but not the oldest ones.
“If there’s one car out there, that has not been driven by a grandpa, then it’s probably a good car,” he said.
“It’s probably one of the few things that I can find in the history books that hasn’t been driven on a dirt road.”
Vett said there’s a good chance that a car on this site was driven by an older person, but the odds are that the car hasn’t really been driven in decades, which would make it difficult to determine whether it’s the most historic car.
There are plenty of cars that were built and are in good working order, but they’re not in any great condition, and that makes them easy to tell from a photo.
A couple of the older cars on eBay were also in good state, but Vetter didn’t find any pictures that matched up with those cars.
“One of the cool things about this project is that you can look at these cars, you can tell a lot about the people who owned them, and you can identify a car that is older than it is,” Veter told Newsweek, “but if it is one of those cars that we can tell about, it’s still going to be a good candidate to tell the story of how the car came to be there.”
In fact, it could be the car that actually came to live on a farm, and if that’s the case, the buyer might have the best chance of finding a buyer.
“That’s why we have this sort of a long list of the things that are available, and the one thing that you never get is a vehicle that’s not in a good state of preservation,” Vett explained.
“So the question we really want to figure out is, ‘Do these vehicles belong in this world?
Do they belong here?'”