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If my friend recently buys a classic car, how could I say "this is his new car" speaking only of it as a newly acquired car and not giving the impression that the car itself is new (i.e., has 0 miles on it)?

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  • This is usually called "new-to-me": "Here is my new-to-me motorcycle."
    – Hot Licks
    May 8, 2015 at 21:19

6 Answers 6

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"This is the classic car my friend recently purchased." Using the word classic to describe the car already indicates that it is not a brand-new vehicle.

If he has more than one, you could say, "This is his most recently purchased classic car." or "This is his latest purchase."

I collect vintage sewing machines, and I will say, "I got a new vintage sewing machine today," without confusion ensuing.

Old is another good word in need of rehabilitation. "Check out this old typewriter I just bought." Sometimes we say classic or vintage or antique when we could as easily say old.

Possibly related to our culture's obsession with youth and vitality, old has acquired the negative connotations of worn-out, used-up, tired, etc. There's nothing wrong with being old, as many an old person can attest to.

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I'd simply say "this is his new car".

If it had 0 miles on it I'd say "this is his brand new car" instead.

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You could say it's the car he just bought.

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The classic car is his new/latest buy:

  • Something bought; a purchase. (AHD)
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In today's upscale, status-conscious world, used-car dealers have attempted to renovated the originally low-rent connotations associated with the terms "used" and "second-hand owner-ship" and transform them into a putative virtue, so nowadays your friend's newly purchased automobile will likely be described in advertisements as Certified Pre-Owned.

A certified pre-owned car or CPO is a type of used car. Most often late-model, they differ from other used cars by having been inspected, refurbished, and certified by a manufacturer or other certifying authority. They also typically include an extended warranty, special financing, and additional benefits. Luxury marques Lexus and Mercedes-Benz were among the first to create CPO programs in the 1990s. see Wikipedia Certified Pre-Owned.

A selling-point of these formerly "secondhand" vehicles is that being pre-owned also means they are "pre-driven" and, thus, their engines have already been "broken-in". Dealers often make this sound like the previous owners have done you a bleeding favor. Gee, thanks.

Here’s an actual example:

Pros and Cons of Certified Pre-Owned Cars

Pro: Factory-certified pre-owned means peace of mind; with the inspection, repairs and warranty, you've saved the time and money it would have taken to find and make them yourself.

Con: Though it will save you time, you could probably get those things yourself for less money. Plus, even when a car is certified there's no guarantee it will be trouble-free, so you should still pay the money to have your mechanic inspect it. See Cars.com Certified Pre-Owned

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To my mind a "collector's car" tells me that the vehicle cannot be ‘spanking’ new. However, if you do know when the car was built, use one of the technical terms below to sound like a real expert in cars.

  • veteran car: a car made before 1919 or (sometimes) 1905
  • vintage: a car made between 1919 and 1930
  • classic car: an older type of car, usually one that is no longer produced and that people like to own because it looks very stylish or has special features
  • According to Classic Car Club of America it defines Full Classic™ Cars as "...fine or unusual motor cars which were built between and including the years 1925 to 1948
  • modern classic: These vehicles [...] ranging from 15 to 25 years, but are usually not accepted as ‘classics’ according to the Antique Automobile Club of America.

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