A vehicle is strictly considered to be vintage when it has been operating for at least thirty years and, in addition, matches its original condition as close as possible. There are four different conservation groups into which antique vehicles may be divided. These depend on the original condition, the restoration status or a replica/reconstruction respectively.
The German term "Oldtimer" is somewhat misleading here, as the actual English term is "vintage". The now antiquated German term for vintage, "Schnauferl", came from the usual sound of the blow-off valve, which was used as an inlet valve at that time. The oldest Vintage Club in Germany is the Allgemeine Schnauferl-Club (ASC), which was named for this phenomenon after being founded in 1900.
The restoration and upkeep of vintage tractors has become more popular in Germany since the 70s, with associations and syndicates being founded to devote themselves to these tasks. Vintage enthusiasts are fascinated above all by the visual attractiveness and the rarity of the vehicles, but the technical aspects and the high recreational value also create enthusiasm among vintage fans.
In the general public, old models are primarily shown at vintage meetings; they are seen less often in road traffic, as they only make up a small section of vehicles (some are not permitted due to safety requirements) and, in addition, their upkeep can be very costly.