Garry in Tampa wrote:In my opinion a lot depends on the motor and not the year. The very first outboards were "Row Boat Motors". Heavy sand cast monsters that were still better than rowing. A revolution in the early '20s saw lighter faster motors which I call "Antiques". These still had the heavy sand cast Iron cylinders and some were built until 1951. Johnson started Die casting in the late '30s and motors got lighter. The true change to the Classic happened when Johnson and Scott Atwater introduced the full F-N-R gear shift in 1950. In my opinion The next revolution happened when electronic ignition took over in the 1970s. I call these later motors Modern Classics. And yes - I am an Antique . . .
If I understand it, now there are two classes, Antique and Classic. Perhaps a few more classes would be helpful as Garry suggests:
Row Boat Motor
Modern Classic with the rolling 30 yr age
And then best in show, ie best of the best
That aligns with many car/motorcycle show I've been to, original Model T doesn't compete with a hot rod or Porsche etc
Opinions are like belly buttons.....