Have you ever said, or heard somebody else say, “They just don’t make cars like they used to?” While some may not believe this to be true, you can’t deny the fact that cars were manufactured and styled much differently than they are now. Just looking at a two-door ’67 Chevelle makes me wish I was around when these beasts frequently roamed the streets. In fact, big-block, gas guzzling vehicles such as Camaros, Corvettes and Chevelles are growing in popularity among classic car collectors today despite the fact that our gas prices keep climbing. But if you look at the style of cars like these and compare them to the average car from today, such as a Honda Accord, the difference is striking.
Appreciation of these vehicles is just one reason people purchase and collect classic cars. Whether you are looking to purchase a vintage beauty as a fix-up or just want to have your favorite old-time classic sitting in your garage, you should be well-informed before actually purchasing. For years Montway has been shipping classic cars all over the country, and over time we’ve picked up on a few trusty tips from vintage car owners nationwide.
So before you make your first classic car purchase, take a look at these tips and make sure you are as informed as possible. A vintage beauty may seem irresistible, but without the right research and information it can easily turn into an endless money pit.
1. Look for Low Mileage
Buyers may glaze over the car’s mileage considering the fact that classic cars are much older and will have many miles docked already. While this is true, and miles may not always matter, if you are looking to resell the vehicle you will certainly want to pay attention to the mileage. The lower the mileage, the better the value. If mileage is something that doesn’t really matter to you, you must at least know that mileage plays a large part in the pricing of a vehicle. If the car has 100,000+ miles, then that should be reflected in the cost. You must also consider how the car runs in relation to how many miles it has. If the vehicle was maintained properly, then mileage may not be a factor.
2. Do Your Homework
It can be very tempting to jump at the first vintage set of wheels that catches your eye, but it’s not a good idea. You should be well-versed in the car you want to purchase and know how much it is selling for on average. Think about it: today, there is a lot that goes into just buying a used car for everyday use. Buyers must know what they are getting into before they purchase the car such as the typical mechanical issues, how many miles to the gallon, performance rating, etc. When purchasing a classic car you have to think about things like this, but also much more.
At the very least you should know the average selling price of the car so you can easily compare prices. If you can get in touch with people that own this vehicle and learn more about it directly from them, you can learn a great deal. This is one of the best ways to gain useful information on your classic car.
3. Buy What You Like, Not What You Think Will Sell
Part of the fun in purchasing a vintage set of wheels is that you get to own a vehicle you absolutely love and perhaps dreamed of owning for quite some time. Of course, people that purchase classic cars with the specific intent of selling will want to go for the car with the most value. However if this is your first vintage buy, then you should truly go for a car that you would personally love to drive. Plus, if you are going to put a lot of money, sweat and work into this car then you want to enjoy looking at it!
4. Pay Attention to the Details
When it comes to classic cars, there are a lot of small things you will want to look out for, and part of this comes with doing your homework. Perhaps it is the most obvious tip, but try to stay away from classics that are rusted through. A bit of rust here and there can be easy to fix, but if large parts of the vehicle are covered in rust, you will have to replace them. This can be expensive and it compromises the originality of the car in the end- which is something you may not want.
Another part of the vehicle you want to pay attention to is color. Since you are looking into purchasing a classic, you know full-well that the colors cars were painted in the past are much different than the cars we see today. Two-toned paint jobs, pastel colors, and a vibrant red exterior with bright white leather interior are definitely things of the past. In fact, car color is often part of the allure we have to vintage cars. So keep color in mind and know that the rarer it is, the more value it probably has.
In the same way, the less cars that were manufactured the more valuable they will be. In other words, the rarer the car, the higher the value. The reason for this is fairly common sense, but if there were only 50 models of a certain make manufactured and you own one, then you have a highly coveted vehicle because it is rarely seen. This is part of doing your homework and having this information before actually purchasing is very valuable.
5. Don’t Buy a Stolen Vehicle!
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many stolen vehicles actually end up being sold online and at auctions. You wouldn’t want to purchase a stolen vehicle, so be sure to do a history report. With this you can also see how many people owned the vehicle in the past and you can make a much more informed decision on what you’d like to do.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Motor74