You might have a difficult time knowing whether you should buy a certain classic car. Deciding on buying a vintage ride is a harder task than buying a two-year old used car, because there’s much more at stake. Because a classic might be twenty to thirty years old, you must be sure that you are really getting what you pay for.
Here are some easy tips on what to look for when buying classic cars.
1. A Car in Good Condition, or at Least a Restorable One
Unless you are buying for parts, you should buy cars that, if not in a good condition, are restorable. Even if you see a rare Shelby sold at a very low price, if everything in it is damaged by rust (well, except the seats), do not even think about buying it. You will be just buying junk, since degradation may occur before you even have the chance to clean up all the rust.
Cars with exterior rust which can be easily wiped off and cleaned are okay. Thick dust accumulated on the paint is okay. But a car being eaten up by years of abuse is not.
2. A Car that Will Appreciate in Value
A good advice to anyone who’s thinking of collecting classic cars: do not buy everything that’s more than 20 years old. Not everything that is old is classic. A family Corolla will always be a cheap car, unless it is a first-generation one. And even if it is a first-generation vehicle, that family car will probably have less value than other cars in the ’60s.
Look for those that are marketable, such that you can sell it and profit. Do a simple research on leading classic car dealers, and look for vehicles which they are selling at a high price. You want to have those cars, not the ones that could be bought in a used car shop in almost perfect condition for a mere hundred.
3. A Car that has a Good History
Classic cars are classic not because of their age, but because of the added historic value that it carries. First-generation cars are almost always good for collecting, since they carry with them a good piece of history: the first release of a certain model. Limited-edition vehicles are better, and even those that became part of popular culture are great.
4. Cars with the Proper Paperwork and Documentation
When you spot a car of your liking, ask for the necessary paperwork and documents. You would not want to buy a smuggled or stolen car. A car that comes with all the proper documents is also easier to apply for insurance. Also, you can easily spot how many repairs and what modifications were made through these documents.
5. A Car that You Really Like
And of course, all this talk about cars that increase in value and carries a good history would not be as important as your preference. If you do not like big-tailed cars, then do not buy big-tailed cars, no matter how much cheap you can find one and how much profit could be gained from restoring it. If you don’t like the particular classic car, chances are you won’t lift a finger to restore and maintain it. Doing so will be like buying expensive trash.
Always remember when buying classic cars, look for a car that is in a good or restorable condition, that will appreciate in value, that carries a good history, that has the proper paperwork, and of course, one that you really like. By doing so, you will get greater value for that classic car.