A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Classic Cars

They don’t make them like they used to, which is why the cars of our grandparent’s generation are so interesting but can also be intimidating. Appreciating the beauty of the body style and interiors is great for knowing what you like to look at, but how can you translate that to knowing how to invest in one? Researching classic cars used to require a newspaper or special magazine subscription, but not anymore. Hop online and start simply by browsing what you already know. Once you have a handle on the general specifications you are looking for regarding purchase, this site provides help to point you in the right direction for the specifics. Above all though do not forget to take your time and enjoy the hunt. Get lost in a few internet rabbit holes and have fun expanding your knowledge base.

Be a Casual Observer

If time is on your side, then take advantage of the low-pressure level and just observe other consumers in your car community to learn about the process. Can auctions can be somewhat of a spectator sport, and get you prepared for the flow and style if this is the route you choose for your own purchase. There are two types of auctions, live and online. The point of exploring the market before you are ready to pull the trigger is you acclimate you to game and help reduce the occurrence of mistakes when then time comes, essential for first time buyers. This period of preparation illustrates for you how bidding works, the risk and reward that comes with auction buying, and the inventory that you can expect, both in volume as well as vehicle type. Attending live auctions without the intent to purchase can also create opportunities for you to meet other classic car enthusiasts that you can use as a resource for your own plans. A shared hobby will invite conversation and many self-proclaimed experts would jump at the chance to share their wisdom with a newbie.

Consider an Inspector

Auctions really eliminate the possibility of being able to use an inspector prior to purchase but using a dealer or private seller allows the possibility, and for first time buyers, this is a great insurance policy. Inspectors can look at your potential purchase with a different set of eyes than you do. They are looking at facts, function, comparable sale prices, and overall value, as opposed to the buyer who is generally more emotionally invested which can lead to clouded judgement. A few places to look for an inspector are local car clubs, classic car dealerships, or even a restoration shop, even if they do not have someone on staff who can act as your inspector, they might have an industry connection that they can refer you to.

Forecast the Future of Your Purchase

Even though you are in buying mode right now, down the road you may want to sell your vintage beauty, or not. It might seem unnecessary or counterproductive to decide before purchase the fate of your car, but really, it is not. First time buyers are generally most comfortable with low risk decisions since experience and knowledge base are still beginner. This train of thought can also help you to determine budget when the time comes. Do you want to make a one-time investment that is yours to keep? That results in one price point, and if you are hoping to use your first classic car purchase as a jumping off point to generate a profit and future acquisitions then that has an effect on your wallet as well. Either way, if you decide that resale is going to be important to you, or at least the option, keep in mind that it is going to be a lot easier to sell a mainstream classic with an established marketplace.

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