Owning a bonafide classic American car is many gearheads’ ultimate dream. Nothing quite beats the golden age of automobiles, when massive hot-rods roared loud and proud. For many newbie car enthusiasts, purchasing one of these timeless beauties is full of traps and common mistakes that sometimes leave the buyer with a smaller wallet and a lemon. Check out these four tips for first-time classic car buyers for your convenience.
When buying a classic car, many people become set on one make or model and avoid other great deals from similar types of vehicles. Cars like the 1969 Plymouth GTX Hemi or 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 are true beauties but run deep into six figures due to their raving popularity. Find the kind of classic car you love the most and consider alternative, similar options. Who knows—the other choice may become your new favorite!
Avoid “Too Good To Be True” Deals
Among the many tips for first-time classic car buyers, never take a deal that is too good to be true. The truth is that quality classic cars have a specific value, depending on model, make, and condition. Rarely, if ever, will you find that perfect classic car far under its market value. Avoid sketchy vendors who may be scheming to rip you off. Instead, opt for sellers who offer high-quality classic cars and are committed to a positive buying experience.
The most affordable way to secure a classic vehicle at a great price is to purchase one that’s in less-than-ideal conditions. More specifically, incomplete or damaged cars with potential are cheaper on the market, leaving you with the possibility of conducting repairs and renovations to create your dream classic ride.
You must invest in proper tools and dedicate time and attention to your project to accomplish this. Of course, this purchasing method is far more complicated in terms of labor and automotive knowledge, but the results are potentially more rewarding than purchasing an “as-is” vehicle.
Get Behind the Wheel
Before you shell out the big bucks for a timeless vehicle, you want to ensure that you’ll love every minute you spend behind the wheel. Always give your potential new car a drive around the block before signing on the dotted line. This inspection makes sure your new toy runs smoothly, and the riding experience is up to your standards.
Research and attention to detail are paramount with any second-hand automotive purchase—you don’t want to spend money for the raw end of a deal. Understand what is realistically available to you by considering your needs, budget, and car knowledge. When you account for those factors, you can confidently buy the classic car of your dreams.