The Ins and Outs of Buying Classic Cars

classic-car-76423_960_720.jpg Credit: CC0/ PixelLightMedia/Pixabay

The difference between an old car and a classic is clear if you're a car enthusiast. Some enthusiasts say that a car has to be over ten years old to be a classic. Others say that anything from a marque like Ferrari or Lamborghini is an instant classic. The point is that there’s no way of defining exactly what makes a car a classic, although most believe that a classic is generally a car that’s no longer in production and has been restored or maintained in the best condition possible.

Vintage Cars

Vintage cars can be classified as classics, antiques or collectables. Collectables is the term car clubs attach to modern hyper-cars and supercars that were produced recently. Whether a car is still in production or if it’s recently ceased production, the car is normally considered a collectable model. It will become a classic later. Classic is the next definition car clubs like to use when describing important cars. These cars are normally at least thirty years old. That means they’ve been lovingly maintained or restored by careful owners. The definition “antique” is normally reserved for cars from the 1940s and earlier. These are cars that really show how the automobile has evolved over time.

How Much Should You Pay?

Whether you’re looking to buy or trying to value your classic, you need to understand the market. The basics of selling are supply versus demand. An internet search will tell you if the car you’re buying or selling is in demand at that time but it won’t tell you what price to aim for. You’ll need to consult a recognized classic car price guide to find out what your car’s worth. Used car sellers consult a price guide to figure out what to charge for a car based on its age, mileage and condition. Buying and selling classics works the same way. Search online and you’ll find the tools you need to establish the vehicle’s price.

Classic Car Calendar

If you’re beginning to take an interest in classic cars, check out a classic car show in your area. Some of the best like the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California and The Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit are worth driving to at least once in your lifetime even if you live hundreds of miles away, but to begin with look locally for shows. You’ll find that classic car owners are very pleased to talk about their vehicles and share their knowledge so this is a very good way of getting an understanding of the market.

Classic Car Shows Near You

Use social media and other websites to find out the classic car shows near you that are worth visiting. Some are ticketed events. Others are run as part of a local fair. If you’re beginning to show an interest in classics, visit as many as you can. They’re a great day out for anyone with an interest in cars. Even if you chose not to buy a classic in the end, you’ll get to enjoy a range of great era-defining automobiles.

Classic Car Raffle

If you’ve not heard of this before, you might not believe us when we tell you that classic car museums and car clubs sometimes run car raffles to raise funds for other projects. Perhaps the museum has a model that no longer draws the crowds but can make some cash to help the place continue to run or to renovate another car. In those circumstances, a raffle makes a lot of sense, and from a customer’s point of view, they get the chance to win a car for a few dollars. As with classic car shows, these events are great places to meet people in the business of restoring and selling classic vehicles.

A Classic is an Old Car

Let’s not forget that a classic car is an old car that means it will need a lot of love, care and attention to maintain it. Classics also take up a lot of your time so if you have a growing family or an elderly relative that needs your attention, perhaps you should wait before buying that Pontiac GTO or Chevrolet Camaro you’ve been dreaming off since you were a child. An older car can be a massive financial drain as well. Don’t kid yourself that you’ll make back the money you put into the car. The truth is that even if you sell it for a little more than you bought it for, the profit won’t cover the amount you spent at the shop. This has to be a hobby not a project unless you really know a lot about classics and cars in general.