Everything You Need to Know About Classic Cars
Collecting and owning classic cars is not an easy task. You must be knowledgeable enough about the history of these sweet rides, as well as some easy tips and tricks on acquiring, restoring, and maintaining them.
On this page, you will see tips that are all about classic cars. From the definition of what a classic car is, to tips when looking for cheap classic cars, to restoring and customizing — you name it, this page has it.
Oh, and if you like to have your own sweet vintage ride, be sure to drop by a Classic Vehicle Auction and look at all the great listings of classic cars for sale.
Classic Cars – Elegant, Stylish, And Oh So Sweeeet
Classic cars are one of the most collected and coveted items in the market today. And they should be: vintage automobiles are not only great pieces of art; they could also be fully functional. Road-driven classic vehicles may even be more scene-stealing than brand-spanking-new sports cars. If you have already seen a fully restored and shiny Shelby GT-350H or a 60’s Thunderbird on the road, you probably know what I’m talking about.
What is a Classic, Anyway?
The definition of what is a classic car is often contested. The Classic Car Club of America indicates that the last year for the ‘authentic’ classics is 1948. Still, other experts maintain that the term classic is applicable to all cars that are 12-years old or older.
What Makes A Vehicle Attain Vintage Status?
The makings of ‘classic cars’ is often a source of debate. Oftentimes, a car is considered to be classic if the public deems it to be ‘collectable.’ Some, however, may seem to contend that there is only a certain period for classic cars–that the ‘real classics’ were only up to 1940’s for example.
Still, some may even try to categorize car models into eras. Thus, we have the muscle car era, the bullet era, the box-type era, and so on. A more precise classification is one which sets up three categories according to which year the cars were manufactured. These are the antique cars, manufactured from 1880 up to the start of WWI; vintage cars, made between 1916 to 1924, and was the start of the real ‘automobiles;’ and classic cars, from 1925 up to the near past.
The Advantages Of Owning And Collecting Vintage Rides
Classic cars are perhaps the most valuable vehicles in the automotive world. Some may not be priced as high as your present-day Lamborghini, but their values are nonetheless very alluring. If you are planning to start a collection of mean machines, you might want to think about collecting classic cars.
And if you are planning on buying second-hand vehicles, you might as well buy vintage cars. Of course, put into consideration the fact that you may possibly need a great deal of work to do: from paint to upholstery to engine to brakes and suspensions. It’s a bit troublesome, but it is worth it in the long run.
Vintage Cars are Cheap
There are many people who don’t know what the value of their car is. It is no wonder that you can sometimes find a fine Dodge Charger lying in a junkyard, or a Cadillac Fleetwood rotting in an old garage. Because these cars are rusting away and considered as junk by some people, you can easily buy them at an absurdly low price.
Top Places To Look For Cheap Classic Cars
If you are planning on collecting or simply owning classic cars, you might be intimidated by the huge tag price that comes with these sweet rides. Some fully-restored classics may even be more expensive than brand new luxury or sports cars. The ’55 serial one Corvette is rumored to be valued at near a million dollars!
But do not worry, as the upside to collecting classic cars is that they could be bought cheap. The principle behind this is simple: since most of the classics are at least over 15 years old, some people who are not collectors will probably consider them as junk. And cars considered as junk mean a very low price. What they say is true: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
What To Look For When Buying Classic Cars
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.
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.
How To Accurately Estimate Classic Car Values
It is easier to spot a classic car than to know how much it is worth. You may know that the Oldsmobile Cutlass hanging out in your garage is a real sweet vintage ride, but you might have a difficult time deciding how much to sell it. Or maybe you have spotted that Cutlass, but do not know whether the price is worth it.
Research on Market Values from Dealers
Classic car values are almost always fluctuating, as all car values are. By researching the market value of a classic car sold by professional dealers, you can have a clear marker as to how much a vehicle in a certain condition is worth.
Great Classic Car Inspection Tip
When buying classic cars, there is always a danger that you will get less than what you pay for. Vintage vehicles may appreciate in value, but always remember that these cars are ten to twenty years old–and that means there is a great possibility that there are some damages and scratches that will lessen its value.
As a general reminder, do not buy a car hastily. Take the time to inspect everything, from the exterior to the upholstery, and even the tires. Here are a few quick inspection tips when buying classic cars.
If you don’t know a thing about cars, contact an expert.
If you think you don’t have enough knowledge about classic cars, it is best to contact a mechanic for an inspection before you purchase. If you inspect the car without the proper knowledge, it is almost similar to not inspecting it at all. And even if you do have a car geek side, it might still be best to contact a mechanic to assist you. They might even give you a tip as to how much the vehicle is really worth.
Restoration Vs Customization
A common question among buyers of classic cars is what to do after they have acquired that vintage gem: restore it, or customize it? Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here we will tackle the different aspects of restoration and customization to help you decide which route to take for your car.
Restoration: Authentic is Beautiful
Restoring a classic car means finding the original parts and options for a particular model. This means that if you own a Cuda with a broken Hemi engine, you need to find a stock Hemi in order to restore it. Paint is a different matter. While the authentic paint of a certain make may not be existent today, there are several car services that offer the color of that make, thus making it still look original.
Tips For Restoring Classic Cars
Restoration is a must for any classic car owner who wants to have the authentic look and feel of the model they have. While restoring a vintage car may be no easy task, the rewards are great: your car will increase its value, and you get to ride in an almost authentic make.
You can easily have a shop that specializes in restoration fix your car. But if you want to tinker around and do restoration on your own, here are 5 great tips that you can easily follow.
Inspect the car thoroughly, and keep a list of things you want to restore. Do not go and immediately replace everything–some parts may still be usable. The top things that you need to replace are: heavily-rusted parts, chrome parts that could not be shined by polishing, broken windows, upholstery that are heavily worn-out, and of course, everything mechanical that does not work.
Tips For Customizing Classic Cars
Not all classic car owners want to restore their classic into its plain original beauty. Some would want to add a little spice to their cool ride, like blazetrails as an addition to their paintjob. Some would prefer a safer ride, with fuel-efficient engines, seatbelts, and airbags.
Customization might bring your classic car’s value down, but if you will have a far more comfortable ride, then it would still be worth it. If you want to do customization on your own, here are 5 excellent tips you should follow.
Create a master plan for customization. In restoring a classic, you have an easy guide: the original look and specs of the car. In customizing, you need to have your own guide. Try to draw the final look of your car. If you want flames or skulls on the side, try to have a good visual rendition first, to know if you really want it or not. You won’t want to have a customized paintjob that will end up horrible.