There are a few important stages that come with being the owner of one or more classic vehicles, and one of the first and most vital such stages is simply identifying the vehicle(s) you want to purchase in the first place. You should be thinking about a few key factors here, plus walking through a few basic steps as you scour the market and ID your ideal next purchase.
At Andersen Restoration Parts, we're here to assist classic car owners with all their possible classic car restoration needs, with part options ranging from center links and control arm bushing kits to suspension rebuild kits and more. Here are some general steps and tips for finding the ideal classic car for your next purchase.
Research, Research, Research
Perhaps even more so than a standard vehicle, purchasing a classic car requires extensive research to ensure you're making the right decision. You'll want to not only find options that fit your budget, but also understand their general maintenance needs and whether there are specific parts or features prone to issues.
Safety is one key area of research to consider – classic cars may not have the same safety features as modern vehicles, so you'll want to be aware of this and potentially make any necessary upgrades. Another important factor is availability of parts – if you purchase a rare or obscure classic car, finding replacement parts may be a challenge and could impact your overall ownership experience.
Set a Budget
Once you have an idea of the type of classic car you want to purchase, it's time to set a budget. This should include not only the initial purchase price, but also ongoing maintenance costs and any potential upgrades you may want to make. Keep in mind that classic cars often require more specialized care and parts, so this can add to the overall cost of ownership.
Understanding Classic Car Appreciation and Depreciation
One major area where classic cars often differ from standard vehicles is in their value over time. While most cars depreciate in value, certain classic cars can appreciate – this means they will increase in value as they age. It's important to understand the factors that contribute to a classic car's appreciation or depreciation to make an informed decision on your purchase.
For instance, rare and sought-after classic cars are more likely to appreciate in value, while those with common parts or that were mass-produced may not hold their value as well. Additionally, a car's condition and any modifications can also impact its value over time.
Check the Seller's History
Depending on where you purchase your classic car – be it from a private seller, dealership or auction – you'll want to do some research on the seller's history. If purchasing from a dealer or auction house, look for reviews and ask for referrals from past customers.
For private sellers, ask about their experience with the car and why they are selling it. If possible, also inquire about any previous sales or issues with the vehicle. This will give you a better understanding of the car's history and potential red flags to look out for.
Be Careful With True One-of-a-Kind Vehicles
While truly unique, one-of-a-kind classic cars can be exciting to own, they also come with their own set of challenges. It may be difficult to find replacement parts or a mechanic familiar with the specific make and model, so you'll want to take these potential issues into account when considering your purchase.
You should also be aware that if you are hoping to resell a one-of-a-kind vehicle in the future, it may not have as wide of a market or demand compared to more popular classic cars.
Consider Working With Professionals
If you're new to the world of classic cars and unsure about what to look for or how to properly evaluate a potential purchase, consider working with professionals in this field. This could include an experienced mechanic or a classic car specialist who can help guide you in your search and ensure you make the best decision possible for your needs.
Purchasing a classic car is not something to be taken lightly, as it requires careful consideration and research. By following these tips and working with trusted professionals, you can confidently identify and purchase the ideal classic vehicle for your collection. So go ahead and start your search, and remember to enjoy the journey as much as the destination!