Before You Buy a Classic Car

Classic cars at auction
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So you think you’ve done all your homework in order to decide whether or not you should buy a classic or collector car.  You’ve checked the title, the car's history, how much of it is original versus restored and NADA’s pricing and information guide. You’ve read all the books, taken a test drive and had an engine compression check; you’ve even gone over the car with a magnet to check for  Bondo repairs.

We use a checklist that’s invaluable, but in our decades of experience of being “Car Crazy,” there are 7 important aspects of owning a classic car that you must consider before the purchase. They are as follows:

The Neighbors

You will get to know all your neighbors. You could be living next to the same person for 20 years and never see them until you bring out your classic for a  good detailing. Be prepared for some unsolicited advice on care and engine enhancements as well.

Crowd Appeal

Running errands take twice as long. Plan on an extra 10 minutes to get into the store as you are asked a series of questions from fellow shoppers who saw you pull in. But leaving the parking lot will take an extra 30 minutes because of the crowd of people standing around your pride and joy.

Inquisitive Drivers

You’ll see cars in your rear view mirror being driven frantically only to come up beside you and linger for a good look while holding up traffic.

Keep an eye out for their window to come down so they can yell out that all important question; ”what year is your car?”, or when I’m driving our 1964 Morris Minor “what kind of car is that?’. This past year it’s been great fun to count how many arms will come out of the window with a camera phone to take a snapshot.

Be very careful with these admirers, because they are not watching the road.

New Friends

You’ll find that you’ll meet at least ten new friends on any given outing. It never fails to amaze me how many people there are who wouldn’t normally give you a second thought until they see you in your classic. Then it’s an hour of them opening their hearts and reminiscing about times in their lives when they drove a car like that. Ninety percent of the time it’s the spouse who made them sell it and looking back, they should have gotten rid of the spouse.

Family Issues

The family makes you buy another television so they can watch Desperate Housewives and CSI while you watch My Classic Car and Car Crazy. But it’s not just your television entertainment that will change. Hemmings Motor News will now be your new Playboy, and Classic & Sports Car will replace the Time magazine subscription.

Stock Shifts

Home Depot’s stock will plummet because you are now spending 50% of your weekly income on eBay, as well as Auto Zone and Checkers Auto parts. I would definitely check your portfolio and adjust accordingly.

Vacations

Vacations will either be in Arizona in January, Florida in late March or California in August to coincide with the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auctions and Pebble Beach Concours.

The family can choose between the Grand Canyon, Whale Watching or Disney’s Epcot Center while you are bathing in chrome and exhaust fumes from the past.

If you can handle these 7 life changing aspects of owning a classic or collector car, write the check and go for the ride of your life.