The Challenges of Buying Your First Classic Car
You love classic cars and you want one of your own to restore. For first-time classic car collectors, finding the right car can be a challenge. With so much to consider before buying, Rick Drewry, Senior Claims Specialist with our partner, American Modern Insurance Group, and a passionate car collector himself, has some suggestions for keeping you on the right track when choosing that first classic car.
The Collector Car Hunt is on!
Searching for classic cars on internet sites like Craigslist, eBay, Hemmings or AutoTrader can not only be mind-numbing, it can give you limited success. This is why plugging into the collector car community is the best option. For me, word of mouth is key. Go to a car show, find the type car you want and just start talking to people. Often you will meet someone who has a car they haven’t started restoring or they know a collector who has one for sale. That’s the fun part – hunting down the perfect car.
Why Do You Want to Buy a Collector Car?
Before buying, ask yourself why you are buying a collector car. For me, it is a passion. Sure, I don’t want to lose money on a car but I’m not in it solely for investment sake. This is not the stock market. I buy the cars I want and restore them out of love for the cars. Most owners are the same way. It’s an addiction. Just ask our spouses.
Collector Car Community – Your Best Resource
The collector car community is a wonderful resource for would-be owners. Through it you can find your next dream car, garner advice from others who own cars like yours or find that illusive part. Car clubs are founts of information. They will guide you to restoration experts for your specific type of car.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Establish a budget for yourself and try to stick to it. Do your research to find out what the market value is on the collector car you are interested in. Here are a few things to consider before you make your purchase:
- The price of the car – Be realistic in your desire. You may want a 1965 Corvette but if you don’t have the budget for it then get something you can enjoy. (Who’s to say this will be your only classic car?!)
- The price of restoring the car – If you spent the majority of your budget buying the car and the engine needs to be overhauled then you are already losing money.
- How the car will be restored – Know your skill set. You may be able to handle the mechanical work but restoration also includes cosmetic work like upholstery and paint. Your overall budget needs to reflect these outside expenses.
- How you intend to use the car – Is this going to become a daily driver or a car you roll out for shows only?
- How you will protect whatever you buy – Whether it is parked in a garage or driving down the highway, you will need to protect your car. Classic Auto Insurance offers customizable plans for all types of collector cars and can help you find the right policy for your car.
Is it Mechanically Sound?
Bottom line – look for a car that is mechanically sound first. If a car looks great but doesn’t run then keep walking. Minor tune ups are fine. Cosmetic stuff can always come later. Consider buying a car from the 1980’s or a Rat Rod. (We discussed a number of potential first-time collector cars in our article – “How to Get Started Collecting Classic Cars” – these cars might be just what you need to get started.)
A Passionate Collector Car Community
Taking the leap into buying your first collector car is intimidating but fun. You will be joining a wonderful community of passionate car owners who are ready and willing to share their insight into restoring cars. Take advantage of their knowledge and learn from their mistakes. You aren’t just buying an old car, you are buying into a way of life. Restoration rules, folks! Come join us.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Just starting to collect Classic cars? Got a lot of questions? Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.