If you’re just joining us, take a minute to go back and read the first part of this series where our Senior Classic Car & Motorcycle Specialist, Rick Drewry, talked with us about the variety in the world of Rods, and the importance of evaluating these rods individually. In the second half of the interview with him, Rick spoke with us about some specific tips for documentation, as well as tips on how to make a valuable first purchase!
The most important tip Rick gave us for those who are starting out in the rod business is to document every single piece that goes into your car. Whether you are using a kit, starting with an existing model, or creating a rod from scratch, the more well-documented your car is, the more value it will have. Several reasons Rick gives to fully-document your rod:
Even if it seems like overkill, documenting every piece on your vehicle can help Classic Auto detail the value of your car and give you an accurate policy.
Documentation can also help you in the event of a repair. If something goes out on your rod, you can more easily find the part, as well as find repairs or replacements for that specific part.
If you ever look to sell or auction your custom rod, documentation of the parts involved can give it more appeal to a buyer.
If you’re wondering about Rick’s personal experience with hot rods, he’s actually done a significant amount of work on cars in his own collection. Rick has pieced together a couple of kit cars, including 1923 T-Bucket Roadsters. He’s also done a large amount of work on some old Model A hot rods, including suspension, framing, and boxing, and metal work.
If you’re looking to purchase a rod, whether it’s completed or an ongoing project car, these are Rick’s biggest tips for things to look for before you make the purchase:
Check the car thoroughly for rust. Even if it only has small rust spots on the outside, those spots could be several inches in diameter on the inside. Rust is impossible to get rid of once it starts, and usually results in a complete replacement of whatever part it’s on. Evaluate whether replacement costs will outweigh the benefit of the purchase.
Check for Bondo. Rick suggests taking a small magnet with you to test whether the car has been built using led and strong metals, or if it’s been cheaply done with Bondo. You are paying for the workmanship more than the parts on any custom rod, and you want to make sure the work that was done is worth the price tag you’re paying.
Don’t expect to come away with a great car for a price tag of around $20,000. If you’re looking to invest in a rod, expect to pay a good chunk of change. Rick said he’s seen people pay as much as $500,000 for a rod, but that if the car is built as well as the buyer believed, that purchase was worth the money. Custom cars are one-of-a-kind, and you can expect a price tag to match their unique nature. However, if you are just getting started in the rod business, and are looking for something to fix up and practice on, a cheap rod purchase may be just right for you. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
If you would like assistance evaluating a car, or if you want a quote on a custom rod you are interested in purchasing, give our customer service specialists a call at 888-901-1338 for answers to your hot rod insurance questions!