Owning a classic or vintage car is undoubtedly a valuable investment. The value is not just in monetary terms, but in possessing a rare, exceptional collectable with a profound history. Classic cars record the innovative brilliance of their makers, stylists and designers.
According to a recent New York Times report, a few cars that were displayed in the Pepple Beach Concours d’ Eleg’ance, looked quiet out of place against the other dazzling entries. These automobiles were predominantly in their old form with “wrinkles” that showed their age; fading seat covers and peeling paint left untouched. The ‘preservation class’, or the “barn finds”, as these cars are commonly called for having mostly lived in old, dilapidated barns or garages, are gaining popularity in car shows, auctions and TV shows.
Rupert Banner, the Director of the Car Department at Bonhams Fine Art and Company, says, “Good original, unrestored cars are now highly sought after, with the values of preserved cars escalating every year. In the last two or three years, auction prices for preserved cars in their original condition have exceeded those for cars that have been restored”. The collector community offers various reasons for the change:
- The growing interest to preserve the history of these automobiles in their best untainted form as far as possible.
- Unrestored cars are an increasing attraction in classic car events, and collectors aim to reinforce their status by hiking up their prices.
- The trend, welcoming ‘barn-finds’ would mean lower entry cost into the car-collecting world as restoration entails unbelievable expenses.
You can still do a ‘clean-up’ job on your ‘barn-find’, without losing out on its value! Here's how:
- Significant damage restoration on “Barn finds”, is certainly allowed, to get them back into their old shape. According to Dr. Frederick A. Simeone, the founder of Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, "For any old car restorations done to fix major damages on preserved cars, the repair work should be photographed and documented, in order to maintain the resale value."
- Reversible restoration technology offers soluble compounds for the body and paint, which can be taken off when needed without harming the surrounding original paint.
- To maximize resale value of your unrestored vintage car, it is recommended that you store the original parts (even the damaged ones), as well as additional paraphernalia like photographs, manuals and trophies.
Insuring your vintage car to maintain it in its most original form is very important, as it may be easily prone to damage. Consult Classic Auto to get flexible solutions on collector car insurance.
About the Author
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.