Modern cars drop in value by the day as you drive them, while classic cars go up in value. Sounds like getting a vintage ride is a golden goose, but is it? Some vintage cars will appreciate as years go by, but you can’t know that for sure until you try to sell it. One thing is sure – you’ll have to invest some considerable money in it, depending on how comfortable you want it to be and whether you want to ride it not. By the time you decide to sell it, the trends can have your classic baby fall out of favor or the opposite, of course. But, it’s a game of luck for most part.
The best way to avoid disappointments and financial flops is to view your classic car restoration as a hobby, not a profit-making opportunity. If you do happen to make some money, that’s just a plus, but it shouldn’t be the driving force behind your decisions.
Here are some more experience-gathered wisdoms.
Have it inspected
Prompted by the online stories of amazing profit made on car-flipping, it’s easy to get dreamy-eyed visualizing money showering down on you. Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched – that is, before a mechanic you trust has thoroughly inspected the car you are thinking of buying. It should be someone you trust to give you a knowledgeable opinion on the state of the car and the approximate cost of restoration.
Know what you’re buying
If you could do one thing to ensure you’re not buying a pig in the poke, it’d be checking that the engine, transmission and rear axle all correspond to the car’s VIN (vehicle identification number), which is stamped on the car in the factory. Engines will usually show the last six digits of the VIN, whereas the dates stamped on the transmission and rear axle should correspond to the VIN.
Rust is a deal-breaker
Major rust damage will make classic car restoration almost impossible. Just give up on it when you see it. A bubble or two here and there is not that bad, though. Again, your mechanic will evaluate whether the amount of rust on the car deems it beyond reasonable repair.
Have a mechanic before you buy
Doing restoration on your own is possible, but you may want to leave it to professionals. Do your research before you clench the deal. Find reputable mechanics whose expertise you trust and who won’t cost you like a highway robbery. If you’re in Orange County or near, feel free to check out Chimera Motors – top trusted classic car service Orange County, CA.
Decide whether it’ll stay a baby
Driving the car you restored to former glory risks devaluing it through the damage of driving. However, baby your car too much and you’ll miss out on the joys and pleasures of actually driving it.
Explore your insurance options
Premiums for vintage cars are often low, but that’s because they don’t allow you to drive your car much. If you want the car just for show, then it’s fine. However, shop around and compare insurance offers if you do want to take your baby out of the garage. A regular policy may be too high.
Make a projection of maintenance costs
Your classic car will cost you money even if you don’t drive it. The restoration and insurance costs will pile up over the years. Make sure you understand that the parts alone for many of these are difficult to find and therefore, cost a pretty bunch.
Go with your heart
If you really see classic cars as a hobby and not as a cash-machine, you’ll only buy cars that you are dying to have. Go with your passion – it will not fail you. Classic car restoration is nothing without it.
Reach out to your reliable classic car service Orange County, CA
If you’re thinking of buying a vintage car and want to go with the advice given in the article, you should make sure you have a trustworthy team of mechanics on your side. Visit Chimera Motors in Huntington Beach – we boast only 5-star reviews because we have the knowledge and experience to deliver you best results when it comes to servicing, repairing or restoring both American classics as well as vehicles of all makes and ages. Stop by our garage, we’d love to help you get the ride of your dreams!