Buying a Classic Car
Classic cars are reminders of the beginnings of industry in America, sparking nostalgia in many who are avid enthusiasts. From the old Model T Ford to a vintage Cadillac, there's a little something for everyone.
Why Buy a Classic Car?
For those who love classic cars, these specialty vehicles are viewed as both an investment opportunity and as one of life's great pleasures. If you are contemplating buying a classic car, though, you should think about whether you are looking to get into the market of buying and selling classics as a way to earn money, or whether you simply want a good-looking classic car to enjoy, do minor work on, and take to shows.
Knowing what your goal is before purchasing a classic car may help you decide what to buy. For instance, if you don't want to do much work on the car but do want to be able to have a fun ride to show off, you are in a different buying mode than someone looking for an old car to fix up and sell for a big profit.
Finding the Right Classic Car
Start by visiting car shows. These are often held in the summer and are a great place to get familiar with the variety of classic cars available. You may see cars you never thought you'd be interested in, or just focus on your favorites. Either way, this is a good place to hone in on what you really want.
As you learn about the breadth of classic cars, you can also research their prices online. You can become familiar with the different buyers and sellers of classic cars, as well as with the local body shops in your area that can tackle improvements beyond your skill set. The cost of rehabilitating or increasing the value of a classic car is not unsubstantial.
Vintage Car Value
From a financial perspective, both supply and demand are key in this area. The more rare the type of car, the more it will be worth. This covers not just original production runs for that specific car model, but also the various options installed on a particular classic car.
Even something as simple as the car color (both interior and exterior), if original to the car, can increase its value if it is in limited supply.
Classic Car Insurance
It can be a little tricky to get classic car insurance. First of all, in most states they will need a specific registration and special plates. Secondly, most insurance companies will require backup information from you on the value of the car.
Since a classic car is usually very old, it inherently is not worth anything. Its value is found in its rarity and condition. Most often, an appraisal by a certified mechanic will be enough, but be sure to contact your insurance company or insurance agent to know exactly what steps you will have to take.