Buying a classic car is, for several, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Whether buying a prize example of the first car 30 years on or reliving childhood holidays in an excellent example of dad’s old saloon, classic car ownership is approximately enjoyment and relaxation. Nevertheless the sheer enthusiasm with which many people enter to the purchase can sometimes blind them to the harsh realities of owning and owning a classic car.
I have obtained and sold many cars in my own years running the UK’s largest classic car hire company. In that point I’ve learnt the hard way how to get classic cars well. I bought my first classic car in 1993, a rare Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti in black. It had been my dream car, having cycled past an identical example everyday while at school. Used to do my research, buying copies of all available Buyers’Guides and I knew just what to find and what to avoid. Unfortunately, what none of the guides said was the cardinal rule – buy with your mind not your heart. I particularly wanted a dark Alfasud and when I clapped eyes on the automobile this is the over-riding thought in my own head. It blinded me to the reality of the car’s obvious flaws, including suspect electrics and typically Alfa-esque rust holes. Floating on a wave of dream fulfillment I convinced myself that they certainly were idle matters and coughed up the asking price to a probably flabbergasted owner.
Once you go to get a vintage car remember two simple rules. Firstly, it is not the only real example of its kind in the world. It doesn’t matter how closely its specification matches your desires, there will be a different one out there. Secondly, classic cars picture the asking price as money in your hand – this will help you to understand the value of the purchase. Very often cars are bought and then covered later, gives the required time for circumspection! I strongly recommend that anyone buying a classic car takes along a buddy who will be relied upon to be objective – they are able to reign you back whenever your enthusiasm takes ov er.
When I bought the Alfasud I managed to create it back to a good standard, nonetheless it cost me to complete so. That taught me another rule of car buying – objectively assess the cost of repairing the automobile before you decide it. Know industry value of any car you intend to get – what is it worth in average condition and what is it worth in excellent condition? Objectively assess the value of repairing the car’s faults by researching the cost of trim, bodywork, mechanical work and so on. Do not under-estimate the cost of apparently minor work – scuffs and scrapes on the paintwork may cost hundreds of pounds to place right. If your seller says something is an’easy fix’you have to wonder why they haven’t done it themselves.
Once you go to view a vintage car do your research first. Check the buying guides. Visit web forums and ask questions that aren’t immediately answered by your research – generally forum contributors are very happy to help. Speak with the experts – marque experts who repair cars on a daily basis tend to be very happy to supply advice because you could turn into a customer. Speak with individuals who own similar cars – an excellent place to begin is with classic car hire companies who run classic cars over thousands of miles every year. I often get asked by would-be owners in regards to the cars I run and I’m always very happy to supply advice predicated on living with classic cars day in and day out. When you view the automobile ring the master first and run through a checklist of questions – this could save you a wasted journey.
Besides the actual car itself, you will find two the areas to pay for particular awareness of when you view a car. Firstly, the master – the old adage about buying a used car from a man similar to this obviously applies. If the master is genuine, the chances are that the automobile is too. And obviously, the reverse is true too. Secondly, have a look at the paperwork thoroughly – check that the contents back up the description of the automobile in the advertisement and from the owner. The paperwork should really be well presented rather than a jumble of paperwork that is difficult to decipher – if the master can’t be bothered to organise this detail, what else has he skimped on?
Your test should include full inspection inside and out and underneath, ideally using a ramp (local garages tend to be happy to prepare this – the vendor should manage to sort this out).
On the test drive you must start the automobile from cold – insist before arrival that the vendor allows you to do this – and you must drive at the least 5-10 miles at the wheel. Check for unusual noises on launch – particularly knocking – and monitor the dials through the test. Check that the oil pressure and water temperature perform as expected. Check the brakes – do an urgent situation stop. Rev the engine through the gears and test rapid gear changing. Drive the automobile quickly around a corner to check the suspension and steering. Test most of the switches, particularly the heating – failed heaters could be a costly and very inconvenient expense.
if you like the automobile you’re looking at, buy yourself some thinking time. Don’t be railroaded right into a quick decision by the vendor. The seller will genuinely have a lot of curiosity about the automobile – if that’s the case, depending how you feel you must require either overnight or at the least a few hours to consider it. if you’re serious you could provide a small deposit as an exhibition of good faith. It is better to lose £100 than thousands of through a rushed decision. I’d recommend viewing the automobile at the least twice in daylight.
This is inevitably not a radical assessment of what to consider when buying a classic car but if you follow these simple rules you will stand a better chance of purchasing the proper car for you. Buy with your mind not your heart and buy with a sealed wallet.