The feeling a classic car collector gets when they get behind the wheel of a newly purchased vehicle cannot be duplicated. Many of the more experienced classic car experts will tell you that the pursuit and successful purchase of a great car is what makes collecting so much fun.
There is a process that a buyer must follow if they want to get the vehicle that will fit perfectly into their collection. But should you always sign on the dotted line of every purchase agreement you see? After collecting for a few years, you will find that not every deal with a classic car was meant to be.
Overestimating Your Abilities
Every collector has a good understanding of their own restoration and repair abilities when it comes to classic cars. If a collector’s eyes can get bigger than their wallet, they might try to convince themselves that they can bring an old beauty back to life.
If you overestimate your own abilities in restoration, you run the risk of decreasing the value of your vehicle if the quality of the restoration is not impeccable. Be honest with yourself whenever you are looking over a classic car and make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. It’s always a good idea to find a shop that specializes in classic car restoration that you can rely on for the tasks that are more technical.
Impossible to Find Parts
There is an entire billion-dollar industry that has grown up around the manufacture and sale of restoration parts for classic cars. But even with that kind of support, there are vehicles that cannot be easily restored because after-market parts are simply not available.
Your only alternatives to restoring a vehicle that does not have after-market parts are to find someone selling parts off junked vehicles, finding a part that is close enough, or making your own. None of these options are guaranteed to work, which means that you should avoid cars that don’t have much support in the after-market parts industry.
Bad Previous Restoration Jobs
Sometimes buying a classic car from another collector is not a great idea. The people who fancy themselves restoration experts can sometimes use the wrong parts, restore the wrong areas of the car, and make a general mess of the vehicle that will have to be cleaned up before you can restore it properly. Depending on what work has been done to the car, a proper restoration might be difficult, or sometimes impossible.
If you ever find yourself contemplating the purchase of a classic car and the idea that you can “fix this mess” ever crosses your mind, then you should leave that deal alone. Once you really get into trying to undo what has been done, you could realize that you just spent a lot of money on a vehicle destined for the scrap heap.
No collector wants to walk away from a classic car purchase, but the experienced collectors know that sometimes it just has to be done. One of the reasons classic car buyers do so much research is because there are so many ways that an inexperienced shop technician can turn a classic into a bad investment.
When you look over potential cars for purchase, it’s a good idea to take them to a professional shop before you make your decision. Let a real expert look the car over and tell you whether or not you are really getting a great deal.