5 Things to Know Before Buying an Antique Car

If you are an antique car lover, you might be tempted to splurge on the next vintage fixer-up you see.

Every classic car collector can turn a bucket of bolts into a sweet ride, in their mind, at least.

But before you blow your Benjamins on a car that’s older than you are, there are some things that you need to know. Sometimes, it’s not worth your time or money to invest in an antique car, no matter how good the bargain may seem.

If you don’t want to come down with a case of buyer’s remorse, check out these tips for buying a classic car before you shell out your cash!

1. Check These Numbers 

There are three numbers that may be even more important than those in the sale price. Because if these numbers don’t line up, you risk a major loss of value.

The classic car’s numbers that you can find stamped on the engine, transmission and rear axle should match the car’s vehicle identification number.

Look on the engine for the last six numbers of the car’s VIN.

On the transmission and rear axle, look for the date. It should correspond with the date of the VIN.

If you or the seller can’t locate these numbers, then you might need to pass this one up.

2. Rust Is a No Go

If you see a significant amount of rust, the chance of restoring the car to a rust-free rendition of its original is slim to none. 

You might be able to get by with one or two minor spots or bubbles. But anything more and you may have trouble on your hands.

If your affection is based simply on a hobby, then that can make a difference, too. Anything that you may want to resell in the future though, needs to have minimal rust damage.

Even if you don’t think you will sell it, you may change your mind. And a car that’s covered in rust when you buy it, will be hard to get rid of, even if you replace the rusty parts.

One of the things classic car collectors look for is original parts. Any major replacements will signal a red flag to potential buyers.

3. When to Spend

If a car has super-low mileage, and a test drive confirms the odometer reading, then it just may be worth its weight.

However, don’t ever assume the car’s odometer reading is an exact calculation without test driving it first.

Another good sign is when the vehicle’s production number is low. With a little research (and the help of the internet), you should be able to find out how many cars were made that are like the one you are considering. The rarer the find, the more valuable a vintage car will be for resale.

4. Run It by Your Mechanic

No matter how good the car looks, or what the price tag reads, it should be checked out by a professional mechanic.

It can be a game-changer, should it need a major repair. 

Some repairs may be worth the money if the car is a bargain. While others, such as a new transmission, can take a serious toll on your wallet.

5. Research

Never buy an automobile, whether it is an antique car or a newer model, without conducting research on its value.

Some sellers over-value their merchandise. And classic car lovers may honestly believe that the car is worth more than it actually is.

If you are purchasing from an individual, the owner may not have a realistic price attached to the vehicle. So, it’s important to do your homework before buying. If you’re buying the car from an estate sale, you can rest assured research into a fair price had already been done.

Do You Have an Antique Car You Want to Sell?

If you have become the owner of a vintage car through the estate of a loved one or otherwise, you may be looking to get rid of it.

Click here for an appraisal of your classic car or antique collection and find out how much its really worth!