The Reality Of Shopping For A Classic Car

The Reality Of Shopping For A Classic Car

This week an opportunity came up for me to try a get a car I have long admired. Now I have owned 9 cars in my life, all just regular daily drivers, never once getting into the collectible realm or a car that would be just for fun.

Granted the next car I buy I want to be in that genre but it’s a different animal than buying a car from a dealer that will be your primary transportation.

Usually any car with any kind of a following or history there is a club of people who are fans/owners of the car. It’s best to find them out (usually they have a site or even a Facebook group), and just read all you can of what they have to say about the car. It might be the car has a common problem that the people in that group know well. Also people in the group also usually post cars for sale.

In my case I did read the online group but also a close friend owns not one but two of these cars, so I had him check it out and get his opinion.

The car was over 20 years old and had some mechanical and aesthetic issues and my friend was able to shed light on that and what might be simple and what could be a problem.

I also thought to myself the expense of the work that needed to be done, the car was at a reasonable price though it was an auction (that ended in a matter of days), in which the reserve had not yet been met. So no telling what the reserve was.

Already I was thinking to get the car to the condition I wanted it might be several times the cost of the car. I understand working on cars is never cheap (my late father was a master mechanic), and a collectible that goes more so but I couldn’t just sink a bunch of money into this right now.

The car is rare (less than 2000 ever made), so there is demand for it and the price will reflect that at the same time the car needs work and that costs money too. Not to mention the car was 1,000 miles away, shipping it (the easiest option), is also the most expensive but with an older car with issues driving it that far was not my first thought.

This was also a car I’d keep, it’s not a flip (fix it up to sell and make money), but also I didn’t want it to be a hunk of sheet metal that I sunk money into.

I knew my father struggled with trying to get quality cars to work on and not “lose his shirt” in the repair/restoration process spending money to get the car right.

I really liked the car but things weren’t adding up including my current situation which I feared the car would end up like it does for so many guys, which means the car sitting in my garage or worse I’m paying rent somewhere where for it to sit. And the car wouldn’t get the attention and work it deserves.

So I had to pass on the car and it was a little painful but it just wasn’t the right time or situation and that’s the collectible car market. Hell that’s life.
I have to add you see these shows on TV and they make it look easy to find a car, fix it and then you have a nice classic.

As it turns out the auction ended with the bids not meeting the reserve so the car did not sell.

I admit I learned a lot about the process and what to look for but as I first learned with my dad and now myself, this process isn’t always easy.

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