Autos, Yachts, Jets: Tips for Beginning a Classic Car Collection

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Vintage cars speak of cool nostalgia, invoking a groovy feeling reminiscent of simpler times, and for many these pristine automobiles are a future investment. Here, are a few tips to avoid when beginning a classic auto collection.

Some collect stamps, while others old coins, but some prefer larger toys for their collections, and those toys are the sleek and sophisticated vintage cars of yesteryear from old-time Model T's to Bond-era Aston Martins.


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But building a vintage car collection isn't quite as easy as building a stamp collection. Between locating the car, negotiating its purchase, and keeping up with its upkeep, there is plenty of room for error. These are the mistakes to avoid when buying vintage cars.


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Not Researching Enough

First-time car collectors often make the mistake of researching the make and model of the car and thinking it's enough. But a wise car collector also researches a car's value, the car seller, and especially mechanical quirks specific to the make and model of the car they're buying.

Research doesn't only apply to browsing the internet for articles and reviews. First-hand research can be conducted on the car itself by hiring a professional to inspect it. Even if you have automotive experience, it's recommended to bring in a professional to offer a second opinion. This is especially true on more obscure car models.


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Not Checking the VIN

When buying anything of high value—whether it's buying high-end art or jewelry—confirming authenticity is key. The same is true for buying vintage cars. Examine the VIN number on the dashboard as well as on the engine, rear axle, and transmission. Discrepancies between these numbers may show certain parts have been replaced or the car isn't what it was advertised to be.

Not Factoring in Upkeep

These days, the idea of DIY and house flipping is very popular. When purchasing something of lower quality, or something that "needs work," a person then puts in the effort to polish it and improve its value. While this may work for vintage furniture and houses, it should be avoided when buying vintage cars. Even a high-quality vintage car is going to take far more time and resources to upkeep than a normal car. Your money is better spent keeping a car running than poured into a car that may never run.


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Not Finding a Mechanic Beforehand

A rocket scientist wouldn't take their laptop with NASA-grade computer programs to the local computer repair shop. They'd would take it to a specialist, one who was familiar with the type of machinery they were using. Likewise, a vintage car collector shouldn't take their car to a mechanic unless they know for sure the mechanic is equipped to take care of the car. Such a mechanic should be found before the car is purchased to avoid problems when it's brought home.

Whether you're looking to stand out in an auction or simply enjoy a taste of the "good old days" on the open road, vintage cars are the collection you need. Equipped with the right information, you can purchase your first classic car with confidence.

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