As a collector of classic cars, I have always been fascinated by the shape, design, quality and the solid fittings of the vehicles manufactured in the yester years. Much of Vintage cars such qualities have been lost as the present manufacturers armed with advance automation technology and mass production capability, compete against each other for sales and profitability. With advancement in electronics, computerization, mechanical and engineering technology, many people would assume that such outdated antiques will be left to rust in the garage or worst ended up in the junkyard. For the rest, what is left of the car is perhaps, the value of steel and metal parts that fetched some value judging by the irregular hike in scrap metal these days.
However, no one doubts that classic vehicles have been the “forefather” of modern automotive. Basically, the old and the modern cars still works and functions in many similar ways. Of course we have different types of vehicle in the market today powered by electric or hybrid based technology but the basic functionality of the car remains.
Not only have the classic and modern cars traced its history back to each other but information technology in the form of internet has complemented the growth of the cars industry and especially for classic cars which in turn spur the huge growth of interest in such antiques. Before the era of the internet, imagine the difficulties encountered by classic car enthusiasts that have only a small classified post in the newspaper to guide them or the endless trip to the local library and book stores. The internet has become a huge phenomenon not only creating an international pool of like-minded enthusiast but accessibility to information like never before witnessed, whether for sourcing of vehicles or for replacement parts.
In the United States, there is a large category of classic car enthusiasts. As price varies based on makes, models and age, you can find interest in almost every category based on ones affordability. Generally, the term classic cars in the U.S. is a term used to described motor vehicle that is at least 15 years old, not a re-production and with a substantial portion of the cars resembling the original manufacturer specification and appearance. Although there are other more stringent rules set by certain club that require conformity of the cars to a certain standard, category, price and age before the vehicle can be registered or associated with such club. Each club or car association set their own guideline and uphold their standard and classic car enthusiasts are able to register their cars with the respective clubs should the owner of the cars, able to conform to the set guidelines.
There are obviously many clubs and associations in the U.S. Any interested classic car buyer will be able to find the car of their dream by performing a Google search and a list of classic cars club will appear before their screen. Most of the clubs usually has a classified section for sale of classic cars. Others will have classified section that facilitate sale of cars that adhere to the clubs’ standard of conformity. There are also clubs that cater to specific cars brands but most of them usually have a section for owners to sell their cars. Apart from clubs and association, you can also find many websites that sells purely classic cars. Do check them out and also try to find and join internet forums dealing with classic cars to see if others have any experience with buying and selling of cars from such websites. Most car selling websites nowadays offers photos, complete description and history of the car for sale and it saves you a lot of time. Instead of calling or driving around town or going interstate, you can now summarize your choice down to say 2 to 3 cars and pursue your interest with greater precision.
As a serious buyer looking for classic cars, my first task is to compile a check list before I begin hunting for my dream classic machine. However, sometimes, you will find that your mind may wonder from the original intention when you go through the choice of classic cars that is available in the internet market place. In this case, you will have to decide based on your budget level. Here is the check-list. It may not be exhaustive but it has served me well:
1. When you found the car on the website, look at the manner in which the owner writes to describe his car. Although it is not conclusive, but if the owner writes his/her advertisement with seriousness and are passionate about the car he is selling, it gives some hint on the condition and if the car is well looked after. This rule applies to classic or antique cars because you need to have the passion and interest to keep and maintain an antique car.
2. Does the owner allow for personal inspection of the car prior to selling? Again, if you plan to visit the car, bring along a qualified mechanic. Here, you will find that some owners, who took their interest seriously, tend to be very helpful and will walk you through the entire car and show you what is behind the bonnet without you asking! Be sure to bring along the information that you have researched, make sure the cars conforms to the specification of the original car manufacturer. Also, do the documents provided matched with the Vehicle Identification Number, Year, Make, Model, Chassis and Engine Number?
3. Have the advertisers provide a complete list of paperwork and document, if the information is incomplete. Will the owner provide the contact number of his mechanic?
4. For the exterior, look for rust and color matching throughout the entire body of the car, the Trim, Bumper and Grill, the condition of the windscreen especially the visibility, crack or chips, door/bonnet handles and matching keys
5. For the interior you should inspect door, dashboards, the odometer whether there is possibility of finding replacement parts, check the seat and flooring for rust, wear and tear.
6. Have the mechanics check on the engine, possible oil leaks, undercarriage, condition of spark plugs, exhaust and steering system.
7. Start the engine and check on the electrical system such as dashboards gauges, headlights, turn signals, windshield wipers and washers
If you are searching for Classics and Vintage Cars such as AMC, Austin, Austin Healey, Buick Electra, Ford Model A, B, T & others, Plymouth, Willys, Studebaker, Alfa Romeo Spyder, Jaguar, Internation