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How To Buy An Antique Car


More and more people nowdays are getting into the hobby of collecting antique cars. Some people long for the car they had as a teenager and others want one that they have dreamed of for the longest time. Whatever drives you to your dream antique car, rest assured that it can be a relatively simple process if one follows some basic rules.

1. Choosing Your Antique Car

Deciding to buy an antique car is rarely a straightforward task. There are many factors to consider, the first one is whom you live with. If you are single, then that decision is fairly easy. If you are married, then the feelings of your spouse must be taken into consideration.

The condition of the car is one of the most obvious, but overlooked items in choosing an antique car. If you are versed in the art of welding, then your options are increased. Browse through any number of antique car magazines and you will find an array of potential antique vehicles, in varying conditions-ranging from those in good, usable condition to those infamous 'project cars' which have mismatched components, are probably missing half of the parts and should be left in the boneyard. Make sure that you are aware of your talents and know your limitations so that you don't bite off more than you can chew.

2. Where Can You Find Antique Cars?

There is no shortage of antique cars for sale. Everywhere one turns there seems to be an old, classic car for sale. Some resources are local newspapers and weekly shoppers which are the most current and often offer the best bargains.

Another good resource is the internet. Do a search on Google, Yahoo or eBay and you will find many different companies selling antique cars online. Be aware that although the photographs of the antique cars may look great, nothing beats seeing the vehicle in person.

3. Preparation Before Going To View The Antique Car

Your best bet is to buy from a reputable dealer since if anything goes wrong with the car, they more than likely will be there tomorrow and should be able to resolve the issue. If you buy from a private seller, it is a case of 'buyer beware' as unless the vehicle has been totally misrepresented, you will have little recourse if the car turns out to be junk.

Before you go, it is best to be prepared with a list of questions to ask the owner. Some examples are: 'Why are you selling the car?', 'How often have you driven it?', 'How long have you been the owner?', 'How many previous owners are there?', 'Has the car been in a serious accident?', 'Do you have any of the original paperwork?' and 'so forth. If you have gathered some background information on the car, you may have some specific questions relating to that particular model.

4. Viewing The Antique Car

Make sure that you make the appointment to view the car during daylight hours and on a clear day without rain. Dark, dreary days that are raining tend to give an artificial shine to the paint. If you are not well-versed mechanically, you may want to bring along someone who knows their way around cars and can point out some of the typical trouble areas.

Before jumping into the nuts and bolts of the vehicle, do a walk-around of the car to look how it sits-is there any sagging or leaning? Does the paint match from panel to panel? Do the panel gaps line up nicely? Do the tires match and are they the same type? Parking the car under a yellow street light in darkness is an excellent way of assessing paint and bodywork, as it highlights any imperfections.

Check the body all over for signs of rust or repair. Lift up the floor mats and check underneath the carpets. Look underneath the car for corrosion.

Try to start the engine while it is cold. Listen for knocks or whines when the engine starts and look for any evidence of smoke out the exhaust. Any weird noises or smoke means some money will have to be spent on repairs. Take a look at all the fluids (brake, coolant, engine oil, etc.) to see if they have any telltale signs of contamination or abnormal smell.

One of the more important aspects of the inspection is the test drive. Observe how the clutch operates, how the transmission shifts and how the engine sounds under load. Does the car drive straight or does it wander? How do the brakes feel? Does it stop safe and sure? Is there any play in the steering? How is the ride quality? All these items must be taken into consideration.

Hopefully this list of potential trouble areas will have given you insight into some of the things to check over when inspecting a potential purchase. There is no better way of protecting yourself than to read up on everything you can about your favorite car, visit the may classic car internet sites and visit with car owners at car shows and swap meets.

5. Paying For Your Dream Car

Nothing motivates people more than cash. Having the cash on hand enables you the power position in negotiations. However, if you must pay by check or from loan proceeds, we are sure the owner will be more than flexible in coming to terms of the sale.

Links of Interest

American Dream Cars - Offering classic cars and parts for sale and export.
Canada Corvette - Markteplace for used Corvettes and parts, provides guidance on evaluating a used Corvette.
C-Cars.com - Marketplace enables consumers to buy and sell classic and hot rod vehicles, features photos.
Central Valley Classic Cars - Listings of classic, muscle, exotic antique and specialty cars.
Classic Auto Mart - Most ads have accompanying photographs, and ads may be placed at no cost.
Classic British Cars - Stock photos of classic British motorcars and parts, photo galleries.
Classic Car Classifieds - Resource to locate or sell classic vehicles. Color photos of most cars for sale.
Classic Car Collection - Features classic, collector exotic and racing cars.
Classic Car Marketplace - Classic, collector and antique cars and trucks for sale.
The Classic Car-Nection - Antique and classic cars and parts for sale by private owner.
The Classic Exchange - Classic car classifieds and auction.
ClassicsAndCustoms.com - Antique and classic vehicles and parts for sale by private parties and dealers.
ClassicsCars4sale.net - Classic car and truck photo advertising in the United States and Canada.
Classilink Classic Cars - Photo ads enable consumers to locate or place ads for antique, classic and muscle cars.
Collector Car Ads - Consumers may search photo ads of classic cars available for sale or place their classic vehicle for sale.
CollectorCarTraderOnline - Search or place free online ads for antique, classic, collector, and muscle cars, hot rods, and other specialty vehicles. Find dealers, brokers, parts, accessories and financing.
Dad's Classic Cars - Classic and muscle cars from private sellers, photo series and information provided for each vehicle.
Dicks Classic Cars - A dealer of classic American cars, based in Marietta, OH. Specializing in quality originals, rust-free project cars and fully restored collectables
FossilCars.com - Marketplace for classic and antique cars and parts.
Gas Pump Classics - Photo ads for classic and muscle cars with up to 20 photos per ad.
Hemmings Motor News - Searchable ads for cars, parts, services, tools, literature and automobilia. Marketplace for antique, classic, vintage, muscle car, street rod and special interest autos.
InvestCar International - Ads for sports and race cars.
Motorheadtrader - Listings of classic cars, collector cars and muscle cars and parts for sale, photos of many of the vehicles.
Nostalgic Car USA - Listings for classic automobies, trucks and parts.
OldChevyTruck.com - Classic and antique Chevy trucks and parts for sale from private owners across the United States.
One Corvette - Corvette photo classifieds.
One in a Million Cars - Photo ad marketplace of classic vehicles available from private sellers.
Overnight Auto Accessories - Get great deals on new OEM aftermarket and performance auto parts
QV500.com - Listings of exotic marque vehicles available for purchase from owners and dealers around the world.
Street Rod USA - Consumers may review or post ads for street rods and street rod parts.
Vette Finders - Corvette only site with ads for vehicles and parts, appraisal and locater service, and events calendar.
Yesterdays Cars - Classifieds for cars older than 1980, in the categories of Hotrods, Customs, Antiques, Vintage, Classics, and Pro Street.

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