If 2023 is the year you’re going to realize the dream of vintage vehicle ownership, chances are you have the make and model in mind. But, if you’re new to classic autos, you may wonder how to make that decision when there are so many beautiful classics available. The hot rod and classic car enthusiasts at Wrenchers LLC have tips for choosing your vintage car.
Doing your due diligence is important no matter what purchase you make, but that is especially true when you’re investing in a classic. Perhaps you’ve always had that dream car in mind and thought, “Once I find the car of my dreams… and can afford it, it’s going to be mine!” There are some car enthusiasts who just want “a” classic or vintage car and haven’t had their minds and hearts set on a particular make or model.
No matter which side of the road you’re on when it comes to vintage car ownership, here are suggestions based on our experience and expertise in the vintage and classic car field.
Tips For Choosing Your Vintage Car
- Do your research. Whether you go online and research cars, talk with friends, attend vintage and classic car shows or stop by and talk with us, you’ll want to know what you’re getting for the money you’re laying out.
- Choose wisely. There will always be vintage cars that are better – or safer investment – choices. Know the going rate for the car you want. Consider the purchase price and any improvements necessary to make it drivable or upgrades to make it your dream car. Cars typically depreciate over time, but there are some classic cars that appreciate. Naturally, if you can buy a car that will increase in value, that’s a solid choice, but if having the perfect vintage vehicle in your driveway isn’t about the money, then go with your heart and your budget.
- Unique is nice… but potentially more costly. When you’re a full-on classic, hot rod or vintage car collector, you may want that unicorn among the classics. That’s great, but then again, that unicorn could mean parts are as rare as a unicorn, too. A concept car, for example, is certainly unique, but will you be able to sell it and recoup your outlay or afford the parts (if you can even find them)?
- Decide whether unique is more important than having a classic car that others also own. Just because you’re driving a 1971 Ford Thunderbird or a 1938 Volkswagen Beetle and your neighbor is driving the same, it doesn’t mean your vehicles will be mirror images, nor should they be. The beauty of being a vintage car owner is you can opt for classic styles and colors for your vehicle, or you can think out of the box with upgrades, updates and paint colors and designs. Owning a more “common” classic car means you can find replacement parts more easily, and you’ll be able to find an experienced classic car professional that can work on your car.
- Know your non-negotiables. Are you sticking to a budget for the purchase alone and have an additional budget for repairs and perhaps even a frame-off restoration? Know your numbers and stick to them. If you don’t know the potential costs of a restoration of the car you’re considering, give us a call and let’s talk numbers; keep in mind there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the price of restoration until we get under the body and the hood. How much of the work do you want to do on your own? Is the vehicle you’re looking at going to be within your skillset? Do you want a vintage vehicle that is road-ready, or do you dream of putting your own elbow grease into the restoration? Be prepared to negotiate with the seller of the vehicle you have your eye on but know where your line in the sand is when it comes to making compromises on the car of your dreams.
At the end of the day, the vintage, classic or hot rod you take possession of will grow near and dear to your heart. And there is nothing like hitting the open roads in your vintage vehicle.
At Wrenchers LLC, we are classic, antique and hot rod enthusiasts, and that shows in the craftsmanship of our vehicle restorations. Whether you choose a full frame-off, traditional restoration or custom work for your vehicle, our experienced restoration professionals listen to you and work on your vehicle with the same care they take with their own. When your keys are handed over and you slide behind the wheel after your car has been restored, you will be hitting the road in the vehicle of your dreams.