Why You Should Only Buy Your Classic From A DealerCarolina Muscle Cars Inc. Posted on 2015-08-05
You get what pay for. When buying a classic car, this is the correct mentality, but not always a reality.
The rule of thumb for classic cars is to not pinch pennies. If you are buying a classic, especially as an investment, then you want to pay for the higher quality automobile. As these are the cars that will be in the best condition and far more likely to appreciate in value; sometimes in great leaps. When caring and maintaining your classic, you want to purchase the best products and services to ensure that your investment stays in the best condition possible. Cutting corners for the sake of cutting costs can start a slow but steady erosion of the value of your classic car.
So it's the right mentality, but why is "You get what you pay for" not always a reality when purcashing a classic car? In the best case scenario, you purchase a classic car for what seems to be a reasonable price only to find out it is all original, matching numbers, etc. And it is worth far more than you paid for it. But the more common scenario is buying a car only to find that it worth less than what you paid for. Each Year/Make/Model has it's own check list of items that make it valuable. And not all classic car restorations are masterpeices. What may have looked great in a photo, a showroom floor, or going across the block at an auction may not look so hot in the morning. A closer look can uncover flaws or inconsistnecies that reduce the value of the car, and may cost you large amounts of money to correct.
These items, that ultimately determine the condition and value of the vehicle, can be invisible to even the expereinced car collector, and even more so for the casual hobbyist. But to that small, select group of professionals who grew up living, breathing, and eating classic cars, these items jump out at them like red flags. Like Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie "Rain Man", counting toothpicks in an instant, these classic car specialists mentally catalogue all of the strengths and weaknesses of each car they evaluate. Their minds are then able to weigh and balance these items against each other to determine it's value. This is the art of buying a classic car. It is a combination of historical knowledge, experinece, and the rare ability to predict trends in the marketplace. This is a skill that can't be faked.
So when buying a classic car, it pays to seek out these experts and select your classic from their vetted inventory. While two Year/Make/Models may seem exactly the same, the value of the actual vehicles may be drastically different. So the safer bet it to purchase from an experienced, reputable classic car dealer, rather than a private owner off of craigslist, etc. It may be the only way to ensure that your are actually getting what you pay for.
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