How to Start a Car Collection – By Scott Huntington

Thinking about collecting cars? It doesn’t just happen overnight! There are a few things to keep in mind when buying and selling cars for a collection. Here are the top seven tips for having the best collection on the block.

Know the Car Market

First thing’s first: you should have a solid understanding about cars. Not just the ins and outs of your favorites, though — you need to know what it will take to buy and sell the cars in your future collection.

The online world has changed the game when it comes to collecting cars. A car you bought a few years ago might surface in a video that tells people it’s the next big thing. Before you know it, that car will be worth a few thousand more than you paid for it!

Knowing online trends like these will save you thousands as you build your collection. Money is your absolute first concern — you don’t want to go broke on a hobby.

Create Some Guidelines

The best car collections have underlying themes. Harold LeMay’s collection focused on cars that people drove on a daily basis. Dr. Frederick Simeone’s collection followed four rules: it must be a sports car, it must have racing history, it must be considered significant and certain parts of the car had to be original.

Your theme can be as simple as LeMay’s or as complex as Simeone’s, but regardless of what you choose, themes create guidelines for your buying and selling habits. Never spend on random cars — it’s near impossible to have that scope of knowledge on a variety of cars.

If you’re smart, you’ll treat car collecting as an art and focus on styles, periods or significant historical figures!

Think in the Long-Term

When investing on other important payments, such as a house, home improvement project or new appliance, you tend to think in the long-term.

Before you even consider adding a car to your collection, ask yourself: “Why does this car belong in my collection?” You’ll have to insure it, store it and repair it. Will buying this car today still make you happy ten or twenty years down the line? Does it fit into your theme?

If you have trouble answering any of these questions, the car probably doesn’t belong.


How much work do you want to put into your cars? Classic car upkeep can be either a chore or a pleasure, depending on your level of interest. If you’re a total gearhead, go and buy all the beaters you like and fix them. Not much of a mechanic? Consider buying low-maintenance cars.

Understanding where you lie on the maintenance spectrum is key. Conduct some thorough research before you buy.

Make Sure You Have a Roomy Garage

You’re going to need a place to store all your treasures. It’s important to have a garage, but make sure you have one with ample space. Crowding a bunch of great cars into a terrible garage will only make the cars seem terrible.

Don’t forget a place for all the supplies and parts. You’re going to need some tire carousels, lots of shelving, and good metal drawers with locks. Consider cleaning up the clutter and organizing. Mount some tools on the wall or get a ceiling storage system.

Build a Network

What’s the use of having all these cool cars if you don’t have anyone to share them with? There are thousands of collectors in the world that share your interests — it’s up to you to go and find them!

Take you cars to meetups, shows and even auctions if you plan on selling them. You’ll make friends and connections that will likely last a long time.

Drive It!

Duh! If you own amazing pieces of history and you don’t take them out for a spin every once in a while, you’re doing it wrong. Plain and simple.

Have any other useful tips? Post them in the comments at!

About The Author

Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA. Check out his site or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.