When it comes to buying second hand, knowing your stuff is likely to save a lot of money and heartache, when it comes to buying second hand classics, this sentiment is magnified times one hundred.
Quite simply it’s very easy to have your head turned by some beautiful bodywork, but that same bodywork might mask a multitude of sins under the bonnet. In this blog, we’re taking a look at the very specific practice of buying classics and what on earth you should be looking for and what to avoid like the plague.
The Right Vehicle
You probably have a very specific make and model in mind when it comes to buying a classic but the best thing you can take with you to somewhere like a car auction, for example, is an open mind. Couple that with a lot of research and you’ll be in a great position to buy a car that’s not going to cripple you in replacement parts.
What are you researching? Well there are several key areas that are unique to classic cars that owners of newer cars tend to worry less about. The main area is Auto parts and if they’re readily available. Following that are the questions of cost and if there is a garage close enough to you that is prepared to work on your classic vehicle.
Very often, the best place to find the answers to these questions and more is by joining an owner’s club online. If you can’t find the answer on the pages, you’re bound to find it on a forum dedicated to discussing the ins and outs of your particular model.
If you’re buying used then finding out the full history of your car is the first step. Your car should have a full service history with all the relevant documents. If the seller is unsure or isn’t able to answer your questions, then you’ll need to consider if this is the car for you. With older models, finding out when key parts have been replaced is essential to knowing the status of the car.
In this area again, your research is going to count. Look for key indicators of wear and tear on your online forums and match them to the engine that’s presented to you. If you’re in any doubt, have a qualified mechanic to accompany you on a return visit.
Like any car sale, you’ll want to take the vehicle on a test drive to ensure the gears, indicators and electrics are all functioning as they should. If the car converts, ask the owner for a demonstration to make sure that nothing has seized up.
Classic cars can be a labor of love, they are very often passion projects and can feel like a money pit. They are also stylish, full of history and great fun to drive. The key is knowing what to look for, so ask as many questions as you need, do your research and drive away the ride of your life.
Featuring the 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1
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