Dreaming of hitting the road in a vintage Mustang? Or opening the garage to that cherry red beauty you’ve been eyeing for years?
Owning a classic car can be an exciting investment, but there are a few things to consider before signing on.
Start with these five tips:
- Ask the right questions. Lots of them. And make sure you are thorough. How many owners has the car had? Why is it being sold? Are there necessary repairs? Was it ever in an accident?
- Be honest with yourself. In the heat of the moment, especially at auction, it’s easy to make snap decisions. That’s why it’s important to decide your budget, ideal model, color, etc. beforehand and stick to it.
- Check the numbers. Looking for a classic that’s a true investment? Look for a “numbers-matching” car – one where the engine, transmission and rear axle match up with the vehicle’s VIN. These parts are typically stamped with the last six digits of the VIN or a date code for reference. (Need help finding the VIN number? The DMV has resources that can help.)
- Try before you buy. Before you jump into such a huge purchase, arrange to see the car in person and give it a test drive. In the grand scheme of things, spending $500 on a plane ticket to see the car is better than spending $7,000 to $14,000 on one that’s not to your liking.
- Enjoy the ride. No matter how much you paid for your new vehicle, don’t treat it like a complete museum piece. Even with proper storage, classic cars can deteriorate over time if not driven. Roll down the windows and hit the open road. After all, it’s why you made this investment, isn’t it?