“I’ve been looking at, toying with, buying an old car, antique automobile, that I could take to cruise-ins, antique vehicle shows, or just cruise around town in. They’re cool! Are they good investments? You have a couple of them. What really do they cost and how much does it take to maintain all of them? ”
This inquiry is something that I frequently encounter in public arenas where people are viewing, looking at my cars. Because this is a complex question to answer I have found that the best way to handle this is to use whatever car I possess at that will show as an example, and begin in order to relate my history with it. None of my cars are considered high dollar, exotic “classic” cars. Rather, they are average working man’s automobiles, and NOT Corvettes, Porsches, or even coveted sports cars.
We generally start the conversation by saying, “Personally, nobody I know has ever made money on their antique vehicles. ” Damned few have got ever broken even. That is the nature of this old car endeavor. It will be a lifestyle. First, let us consider me, and then you. I am at a point in my life where, due to age plus injuries I actually can no longer do restoration work. Therefore , I need to be looking at an already restored car that I might drive maybe a thousand miles per year. So , it has to be desirable to me, look really good and be mechanically first rate, and dependable. I will require to pay top dollar for whatever We buy, plus I need to be very particular and circumspect about what I buy. Now, considering you, what is your fancy– Cord, Packard, Ford Chevy? What will be your own involvement in the restoration and maintenance associated with this proposed car? Are you by mechanical means inclined; do you have an array of tools, or will you rely on mechanics plus shops? Do you like to tinker with aged cars? If you perform much of the work yourself the whole she-bang will cost you much less.
Several issues come to mind; affordability, desirability, and your proposed level of restoration—as in driver quality, higher quality-approaching show car, strictly show vehicle, or high point judging quality. Let’s start along with some basics. What is your own budget, what can you afford to spend on this older car effort? How much money are you initially willing to spend on an outdated car? Are usually we talking $5K, $10K, $15K, $20K? Research shows that you will eventually have $20-25K in your higher quality antique vehicle if you are seriously into this endeavor. It makes a difference because you’ll end up paying it either upward front, or down the particular line. The next is desirability, because in what kind of car are you really interested in? Keep in mind that it will cost a person much more in order to restore the Jaguar than a Studebaker or even Model “A” Ford. What level associated with quality are you looking at starting with? Will this be something which needs a lot of work, a little work, very little work, or no work?
Now consider me personally. I bought this 1969 Volkswagen convertible which i possess here today about 8 months ago. It took me two years to find it. It is very desirable to me because I have got owned in least 10 prior VWs, a couple of them being convertibles. Those were some of the best times within my life. This car was described as in display condition and advertised with regard to high bucks. The Old Car Price Index suggests a number one convertible VW show car is valued at $35, 000. The particular asking price was $26K. I understand from watching the market that will the only place I’ve ever seen a car sell from the suggested Old Car Price Index is upon entertainment TV at those highly advertised, circus-like, famous name previous car auctions. Personally, I believe that all those auctions are not at all representative associated with the real world you and I actually live in. I did the homework, gathered as much info as I can about this specific car from the owner and the man who restored it some ten years back. I talked with individuals men extensively, judged all of them as basically honest, and also obtained actual pictures of the restoration in progress. And after that I made some judgements. Obviously it is greatest to see and generate a vehicle for yourself before you lay your cash down. I could not easily travel to where the particular car was located so I would have to rely on the information collected and the judgments from the restorer. He said that the owner was honest, but not a “car guy”. The current owner admitted that he purchased the car since an investment and, to preserve it, just drove this sparingly about 1500 miles over that time period which he owned it, or regarding 100 kilometers per year. I also knew that his ad within Hemmings ran for about 4 months. This did not sell and we were well into December, not prime time regarding convertibles. I don’t know exactly what he paid for this but I’m assuming that it was in the 20-22K range, maybe less. Based upon my gathered info We offered him $18K. He countered with $22K and we settled upon $21K.
Therefore , I required a chance and bought the vehicle. My expectation has been that I would need in order to go over it well plus re-restore some things because of it’s not really being driven much intended for 10 years. Cars do not do well when they sit undriven for long periods of time.
Initially getting it running off the delivery truck indicated that the carburetor needed to be rebuilt. It seemed gummed up from the old gas deteriorating in it. The car, as expected, had a beautiful body, top and interior, and the engine bay was pristine—too pristine. It was obviously built to get show, the particular engine compartment was filled with chrome. Any ductwork, shrouding or parts that will interfered with the chrome had been eliminated. When you do this to an aircooled VOLKS WAGEN, you significantly sacrifice everyday performance. You have to put back on these unsightly yet essential original air cleaners and carburetor heater shrouds and such therefore the engine runs properly. Lots of little things needed attention, including, dashboard lights, wiper switch, ignition switch, light switch, horn switch, turn signal switch. That first run to the shop cost about $1100. After driving it for a couple weeks after the snow and ice cleared out this became obvious that several other things needed attention in order to make it roadworthy and reliable as well as pretty. I had disc brakes installed up front plus the rear brakes rebuilt with new parts. The carburetor had been rebuilt again. It turns out that it is a Brazilian re-pop that is not nearly as good as a German original carb. So, that’s at the head associated with my list for points to discover at swap meets. That bill was $1100 also. At this particular point a few 8 months after purchasing it (four months of sitting due to winter) the car is performing fairly much when i had hoped for and I is reasonably happy with it as a number one show condition car. I have about $23K invested within it. In talking along with many, many old vehicle owners I do believe that figure to be somewhere near the particular median range investment pertaining to average work-a-day people with nicely restored old cars. I actually do expect other issues to surface as we go through the driving season.