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    General Administrator Cool Rides Online's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 4 Important Tips for the Novice Classic Car Collector

    4 Important Tips for the Novice Classic Car Collector

    Posted on November 29, 2012 by MarkAdams


    You may already be imagining the envious looks of your neighbors as you cruise down the street in a restored beauty, but check out these tips for buying and storing a classic car so you don’t get taken for a ride during the whole process.

    Beware of Counterfeits
    It is easier to counterfeit a classic car than to print a bogus dollar bill. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) tags can be swapped, fenders can be altered and numbers on engine blocks can be altered. Avoid getting scammed by looking for cars with strong documentation of their histories, including a paper chain of ownership, original window stickers and warranty cards.

    Buy an Unmodified Car
    The best classic car you can buy is one that is as original as possible with low mileage “Restomods” that have an original appearance but modern engines under the hood may drive better, they do not have the same intrinsic value as cars that are classics inside and out.

    Avoid Auction Fever
    While classic car auctions can be good places to find great cars, they can also be a place where you get caught up in bidding competition and get in over your head. Avoid this by researching the type of car you want before you head out to the auction and determining a range of values that honestly represent what you can afford to spend. Stick to those guidelines even when bidding gets intense.

    Off-Season Classic Car Storage
    Prep your car for off-season storage by giving it a good detailing to remove salts and road grime. Change or drain the fluids and fill the universal joints with fresh grease. Bleed the brake system, drain the fuel tank and cooling system and remove the battery. Raise the car and remove the tires, depress the clutch and cover it with cotton flannel fabrics that allow air to circulate and won’t ruin your car’s paint job. Taking these steps prepares your car for its winter nap and ensures it will be road-ready come spring.

    If you are an experienced classic car collector, please share any other tips that you may have for someone looking to start a collection in the comments below.

  2. #2
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    Default Where to find rust

    One of the best places to check for rust is to look under the car (if spare is in trunk) and check around the drain hole in the spare wheel well. If water has been leaking into the trunk, it will usually rust out around the spare tire drain hole.

  3. #3
    CRO Founder Marcel's Avatar
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    Question White paint

    I remember I was looking at possibly buying a white '67 Impala that looked like a steal and one of the guys I was with told me to be careful about white paint because that color is often used to mask heavy bondo jobs.

    Not sure how true that is - any body-repair folks on there want to chime in?

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    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel View Post
    I remember I was looking at possibly buying a white '67 Impala that looked like a steal and one of the guys I was with told me to be careful about white paint because that color is often used to mask heavy bondo jobs.

    Not sure how true that is - any body-repair folks on there want to chime in?
    VERY true! Same with bright Yellow, or any other very light color. By no way am I saying that all white, or bright colored classics are "bondo'ed" up, that would be ridiculous statement. But it is well known that the lighter the color, the better you need to look it over. The reason being that white, and light colors do not reflect light as well as darker colors. The darker the color, the more it reflects light. That's why black is such a hard color to work with when it comes to automotive paint. You can walk up on a black (or very dark colored) car and tell almost immediately whether the lines of reflection are straight, and any/all imperfections will stand out like a sore thumb. A white (or bright colored) car, you will need to know how to use the light to see if the refection lines are straight or all wavy (sometimes known as the "angry waters" look) because the light colors absorb light more than reflect it.

    Heres a couple more good tips when it comes to buying a classic (or any other car for that matter)....

    *Never buy a car in the rain/when its wet. The water can hide an enormous amount of paint/body flaws that won't become apparent until the car is dry.

    *Never buy a car at night time. It might be shiny at night, but the dark (or lack of light refection in spots) can hide paint/body flaws the same as water.

    I've been looked at very oddly before when it comes to my way of buying a car. If I have any questions about it's "true" condition after a good look over, I will offer the seller a complete hand wash/dry/interior job free of any charge. Why? Once you've put your fingertips and eyeballs over every square inch of a car, multiple times, you will see/know where every single flaw is. It might sound a little extreme, but a few hours of time/energy has saved me from making a $$ mistake many times. Well worth the trade off IMO, because by the time I'm done, I know exactly what I'm buying/looking at, without question. It might not be for everyone, but using this system of buying/looking, I've never been "burnt" on an automotive purchase.

    Last edited by Gtdhw; 11-29-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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  5. #5
    CRO Founder Marcel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtdhw View Post
    VERY true! ...

    If I have any questions about it's "true" condition after a good look over, I will offer the seller a complete hand wash/dry/interior job free of any charge...
    Thanks!!!

    That's some awesome advice! Especially about offering to wash the car, I never would have thought of that but if you're going to spend that much money on an "as-is" car that you're on the fence about - why not?!
    :birds:

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    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel View Post
    Thanks!!!

    That's some awesome advice! Especially about offering to wash the car, I never would have thought of that but if you're going to spend that much money on an "as-is" car that you're on the fence about - why not?!
    :birds:
    Exactly my thoughts.

    My wife still thinks I'm nuts, though.
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    Rookie Dan73's Avatar
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    I agree with your wife. If you spend some good time looking at the car, you dont have to wash it. If i was selling the car, I wouldnt let you wash it.
    I don't always downshift, but when I do, I do it near a Prius so they can hear me hurting the enviroment!!

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    Hall of Fame Member DavidC77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrodhogie View Post
    I saw one of those at a trade show, if I was into buying a lot of cars I would buy one in a heartbeat...
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  10. #10
    Rookie Dan73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrodhogie View Post

    Does it work on vetts? (fiberglass)
    I don't always downshift, but when I do, I do it near a Prius so they can hear me hurting the enviroment!!


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