Buying a classic car 101: How to choose right one?

Buying a classic car costs a lot. There are many things to consider when doing so.

The glittering chrome and down-to-earth technology that adorn old cars make owning a treasured car a pleasure. If you make a mistake, both you and your wallet will regret it.

Nostalgia plays a big role in the decision to buy a classic car. Many prospective buyers start looking for cars that their parents used to drive or that they once owned. “There are many reasons for choosing a particular model, but the decision is really up to the individual,” said Jan Henen vom Duwe, head of the German Classic Car Federation.

A magazine article or a visit to an old-time car show can spark interest, and clubs that cater to specific models are always happy to provide buyers with tips on what to look out for.

Renting a model of your choice for a few hours is a great way to get to know the car and see if the car you dream of is really as good as you imagined it to be.

People buy vintage cars for all sorts of reasons. Being realistic about your reasons for buying is essential if you want to enjoy owning it.

Classic Analytics Market Watchdog Frank Wilke advises newcomers to think hard about what they want from a classic and whether a sports car or a limousine best fits their lifestyle. Perhaps a vintage off-roader would be wiser?

Marcel Nobis, writing for Germany’s Auto Bild Klassik magazine, says prospective buyers should decide which make and model they want before setting a budget.

Once commonplace, now-rare cars from European manufacturers are typically cheaper and more readily available than luxury brands. Nobis recommends spending two-thirds of his budget on car purchases and two-thirds on maintenance, because “very few cars are as good as the buyer thinks they are.”

Owners of rare classic cars will find it difficult to keep track of bodywork panels alongside items such as brightworks and interior components May 20, 2019.  (dpa Photo)

Owners of rare classic cars will find it difficult to keep track of bodywork panels alongside items such as brightworks and interior components May 20, 2019. (dpa Photo)

Buyers should also be realistic about their capabilities. Do you want to restore your worn out classic to pristine condition, or do you want to buy a nearly immaculate car and just polish the chrome finish over the weekend?

“A good mechanic with a workshop can risk buying a car in poor condition,” Wilke said. Refurbishing a vehicle also means that the owner gains insight into the car’s weaknesses.

If you’re not an expert, classics experts recommend buying the best examples you can find. Most of these are sold in small advertisements in magazines and online used car sites.

For almost trouble-free ownership, Nobis suggests buying a car from the 1980s or 1990s. “Most of these don’t have complicated electronics and drive just fine.” Models in this category include the second-generation Volkswagen Golf, the Mercedes 190 sedan, or the Audi 100. The Mazda MX-5 Drophead is a good choice for fresh air fans.

Older cars like the VW Beetle and bread and butter cars of the 50’s and 60’s are wonderfully reliable when properly restored, but the steering and brakes are not up to modern standards.

Ease of repair is also important, and that’s true for many cars such as Ford, British Leyland, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and others.

Owners of rare models will find it difficult to keep track of bodywork panels along with items such as brightworks and interior components. “Novice owners should try to establish a network with other enthusiasts from the beginning,” he says.

Once you have found the right car, the buyer’s caveats apply here as well. Bring along a friend or a professional to curb your enthusiasm.

Documentation and old service receipts provide insight into how the car has been treated.

Older cars are often upgraded to look better, and only a workshop inspection will reveal whether rust has set in or the vehicle has been badly repaired after a crash.

Running a magnet through the bodywork would reveal patches of filler, as well as uneven, inconsistent or large panel gaps throughout the vehicle, indicating that accident damage had not been adequately corrected. increase.

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