Antique and classic cars are being collected now more than ever. Classic car collectors learn their hobby over years and years of research and browsing, even attending a half dozen or more car shows each year. However, some basic information is available to help anyone begin the lifelong passion of collecting antique automobiles.
Definition of a Classic Car
A classic car is one that is more than 15-years old, while an antique car is more than 25-years old. A vintage car dates from the 1930's or older. As well, there are different car eras, such as the Vintage Car Era, Classic Car Era, Muscle Car Era, and so on, and this is also important to understand.
Display and Drivable Cars
Some antique car collectors drive their cars everywhere, while others have theirs for display purposes only. Display cars often have the benefit of needing less maintenance to keep their classic feel and pristine condition. If you want to drive your classic car, remember that it will require more money for such services as paint and wax jobs, engine work, and inspections. Not only do antique cars lack modern safety features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes, but vintage cars may also lack modern conveniences like power steering, stereo systems, or even heat.
Antique car collectors know that antique cars in general are very expensive investments, but there are several ways to cut these costs and make collecting cars an even more enjoyable experience. Many cars are simply left to rust away in lawns or in junkyards. These cars can often be bought at a real bargain for even a few dollars. However, the cheaper these cars are usually indicates what shape they come in. Therefore, several decisions must be made concerning the usability of the cars. Will they be driven? Do they need a new engine? What use will they have on a daily basis?
With some body work to remove rust and replace irreparable damage, these cars can even receive new interiors and engines. The most common work is a brand new paint job (the most noticeable and appreciable work), so a good deal can cost as little as $1000. With an interest in automobiles and a modest income, restoring antique cars can be the lifelong hobby of antique car collectors.
Ratings for Antique Car Appraisal
An antique car appraisal must be based on uniform standards to get a correct appraisal.
Parts Car: this means that the car is only to be used for individual car parts. The car itself has no value except for the individual parts that can be taken from it and used in other cars. The car might not be a candidate for restoration, and therefore appraisers will not waste other people's time and money by declaring it usable except for parts.
Restorable: means the car in question has potential to be restored. The car model and make must still be recognizable to warrant this antique car appraisal rating. It may also need a complete body, chassis and interior restoration if it is appraised in this condition. Most likely the engine will also need some attention as well as the exterior, but not to the point that you restore more than a third of the body, chassis or interior.
Good: this antique car appraisal means that the automobile may need just a little tweaking to make it functional. The quality of restoration of the automobile may also affect the antique car appraisal. If it is functional yet the quality of restoration is poor, then the price will still not go up despite its good condition. The antique car appraisal should always include the quality of the restoration.
Very Good: antique car appraisal could mean that the automobile is functional and the amateur restoration is passable. The restoration might be rated as older or worn out to some extent but not as bad as expected. A Very Good antique car appraisal might be considered presentable and serviceable in the interior and exterior.
Fine: is the antique car appraisal that means the automobile is restored very well and its original parts are well maintained to the point that they are in good working order.
Excellent: antique car appraisal means that the car in question has been restored to excellent professional standards and could possibly be a show car that is not driven or worn out but maintained for aesthetic purposes.
Antique Car Pricing
Antique car pricing depends on many different factors, and antique car pricing can vary from year to year. The prices can also vary depending on the point of sale. Antique car pricing depends on the age of the car, the condition of the car and special features on a car.
An antique car that is very old might be much more expensive than a newer classic car. These car prices fluctuate like more modern cars depending upon the condition. An antique car that is in mint condition could cost ten thousand dollars more than the same model in poor condition. Antique car pricing can also vary depending on the mechanics of the car. One that is road-ready will cost much more than one that looks good but does not move on the streets.
Antique car pricing depends on the year and the condition of the car, but the pricing can also depend on many of the various features in each car. Some of the classic cars have radios that actually still work while the older cars never do. Some of these cars have original mirrors while others have modern replicas. The fabric used in the interior could have a significant impact on the prices of antique cars; if the fabric in the interior is the original and in great condition, this is important in the price of the vehicle.
Many collectors of classic cars base their prices of the cars they have on a price guide. The antique car price guide gives approximations of how much a certain model of automobile may cost these days. The prices found in the antique car price guide are somewhat loosely approximated because not all cars of the same make and model are restored professionally or even restored properly. Popular price guides include MacRAE's Blue Book online, and Kelley Blue Book.
The hobby of collecting antique and classic cars can be fun and enjoyable, and it can also incredibly rewarding, especially financially. As long as you are informed and take the situation seriously, you should not have any problems, and not only will you have a great time but as well can make quite a bit of profit for yourself if you go about things in the right way.
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