Purchasing and Fixing Up a Vintage Used Car
When you think of a used car, you probably think of something not more than a decade old. After that, many cars deteriorate so much, they are barely drivable. But many people have a soft spot for the cars of years past. If you have the time and energy and are looking for more than just transportation, why not purchase a vintage car? You can indulge in the pastime of fixing it up and be the envy of the entire neighborhood once you finally start driving it around.
Know the Model You Want
Before you start looking, you should have a rough idea of the make, model, and year of the car you are looking for. Did you fall in love with a Camaro in the ’80s? Or are you looking for something even older? Keep in mind that the older the car, the more maintenance it will require, and the harder it will be to take care of. You don’t need to be completely set on a single car, but if you have a rough idea, you can narrow down your purchase decisions.
Get Ready to Search
Vintage cars are vintage for a reason; they’re old, and they simply aren’t made anymore. So if you’re looking for a specific car, you’ll have a search on your hands. Check local junkyards, used car dealers, and even classified ads in the newspaper or online. You can also try talking to a vintage car dealer; however, keep in mind that these cars will have already been fixed up and consequently will be very expensive. You can save a lot of money by doing any necessary repairs yourself, assuming you can find the model you want.
Talk to Car Clubs
If you aren’t sure what you want or aren’t sure where to find it, see if there’s a collectors’ club in the nearby area. The members of these clubs are incredibly knowledgeable about old cars and will likely be able to point you in the right direction. In addition, you’ll make a few friends who share your new hobby and will have someone to go to when you have questions.
Look Under the Hood
Once you do find a car you are interested in, give it a thorough inspection before purchasing it. Yes, it’s likely going to need a little work, but you still want to make sure there aren’t issues that you can’t personally handle. Make a list of all of the repairs that are needed, and calculate how much each one will cost you in both money and time. If you feel like the project isn’t something you are comfortable with, don’t buy it.
Make Sure You can Still Find Parts
The older a car is, the harder it will be to find parts. If you can’t find the parts you need to replace, your car will end up becoming a very expensive driveway decoration. Obviously, parts for a vintage car probably won’t be made anymore, but they can sometimes be replaced with newer versions, or you can salvage the parts from a junkyard. Check the year that your car was made and the rarity of the model. If it wasn’t too rare at the time it was made, there’s a good chance a little junkyard digging will enable you to find you the pieces you need.
Be Prepared to Tinker
If you’re getting a vintage car, you absolutely have to be prepared to work on it. Even if it runs when you purchase it, there’s still a chance it will break down. You will need to learn how to repair what can’t be replaced, find the replacement parts where you can, and perform a quick fix if it stalls out.
Used cars require quite a bit of work, and vintage cars require even more. Luckily, if you purchase a slightly worn-down car, you can learn as you repair it. The tinkering at the start seems like a lot of work, but it’s good training for a future of driving your classic vehicle. By trial and error, you’ll eventually get that car working. Once you do, you’ll never have to wonder how to fix it again.