Burn It: How to Purchase Your Dream Car
You don’t have to be rich to own a classic car. But you do have to be smart. Before you act on your fantasy, here’s how to fall in love wisely.
Step 1: Educate Yourself
Car collections begin with memories—the desire to acquire that same kind of, say, stick-shift Volkswagon Beetle your dad taught you to drive (except this time, no hole in the floorboards). It fires up your ignition and gets things rolling.
But before you start your search for the perfect Beetle, make sure you learn as much as you can about the car. How common is the make and model, and how many exist? Are repairs simple or complicated? Are there garages in your area that service this type of car? How popular is it in your region of the country compared with the U.S. as a whole? The more you can learn early on, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
A great place to start your search is the Web. Unless the car you’re looking for is super obscure, a simple search on Google or eBay Motors will yield thousands of entries to peruse. There are also great websites out there like bringatrailer.com where buyers share stories about their cars and purchases (Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld included) that can be fun and invaluable reality checks.
There are also countless collectors clubs, like the Classic Car Club of America, along with sites dedicated to specific makes and models where you can gain even more insider information on exactly what you’re looking for.