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 3: Maintain Your Dream
Finding your perfect classic car is exciting, but the delight should continue with ownership. More than new autos, however, classic cars need to be looked after. Besides insurance and engine maintenance, make sure to keep your baby clean and shiny. Repair or replace any interior cabin parts as needed. Part of the fun of owning a classic car is searching for period accessories like door handles, in-dash radios, or aftermarket toys like tachometers, continental wheel kits, and more—all of which make a special car really shine.
Wash and wax the exterior at least once a month in the driving season (late spring through early fall). Avoid driving your vintage ride in bad weather or dangerous road conditions. Sure, driving always entails some risk, but you should never increase the risk by putting your vintage car in situations where it could be damaged or worse.
Consider practical logistics as well. Make sure you have a safe, dry, secure place to store your car. A locked, heated garage is ideal. Treat your baby right, and when the right day comes, it will all be worth it. I know it’s hard to admit at this point, but there may come a day when it’s time to sell your dream car and move on to your next passion. Keeping your car in ready-to-sell condition makes that day easier. You may not be able to imagine it today, but it happens. Fair warning.
As for me, I’m currently passionate about the handed-down 1998 BMW 328i I got years ago from my now-mother-in-law. She taught me to drive its stick-shift in a single afternoon down in San Diego, and the next day I drove her all the way up to San Francisco. Lucy (that’s her name—the car, that is) has been with me ever since, for more than 100,000 miles. In fact, she just turned 339,000 miles old the other day. I love her, still drive her, and have gone to ridiculous levels to keep her running—and, yeah, probably spending more money on repairs than she’s worth. She’s become a part of my identity. And, as a result, I’ve become so loyal to BMW that I purchased a new one for my wife. And who knows, maybe this old vehicle will be the passion project of our future kids. Because, as much as I love Beemers, especially Lucy, I’ve currently got my eye on a beautiful old MG convertible.
Healey Cypher is a Men’s Fitness adviser and head of shopping innovation for eBay Inc.