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New Jersey Used Cars: Classic Cars

A classic car can be a toy for one person, daily transportation to another, or an investment to a third. One of the most important steps in your classic car purchase is deciding what it means for you.


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     Purchasing a classic a bit riskier than your average used car purchase.  Compare a classic of 20 years or older to a two year old auto just coming off-lease.

     One obvious concern is the initial investment.  Tell me a few things about your off-lease purchase, and I can use the free online resources to quickly give you a very good idea of its value.  Contrast that with a 1966 Bonneville Convertible.  I just saw a beauty on ebay for and initial bid of $8,500, but how do I know what it is really worth? 

     Aside from the obvious difficulty in determining value, there is the issue of condition.  Anyone can take a look at fluids and a quick test drive.  Any competent mechanic can do a more thorough evaluation in an hour or two.  How does that work though, if you're buying a car out-of-state?  Will you trust that local mechanic that you've never met before?  I have to say, I don't think I could.

     Even with a competent and honest mechanic, the older the car, the more concern you might have for hidden frame or body damage.  Ford made some pretty Mustangs in the '60s, but frame problems in the intervening years were extremely common.

     I don't have any answers for you about how to approach this.  I would say that if you spend a few thousand you can easily afford on a car to ride on Sunday afternoon, this can be an easy purchase.  On the  other hand, if this will be daily transportation, you'll want to be absolutely sure this car is in reasonably good shape going in.  While there are no absolute guarantees when buying any used car, your own mechanic should be able to tell you that a car if reasonably sound--or not.

     For those purchasing as an investment, I'd suggest you buy a six month CD first.  Use that time to study prices on ebay.  Read up on a few cars that you'd like to own.  If a local mechanic specializes in older cars, make sure you can have any potential purchases evaluated before you buy.  In short, become your own expert on prices, and arrange for a professional evaluation of the car itself.

     For a great selection of classic cars, check out what's available on ebay.  

 

 

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