Gene Bernshtam on Factors to Consider Before Buying a Classic Car

It’s a well-known fact that well-preserved classic or vintage cars come with a steep price tag. That’s why you have to carefully look into a few things before you hand over that check. And by this, Eugene “Gene” Bernshtam means do your own research. Relying solely on the information provided by the seller—even those who have documents to support their claims—might make you buy something that’s less valuable than what you expected.

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Just to give an idea of the factors that you should look into, below are a few of them.

1. Decide on what you want. Don’t go to a classic car auction or a dealer without having any idea of what car you want. This is the fastest way to spend a huge amount of money on something that you might regret later on. When you know what you want, you know what to look for; meaning, you know exactly what your preferred car should have in terms of parts, engine, and other features.

Before you hit the dealer’s, find out as much as you can about the type of car that you want. And don’t generalize your choice like getting a Jaguar built sometime in the 1950s. Be specific. Do you want a 1953 Jaguar XK120 or a 1954 Jaguar XK140? Going in armed with all the vital information that you need means that you won’t easily fall for any sales pitch thrown at you.

2. Overall authenticity. The obvious parts to check are the frame, paint, engine, and interiors. But there’s more to authenticity than these parts. Are there any add-ons like accessories—wheel covers, a rare set of wheels or other extras? Are these the original add-ons for the car, i.e. they were designed specifically for the car that you’re looking to buy? These things could significantly increase or decrease the value of your car.

3. Do you wish to restore or preserve? There’s a huge difference between the two and deciding which one to go with can help you decide whether or not the car you’re looking to buy is worth your time, money, and effort. Restoration could be more expensive than preservation depending on the state of the car when you got it and your purpose for restoring it, i.e. driver restoration, for auto shows, or for your private collection.

As you can see, there are so many factors to consider before buying a classic or vintage car. The bottom line is to be well-informed about the car that you want before making the purchase.

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