How To Find True Love in Your Classic Car
February 13th, 2015
What do Classic Car buyers really want in a classic car?
Perhaps if you performed thousands of inspections on hundreds of different classic car makes and models every year, you would know. But, since you can’t, the people that do those inspections are going to tell you.
Classic car enthusiasts peruse the magazines, catalogs and online marketplaces in search of the perfect classic car. They cruise the car shows, the swap meets, classic car auctions and estate sales. They see thousands of cars and inevitably their first thought in classic car ownership begins with “cool car, I wonder what condition that car is in”.
Well, we know a few guys that don’t wonder, they know. Road Ready Inspections operates the largest exclusively classic car inspection company in America. With a national force of ASE Certified inspectors and a quality control review board staffed with seasoned classic car restoration experts, Road Ready Inspections is the foremost authority in classic cars and classic car condition.
Road Ready Inspections has compiled the definitive list of what classic car owners really want in a classic car, not things like air conditioning and 4 on the floor stuff, but things like ‘is this car a bucket of bolts or a sweet ride’, ‘a total rust bucket or solid as a rock’.
The reality is, no matter how much you love your classic car, it won’t love you back if it’s a junker sitting on blocks in the garage. That’s when you know you should have called Road Ready Inspections.
So what do you really need to know before you make the leap and buy that classic car? From the thousands of classic car inspections performed by Road Ready Inspections, these experts have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and concerns classic car buyers requested of the Road Ready classic car inspection experts:
- Rust - By an extremely large margin, rust concern was the most significant issue for classic car buyers. Rust can be the death knell of a pleasant classic car experience and your entire investment so it is always worth finding out more about any potential rust issues.
- Frame Damage - Generally caused by a previous serious accident or collision, a seriously damaged frame can spell the end of it all. The repair cost is overwhelming and typically out of the question.
- Drivability - Classic car buyers want to drive and enjoy their cars, not drag it home and start throwing buckets of money at it, they want to know if the car is driveable.
- Oil leaks - Face it, old cars have old seals and gaskets, and they can leak, sometimes badly. Considering there is nothing cheap about leak repairs, you will be cleaning up that oil spill in your garage with $100 bills, an inspection before you purchased would have been much cheaper.
- Engine and transmission condition - Easily two of the most expensive components of a classic car, an engine that smokes, burns oil or overheats, or a transmission that slips or clunks will add thousands of dollars to your purchase and investment. Make sure they are up to speed before you purchase.
- VIN number matching the title - Old cars come with old titles, lots of previous owners, and lots of parts replaced over the years. Engine numbers can change, frame numbers can change, body numbers can change, but the one number that will be a DMV nightmare to sort out is the VIN which should always match the VIN on your title.
- Quality of Work and Workmanship - There is a high chance that your classic car was hand-built, and possibly by someone that is less of a professional technician that one would hope. You could actually be driving a car with brakes installed by a person that had never installed brakes in his entire life before. One thing is for sure, great classic cars start with great workmanship.
Below are a few hundred samples of the questions, concerns and issues classic car buyers asked Road Ready Inspections to evaluate for them. It should be easy to deduce that a Road Ready Inspections pre-purchase inspection would have not only been far cheaper than the repair your car might need, but can potentially save your entire investment.
Road Ready Inspections customers often make special requests for the Inspector to keep an eye out for as part of the Road Ready 158-point inspection. Here are some examples:
- Verify VIN matches title
- Detailed report of condition
- Verify Sellers Claims
- Quality of work and drivability
- Rust and drivetrain condition
- Mechanical condition and frame damage
- Oil leaks and condition
- Electrical systems working properly
- Rust on body and underbody
- Vehicle condition seller claims
- Condition and drivability
- Rust, body panel fit, excessive body work and body fillers
- Picture of data plates and VIN
- Engine smoking and condition
- Rust and drivability
- Pics of data plates and VIN
- Oil leaks and drivability, steering and brakes in good operating condition
- Missing parts
- Condition of the underbody
- Pics of data plates and VIN, air conditioning operation, brakes and tires, drivability
- Exterior and interior condition, everything works, drivability
- No previous accident damage, engine and transmission condition
- Road test
- Quality of repair of previous rust damage
- Frame condition and engine condition and performance
- Rust on doors, cab and underbody, rust bubbles, engine and transmission leaks
- Rust in trunk and engine and transmission leaks
- Power steering, engine and transmission leaks, drivability
- Air conditioning operation
- Convertible top operation
- Body alignment
- Floor pan rust
- Paint condition
- Chassis condition
- Oil leaks
- Rust and body fillers
- Exhaust system, body fillers, air conditioning
- Clutch and transmission operation
- Drivetrain condition
- Mechanically sound