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What to Look For When Buying Antique Cars

July 10, 2013

What Makes Cars “Antique Cars?”

Antique cars” are classified as such based upon the age of the car. There is some confusion, however, as to what is really classified as an antique. According to The Classic Car Club of America, the Antique Class is for those cars that are 100 years old or older. Whereas the Antique Automobile Club of America states that any car 25 years and older is an antique. And still a third rule exists according to the United States government. This maintains that a car, not a reproduction of, must be manufactured at least 20 years prior to the current production year to obtain an antique vehicle registration. Regardless of the rule, the nostalgia of antique cars takes us back to a simpler time and those “happy days” of old.

Things You Should Look for in Antique Cars

Whether you are looking to buy your first antique car or this is an addition to your antique cars collection, there are a few things that you should consider before making your purchase.

Title, VIN number and engine number

Before purchasing an antique car, it is imperative that the car has a clear title. The DMV imposes fees and penalties which can become quite costly. A question to ask is whether the title is registered to the person selling the vehicle or if the car is even registered?

Secondly, make sure that the VIN number and the engine numbers match the car. These numbers give the details for the antique car. The engine number tells the size and type of engine that the car has. Encoded in the VIN number are the engine size, transmission type, body style and more. Make sure that this number matches the characteristics of the car. This can tell you whether modifications have been done to the car. These modifications can sometimes de-value the antique car. It is strongly dependent upon what you are looking for in an antique car.

Antique Car Conditions

Antique cars have seen a lot of years and sometimes miles. Many antique cars; however, have not seen snow or inclement weather. It is important to inspect the condition of the car closely because some flaws can be hidden.

When considering the exterior of the car, check the seams of the doors and hood and any panels for uniformity. Waves in lines and unevenness are indicative of damage. Welds and welding marks are generally a sign of clipping – where parts of an undamaged car have been attached to a damaged car. If you see this, this antique car is probably not the one you want.

The interior should also be inspected closely. Is the interior original? Does it show signs of excessive wear?  Has it been modified with a new dash, aftermarket radio or other parts? When considering the interior, it can be difficult to replace the emblems and factory parts. It is always best to look for antique cars that have original interiors that are in good condition and working order.

Finally, lets talk engine and working parts. This can be the most costly part of owning antique cars. Buyers should take into account the availability of parts and the cost of parts when purchasing antique cars. Some makes and models have parts that are extremely difficult or costly to find. A test drive and inspection performed by a certified mechanic will help determine the extent of work that needs to be done here. Antique car buying is definitely not a “sight unseen” proposition.

Antique Car History

It is often helpful to consider the location of the car and the weather that it has been exposed to. Rust can eats antique cars away. Cars that have been kept in warmer, drier climates often have less rust than those in colder wetter weather states.

Antique Cars – A Tx Classic Car Specialty

At Tx Classic Cars, we’ve made antique car restoration our livelihood. In our private collection antiques cars, you’ll find one-of-a-kinds, exotic cars and popular makes and models. With over 70 antique cars to choose from, you’re sure to find your dream car. If you already own your dream car, we’re here to help make it everything that you’ve imagined. Our mechanic has performed everything from frame up restorations to frame off restorations on nearly every make and model in the past 30 years. Put our expertise to work for you. Contact us today to learn how we can make your dreams a reality.

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