Part Two of Two
Buying a beautiful, classic automobile can be as simple as typing into Google and pressing enter. Websites will have every classic car, in every color, from Craigslist to CarMax. But you could be buying a lemon, and not even know it...without specific experience of buying and selling vintage cars, overlooking even one aspect of the process can have you crying. Here is part two of our article on the top ten rules for your classic car purchase.
DON'T NEGLECT YOUR HOMEWORK
With auto-auctions becoming more popular, both from exposure on television and the internet, classic car statistics and specifications are often a few keystrokes away. "We live in the age of technology and there's all this available data," says Allen. "You can put a car model name and 'sold for' into any search engine, and you're going to pull up all these forums and articles that are written on these vehicles. You can get pretty in-depth and figure out if it's the car for you." An accurate assessment of condition is key. "I always put them in a one to four category," says Allen. "One is a perfect car, and to this day, I've never met a "one." Two is a very good car, three is a good car, and four to me is a fair-condition car."
RARE OPTIONS = MONEYMAKER
Perhaps it's counter-intuitive, but special additions to rare and exotic vehicles can really be a boon to your bank account. Power windows on a model that didn't originally have power windows? Jackpot! "It could be horsepower-related, it could be power-window related, it could be comfort-related," says Allen. "Back in the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies, you could go order cars and make them very unique. If there's a Mustang that pulls up on the auction block and it's a "one of one" because it had some kind of unique option, it'll bring more money than any of the other ones."
DOES PAINT JOB COUNT? YOU BETCHYA
It rarely comes down to simple color, but many buyers do care about the paint job, and if it's rare, even better. "You'd be surprised how much that can drive up the value of a vehicle," says Allen, who once bought a Ford Galaxie 500 XL with a bright pink with a white interior. "It had original paint and the original interior," he recalls. "The car was ordered by none other than Hugh Hefner to give to the Playmate of the Year. That car we sold for four times the amount of what a normal one would have brought. That's a one-of-one car. As far as an investment goes, that's a great one."
TERRIBLE GAS MILEAGE? NO PROBLEM
Huge engines use a good amount of fuel, and classic cars have some of the biggest. Again, the reality might be a surprise. "Right now the money's really into original big-block cars, which is cool," says Allen. "Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, Mustangs...those are considered the big blocks. They're the bigger cubic inches and have more horsepower, and they were produced less than the smaller-size motors. You know, these are the cars that don't get great gas mileage. We've seen those cars come back around and be worth a lot of money."
PREDICTING THE FUTURE OF CAR INVESTING
Navigating the latest investing trends, and understanding what's in demand with his customers is a large part his success. "There's going to be a lot of people who are going to hate what I'm about to say, but I think the next up-and-coming collectible car we'll see in the next five to 10 years is going to be those Eighties performance cars," says Allen. "The 1980s Camaro IROC-Zs, Buick Grand Nationals. Right now they're really affordable, and if you like those cars, then I would definitely recommend buying one. Don't think you're going to be able to turn it around and make all your money next week. That's going to be a five to ten year investment."