Owning a classic car can be extremely rewarding and instill a ton of pride in a person, so it is no wonder that most car enthusiasts eventually want to own a piece of the action themselves. The classics are an investment though so it can only benefit you as a first-time buyer to understand that you do not know what you do not know, and take the opportunity to educate yourself on all the details that go into purchasing and owning so that once you sign the title you do not have buyer’s remorse. Researching classic cars can prevent you from being a first-time buyer who had to learn the hard way what to avoid and what to insist on.
Join the Club
Yes, driving a car is a one-person gig, but it is more fun when you can share that joy with others who know the same feeling. Seek out communities of classic car owners and you open yourself up to a wealth of knowledge, tips, and tricks from those who have walked this path before you. An opportunity to learn from someone else’s mistakes is huge for first time buyers. Another great aspect of joining a club is it does not have to be a local, physical group of people. There are online communities full of blog posts, how-to guides, and car buying resources that both novice and veteran gear heads can benefit from. Not to mention the photos alone that online forums grant you access to are enough to convince you to hit subscribe on every single post.
DIY When You Can
Classic cars demand more attention than modern vehicles, and the classics do not come with a computer inside to alert you to the mechanical needs of the vehicle. Having said that, learning to do some of the basic maintenance items yourself will help you to love and learn about your classic car on a more intimate level. As a first-time buyer, if you are also a beginner when it comes to maintenance, the key to successful at home repairs is patience and knowledge. Everyone has their own limit for how much they can take on, so knowing your limits will also be helpful. Once you understand what you can and cannot handle, find the right part sources for your specific car, and a trustworthy and credible mechanic for the tasks that are out of your reach.
Keep it Real
A level head and heart are going to be your best friends throughout your first-time buying experience. Although it can be difficult to manage expectations when you are excited, and it might seem like doing so is the thief of joy, the opposite is true. Car buying resources can help you with the stats and particulars, but only you can manage the emotional side of a purchase like this. Before you begin your search, think about why you are doing this. Decide what do you want this car to be able to do for you and create a purchase plan in line with those goals. The biggest mistake a first-time classic car buyer can make is signing the papers on a whim and then saying to themselves “ok now what?”