An antique car owner may need to repair body damage, frame damage, leaks, alignment and belts to get the car in running condition. It is also important to check for rust, air conditioning problems, heater problems, brake condition and head gasket leaks.
Check for rust or body damage by walking around the vehicle and noting any nicks, scratches, dents or flaking in the vehicle's paint job. Many antique cars have rust, but rust is most critical in the wheel wells, under the hood or on the engine. Check for frame damage by looking for unnatural bends or curves along the vehicle. Alternatively, have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic.
An antique car with a leak may have weak brakes or an engine prone to overheating. Check for leaks by looking under the vehicle for any staining on the asphalt. You may need to wait several minutes to check for leaks if you recently drove the vehicle, because fluids may not have had time to drop.
Check the vehicle's alignment by driving the vehicle on a smooth, straight road while loosely holding the steering wheel. Note if the vehicle pulls to the right or left. The steering wheel should be level and should not shake when driving on a straight road.
An antique car should have belts without cracks. Check the belts by running the engine with the hood up and listening for any squealing or clanking sounds.