What Should I Look for in a Vintage Car?


Quick Answer

Some of the most important factors for purchasing vintage cars include the presence of the original parts, the rarity of the car and low mileage, according to Men's Journal. Other issues to consider include the rarity of certain features on the car and the popularity of the car type.

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What Should I Look for in a Vintage Car?
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Full Answer

The experts from NPR's Car Talk suggest that potential classic car buyers consider their reasons for buying a classic car. Some purchases are due to love for a specific model or car, while others are intended to be an investment or to offer the challenge of renovation. Original features of the car are often a desirable factor in purchasing classic cars, because their vintage status is part of their appeal and their monetary value. Even the original paint can add value to a car.

To determine if a vintage car is all original, a buyer should look for "numbers-matching" cars, advises auto expert Jeff Allen in Men's Journal. The buyer should check the vehicle identification number on the engine, transmission, rear axle and the car's registration to make sure they all match.

Regardless of the other factors, the presence of any rust on the potential vintage purchase is a warning sign for buyers, agree Allen, Car Talk and experts at Central Valley Classics in Fresno, California. Rust on classic cars is difficult to fix and more expensive than simple mechanical repairs, Allen warns.

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