What To Check Before Purchasing A Classic Car

What To Check Before Purchasing A Classic Car


Before proceeding with the purchase of an old car, you will surely have asked yourself a few questions:
– What should I check in a classic car?
– What elements are important for evaluating a historic car?
– Am I sure I am getting a good deal?

In this article, we will try to give some answers to your questions.

Vintage cars hide many pitfalls and, being made up of many components, you have to keep your eyes open to be sure you are making a good business.
Approach the car with caution, check its state of use, if preserved, or the quality of the work, if restored. Very often, knowing the owner of the car can already give you some indication of how it was treated: whether it is an enthusiast, a neophyte or an “improvised dealer”.

Even if you are not an expert, from a first glance you will be able to see the state of the bodywork, a very important element: check if it has traces of rust on the sills (often these are points where rainwater accumulates, for example), around the seals of windshield and rear window and above all to the bottoms. Check for accidents by looking at the side members inside the engine compartment, any repairs inside the mudguards, the trunk compartment and still inside the door hinges.

Furthermore, do not forget that historic cars have their value in originality, so it is good to evaluate whether all the main components (engine, chassis, exterior color, interiors and bodywork details) are really those of origin or, if in the course over the years, they have been modified.
The so-called “matching numbers”, is the correspondence between chassis and engine, is essential to establish whether the car has the characteristics necessary to enter a collector’s garage. In fact, it often happens that over time the engine has been replaced: in the past it was often considered more convenient to change an engine rather than repair it.

Consult the archives on the internet, in the forums, or the specific catalogs and magazines, to check if that engine is actually original from the fabric equipment.
The color of the bodywork is also important: a car that has been changed over the years has certainly a lower value than one with the original color. Look for any traces of paint underneath: often, in the most hidden places, you can still find the original color of the car as not all cars are completely disassembled in the bodywork when repainted.
Study the details: learn about the history of the car, the peculiarities of the specific model and the year of production. Check if the details, such as friezes, instruments, chrome and parts of the interior, are in their original configuration.

Finally, after the first (but careful!) Look, test the car in motion, both with hot and cold engine. Test it on the road, paying attention to the state of the mechanics, the gearbox, the brakes and the electrical part. A vintage car often still has original components that may be many years old, so pay attention to how they work, because replacing or repairing them could be very expensive.
Consider bringing a trusted mechanic with you, who can give you a more technical opinion on the condition of the car components.
Healthy vintage cars, those keeped for with care, by enthusiasts, are immediately distinguished, at a glance, even by an inexperienced person.
Also let yourself be guided by the sensations and emotions that the car arouses at first glance and as soon as you enter the passenger compartment.

These are just a few tips we can give you to avoid making a wrong purchase even though there is still a lot to add.
If you need more information, help or clarification, do not hesitate to contact us: we are available for a free consultation by providing all our expertise!

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