Do you dream of collecting classic cars, but aren’t sure exactly where to start? We certainly understand; after all, it’s next to impossible to attend a classic car show or auction and not catch the collecting bug!
But for those just starting out, the thought of building a vintage auto collection can feel a bit overwhelming. With so many options — many of them quite expensive — it’s hard to know exactly what classic cars to buy for collection.
Fortunately, you can build a collection with a bit of strategy and determination. Read on to learn how to build a classic car collection.
Save Money With Knowledge
As with so many other endeavours, collecting classic cars starts with knowledge. Before you make any purchases, research the collector car market.
Understanding both current and past trends can help you make informed decisions when it comes time to start collecting classic cars of your own. Pay special attention to collector car categories that are popular, but not exploding. Often, cars in these categories will be the next big thing, and represent a smart buy now, before prices increase.
You may also want to familiarize yourself with undervalued cars from the 1960s and 1970s. In many cases, cars such as Pintos, Vegas and Corvairs were driven extensively, then left to sit forgotten in garages. Find one of these underappreciated cars that’s in good shape, and you’ve got yourself an inexpensive starter car for your collection.
Secure Storage for Your Classic Car Collection
Once you start collecting classic cars, where will you keep them? In many cases, it’s not as simple as parking in your driveway or in a carport. Rather, you’ll need to consider factors such as:
- Protecting your cars from the elements; you may even consider a climate-controlled space
- Comfort is important, especially since you’ll be spending many hours working on your cars
- Room to expand and grow as you build your classic car collection
- A place to display your cars and showcase all of your hard work
Hone your Mechanical Skills
Will you be doing your own repairs and maintenance? How about restoration? When you’re considering how to build a classic car collection, take these three factors into account.
If you’ve got some mechanical skills, you can save lots of money… and that means you can buy more (or more expensive) collector cars. Gain skills by practicing on other vehicles, reading guides and watching online videos.
Develop a Plan to Build Out Your Collection
Finally, you’ll need to make some acquisition decisions before you start collecting classic cars. For instance, if you’ve got a $30,000 budget, do you purchase one more valuable car, such as a Porsche 911 or a 1988 3.2 Ferrari Mondial?
Or should you spread the budget out over several less-expensive cars? If you choose the latter route, you may have more opportunities to grow your collection ‘value-per-dollar’.
Here are a few options to keep your eye on when deciding what classic cars to buy for collection.
- 1980s muscle cars like the IROC Z, Trans Am and Formula 350 Firebirds are all increasing in value as nostalgia grows
- 5.0 LX Mustang — a great option when you really want a Mustang, but the 1967 model is out of reach
- 1987 Volkswagen GTI 8v for a (relatively) quick hatchback
- Corvette C3s and C4s offer a compromise between classics and high-performance late models
- 1988 Porsche 924s may cost a bit more but offers performance and vintage style
- Four-door passenger cars from the 1950s and 60s are increasing in value
- 1981 Mazda RX-7 offers a sporty option at a lower price
- Vista Cruisers, Ford Country Squire, Caprice and Bonneville station wagons from the 1960s and 70s
No matter which automobiles you choose, collecting classic cars offers a rewarding pastime.
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