Purchasing a Classic Car - A Wise Decision or Not?

Classic cars have become extremely popular over the last decade. These cars are timeless and beautiful. They transport you back to a certain place in time when life was much more laid back. You may remember having your first Beetle ride with your grandparents or sharing that first kiss in your father's Mustang. Aside from the classic car's timeless charm, here are a few good reasons one of these beauties.

Most cars are liabilities, but a classic car can serve as an asset. Invest in the right model, and you will see the value of your car increase as time goes by. This has held true for almost every model that is in near mint, to mint condition. Even models that need work, such a rare Superbird can fetch unreal prices because of their demand. All in all, the higher the demand for your car and the condition of it will ultimately determine its value.

Keep in mind that the maintenance of your classic will be expensive if the parts are imports or hard to come by. So you will need to do this research beforehand, so that there are no surprises after your purchase it. Sometimes just finding a single part can be a real test of patience and determination, and it isn't always going to be easy on your wallet.

Another advantage to owning these types of vehicles is that you will meet others who share your passion for this hobby. You can exchange advice, information and history with them! You can even go the extra mile and join classic car owners clubs. It's nice to mingle with fellow classic car owners so you can gain access to information, tools and parts more easily.

You will find that many people who attend car cruises and car swaps are extremely nice and always willing to share their stories and educate a newbie about the hobby. I have personally learned a lot from many of these people and I know you will also.

Tips for Choosing and Buying Classic Cars

When buying used cars, some people prefer to buy classic autos. These cars are usually more than 25 years old and require a little bit of special care. Not many dealerships sell classic cars, but those that do usually have them in good running condition. These dealerships can be found all over the county, including places like Norfolk, Virginia. Here are a few tips about choosing and buying classic cars in Norfolk, Virginia.

Many people purchase classics because they had one when they were younger or knew someone who did. They are eye-catchers and can bring about a little bit of excitement for both the driver and passersby when it is on the road. Classic used cars are made of thicker metal and have a more basic design. They bring the owner back to a time when life was simple and care-free.

There are many different types of classic cars available. Unlike modern vehicles, the dealership never knows when another one will come in or what type it is until its arrival. Some are more common than others. For example, in 1965, Ford sold 680,000 Mustangs. Plymouth built 61,500 Barracudas and Pontiac built more than 75,000 GTOs. The chances of finding a Mustang these days is much more realistic than finding a Barracuda or GTO, but they are out there.

A potential buyer should keep in mind that most older cars are not in mint condition. It takes work to get them that way. Be prepared for imperfections. Buying something that runs decently is a realistic starting point for someone who wishes to do some restoration while still being able to drive and enjoy the vehicle. Anyone looking to buy a classic vehicle should either know how to fix one, be willing to learn, or make sure the used car dealer in Norfolk has a reliable repair shop if needed. Some replacement parts are manufactured new for some older makes and models, while others require creativity in fabrication or finding parts.

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is located on the inside dashboard or on the driver's door interior, depending on the manufacturer. Using a numeric code key, it tells the year it was built, engine type, color and other details. Not all vehicles have the same engine now as they did when they were manufactured. Those that do are more valuable and are called numbers matching vehicles.

License plates are different in every state. In most states, such as Virginia, cars are eligible for antique plates when they are 25 years or older. They have their own set of rules and regulations for registration, inspection and road use.

Are Classic Cars a 'Green' Alternative?

It's very difficult these days to convince somebody of the environmental merits of driving a classic car if they are clouded by the 'green' marketing spin that most car manufacturers drape over their products.

When the internal combustion engine was conceived, it paid no mind to sensors, engine management systems or complex monitoring to extract every last chink of power from every precious drop of fuel. Prior to the fuel crisis of the seventies our focus was on aesthetics and power rather than environmental conscience.

It is in no doubt that the sports cars of today do a fantastic job of blending performance with economy however when we start looking in to the cost of production not only financially but ecologically, it starts to paint a rather different story.

Let's look at EV's or Electric Vehicles. Recent research has indicated that to produce electricity to power these vehicles, the environmental cost may be many times worse than comparative diesel or petrol powered vehicles. Additionally the production methods used to produce the batteries and electric motors require many toxic materials such as copper, aluminium and nickel. We must also consider the cost and impact of extracting such materials from the ground. Ironically it may be the case that these vehicles have done potentially more damage to the environment than their petrol powered cousins before they have even turned a wheel.

Promoting the use of electric vehicles in countries where electricity is primarily produced by the burning of fossil fuels is therefore essentially pointless.

As a certified petrol head it will always be difficult for me to come to terms with the idea of electric powered cars simply because I am genetically pre-disposed to the sound of a V12 at 8500rpm. I do agree that automotive progress will bring us many good and useful innovations and yes I suppose we have to think of our children as well. I am a bit disappointed though that my daughter is more likely to be learning to take her driving test in a sibling of a Unigate milk float rather than a 3 cylinder Daihatsu Charade Turbo as I did... happy days.

To get back to the headline story lets look at an equation that I always cite to people when they start banging on about what a good deal they got at their local GMC dealer. GMC in this instance does not stand for General Motors Corp. but rather 'Generic Malaysian Car'. This equation is of course CPM or Cost Per Mile.

This is always a good one because what it does is factor in everything from initial purchase price through to insurance and fuel cost and many other things between. It's also the equation I use to justify to myself and my wife that it is indeed cheaper for me to drive a BMW with a 4.0 V8 rather than a Ford Focus diesel, it's that old favourite - purchase price.

My current classic cost me the grand total of £175 with tax and MOT (it's an 80′s 5 pot Passat estate). I do approximately 500 miles per week in it and it is totally reliable. It does around 35mpg, I can undertake most of the (scarce) repair work myself due to it's simplicity and it's as warm, comfortable and quick as any modern car. Importantly it makes a wonderful noise and also looks cooler the dirtier it gets which is a bonus. When I do the sums my Passat, even with it's hefty weekly mileage tally is still far cheaper to run than a Toyota Aygo.

I do take on board that driving a classic every day may not be to everyone's taste; dynamically cars of today are far superior but I think that's where we've essentially gone wrong with the whole motoring experience in general over the years. Automobiles are meant to have character, a soul and it's a car's foibles that make every journey an event rather than an exercise from A to B.

As classic car lovers we are by and large a group of pretty diverse human beings but essentially we are one thing - individuals. We drive the cars we drive because we enjoy not seeing 40 odd other similar cars on our journey home from work and take a certain comfort from not having to keep up with the endless stream of generic German saloons in the fast lane of the motorway - we don't have to. Couple this with the fact that you can glance at the Toyota Prius driver as he/she goes past and think to yourself they may mean well but when you look below the surface they may have paid a price far greater than they imagined in the showroom.

Classic Car Restoration - Sand Papering the Body of Your Car

The most literal meaning of restoring a car is to send the car back to the factory, but a better idea is to transform your car into your dream car when you send it for restoration. The aspect of restoration and painting of cars has seen a dramatic change during the last few years, as totally new measures are used. In most places, while restoring classic cars, companies tend to upgrade the brakes, suspension systems, and steering of the car as well.

This will help your classic car to operate smoothly and safely. In fact, if you upgrade to a factory crate engine it will surely give you a factory warranty and it will last longer.

The best part about classic car restoration is that even a 1960's model can transcend into a brand new car. In terms of classic car restoration, the internal parts and accessories get changed totally and you will have freshly replaced body work, paint work and even a new windshield if required.

Your most loved classic car will be totally refurbished after the car restoration process. While using auto body fillers on the car, primer should be used first and you should strictly avoid plastic fillers or paint. With a car that's in a better condition you will need to work less. Old cars fitted with mechanical brakes have a less chance of facing brake failure.

Regarding classic car restoration, giving a proper finishing is very important to make it look presentable. To smooth the rough body of the car, 40 grit sand paper is a great option to use. You should get an extended sanding board; probably 3-12 inches in length. Load it with 80 grit sand paper, and you will have to get the 40 grit sand paper scratches removed from it. As you sand the body of the car, you should mask the car and spray it with feather fill.

As you allow the feather fill to dry up, you can start sanding it, and on a long board, use the 80-grit paper. Lastly, you can sand the car using 180 grit sand paper, after which you can finally apply a primer.