Even though there are fewer and fewer on the road each year, collecting classic cars is still a popular and rewarding pastime. It is even a great way to make a little money, especially if you have skills in auto repair or refurbishing. With the retirement of the Boomer generation, more folks have money and time to spend on chasing the dreams of their youth, and for many people, that includes owning that car they really wanted when they first turned sixteen.
There are a few classes of these vehicles, many of which you’ll find in the motor trade industry. Be sure to check that any dealer has adequate motor trade insurance though before buying one!
Antique cars are around 100 years of age or older. Vintage cars are usually considered to be anything made into the 1940’s. Classic cars are often the ones people think of the most, from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s. Among the most iconic would be the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, the 1964 Ford Mustang, and the 1974 Monte Carlo SS. There are, of course, plenty of others, including a huge number of foreign and concept vehicles. One could get into debate all night long about which was best and for what purpose. Perhaps that is part of the draw to classic car collecting as well, the chance for passionate debate with like-minded friends.
Now, even younger generations than the Boomers, who grew up during the “Golden Age” of American car design, are starting to show interest. Hipster culture has renewed an interest in that which is vintage. This includes choice of automobiles. There are also many whose fathers had a passion for these vehicles and shared it with them when they were young. Now they are renewing that passion for themselves.
And the market is strong. Scarcity has increased prices, but there are still many fun vehicles available at affordable levels – enough to get your feet wet in the trade at least. The majority of antique cares and some of the great classics, especially from the 50’s and 60’s, are held in collections. They are being preserved and restored by those with a great deal of care. As those collections come up for auction, you never know what you may find.
That is also part of the fun of classic car collecting. Watching the market and looking for deals can create almost as much thrill as putting the pedal down in one of these vehicles. Auctions can get wild, and you never know when that really great car is going to slip through on a low bid.
And while a lot of the world inventory of hidden gems has pretty much been accounted for in recent years, there is still always the hope that you walk into a garage in the middle of nowhere and pull the cover off that missing Cobra. It may not happen, but it is a possibility.
What is more likely, however, is that if you just keep an open mind, you can probably find something that fits your tastes, your needs, and your budget. If you do not get yourself to set on one specific model or year, you will almost certainly be able to discover something that pleases your need for speed or style, or maybe both.
Classic car collection is rewarding on many levels. There is the thrill of the chase and search. There is the sense of accomplishment in restoring something back to its original, historic state. And there is also a lot to be said for just tooling around on a Sunday with the top down. No matter what brings you to the table, maybe it’s all three, there is still a great deal of fun and money to be had in the classic automobile trade.