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How to research antique car history

The time you put into the research will pay you back tenfold once you find the right car for you. This site is dedicated to helping buyers and sellers of classic cars connect. With unbiased articles on car collecting and a comprehensive finder service, this site has everything a car collector needs to fuel their hobby. Menu Search. Style Accessories Shaving. Fitness Nutrition Sports Wellness. The key is to buy for all the right reasons for you.

Where to Buy Your Throwback Machine Buying a classic car is not the same thing as buying a brand new Honda from the local dealer. Some of the most desirable i. Auctions can often be accessed via phone or internet, giving you the opportunity to buy a car from the other side of the world. You can get a deal on a car with a no, or low, reserve. If only a few buyers bid on the car, you could walk out with a steal.

Individualists unite.

Cons: The buyer has limited options for inspection. Aside from walking around the car and maybe hearing it turn over, the chance of a complete inspection is non-existent. Buying From a Dealer Just like people, there are good dealers and bad dealers. Pros: Good dealers will run their inventory through an inspection before selling it. A reputable dealer will have no problem with you conducting an in-depth inspection of the car along with bringing in an outside inspector to verify that the car they advertise is the one you are buying. Cons: Dealers are in the business of turning over inventory. Dealers are middlemen.

Buying From a Private Party This method takes a lot more work than buying from a dealer or auction, but you can get a great deal on a classic car if you put the time into your search. Pros: You deal directly with the seller. Oftentimes, they will be long-time owners, or at least more intimately know the history of the car.

Some of these owners look at selling their car as giving away a child and want it to go to a good home. You can get a much better price here without the fees of a dealer or auction house acting as a go-between. Cons: This method takes work. You need to scrounge for sale ads on every car site you can find.

Many sellers only list on sites and assume that is good enough to market the car. Unless you are searching all the classic car classified sites, you might miss your deal.

As with any type of collectible, start by choosing something you like.

You might be more likely to blindly trust a passionate private seller. Each claim the owner makes about the car should be verified, if possible.


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If the deal does not pass the smell test, keep moving. No one is going to sell you a rare G. Judge for half off market prices just to avoid paying auction or dealer fees. What he is probably selling is a G. Even then more information would be needed. Seller statements about who owned the car or where it came from must be verified. What are their credentials?

On what basis did they give their opinions? It is worth repeating, provenance alone does not alone determine the authenticity of a vintage car. It is just one of three parts.

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They may have built the car or designed the car when new or they may have written books about them or have researched them in extraordinary detail. They are the true expert or connoisseur, their knowledge is unbounded and often unchallenged. Their opinion matters and is based on facts. These experts are essential to establish authenticity. In April of my Bar Association here in New Hampshire sponsored a continuing education program on forensics.

One section concerned the altercation of serial numbers on guns.

That same gun serial number forensic information had direct application to altered, concealed and obliterated vehicle identification numbers. I hired a firearms serial number specialist to examine a vintage car and look for long lost serial numbers on the frame. I have also used metallurgical testing when necessary. Provenance research takes time, patience and a certain gestalt to complete. It is not for the faint of heart as there can be surprises.

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Most of the cars I research are exactly what they are presented to be. I am Jeff Murray.


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  • The Classic Car Database;
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  • I am a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association. My work has taken me all over Europe and the United States. I conduct due diligence research. The path from hobby to business is well trodden. It started with a hobby.

    Six Top Tips For Buying A Vintage Car

    Since the s I have accumulated a personal library of resources that exceeds books and magazines. My business contact resources number over entries. At every vintage car show I went to starting in the s whenever possible I took photos. Detailed photos of VIN numbers and other identifiers. I have thousands of color and black and white photos all neatly cataloged for reference.

    Provenance research is my passion. Restoration condition. A professional quality restoration will bring a higher price than an amateur job that hasn't been well executed. In other words, the condition of the classic car has to be taken into account when classic car values are calculated. It can be hard to take these into account in printed guides.

    Six Top Tips For Buying A Vintage Car

    Current level of restoration. A fully restored classic car is going to sell for a much higher price than one which is only partially restored. Calculating the value on a car that still needs work is tricky. To come up with a price, you need to judge how much will have to be spent to complete the job. This could range between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars and will obviously have to come off the value. The true value of a classic car can only be judged when all of the work is finished. Project potential. A project car is a classic car that still has to be restored.

    Again, coming up with a value is tricky since the price will depend on how deep the restoration needs to be. Understandably, this will have the lowest price of any classic car but the amount of labor and money needed to complete the project has to be taken into account when assessing the value. How to Determine an Antique Car Value For some individuals, determining antique car value can be challenging.

    Determine the popularity. Some cars are able to maintain their value better compared to others, and this is true in antique cars and modern cars alike. This is primarily because some cars have an enduring popularity. This popularity may be based on the emotional reactions of enthusiasts for certain car makes and models. Popularity can also be determined by their overall appeal which would include their classic look and uniqueness. Assess the overall quality. If the antique car was expensive when it was manufactured and first released, then it is very likely that it would have an even higher value several years or decades after.

    Antique car collectors and enthusiasts look for quality workmanship, well-made cars and ones more in demand. If the antique car is well-crafted and made with high quality materials, then it would probably have a value which would continue to increase in time; provided that it is maintained and cared for properly. Check the condition.

    Antique cars, similar to other used modern cars, are also valued based on their working condition.