Classic car ownership is a dream for many, the idea of owning something old and unique has a certain sense of appeal that attracts everyone young and old. However, it’s not a simple as finding a classic online and handing over the cash.
Regulations, safety concerns, storage problems, and high maintenance costs are things that will need to be considered before you decide to purchase a classic car. Once everything is in place, the thrill of driving your dream car is something that’s entirely possible, along with a community of people who share the same interest. Here are 10 surprising facts about classic car ownership.
It’s Becoming Less Common
Classic car ownership may soon become a thing of the past, unfortunately, for a number of reasons. The issues stem from a lack of interest from a younger generation of drivers. It seems, although some newer drivers do appreciate classic cars, not as many are buying them up when compared to previous generations.
Financial issues also come into play, as a lot of younger people, unfortunately, simply cannot afford to buy and maintain a classic, whether they’d like to or not. And as prices for some classics continue to rise, classic car ownership is on the decline.
Classic Car Value Doesn’t Always Rise
Choosing a car as an investment can be a difficult issue to navigate, as the value of some cars will decrease rather than increase over time. A number of classic cars simply become cheaper to buy as time goes on. Mileage and maintenance costs are two huge factors in the depreciation of classics.
Luxury cars are also notorious for losing value quickly. This is because the type of person who’ll buy often have the money to buy an expensive car to begin with, leading them to sell and buy something even more luxurious soon after. Frequently, reliability concerns for some buyers play a part too and for luxury vehicles in particular, the once luxurious features become outdated fairly quickly, with many top end features becoming standard on newer cars.
Some States Limit Classic Car Use
Sadly, it seems that certain restrictions play a huge part with classic car ownership, meaning you can’t always just buy one even if you have the cash ready. As time has moved on, so has technology and restrictions. Modern vehicles are made to meet today’s emission regulations.
Back in the day, manufacturers could regularly make cars with little to no regard for these sorts of regulations, and as a result, many classic car’s engines can’t meet these standards. This has resulted in some states limiting how much you can drive your car per year. It’s always worth double-checking before you make the plunge.
Vintage Tires Are Hard To Find
One aspect that only applies to some cars, but is still worth mentioning, are vintage tires. Naturally, if your classic car is on the more vintage side of things, your common regular old tires won’t quite cut it. Everything will have to match the correct period.
This is, once again, because in the past, manufacturers didn’t have to comply with standards like we have today, and they made their tires exactly as they saw fit. Fitting the right tires may even require tracking down the original manufacturer to see if it’s possible to get some that will fit correctly. Obviously, only concourse vehicle owners will ever take things that far.
Some Of The Most Popular Classic Cars
Classic cars are one of the more niche types of vehicle you could ever own, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some fan favorites. One of the most common classic cars you’ll ever see is the Mini Cooper.
Naturally, British drivers in particular are fond of this car, as it is, of course, its birthplace. However, some good reasons to buy a Mini are because they are cheap, somewhat easy to maintain, and due to the staggering amount produced, they are easy to find parts for. As for the States, you’ll find any number of classic Mustangs, Dodge Chargers, and Firebirds for similar reasons.
Storing Them Well Is A Must
Taking proper care of your classic car is essential in order to keep it performing as good as new. You can’t always keep a classic car in the way you’d keep a modern car, certain precautions need to be taken, such as keeping it away from harsh weathers like heavy rain and snow.
This is especially true for soft top convertibles with lower quality roofs than what we’re used to on modern cars. Keeping on top of any potential rust problems can also save you some money down the line.
Classic Cars Can Help Improve Driving Technique
We live in an age with numerous electronic aids within our cars, making driving them a breeze. This can’t always be said for classics. Older vehicles didn’t come with these assists, traction control is something we may take for granted today, but it wasn’t commonly used until road cars until recently, and the first few years, it was far from good.
This leads to an expected tougher time behind the wheel, which some drivers relish, but for those less experienced, a little caution may be required at first. Older, heavier muscle cars in particular may be ones to avoid for beginners, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it can help massively improve your car control ability.
Regular Maintenance Is Vital
All cars need proper maintenance, but this is especially important for older vehicles. Old changes will be required more frequently than on more modern cars and issues with rust need to be checked like we said earlier.
Part and body maintenance will also play a part, as older cars may have endured some damage in their time. Anticipating any potential mechanical failures can save you some time and money, so remember to double-check the engine and transmission, especially if they are well beyond their expected lifespans.
No matter which car you own, there’s likely to be a community of people who love that car especially, this is further enhanced for classics. Car enthusiast groups can be found easily online and given the age of classic cars, generations of people from the past may have a deep found love of the same car as you.
Because of this, you’ll find various car shows and meet ups for those with a shared interest, something that simply cannot be equalled with some of today’s more modern and slightly newer cars. Vintage cars attract people from all walks of life, and the sense of community is a huge reason for some people’s interest in these particular cars.
Some Negatives To Ownership
It’s not all great community and exciting times however, some old cars lack drastically in certain areas. First and most obvious may be a complete lack of modern equipment.
Classics won’t come with a fancy touchscreen infotainment system we’re so used to today. Some will also struggle to get going and owners will struggle to achieve a decent speed due to the weaker engines of the past. Safety is one massive problem for older cars as they lag behind when compared to our modern standards, some cars may not even come with airbags or reliable seatbelts.
Sources: Classic Motor Hub, Garage Dreams, Forbes, Carole Nash, Precision Restorations, Hagerty, Oponeo
Plenty of iconic cars were made in the 1960s, but there were also some duds that we wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
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