5 Reasons You Should Go Find Your Dream Car and Buy It
My Classic Car, What's Yours?
More pictures of my car.
I got mine, now you get yours!
When I was in high school, I worked, but never had tons of money. The first thing I ever bought was a 1950 GMC 1/2 ton pickup. That was in 1987, a few months before I had a driver's license. It was not a dream vehicle, it was a $750 piece of transportation.
My second purchase came a couple of months later, right when I got my license. A guy who used to sell me hubcaps (he was with a road mowing crew and I sold hubcaps out of my dad's tire store) came in with a trunk full of hubcaps and a "For Sale" sign on his car. It was a 1964 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport with most of the options you could buy in '64. It was also a primer-red low-rider that smoked like there was a fire underneath it. For $750, I didn't see how I could go wrong.
I drove that car until it fell apart. I went through 2 engines, 2 paint jobs, and no telling how many tires. It finally got parked, pending enough cash to make it worth driving again. I finally gave up and sold it to help finance the business I then owned, an arcade.
After I finally closed the arcade and got a real job that paid me money, I wanted another 64 Impala SS. My wife agreed to the crazy idea and I finally bought one. That's another story.
Here are the reasons you should do what you want to do. You might be able to influence your significant other with this logic, but I doubt it.
#1 Classic Cars are Cheap. It depends on what you want, but if you're not dreaming of some super-rare race car that cost a fortune when new, you can probably afford one. My Impala cost less than 2/3 of what my wife's Camry did.
#2 If Maintained, They Go Up in Value. Yes, right now they've dropped a bit because of the economy, but if you pay a reasonable price, you can expect to get that back out of it when you sell it. What's a reasonable price? Consult the National Auto Dealer Association's (NADA) Classic Car Price Guide Book, thumb through a Hemming's Motor News, or look at what similar items have been selling for on eBay. If you pay too much, you're still not going to look at the same kind of drop in value that comes with driving a new car off of the showroom floor.
#3 If Maintained, They're Reliable. While there are exceptions to this rule and you do need to know the difference between a spark plug and the radiator, classic cars keep going. I bought my car in Seattle and drove it home to Abilene, TX over a 4-day weekend. My 3-day temporary tag expired 2 hours before I got home. Until I took the car in to get it repainted, I drove it to work every day. I don't put a lot of miles on the car during the week, just 40 or so, but I am not afraid to hop in it and drive back to Seattle or anywhere.
#4 Classics Start Conversations. I have a co-worker with a fairly new Dodge truck tricked out in chrome and giant wheels. It's his pride and joy. He noticed that someone was taking pictures of my car in the parking lot one day and said something like, "no one ever wants to take pictures of my truck." Old cars bring back good memories. Your old car may be a rust-bucket that you're fixing up, but everyone sees them through rose-tinted glasses. They don't see your car, they see THEIR car, like it was or like it will be. I don't think I've ever filled up with gas and didn't have someone come up and talk to me about my car.
#5 Your Car is You. I had a friend who turned their old Toyota into an art car. Your classic is much the same. It says something about you. It may be so simple as, "I like giant gold cars named after deer-like animals from Africa." It may be, "I like gluing pigs to my car." Whatever it is, an old car is communicating something that a new car can't. Yes, they were mass-produced back in their time, but most of them are gone.
There are some pitfalls. I'll address them in another Hub later. I suggest you print this Hub and cut this last bit out. Remember when selling to your significant other, there are only good points, never bad. Actually, you better tell them. They'll figure it out on their own and then they'll be asking questions like, "I saw that article. Why did you delete the last paragraph?"