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FIVE KEYS TO BUYING A CLASSIC MUSCLE CAR
When the search for an old-school big-block is on, knowing what to consider throughout the buying process can help you get the car you want at the price you want.
1. SET (AND STICK TO) YOUR INTENTIONS
There are lots of reasons you might want a classic muscle car. The key to a good purchase is to match your “wants” with the car you purchase. If the goal is to take the grandkids for a thrill ride, for example, you’ll probably want to avoid a restoration project. It may sound like an obvious point, but with an emotional purchase such as this, it’s important to remember.
2. PLEASURE OVER PROFIT
No question about it, owning a classic muscle car pays off in amazing story-telling opportunities, car show conversations and puff-your-chest-out pride most anywhere you drive.
And there are hidden gems that do pull top dollar in a sale. There are also practiced investors who really know what they are doing. But as a general rule, classic cars are not profitable investments. Here’s why: Classic cars are old. They’re not daily drivers. They need to be babied. Storage, insurance, trailering, maintenance and parts costs can add up.
3. PARTS OF THE EQUATION
Before you purchase any classic vehicle, it’s imperative to research the parts.
4. DON’T JUMP THE GUN
Emotional buying is dangerous, especially at an auction when the bid is now or never. Research is key to getting what you want. Before you enter a purchase situation, you need to know your stuff. If you know mechanics, you can probably check out the car yourself. If not, bring a qualified technician. Either way, be well-versed about what you are looking at. Get as much history as you can on the vehicle to make an informed decision.
5. NEGOTIATING POWER
When making your offer, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Start the negotiation 15-25% below the asking price – especially if you are going through a broker or dealer. Keep in mind that private owners often just want to know that the vehicle is going to be in good hands when they sell it to you. Make sure to assure them that you will be taking great care of the vehicle, no matter what the selling price.