Classic Cars In Time For Summer

The Classic Car Club of America defines a CCCA Classic as: A “fine” or “distinctive” automobile, either American- or foreign-built, produced between 1925 and 1948. Other factors, including engine displacement, custom coachwork and luxury accessories, such as power brakes, power clutch, and “one-shot” or automatic lubrication systems, help determine whether a car is considered a Classic.

The above description is somewhat limiting, with the beginning of the classic car era more typically considered to be the 1930s, ending with the muscle car period in the 1970s. Many show top off the definition of classic in 1972, defining cars built in 1973 or later as modern customs, exotics or collectibles.

There are many reasons why people claim they like classic cars better than cars of today. Some opinions and reasons include the following:

· cars are technically better built

· cars have more “style” and beauty in their body lines

· are more solid, made with metal, rather than cheaper products like plastic

· were designed by car-lovers, not businessmen

Resale Value

Classic cars tend to hold their value well, especially if they have been well-maintained or restored. As with anything, if you are in the market to purchase, do your research and make sure you know about what make and model you are looking for and what price range would be acceptable and appropriate. If you are looking to sell, do the same so you know what a reasonable price to ask is. Most desirable cars tend to be one-owner low-mileage cars that have mostly stayed covered and very well-maintained.

There are dozens of websites dedicated to selling as well as countless auto dealerships that specialize. If you can’t find what you are looking for locally, check out the internet, or plan to attend a Car Show in your area or beyond.

Classic Chevys

Classic cars come in too many makes and models to mention in this article. Although auto-makers such as AMC, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Oldsmobile, Plymouth and Pontiac all have produced cars that now fall in the “classic” range, American-made Chevy has some of the most iconic models. Chevy’s portfolio includes the following:

· Camaro

· Chevelle

· Corvair

· Corvette

· El Camino

· Impala

· Nova

Custom Classic Cars

Along with restoring the classics, oftentimes people like to make their cars a little fancier by adding modifications known as “customizing” their car. Customizing can range from simple to very complex paint jobs, to mechanical modifications and decorative touches.

World Record Performance

The current Guinness World Record for highest car mileage is held by a 1966 Volvo P1800, which has now covered over 2.9 million miles! Volvo is one company where consumers can order parts from their local dealers to ensure the original performance of their classic car; and the parts delivered today actually have a higher quality than when the car was in production due to evolving technologies.

Whether you’re looking to purchase a classic car for an investment or just for the love of it, or if you’re just an enthusiast who loves the look, people seem to enjoy restoring and showcasing their vehicles all across America. You can definitely consider the it one of America’s favorite pastimes.

Restoration Vs Customization – Which Is Better For Your Classic Car?

A common question among buyers of classic cars is what to do after they have acquired that vintage gem: restore it, or customize it? Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here we will tackle the different aspects of restoration and customization to help you decide which route to take for your car.

Restoration: Authentic is Beautiful

Restoring a classic car means finding the original parts and options for a particular model. This means that if you own a Cuda with a broken Hemi engine, you need to find a stock Hemi in order to restore it. Paint is a different matter. While the authentic paint of a certain make may not be existent today, there are several car services that offer the color of that make, thus making it still look original.

The Advantages of Restoring a Classic

1. Restoring poses a bigger challenge, thus there’s much more love between you and your car. It might be a bit easy to find a stock engine, but looking for the small parts like the starter will be a bit of an adventure. Once you finish restoring, you’ll certainly find a greater attachment between you and your car.

2. Fully restored classic cars spike up in value. Because there’s much more effort and money put into restoring, you can easily raise the price of the car once you decide to sell it. A perfectly restored vintage car can be valued at over a hundred grand in pro auctions.

3. You get to have an authentic car. There’s nothing more advantageous than that.

The Disadvantages of Restoring a Classic

1. The parts are hard to find, and are therefore expensive. Unless you engage in a treasure hunt and search for parts cars in junkyards and auctions, stock parts may be a little expensive. The reason for this is simple: car companies don’t produce those parts anymore, so it would be considered rare by most people, much like a classic car.

2. Safety, efficiency, and comfort are sometimes compromised. A ’50s era car may have no proper airbags and seatbelts yet. The engine is probably not fuel efficient, and the suspension may be a bit shaky. And if you decide to go cheap and recycle a used engine from a parts car, expect it to break down at least once due to stress.

Customization: Convenience Along With Funkiness

Customizing a classic car means adding or changing some parts and details that are not originally included in that make. This might include a better engine, suspensions, and more comfortable seats. The paint might also be customized. Perhaps you have seen a Mustang with blazetrails on the side. That’s customization.

The Advantages of Customizing a Classic

1. Safety and convenience is the primary advantage of customization. Updating your car with more fuel-efficient engines and better seatbelts and airbags will make your ride much smoother and safer.

2. Parts are easier to find, and are sometimes much cheaper. Engines are much easier to find, but nonetheless still poses a challenge. You will have to find an alternative engine that fits into your classic car. Still, you can find smaller parts in an easier manner.

3. You get to have cool additions to your liking. Hydraulics, superchargers, and funky lights are among the many options you can add if you customize. Cool blazetrails too.

The Disadvantages of Customizing a Classic

1. The value of your classic car will go down. A heavily modified car will have its value become lower than those who are simply restored. If you are planning to sell your car in a few years time, the better option would be to restore.

2. If you plan to sell the car, you might have a difficult time finding a buyer. Most buyers of classic cars are looking for one that would be easily restored. A dusty and rusting vehicle is therefore much more preferred because some original parts included in the car may still be used.

The best gauge to determine whether you should customize or restore a classic car is to know what your dream car is like. What’s good about this is that you could easily combine customization and restoration. Restore everything that’s under the hood, and get cool blazes on the hood itself. Your preference is king.

Classic Cars: Original, Restored, Restored and Modified

Not all owners of classic cars think in the same way. Some prefer to keep them original (patina and minor issues), some completely restore them and some restore them and also do modifications. All three require the love and attention to detail of a classic car collector. No matter his preference the commitment, effort and knowledge associated with this very involved hobby is admirable.

Original Vehicles

An original vehicle is one that has been maintained so well that it has all of its original factory specified parts. Their parts have been mostly fixed rather than replaced and if they had been replaced at one time it will have been with the original part intended for the model from the exact year of its introduction. To determine the originality of a classic, enthusiasts look for “matching numbers”, serial numbers that are stamped on parts throughout the car that match each other and the number originally associated with the car in its year.

Pros and Cons

Original vehicles are extremely hard to come by. To produce one takes the most time and money because the original parts are as rare as or more rare than the car itself. Because of the lack of availability of models and their parts, many car owner’s claiming “original” are actually restored. A true original and a restored vehicle should look the same and nearly operate the same, but because of the difference in original parts vs. re-manufactured parts, the prestige and value of a true original is significantly higher. The value of the three types of vehicles fluctuates based on the changing demand of collectors just like many consumables, but original vehicles, even in their shabbiest appearances can sell for 35% more than their perfectly restored opponent, a reason why you’ll find a lot of speculation on which route to take.

Restored Vehicles

Restored vehicles are made to look and drive like they did the day they were introduced to consumers. Their owners however, choose to replace parts with factory refurbished remakes of original parts. Using the original as inspiration, a car restorer will match the interior, parts and paint as closely to its glory days as possible.

Pros and Cons

Because restoration parts are easier to obtain and the restoration route creates more of its kind, this vehicle is less rare and often less valuable than an original. This is also the reason a collector can achieve results faster and perhaps joyride in his car sooner and for longer, a pro that’s hard to argue if you’re familiar with the work required of an original. As previously stated, the monetary value of a restored is less than an original in many cases, but there is value in having the most fun in your car and if that’s a high priority for an owner than this is a fine choice!

Resto-mod Vehicles

Resto-mod is short for restored and modified. These vehicles are the furthest from originals. They are restored and often “modernfied” if you will. Some owners choose to enhance the engine, make it more fuel efficient, or add modern luxuries like a preferred sound system or safety features.

Pros and Cons

The sky is the limit for an owner with the freedom of modifications. He can build his dream car! Resell for these cars is difficult though and the return could be even less than was put in it so this is the biggest pit fall. The reward is grand and the risk too, is grand, but for many this is the perfect fit for them. The value of a restored and modified vehicle is very unpredictable because the vehicle has been tailored to its owner’s specific tastes and he’d have to find a similar buyer, something to consider when choosing this method and while choosing each modification as well, if reselling is an area of importance at all.

The debate and judgment of this sector of cars will always be, keeping this art form alive and well, but one thing is certain; classic car owners love their cars and that’s worthy of respect. After considerable research you’ll find that each collector has to make their car collecting decisions based on his own lifestyle and what he plans to do with it, re-sell or enjoy. Judge a collector not by the category of his car, but how well it’s been done and cared for.