The Best Tips for a First-time Classic Car Owner
Classic ownership can be very rewarding, but there’s a bit of a learning curve for the average novice. Most first-timers had to learn the hard way. In an effort to help make that learning curve more tolerable to any fresh-face newbies, Hagerty insurance polled their community to assemble the top tips for new classic owners. This might even help a few seasoned vets of the car world too.
Join the Club
Driving is an activity that only requires one person, yet it is more fun with others. Joining a club dedicated to your specific vehicle will likely supply you with a wealth of expertise and a few new driving buddies. Most likely, these club members have already gone through what you’re about to experience, meaning they’ll have tips and tricks to help you survive the highs and lows on the road ahead.
Do your own work if you can
Classic cars demand more attention than modern vehicles—there’s pretty much no way around that. While you can find a mechanic to take care of your classic every time it needs anything under the hood, it will be significantly more rewarding to your psyche and your wallet if you pick up tools and get some grease under your nails. Everyone has their own limit for how much DIY they can take on—space, tools, and time requirements can be quite restrictive. If you have the means to do your own work, even just for the small jobs, there’s no better feeling than hearing an engine settle into a smooth rumble after a Saturday morning garage tune-up.
Find the right parts sources
Owning an old car means you will eventually need to find old parts. Your newfound club friends will oftentimes have resources vetted for you. There’s likely a small operation that only makes parts for your car; support shops like that if you can. These small manufacturers that reproduce quality parts are almost constantly on the verge of closing and produce many of the parts they do out of love for the hobby rather than for the sake of big profits. Generic-fit parts can work, but why not fit the correct parts and support another person who loves the same car you do? Seems like a win-win to us.
Don’t do it for the money
With multiple auctions, sales sites, and businesses in the vintage car space it’s easy to start looking at your new wheels as an investment primed to give you big returns. However, if you want to set yourself up for success and fun you should leave that thought at the end of the driveway. Buy for the enjoyment of the car, not the resale possibilities. If the market drops and you are “stuck” with your car, it’s much better to have something you love than something you first saw dollar signs in but now only see bouncing checks.
Get out and drive
Drive as often as you can. Looking at, wrenching, showing, or talking about your new love pales in comparison to the joy of driving. Vintage cars also have the best manners when they get used on a regular basis rather than sitting in the garage. Become in tune with the squeaks, rattles, and knocks of your car so you can tell when something is normal and when the car needs real attention.
Your friends at Apollo Insurance Services hope you will enjoy your new (old) car! Make sure your investment is protected. Just give us a call at 800.426.1088, option 2 for a free quote.