You want to buy a classic car, but you don’t want to pay more than it’s worth. There are a few things you can do to ensure that the price you pay is the best one possible for any particular make and model of muscle car.
If you’re buying a high value classic car such as an early Mustang, Corvette, Camaro or Thunderbird, you can visit some of the various auction sites in order to see prices that knowledgeable collectors have paid in recent auctions for cars in excellent condition.
Check the classic cars for sale section of any newspapers in your area. This will give you an idea of what other people are asking for muscle cars. Check any classic car sales magazines you can find for prices that people are asking. Automotive valuation sites, such as Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds, are also very good places to see historical data on pricing for classic cars for sale.
If the cars that you’re looking at are ones that collectors like, look around for clubs whose membership collects those models. Car clubs are excellent sources of all kinds of information regarding classic cars for sale. A collector is going to be one of the best people to ask questions of ,because they’ll be able to give you model specific information that you can look for when you go to personally inspect the vehicle.
Before making any sort of purchase decision, whether buying a classic car or newer car, you should always perform an in-depth inspection of it. Look for obvious signs of body repairs. Bring a magnet and piece of paper with you to check for body filler having been used to perform quick and dirty body repairs. Check the tailpipe. You shouldn’t see rust or excessive amounts of black and flaky carbon when you wipe the interior of the pipe with a finger. Listen to the engine as it’s running to make sure it sounds right. Feel the car’s body for excessive vibration with the engine running. This test won’t work too well if the engine has been heavily modified for performance.
If the car is advertised as completely stock check the paint code on the inside of the engine bay. The tag for this is usually on the lip under the hood by the battery. Write down the numbers on this tag and call a dealership and ask them to run the paint code for you. If you have mechanical abilities, a spark plug wrench and a compression tester, check each cylinder for compression. There shouldn’t be anything more than 15 psi difference between the highest and lowest numbers. If you don’t have mechanical abilities or tools, you should have a mechanic perform a complete used car inspection for you.