When looking for classic American cars for sale, in order to make sure you negotiate the best deal possible for yourself on one of your American dream cars, you need to consider a few items of special note before paying anything.
The older the car, the more it’s possible a nice paint job is covering up some nasty rust and body filler instead of steel. If you can inspect the car yourself, bring the weakest magnet you can find that will barely stick to a surface on the vertical. Place a piece of paper under the magnet and slowly pull it around. It will fall off where there is body filler. Look closely around the window seals to make sure the paint is smooth to find obvious evidence of rust. Unless you plan a complete or partial restoration, check the suspension for excessive play or travel. If you can’t inspect the car yourself, see if the seller will pay for an impartial inspection. If not, you’ll have to pay for it yourself. This will include a title search to ensure that the car is able to be sold.
Location and Transportation
Whether the car is across town or across the country, you’re going to have to put some time into figuring out how you’re going to get it home. If it’s local, legal and runs, you may want to drive it home. Local moves can be done with just a truck and dolly, which can be rented quite easily and inexpensively. Longer distances are almost always going to involve an auto transporter company. Road, rail and boat are the options here, with both being further divided into covered and uncovered. There are also companies that specialize in the secure and safe transport of classic muscle cars. Price ranges for transportation will range from around $50 for a local move renting a truck and dolly, to several thousand for a carrier that specializes in moving American dream cars in covered and sealed containers. In some cases, your insurance may require specialized handling for classic and antique cars, for continuity of coverage.
Stated Versus Actual Condition-Accepted Ratings as Concerns Pricing
The overall condition of classic American cars for sale, along with their rarity and popularity, will determine their average selling price. Cars can be rated as good, fine, very fine and excellent–to all mean a car that is almost as clean as the day it came out of the factory. On some cars, factory original will bring much higher prices than cars that have aftermarket parts. If the seller claims that everything on the car is factory original, including normal wear items, you’ll need to ask them to provide you with receipts proving the brands of parts purchased. A car with any body repairs that were performed using filler putties instead of metal working, will dramatically lower the value of the car. Numbers matching takes the factory original designation one step further by matching the VIN on the dash plate, door panel, engine block, transmission and differential. A car that is numbers matching will fetch the absolute highest prices, whether at private sale or at auction.
Making purchase decisions of classic muscle cars can be fraught with pitfalls and traps. Using the information above will help you avoid some of these pitfalls.