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Monday, December 14, 2009

Tips For Buying Classic Cars

By Levi Quinn

So are you planning to add one of those classic cars into your prestigious car collection? Well, remember buying a classic requires you to carefully peruse every aspect of the car – from under the hood to car fluids, exhaust – for signs of deterioration, drivability and much more to make every cent you paid worth it.

Let us examine some of the basic elements that need to be carefully inspected before going for a classic car.

1 Verification of the paperwork

Check out the authenticity of the car before you spend your valuable time over the other detailed aspects before making the purchase. Ensure that the Vehicle Identification Number on the vehicle coincides with those in the documentation to remove any doubts of alterations. If the owner claims that he has made restorations, request the papers or pictures taken before and after.

2 Check for the vital signs

Now is the time for you to keep a close watch over the condition of the classic car. Start the car and inspect the color of the smoke coming out of the exhaust when the engine is cold. Also, look for smoke by revving the engine. If the smoke emitted is black, it can be a sign of worn out piston rings, the cylinder linings or the carburetor, denoting a very “tired” engine. This might require you to invest a few more extra dollars to get the engine back into shape. Ask for the history of repair and maintenance performed on the car so that you know the amount you need to further invest.

3 Conduct a road test

Now is the time to drive the car to observe the engine performance and acceleration. The time taken for the engine to respond, the sound emitted from the engine, the smoothness of the steering, etc. need to be closely checked into. Any sound from the transaxle needs to be closely looked into as it can speak of the problems in the wheel bearings. The brakes, gauges (including the speedometer), tachometer, etc., battery and oil gauges, suspension, and much more are to be inspected while test driving. Driving can also tell whether the clutch is spongy or firm.

4 Look under the hood

If you are satisfied with the performance on the road, now is the time to look under the hood. The hoses, wiring, and engine mounts have to be inspected to see how well it has been maintained. A closer look at the timing belt that may be damaged can reduce the hit on the functionality of the engine, improving fuel efficiency. A faulty timing chain can make the engine.

5 External checks

Next, inspect the tires for their tread depth and pressure for abnormal wear and tear. Abnormality might be the result of poor wheel alignment or other reasons. Also, check out for signs of rust and deterioration as this is one major threat faced by classic cars. The heating/AC, defogger, glove box, steering lock, horn, mirrors, carpets and other interior furnishings can speak volumes about the maintenance and fitness of the car.
Seek the advice of an expert mechanic. He can always tell you any of the vital signs that you may have missed. Remember, the classic car is an adornment to your collection and is worth every cent spent by you. Inspect thoroughly for maximum enjoyment.

About The Author

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