Vintage cars belong in a class of their own, rivaling many modern vehiclesregarding style and attractiveness. But there’s more to owning a vintage car than just the aesthetics, as we’ll soon see. Here are five things to know before even consideringbuying a vintage model.
You may not be able to drive it in your state
Vintage cars are from a different era, and many things have changed since they were first manufactured. One significant difference is carbon emission laws. The clean air act, for example, aims to increase the air quality in the U.S. Since vehicle emissions make up most of the air pollution, there are restrictions on the use of certain kinds of cars.
Vintage cars tend to have older engines with more abundant carbon emissions. As a result, many states limit how much you can drive the car within a given year. It’s best to refer to your state’s regulations for guidelines.
It’s worth mentioning that car companies like Tesla have leaped into the limelight majorly because of their minimal carbon footprint. Carbon emissions have also forced manufacturers like Toyota, Audi, and BMW to manufacture electric cars. Even though vintage cars have greater appeal, they may also have more restrictions.
They are difficult to drive
It’s also important to remember that the technology for traction control, cruise control, and power steering wasn’t available when cars like the ford shelby gt350 were manufactured. Some owners even describe the experience as learning to drive all over again. The experience is more intense if you’re not used to driving cars with manual transmission.
Some collectors love the challenge of driving. The logic is that driving a classic car should feel like one. But if you prefer the aesthetics with none of the driving difficulty, you can easily add upgrades. For example, you could get an electronic dashboard, touch screen radio, or a whole new transmission if you can afford it.
One thing to keep in mind is that modernizing your vintage car can reduce its resale value. Collectors prefer to get the whole package, and upgrading it can make the car less appealing.
Classic cars aren’t like real estate
Some cars, like the ford mustang, are likely to stay valuable for the next few decades. However, this isn’t the case for many classic cars. Some vehicles generate a loyal fan base that grows as the years go by, while others become increasingly less appealing.
To gain some perspective on this matter, consider that not all vintage ford vehicles are desirable. For example, the Ford Edsel was a massive flop in its time and will probably stay that way. The lesson here is that vintage cars aren’t as easy to “flip” as real estate. They may increase or decrease in value over time depending on a host of factors.
Interestingly, the rarer a classic car, the harder it may be to sell. In this case, it’s so rare that only a few people are willing to go through the trouble of buying it. Since there’s no guarantee that your vintage car will be worth more tomorrow, it’s best to consider buying one simply for the pleasure of ownership. That way, you’ll always be proud of your purchase.
They have specific storage needs
This comes back to the fact that vintage cars were manufactured in a different era. With a regular Honda or BMW, you can park it in your driveway, regardless of the weather. Classic cars require a more delicate approach. They are highly prone to rust and weather damage, and should only be kept in a clean, dark, and dry space.
If you’re planning to store the vehicle for an extended period, the requirements also change. For example, you can’t park the car in a barn because the dirt floor and light exposure can rapidly age the vehicle. A home garage may not be such a great idea either because constant access can expose the car to the elements.
All vintage car owners know that they require a lot of attention and care. Everything from the soap you use to the tire pressure needs to be on-point to preserve the car’s value.
They are as great as people say
Vintage cars have a special place in people’s minds, whether they are car enthusiasts or regular folk. Owning one of these anachronisms will get you a few glances as you drive by.
And since most people don’t know much about vintage cars, the mere appearance is often enough to get you the street credibility. This is whether you’re driving a ‘66 Mustang GT convertible or something less iconic.
Classic cars are also incredibly fun to drive. They are more or less life-sized toys that thrill you every time you change gears, rev it up, or zoom past a group of people. The engine sounds combined with the attractive paint jobs and old-school interior are enough to make even the most mundane errands fun.
Tips for caring for your vintage car
By now, you realize that caring for a vintage car isn’t’ like any regular car. Here are some tips to help you take proper care of the vehicle.
Pay attention to oil changes
Unlike a regular vehicle, you should not overfill your vintage car. Topping the oil all the way could cause excess crankcase pressure, leading to oil leaks and eventually engine problems. Instead, fill as much oil as you need for the ride.
Vintage cars aren’t designed for long drives, so you often won’t have to worry about not having enough oil. A smart idea is to change your oil every month or so, keeping a close eye on the levels. Be sure to consult with your mechanic for more information.
Keep your gas tank full
Classic cars have metal tanks that are prone to corrosion. When empty, moisture can find a way into the tank, which isn’t something you want. Keeping a full gas tank can solve this problem.
It’s also a good idea to get premium gasoline and a gas stabilizer. Regular gas has ethanol which tends to attract moisture. This usually isn’t a problem for modern cars because the gas tanks are sealed. But vintage cars have vented tanks that are vulnerable to corrosion. A gas stabilizer is an easy fix to this issue.