When a classic car rolls down the street, most people can’t help look in its direction. There is just something very cool about owning these little pieces of history. And for many, it’s a window to their past. If you ever find yourself in Jupiter, Fl. , a gem city by the beach, come by and check us out. We hold 4 to 5 classic cars, then top our inventory off with traditional, used cars both domestic and import.
About two years ago, my husband and I traveled to a Mecum Auto Auction in Monterey, California and picked up a beautiful 1957 fully restored T bird. We cleared out room in our garage, as though we had just adopted a new puppy to bring home. It became our Sunday driver. And for me it filled a small void of my kids having grown up and needing less of me. We quickly became part of local shows and connected with a community of classic car enthusiasts.
When you purchase a classic car think about having room in the garage if it’s going to be a ” garage princess,” or at least room in your driveway with a cover for the make and model on rainy days. But remember to let it air out fully after the rainy days. Have a budget in mind for repairs/maintenance. Having a classic means taking care of a classic. It will only gain value as less of these cars survive, so do not be afraid to put a little money in them. And if I had to choose between my current model car or my classic car for garage space, the classic wins every time. Cars of today do not tend to leak in the rain, and are made to withstand the harsh weather that we encounter today. They also come with warranties ,manageable insurance and easy to find replaceable parts and paint color.
Another thing to be ready for when owning a classic, is an odd experience where you form a kind of relationship with your car. No, I’m not crazy, ask around. You might name it, you may know how to start it when others may not. For example, when I start my T bird, I have to keep both feet on the brake, put it in neutral, turn key while pressing the accelerator with my right, then it’s ready to go into DRIVE. When I brake in my T Bird, it makes a certain sound of acceleration after stopping. Someone else driving my car may think,” oh oh, something is wrong.” Nope, that’s just the way my car runs. “She wants to fly… she’s a bird, a beautiful timeless bird.”
If you ever go to car shows and see cars selling for $60,000 and up, this is why. You cannot put a value on the time a person took to upkeep their car. So you may be thinking a car may be $30,000, parts maybe another $5,000, but how about the time the owner put into the car? I know several people not willing to part with their car for this very reason. But do not let me scare you into thinking it’s all work because for the person that grew up tinkering in dad’s garage, it’s just the opposite. There’s satisfaction in finding an old part and being able to install it.
And remember to keep any documentation these cars may come with, even if you feel like throwing it away because it looks like a shabby piece of paper. Documentation drives value up as well as matching numbers. We had a 1970 formula 400 Pontiac Firebird at the lot with historical documents. It also had matching numbers so this became a desirable car for the muscle car collector.
It’s a great hobby to get into and you can take it to whatever level you choose. You can be a recluse in your garage on days when you just want to be “in your quiet place.” And you can take it to car shows or pretty much anywhere and be social with admirers. By the way, the best time to be a spectator at a car show is at the very, very end. First off, you hear how each car starts up, and it may take a couple of tries. People seem to look on with concern, then all of the sudden the engine sounds and concern turns into smiles and laughter. Then the gems file out, and paint the local streets with a variety of colors and shapes for a brief moment, until they all go on their way.
If you’re curious about my T bird, it’s on our site and linked below.. She’s my Sunday driver. My show girl. And I’m known as the lady in the cute little T bird nicknamed ” Lady Bird.”