Whether you want to buy a vintage American car as a project or want something to take to car shows, you need to have a different mindset when shopping around. You may be able to find one locally, but you may also have to find one in a sale paper or online. Either way, you need to decide how much work you are willing and able to put into it. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you buy the car that will fit all your wants.
Even if the car you are looking at is currently in great condition, and is running beautifully, this won't last. At some point, the vehicle is going to need some work done to it. Vintage cars were made differently than what is now being sold. You need to know about carburetors and distributor caps, and forget about relying on sensors for everything. Do a bit or research on the make, model, and year of the car. Find out what the most common maintenance problems are and learn how to do the work yourself.
Finding vintage American car parts is not always easy. Take the time to look for parts for the car you are considering before you buy it. Decide how important it is that you stick with original parts. It may be possible to find newer parts that will fit or can be adjusted to fit older model autos. However, once you start using new parts, the car will no longer be considered a classic for show purposes.
If you are getting a good deal on the first car, and know it is going to need work, consider buying a second car of the same year, make, and model. This second car can be in much worse condition than the first. You want the second one for parts only. This can save you a lot of time and money when you need to find a part for the first car. You may be surprised how hard it is to find and the cost of the little pieces, like knobs, handles, and trim that may be just sitting inside the second auto.
Make sure you have a safe place to keep your vintage car. You will want someplace that will protect it from the elements, is fairly clean with good ventilation, and has enough room for you to do any work on it. Relax, be patient, take your time, and have fun with the restoration process. If no work is needed, go for a ride and enjoy the looks people give you when they see your car. Contact a shop, like Reggie's Garage, for more help.