If you’re many other automotive enthusiasts, you love the look and feel of a classic car. If you had a billion dollars, you would probably buy several of them to work on, show off, and of course, drive.
For the average car owner, though, the notion of starting a classic car collection may seem like a distant and impossible dream. A classic car may sell for up to $70 million, so it’s easy to feel not just intimidated but defeated by the prospect of owning such a car of your own.
But with the right strategy, and the proper mindset, you might be able to start a classic car collection of your own.
Have a Plan for Acquisition
First, you’ll have to develop an acquisition plan. This is like to look different for each person.
For some, the best path is going to be the straightforward one: try to accumulate as much wealth as you can, so you can afford to buy such a car whenever you desire. Simple but challenging, this remains a possible path to success.
Given a high-paying job, a solid savings strategy, and a willingness to invest, you might possibly accumulate the necessary funds.
As an alternative, you could devise a game plan that enables you to purchase classic cars for less than you would expect. For example, you might be able to buy classic cars that are in poor condition for a reduced price, then fix them up on your own to improve their appearance, performance, and value.
Know Where You’re Going to Store Your Cars
Next, you’ll need to identify a place to keep your cars—even if you plan to acquire no more than one or two. The following are the most important aspects to this issue:
- Protection/preservation. Regardless of the initial condition of your purchase, you’ll want to protect and preserve your vehicle(s). For most people, this means investing in a spacious garage that shields your prizes from the elements. It may also be a wise to have a space that’s climate controlled.
- Showcasing. Owning classic cars brings plenty of satisfaction, but you’ll probably want to display and show them off as well. Think about creating an outdoor staging area where you can gather your friends, perhaps including an outdoor fireplace or chimenea and furniture to keep your guests comfortable.
- Personal comfort. Speaking of comfort, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time working on your vehicles, make improvements that allow you to do the job in comfort. Small additions like floor mats, space heaters, and fans can go a long way toward making you more cozy.
- Room for work and expansion. Generally, the more room you have in which to work on your vehicles, the better. It’s also a good idea to have some extra space for expansion—in case you find another trophy to add to your collection.
Network with Other Classic Car Lovers
Devote some time to meeting other classic car lovers, attending local car shows, visiting racetracks, and being open to socializing with strangers. By talking to other people who share your taste, you’ll be able to engage further with your favorite hobby. You can learn more about classic cars from other fans, and most important, you’ll have more opportunities to find and purchase classic cars.
Sharpen Your Mechanical Skills
If you have sufficiently developed maintenance skills, you might do all your own repairs and maintenance. Depending on the vehicles you purchase, you may also be able to handle your own restorations.
This could save a ton of money on body work and upkeep, and prepare you to acquire less well-preserved vehicles for your collection. Before trying to start your assemblage, spend some time learning mechanical skills: You might get a job at a local repair shop on a part-time basis, or read online guides and practice on your vehicles.
Look for Great Purchasing Opportunities
Finally, keep an eye out for true bargains. You might happen upon an estate auction that features low prices and limited competition. A listing by someone who’s highly motivated to sell could turn up. You never know what you can find, or where, so try to look everywhere.
Unless you’re already fabulously wealthy, buying and collecting classic cars isn’t going to be an immediately practical hobby. If you have to make it happen on a modest salary with little initial experience, you’ll need to be patient.
Don’t rush any of your decisions, and recognize that this is a hobby that’s going to take years—or even decades—to bear fruit.
In the meantime, you can feed your love of these beauties by attending car shows in your area, racing vehicles with other car lovers, and getting involved in classic car options. You don’t have to own one of these paragons to enjoy them.