All About Classic Cars

Collecting Cars for Fun and Profit

Antique and classic cars are being collected now more than ever. Classic car collectors learn their hobby over years and years of research and browsing, even attending a half dozen or more car shows each year. However, some basic information is available to help anyone begin the lifelong passion of collecting antique automobiles.

Definition of a Classic Car

A classic car is one that is more than 15-years old, while an antique car is more than 25-years old. A vintage car dates from the 1930’s or older. As well, there are different car eras, such as the Vintage Car Era, Classic Car Era, Muscle Car Era, and so on, and this is also important to understand.

Display and Drivable Cars

Some antique car collectors drive their cars everywhere, while others have theirs for display purposes only. Display cars often have the benefit of needing less maintenance to keep their classic feel and pristine condition. If you want to drive your classic car, remember that it will require more money for such services as paint and wax jobs, engine work, and inspections. Not only do antique cars lack modern safety features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes, but vintage cars may also lack modern conveniences like power steering, stereo systems, or even heat.

Expenses

Antique car collectors know that antique cars in general are very expensive investments, but there are several ways to cut these costs and make collecting cars an even more enjoyable experience. Many cars are simply left to rust away in lawns or in junkyards. These cars can often be bought at a real bargain for even a few dollars. However, the cheaper these cars are usually indicates what shape they come in. Therefore, several decisions must be made concerning the usability of the cars. Will they be driven? Do they need a new engine? What use will they have on a daily basis?

With some body work to remove rust and replace irreparable damage, these cars can even receive new interiors and engines. The most common work is a brand new paint job (the most noticeable and appreciable work), so a good deal can cost as little as $1000. With an interest in automobiles and a modest income, restoring antique cars can be the lifelong hobby of antique car collectors.

Ratings for Antique Car Appraisal

An antique car appraisal must be based on uniform standards to get a correct appraisal.

Parts Car, this means that the car is only to be used for individual car parts. The car itself has no value except for the individual parts that can be taken from it and used in other cars. The car might not be a candidate for restoration, and therefore appraisers will not waste other people’s time and money by declaring it usable except for parts.

Restorable, means the car in question has potential to be restored. The car model and make must still be recognizable to warrant this antique car appraisal rating. It may also need a complete body, chassis and interior restoration if it is appraised in this condition. Most likely the engine will also need some attention as well as the exterior, but not to the point that you restore more than a third of the body, chassis or interior.

Good, this antique car appraisal means that the automobile may need just a little tweaking to make it functional. The quality of restoration of the automobile may also affect the antique car appraisal. If it is functional yet the quality of restoration is poor, then the price will still not go up despite its good condition. The antique car appraisal should always include the quality of the restoration.

A Very Good antique car appraisal could mean that the automobile is functional and the amateur restoration is passable. The restoration might be rated as older or worn out to some extent but not as bad as expected. A Very Good antique car appraisal might be considered presentable and serviceable in the interior and exterior.

Fine is the antique car appraisal that means the automobile is restored very well and its original parts are well maintained to the point that they are in good working order.

The Excellent antique car appraisal means that the car in question has been restored to excellent professional standards and could possibly be a show car that is not driven or worn out but maintained for aesthetic purposes.

Antique Car Pricing

Antique car pricing depends on many different factors, and antique car pricing can vary from year to year. The prices can also vary depending on the point of sale. Antique car pricing depends on the age of the car, the condition of the car and special features on a car.

An antique car that is very old might be much more expensive than a newer classic car. These car prices fluctuate like more modern cars depending upon the condition. An antique car that is in mint condition could cost ten thousand dollars more than the same model in poor condition. Antique car pricing can also vary depending on the mechanics of the car. One that is road-ready will cost much more than one that looks good but does not move on the streets.

Antique car pricing depends on the year and the condition of the car, but the pricing can also depend on many of the various features in each car. Some of the classic cars have radios that actually still work while the older cars never do. Some of these cars have original mirrors while others have modern replicas. The fabric used in the interior could have a significant impact on the prices of antique cars; if the fabric in the interior is the original and in great condition, this is important in the price of the vehicle.

Many collectors of classic cars base their prices of the cars they have on a price guide. The antique car price guide gives approximations of how much a certain model of automobile may cost these days. The prices found in the antique car price guide are somewhat loosely approximated because not all cars of the same make and model are restored professionally or even restored properly. Popular price guides include MacRAE’s Blue Book online, and Kelley Blue Book.

The hobby of collecting antique and classic cars can be fun and enjoyable, and it can also incredibly rewarding, especially financially. As long as you are informed and take the situation seriously, you should not have any problems, and not only will you have a great time but as well can make quite a bit of profit for yourself if you go about things in the right way.

 

Ask This Question Before Buy Used Car

You’re looking for a new car and you’ve decided to buy used. Smart choice! With the price of gas and the state of the economy, shelling out all that extra cash for a brand new car when a used car can be just as fuel efficient and a much better deal is like tossing your cash into your car’s fuel tank and literally burning that money away.

Craigslist, eBay, car classifieds, and used car search engines like iSeeCars.com make finding used cars for sale so much easier than ever before. But you have to be careful-there’s bound to be a few lemons out there that will leave you with more than just a sour taste in your mouth. Making a major purchase like a car-even if, or perhaps especially if, it’s a cheap used car-requires that you do all of your homework. Remain in control and no one will be able to pull the wool over your eyes!

Here are the top ten questions you should ask a used car seller before you sign on the dotted line:

  1. Can you tell me why you’re selling this car? Used car dealerships might not know (but they may know why the last owner sold it to them), but all private sellers you might find through Craigslist, eBay, or car classifieds ought to answer. If possible, watch their facial expressions when they answer, too, in case they’re not being entirely truthful. If they’re moving or can no longer afford payments for the car, the car is more likely to be of higher quality. If it’s because it’s very old or has required many repairs, make sure you know if the price is fair and understand what you’re getting into.
  2. What is the car’s mileage? Car mileage plays a large part in determining the used car’s value. And remember that used car odometers can be tampered with, which is why you should ask…
  3. Will you allow a test drive? Any used car dealership should have no problem letting you test drive their used cars for sale around town. Private sellers might be more reticent, but assure them you’ll allow them to accompany you on the trip. Test drives are essential for noticing problems with the car as well as for making sure that the car is the right fit for you. You’ll also be able to notice if the odometer appears to be “stuck” or has problems.
  4. Will you allow me to make my own inspection? If they’re reputable, both used car dealers and private sellers should have no problem with you bringing the car to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection.
  5. Is there a warranty on the car? If you’re buying from a used car dealership, go for the certified used cars. A lot of used car dealerships offer 112-point inspections and two-year/20,000 miles warranties on low- to average-mileage used cars. Some used cars for sale may come with existing factory warranties. When buying from a used car for sale by owner, unless there’s an existing factory warranty, the car is typically sold as-is.
  6. Has this car ever been refurbished or been in an accident? If the used BMW car that’s caught your eye was once in an accident, there might be more damage underneath that freshly-painted coat than meets the eye.
  7. What is the vehicle’s history? Certified used cars and other used cars for sale at used car dealerships ought to come with vehicle history reports. (Oftentimes these are even available when you search for used cars online.) Used cars for sale by owner might have official vehicle history reports, but if they don’t, you should be able to purchase them online at sites like Carfax or Autocheck using the VIN# of the car.
  8. Are you the original owner of this car? If you want quality, it’s best to choose used cars for sale by the original owner-unless each owner of the car used it for a short period of time. This actually isn’t a moot question for a used car dealer, either; it’s possible that car was for sale just a few years ago as a brand-new car and never got off the lot.
  9. What are the car’s special features? If CD player, navigation or GPS system, leather seats, or anything else that’s “extra” is important to you, ask if they’re available in the used car that you’re considering-and if they’re still in good, working condition.
  10. Do you have service or maintenance records for the car? If the owner has kept good records and has followed the manufacturer’s suggestions for scheduled maintenance like changing oil every so many miles, that would be a good indication of how well the car was taken care of.

 

Tips To Buying Car Seats For Children

Choosing the Correct Car Seat

Choosing the correct car seat can often be very confusing as not only have you to ensure the correct size car seat for your child but that the car seat that you choose is also a correct fit for your car. Selecting a car seat that scores highly in the many test reports available is all very well but selecting a car seat that fits your car properly is probably the more important feature for your childs safety.

If you are in any doubt about which car seat is the correct fit for your car consult the car seat manufacturers web site as many of the leading manufacturers such as Britax, Maxicosi and Renoluxwill have a Fit Finder guide detailing which of their car seats are most suitable for your model of car.

All child restraints sold in the UK must conform to the United Nations ECE Regulation R44.03 or later version of the standard and must be clearly marked.

    Choosing a car seat that is suitable for your childs weight and height.

  • Group 0+ Infant Carriers
  • Group 0: for babies upto 10 kgs (22 lbs) approximately from birth to 6-9 months.
  • Group 0+: for babies upto 13 kg (29lbs) approximately from birth to 12-15 months.

Group 0+ Infant Carriers

This group of car seat can be used in the front or rear of the car but CANNOT be used in the front passenger seat if there is a passenger airbag. It is safer to put them in the rear. Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby’s head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats.

Babies should be in a rearward facing car seat and should not be placed in a forward-facing seat until they weigh at least 9 kgs and can sit up unaided. Babies should be kept in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible. Once your child is above the maximum weight for a rearward-facing seat or the top of their head is above the top of the seat they should be moved into a forward-facing seat. It is not important if their knees are bent in the seat, provided they are still within the seat’s weight range.

Convenience factor with this stage of car seat is that most models will have a carry handle enabling you to easily remove and carry the baby without removing them from the car seat especially handy if the baby is asleep and may also fit onto corresponding pushchair converting it to a travel system.

Group 0+ and 1 Car Seats

Suitable for Babies upto 18kg, Birth to 4 years approximately.
Ideal car seats if you do not have to constantly remove them from car to car or car to home. They are a much larger seat designed to protect your baby from newborn to 4 years approximately. The car seat is used rearward facing when using for a baby up to 9kgs. The car seat can be used forward facing once the baby has reached 9 to 13kg weight. Baby does not have to be forward facing until they are 13 kgs. It is important to check that this style of child car seat is compatible with your vehicle when fitted forward AND rearward facing. You must never leave baby asleep unattended in any car.

Forward-facing child seat

Group 1: for children weighing 9-18 kgs (20-40 lbs) approximately from 9 months – 4 years.

Once a child has outgrown a rearwards facing seat, the best option is to use a Group 1 seat with an integral harness, the large area of the harness helps to reduce the risk of injury if there is a crash. The bottom attachment between the legs will also prevent the child from sliding under, and out of the harness. They can be used in the front or rear of the car but it is safer to put them in the rear especially if there is a passenger airbag in the front. Once again it is safest to keep children in this type of car seat until they have outgrown it.

Only move your child to a booster seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for the child seat or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat. If you intend to use this car seat between two cars please ensure that the model of car seat purchased is suitable for both cars. It maybe simpler to purchase two seats each one fitting the car perfectly rather than buying one seat which may not fit either car perfectly as great care is needed to follow the seat belt routings and tighten well. They can also be car specific for correct fitting and not every child seat fits every car.

With this in mind it maybe worth checking out ISOFIX fitting car seats. This is a system that is intended to make fitting child seats quick and simple. All new cars are manufactured with ISOFIX points built into them allowing ISOFIX child seats to be simply plugged into the ISOFIX points in the car. This is a very useful development as many people find it difficult to fit child seats correctly and many surveys have found that a high proportion of the child seats are not fitted securely enough. Most child seats are currently designed to be fitted by using a car’s adult lap and diagonal seat belt (or sometimes, just a lap belt). However car seats, seat belts and their anchorages vary dramatically between different models of cars. Car seats have different shapes, some seat belts are much shorter than others, the position of the anchor points differs so some are further forward or have shorter stalks than others. All these factors make it virtually impossible to make a child car seat that fits all cars and sometimes tricky to fit a child car seat correctly.

ISOFIX car seats are designed to solve all these problems. The ultimate aim is that any ISOFIX child car seat you buy will fit your car simply by plugging it into the ISOFIX points. The other benefit of ISOFIX is that it will create a rigid link between the child seat and the car to provide extra solidity. It is important to make sure that any ISOFIX seats that you use in the vehicle are approved for it. It is not yet the case that any ISOFIX seat will fit in every car with ISOFIX points. To fit an ISOFIX seat into some cars you may either to use a top tether kit or an ISOFIX car seat that has a drop down leg to stabilise the car seat to the car floor. Please ensure your car is suitable for whichever seat you choose by consulting the relevant manufacturers web site.

Group 2 Child Car Seats: for children weighing 15-25kgs (33-55lbs) from 4 to 10 years approximately.

If your child is over the 25kgs weight but is below 135cm in height it is recommended that the child remain in the seat. The majority of Stage 2 seats have a height adjustable back to allow you to gradually change the height of the back as your child grows; this also changes the height and angle of the seat belt, keeping it constantly in the optimum safest position. These seats do not have to be fitted to each car and will generally fit all vehicles without too many problems – sports car owners with bucket seats will need to choose a seat with a small base.

Group 1 & 2 Child Car Seats:

Suitable for children weighing 9-36kgs (20-80lbs) from 9 months to 12 years approximately or up to 135cms.

There is now a greater choice of car seats in this range than ever before. The car seat will include a child harness to be used up to 15-18kgs then the harness can be removed and the child seat can then use the adult car seat belt with most of these seats having an adjuster or seat belt guide so that the belt does not rub on the childs neck. The back rest of these seats will be height adjustable with some even having width adjustment as well.

Group 3 Child Car Seats:

Usually Suitable for children of 22kgs (48lbs) or 6 years upwards.
This child seat raises the height of the child so they can use the adult seat belt in the correct position.

WARNING:

No child seat is escape proof as harness systems are not designed to be completely child proof in order to comply with the legal requirements of ECE R44. The harness must be fastened and adjusted correctly with children encouraged to sit within the car seats harness.

If child seat has been involved in an accident or sustained any damage whatsoever it must be replaced immediately. Any damage to the car seat is not always visible such as the harness which is designed to stretch helping to prevent damage to the childs internal organs. This can only happen once with any further impact leaving the harness with no more stretch thus risking injury to the child.
This is why you should never use a second hand car seat.

 

Common Mistake To Spend Money For Cars

The people recognize themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment.
Herbert Marcuse

When Solomon said there was a time and a place for everything he had not encountered the problem of parking his automobile.
Bob Edwards

Not having to own a car has made me realize what a waste of time the automobile is.
Diane Johnson

Car designers are just going to have to come up with an automobile that outlasts the payments.
Erma Bombeck

The automobile gives rise to intense passions in both sexes. Just a few decades ago car dealerships were places where women dared not go leaving the complex negotiations for a new car to their husbands, brothers and uncles. “Upside down on my car” was a phrase entrenched in the American lexicon long before the current economic meltdown turned “upside down on my house” into the catch phrase for the decade. Automobiles are expensive, yet they are the biggest waste of money imaginable and owning a vehicle defies every law of basic financial common sense there is. There are 5 common money mistakes most people make when purchasing a car.

1) Putting money down on a new car
2) Leasing a car
3) Trading in a car
4) Buying a new car every 3-5 years
5) Rolling old car debt into a new car purchase

Putting Money Down on a New Car

The author of a well-read and well-circulated financial blog, the Simple Dollar, wrote that you should put money down on a car in order to avoid GAP insurance. What is GAP insurance? GAP insurance stands for Guaranteed Auto Protection and is a supplemental form of auto insurance that covers the GAP between the residual value on the car if it is totaled out and the loan amount on the car. GAP insurance is an additional expense especially if you purchase a car that does not hold its value over the long run (as most don’t) but is it worth giving up $3000-5000 cash to avoid the premium? Of course not. And here’s why. Cars are depreciating assets. As a rule of thumb they lose 10-25% of their value each year for the first 3 years.

Putting any money down on a car, therefore, is a lot like taking a roll of Benjamins into your bathroom, lifting the lid and flushing 30 to 50 of those bills down the toilet. Any money that a new car purchaser puts down will not translate into equity in that car, but will disappear into thin air the moment the new owner drives that car off the lot. GAP insurance on the other hand is a relatively small expense a consumer may or may not choose to assume. Should the consumer choose to get GAP insurance, it is based on the value of the new car and the expected depreciation. For the top-ranked cars in terms of the least depreciation, GAP insurance will cost the least. For the cars that depreciate the most, GAP insurance will cost the most.

Kelly Blue book posts an annual list of cars that depreciate the least. Doesn’t car insurance offer full coverage for a car? No it doesn’t. Insurance companies are smart, they won’t pay more than a vehicle is worth. Consumers do that. Car insurance will only cover the residual value of a car in the event of an accident, not the full loan amount owed on a car. Pay $20,000 for a new car and wreck it in the first year, your auto insurance will cover only the residual value of that car. If that residual value is $15,000 and you owe say $18,000 you are on the hook for the $3,000. Here are the basic things you can do to avoid this depreciation calamity and hang onto your money:

1) Only buy new cars that retain their value and negotiate the best deal you can
2) Only buy used cars (someone else has paid for the depreciation)
3) Save like a fiend so that you can “self insure”, ie., cover the GAP in the event of an accident
4) If you don’t do 1,2 or 3 buy GAP insurance because it is minuscule compared to the out of pocket costs of a down payment
5) Don’t let your kids drive your car

Leasing a Car

The reason a car lease’s monthly payment is so much less than the principal and interest payments on a car note is that the lessee is not amortizing the value of the car with the payment. The lessee is amortizing only the depreciation costs and paying interest to do so! As an example if the 3-year depreciation expense on a car $20,000 car is $10,000, the monthly payment on the lease is based on that 10K along with the interest rate. Sounds like a good deal, I suppose, until you figure in that the car dealer will get back a used car at the end of the lease that he intends to sell for the full value of its make and model. What this means is pristine physical condition and low mileage. If the car returns in anything other than perfect condition, the lessee will have to pay in the form of stiff mileage and wear and tear penalties. Lease a car back to back and you loose big time because you are always bearing the cost of someone else’s depreciation.

Trading a Car

Basically my philosophy is that you buy the most reliable and high value car that you can, negotiate the best price that you can, pay it off and drive that vehicle for at least 10 years. Even if your vehicle is in pristine condition at the end of 5 years and you just have to have a new one, the dealer will give you at best 50 to 75% of the residual value of your car. The car dealer will make money twice: once on the new car you just bought and again on your trade in when they re-sell it for maximum retail value. It is great to give money away, but give it away to a charity and take the tax deduction. Your car dealer does not need your charity. Here are basic things you can do when you have a car to trade in:

1) Sell the car on Craig’s list or advertise it in the newspaper getting the best deal you can for your car. Then you are free to use the money anyway you choose.

2) Sell the car back to a same brand dealer. I’ve done it. It works.

Buying a new car every 3-5 years

Buying a new car every 3-5 years means that you are always locked into a principal and interest payment on something that is always losing value. The only way to “win” with a car is during the years in which you are essentially driving that car for free. At the very least, you can spend your time paying yourself the principal and interest payments, it is a form of forced savings in which you can set yourself up to pay cash for your next car, or use the money to take that vacation you have always wanted to.

Rolling Old Car Debt into a New Car Purchase

I know people who are so far upside down on a car that they have to look up to see down. It is sad, really. A car dealer will give you the rope to hang yourself. I have only met one salesman who was willing to talk me out of rolling one car into another. I was so desperate to get rid of the car I had at the time. It was an SUV that had the nasty habit of stalling in the cold at altitude. If I had been driving it in Phoenix I would never have had a problem, but I insisted on driving it to the Ski areas in Colorado. Silly me. But I was desperate enough to roll the 22K owed on that vehicle into another car loan on a new vehicle. The truth of the matter is that most cars on the market will never out last that kind of debt, and rolling old car debt into a new car purchase will result in a cycle of indebtedness to a car that can be virtually impossible to break

I hope by now I have shattered any illusions that a car is an asset. The traditional rules of money down and extended payments that apply to acquiring genuine assets, such as investment property and businesses simply don’t apply to a car. View a car for what it is, an essential transportation expense that will get you safely from point A to point B. As the quotes that head this article illustrate, cars incite passions that warp reality and good judgment understanding the 6 common money mistakes people make with cars will save you headache, heartache and money.