WISE IN­VEST­MENTS

New Zealand Classic Car - - LOCAL MARKET REPORT - Pho­tos:

To­day, we shall talk about vin­tage cars and why we should all in­vest in them.

First, my view is that any car can be a col­lec­tor car if you col­lect it, and a col­lec­tor car doesn’t have to be vin­tage or clas­sic; it may only be a few years old. Many clas­sic car afi­ciona­dos face the buying co­nun­drum be­cause of the sub­jec­tive way cars are de­fined as be­ing ‘col­lec­tor’. For ex­am­ple, vin­tage cars — which rep­re­sent a fi­nite pro­duc­tion pe­riod — pro­vide buy­ers with much more cer­tainty than, let’s say, a 10-year-old fu­ture clas­sic car, but the phrase ‘col­lec­tor cars’ takes on dif­fer­ent mean­ings through­out the world, and the lack of a rigid def­i­ni­tion can some­times cause con­fu­sion in col­lec­tor-car mar­kets. pe­ri­ods, the vin­tage era rep­re­sented a time of me­chan­i­cal tran­si­tion. The vin­tage car pro­duced in 1919 was a rare com­mod­ity, but, by the time the vin­tage era ended in 1930, cars were much more preva­lent in main­stream so­ci­ety.

‘Col­lec­tor cars’ de­scribes the broad cat­e­gory that in­cludes sev­eral car sub­cat­e­gories de­lin­eated by the pe­riod in which they were built. The vin­tage-car sub­cat­e­gory has more col­lec­tor in­ter­est than any other. This is prob­a­bly be­cause most vin­tage-car own­ers hold onto their cars for in­vest­ment and sen­ti­men­tal rea­sons.

In­vest­ment-wise, let’s re­mem­ber that many vin­tage-car com­pa­nies even­tu­ally be­came in­sol­vent, or were bought out by ri­val com­pa­nies. This makes them his­toric. Also, vin­tage cars are not sub­jected to de­pre­ci­a­tion, and the lack of de­pre­ci­a­tion makes vin­tage cars worth in­vest­ing in. Even if you don’t drive them, even if they are not cars of your gen­er­a­tion, they re­main a good in­vest­ment, and more peo­ple in New Zealand should in­vest in them. Think of them as a piece of art or a di­a­mond ring, if you must, but pre­serve them.

How to buy a vin­tage car

The ex­plo­sive growth of in­ter­net us­age has pro­vided vin­tage cars with a fer­tile buy­ers’ mar­ket. Buy­ers sim­ply ac­cess a web­site and re­view the vin­tage cars for sale. How­ever, con­sumers must con­sider sev­eral fac­tors be­fore they go on­line to shop for vin­tage cars, such as: • Fair value — re­search the value of the vin­tage car make and model. Re­fer to in­de­pen­dent car-ap­praisal pub­li­ca­tions that do not al­low ad­ver­tis­ing from car­man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies. Seek sec­ond,

third, and fourth as­sess­ments from au­to­mo­tive pro­fes­sion­als, es­pe­cially those who have ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with col­lectable cars. Some vin­tage-car sellers try to take ad­van­tage of the era’s pres­tige by un­nec­es­sar­ily mark­ing up their cars. Im­per­fec­tions and au­then­tic­ity — some vin­tage cars pos­sess al­ter­ations or re­place­ment parts that di­min­ish the value of the car. Vin­tage-car buy­ers should thor­oughly ex­am­ine each car un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for osten­si­ble flaws. Much of the value hinges on the car’s orig­i­nal parts; oth­er­wise, it loses much of its vin­tage sta­tus. Many vin­tage-car own­ers re­store their cars to vin­tage sta­tus, which means con­sumers should look for shoddy re­pairs or un­pro­fes­sional paint jobs. Seek opin­ion — most vin­tage-car buy­ers do not have the trained eye to find nu­anced im­per­fec­tions. This means that any­one in the mar­ket for a vin­tage car should take the car to an ex­pert for a de­tailed anal­y­sis. Vin­tage-car ex­perts can not only de­tect flaws; they can also per­form thor­ough in­spec­tions to ver­ify sta­tus. Buy­ers may be able to de­tect ex­te­rior flaws, but ex­perts can point out prob­lems with a re­built pow­er­train or sus­pen­sion sys­tem. Stor­age — vin­tage cars should not be promi­nently dis­played in the drive­way. While the temp­ta­tion to flaunt the new in­vest­ment leads many vin­tage-car own­ers to leave their cars in open view, the best place for pre­serv­ing such a ve­hi­cle should be in­side a climate-con­trolled stor­age space. The stor­age space should ide­ally be warm and dry, which pre­cludes many home garages or barns. • In­sur­ance — vin­tage-car own­ers need to carry full in­sur­ance cov­er­age for the car’s cur­rent value. Get a proper val­u­a­tion so that your in­vest­ment is prop­erly in­sured. Some large in­sur­ance com­pa­nies de­vote a de­part­ment to han­dling vin­tage-car in­sur­ance. The col­lec­tor and vin­tage-car mar­kets have never been more ro­bust. Ex­po­sure through pop­u­lar au­to­mo­tive shows and fa­mous per­son­al­i­ties has in­creased the aware­ness of these unique cars. Yet, there re­mains am­bi­gu­ity when it comes to defin­ing col­lec­tor cars. What one seller de­scribes as a ‘clas­sic’ may be an­other seller’s an­ti­quated pile of rub­bish.

In New Zealand, we di­vide col­lec­tor cars into three broad cat­e­gories: vet­eran (be­fore World War I), vin­tage (1919–1930), and post vin­tage (1930s). Col­lec­tor cars pro­duced af­ter World War II have fewer clear defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics and are usu­ally broadly re­ferred to as ‘clas­sic cars’ — these would be at least 30 years old, and the com­mon theme here is of an older car with enough his­tor­i­cal in­ter­est to be col­lectable and worth pre­serv­ing or restor­ing rather than scrap­ping. The term ‘mod­ern clas­sics’ refers to cars that are less than 30 years old, but would be at least 15 years old.

More can be done, of course, but taxation and in­sur­ance poli­cies as­sist in defin­ing what a col­lec­tor car is, and we do have some sys­tems in place in New Zealand to pro­mote a def­i­ni­tion.

Un­til next time — safe driv­ing.

Not only are our weather con­di­tions fickle at the best of times but sun, rain, dust, and all sorts of other abra­sive el­e­ments also take their toll. That’s most ev­i­dent in cars pro­duced by north­ern­hemi­sphere man­u­fac­tur­ers af­ter they’ve been driv­ing here for a few years un­der our no­to­ri­ously harsh sun.

Thank good­ness that ap­ply­ing a sur­face pro­tec­tant to your ve­hi­cle is not only a way to make wash­ing it a hell of a lot eas­ier but also a long-term cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion to avoid re­plac­ing that paint­work sooner than you’d like.

This ap­plies whether your car is a brand-new fresh-off-the-dealer’s-lot pur­chase, some­thing that has seen a few years of use, or is a freshly painted and re­stored clas­sic — what­ever your car’s his­tory, a pro­tec­tive coat­ing is the way to go. Tra­di­tional waxes and so­lu­tions can wear off quickly dur­ing sim­ple

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