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