Listen to the man, because he cleans up Tyler Hoover’s messes constantly.
You’ve probably seen the Car Wizard before and not realized it. He’s the mechanic who’s constantly delivering bad news to Tyler Hoover of Hoovie’s Garage. The guy has worked on all kinds of vehicles, from a Ford Expedition to a Lamborghini Murcielago and everything in between. Leveraging his experience, he has some vintage car buying tips for you and they’re actually quite good.
The first thing the Car Wizard mentions is that people think they can buy a clunker on Craigslist or eBay and have it running for relatively cheap. If you’ve done such a thing you know your chances of purchasing another person’s problems is sky-high.
As long as you realize the car is going to require some expensive repairs to be running smoothly again, and you paid the previous owner accordingly, you should be ok. However, if you paid too much for a hunk of junk, even if it’s your fantasy car, you’re not going to be happy. As they say, you get what you pay for, so if a really cool car is being sold for super cheap, be skeptical about its condition.
Some of the vehicles the Car Wizard specifically warns against buying for super cheap at the ultra-luxury models. This includes Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, and so on. If one is selling for $5,000 there’s a good reason.
Barn Finds are a nightmare for the Car Wizard. Surprised? The man has his reasons. As he points out, just about every hose, gasket, boot, etc. on that car is going to fail because it’s all super brittle. He says if you get a barn find it needs to be something worth a lot on the open market if you’re using it as an investment. Otherwise, forget about it.
In the end, the most important thing you can do is a lot of research before buying a vintage car. That legwork can let you know what to watch out for, how much different problems might set you back, etc. It’s different for each kind of car on the market, which is why doing your own investigative work is wise.