Going Vintage

 

Going up the next tier of car renewal, there are vintage cars Just like classic cars, there are different ways in which they are defined. In fact, others think that classic cars and vintage cars pertain to the same thing! Actually, vintage cars are considered to be the next step up when it comes to restoring old cars. For the purposes of this book, a vintage car would mean that the vehicle is older than 60 years old, which separates it from the category of classics defined earlier. This said this would be the cars produced shortly after the World Wars, during the World Wars, or even before the World Wars.

As mentioned, restoring vintage cars is the next step to car restoration. Why is restoring old cars considerably harder than restoring classic cars? There are so many reasons why. First, remember that these cars are much older, meaning they would require more TLC than most cars on the road today. Second, also related to the age, finding these cars are much more challenging. Third, and this is arguably the most frustrating part of being a vintage collector, is the fact that finding original parts for such cars can range from difficult to near-impossible.

Being a vintage restorer and collector is tough, but it can pay off richly if you do it right. There are numerous old cars out there that are worth giving a try. Sure, it would more likely demand a bigger commitment from you in terms of time, money, and effort, but the results could be gigantic should you pull it off.

Here are some examples of the best and most desirable vintage cars out there:

1. Studebaker- Studebaker is an American car brand that last produced a car way back in 1966. In spite being long gone, their cars remain as favorites for a lot of automotive enthusiasts. With a robust standing for quality and reliability, it was considered as one of the premiere American car brands during the 1st half of the 1900s.Among their notable models include the Starlight, the Champion, the Golden Hawk, and the Avanti.

Current value: The Studebaker is a great car brand time seems to have forgotten. These cars are worth checking out if you want to work on a vintage car on a bargain. Even their best cars in prime condition can be acquired for less than $50000.

2. Oldsmobile Now a part of GM, Oldsmobile is one of the first car brands to emerge in America when it was founded in 1897. When the name was canceled in 2004, it is considered to be among the world’s longest-running car brands. Over 35 million Oldsmobiles were produced during that time, with some of them ending up being among America’s most favorite rides. Oldsmobile is credited with creating the world’s first fully automatic transmission, the Hydramatic.

Current value: While younger ones remember the Oldsmobile for classics such as the Toronado and the 442, the brand has its share of vintage rides as well. Depending on age and type of vehicle, old Oldsmobiles in mint condition can easily fetch anywhere between $30000-75000.

3. Nash- Nash as a car company lived a relatively short life. While the brand has only existed just above 40 years, it has a somewhat fruitful existence, innovating commonly used vehicle technologies such as unitary construction, heating/cooling systems, and even seat belts. Among the notable cars produced by Nash include the Jeffrey Quad truck, the Nash 400, the Nash 600, Airflyte, and Metropolitan.

Current value: With the Nash becoming rarer by the year, the value of these cars is steadily increasing. Great examples of the Rambler and Metropolitan can be had between $20000-30000 while older models such as the Airflyte are almost approaching the $100000 mark in all-original form.

4. Hudson- While its existence has been relatively short-lived, Hudson is considered a pioneer when it comes to producing true-blue American cars. They always integrated innovative ideas on their products, resulting in some of the safest, best-performing, and practical vehicles of the time. Because of the inherent uniqueness of their cars, Hudson has remained in the consciousness of vintage car enthusiasts up to this day.

Current value: The prices that Hudson vehicles command in the open market is steadily increasing. While an average Hudson car would cost around $15000-30000, some of their most popular models (like the fabulous Hornet) can command prices of up to $100000.  

5. Rolls-Royce- This brand is one of the most storied brands in the automotive world. With their cars built using elite handmade craftsmanship, each vehicle with the Rolls-Royce badge represents the ultimate in luxury cars. While still creating relevant cars up to this day, vintage Rolls-Royce cars are the stuff legends are made of. Among their notable vintage cars include the Phantom series and the Silver Wraith.

Current value: Vintage Rolls-Royce cars command serious value on the market. An example that needs TLC would cost $50000 while a fully restored one can command a price tag at anywhere between $200000-1million.

6. Mercedes-Benz – Mercedes-Benz is one of the most storied brands in the history of the automobile. In fact, they are credited with the creation of the first gasoline-powered automobile in 1886. While most people know of the Benz as a creator of modern, reliable luxury cars, its catalog of vintage cars is nothing short of impressive. Among the historic rides, they created to include the 500K, the 260D, and the 300SL.

Current value: The value for vintage Mercedes-Benz cars depends on the model in question. However, it is safe to say that just might make a killing on an original. The 170D has a value of around $20000 while the 300SL has a value that easily tops $1million.

 

Chasing Classic Cars

Only a few things get a revhead’s heart pumping faster than seeing a classic car correctly restored. But what exactly does it mean when you say “classic car”? What makes a car a classic? This is where all kinds of arguments come into play because there is no strict definition of what a classic car is. The same goes with a vintage car, but we would deal with that later. Before proceeding further, it must first be defined what it means to be a classic car.

The definition of a classic car differs in various parts of the world. According to the Classic Car Club of America, an excellent means a car that is in between 30 to 50 years old. In the UK, a classic car is defined as any car that is produced anywhere between the pre-World War era up to the end of World War II.

Aside from these varying definitions, some subdivide the classic car definition, even more, resulting into subclasses such as Veteran, Antique, and Modern Classic, just to name some of them. For the purpose of this book, we would define classic cars as any historically significant vehicle between 25 to 60 years old. That means this list can occupy cars that were produced from 1955 to 1990.

This said, there are all kinds of cars coming from this era. Some are produced in relatively large amounts, meaning a lot of people actually saw (and even drove) these cars as they grow up. Others are relatively uncommon, only appreciated by the people who know what the actual place of these vehicles in history. Some are ultra-rare, with ownership virtually makes you a member of an elite circle of car collectors.

Here are some of the best cars in the classic era, highly desirable for restorers, collectors, and enthusiasts around the world. If you know cars, some of these names would definitely resonate with you.

1. Ford Mustang– This is the car that started the “Pony Car” era. First built in 1964, there is so much to like about the Mustang. It is highly stylish, somewhat practical and affordable, and packed with a lot of performance. It has proven to be so popular that Mustangs are still in production up to now. While each generation of this car is highly desirable, the high-water mark for the Mustang is still its first generation, built in between 1964 to 1973.

Current value: A correctly restored Mustang can fetch anywhere between $25000-60000. Rarer models such as the Shelby GT-350 and the Boss 429 can fetch anywhere between $100000-400000.

2. Ford Thunderbird- This car was created in 1955 mainly as a response to the Chevrolet Corvette. Initially released as a 2-seat convertible, it is primarily marketed to be a “personal car”. While 11 generations of the Thunderbird were published from 1955 to 2005, the first 3 generations of the car (models from 1955 to 1963) represent the best years for the brand.

Current Value: Currently, a Thunderbird restored to almost showroom condition can fetch a price of around $30000. The price can go higher depending on originality of parts and options installed.

3. Chevrolet Camaro – This car is Chevrolet’s response to the market success of the Ford Mustang. Another highly-successful “Pony Car”, the Camaro has the requisite characteristics of a real pony car: affordability, style, and performance. It is one of the most successful sports cars ever produced in America, with these cars enjoying a strong following worldwide. The most classic Camaros were the first ones, which were built from 1967 to 1969.

Current value: Depending on the condition, expect to spend in between $10000-40000 for a 1967-69 Camaro. Rarer models such as the Z/28, ZL-1, and Yenko can cost up to at least $100000 if proven to be legit and in excellent condition.

4. Chevrolet Corvette- Best known as America’s original sports car, the Corvette has a lasting legacy that stretches from 1953. While all Corvettes can be considered as legends on the road, the C1 (1955-1962), C2 (1963-1967), and C3 (1968-1982) are the ones generally classified as true classics. As great representatives of American muscle, there is always a place for the Corvette in classic car lore.

Current value: Corvettes, being a staple of American sports car culture, has always maintained a relatively high value. Expect to spend anywhere between $20000-60000 for good examples. Rare models with original parts can command huge prices on the market too.   

5. Pontiac Firebird- This pony car is best remembered for being immortalized in shows such as Smokey and the Bandit and Knight Rider. Outside of these appearances, the Pontiac Firebird is a great, if not underrated classic. A sister car of the Chevrolet Camaro, it brought a different flavor to the table for pony car fanatics.

Current value: Firebirds, while not the household name that Camaros and Mustangs are, bring a lot of muscle to the table. Great examples can be had for around $15000-30000, with rare variants hovering at least above $50000.

6. Dodge Charger- Considered as one of the ultimate muscle cars, the Charger is built with the stuff of greatness. As seen in movies such as The Dukes of Hazzard and The Fast and The Furious, it’s one of the most badass sports cars on the planet. Especially dominant in NASCAR and in the drag strip, the Charger represents the high-water mark in design and performance for the 1960s/early 1970s American sports cars.

Current value: Values of the Charger wildly fluctuate depending on the year model and the engine equipped. On the average, prices range between $20000-40000. For rare types, especially those fitted with the legendary 426 Hemi engines, prices can soar above $100000 at the very least. 

7. Volkswagen Beetle– The humble Beetle is arguably the greatest car ever built. With more than 20 million units sold in its 30-something years of existence, it is proof that any car can make an indelible mark as long as it is well-made and serves its purpose well. You won’t be hard-pressed to look for these cars, and its uncomplicated mechanics make it simple to maintain and restore.  It is a true-blue classic and is a great vehicle to start your car restoration journey.

Current value: Beetles are a dime a dozen in just about every part of the globe, but rock-solid examples are becoming tougher to locate. The present value of full-restored Beetles ranges between $7500-20000, with the asking price higher for older models and convertibles.

8. Ferrari 308- The 308 is one of the most popular and acquirable classic Ferraris around. Produced from 1975 to 1985, it is considered as among the most iconic sports cars of the 1970s. Along with the 246 Dino, the 308 is reputed to start the “entry-level”, mid-engine Ferrari line that included the F430 and the 458 Italia, among others. Its claim to fame was sealed thanks to its prominent role in the TV show Magnum P. I.

Current Value: You can get a good example of the 308 today anywhere between $30000-150000, with prices still getting higher by the year. For collectors, the earlier models (1976-1977) with the fiberglass body are the rarest and most desirable of the bunch.

 

Thanks Speak to you again soon!

Why Car Restoration Is a Great Hobby

What have cars done for us over the past 100years? Well, they have helped us go places, benefitting people from all walks of life. For others, being around cars, working on cars, and driving them is a way of life. There are many ways in which people slow their love for automobiles, and one of the best ways to show it is by restoring old cars to their previous glory. If you like cars, car restoration is one of the best hobbies to try. There are many reasons why restoring cars is awesome; listed are some of the best ones here.

Restoring cars is an experience- A restoration is basically a process wherein a car is brought back to its previous glory. Of course, it will take time, effort, and money to get it done. However, once you are able to complete your project, it will bring a kind of joy that cannot be equated to money. While the finished product would always be high, the process of building a car from the ground up is an experience unlike any other. It is the main reason why expert restorers, in spite of the difficulties of handling different car builds, kept coming back for more.

Car restoration takes you back in time- Cars, just like people, evolve with the times. Basically, a vehicle from a particular era does not just show the technology available from that period, but it also shows how things are done during that given time. By restoring cars coming from different generations, you get a better understanding of how it is like to live during those times. As these are the machines that help men and women of that time go from point A to point B, you get to experience how they it was like.

Restoring cars is a challenge- Car restoration is one of the most challenging hobbies out there. To recreate a classic, you will need to give attention to every detail. The entire process is terrible, and it would take every ounce of skill and patience to get it done right. While restoring cars to their old glory is difficult, it is one of the things that make this hobby special. Even if you end up restoring multiple copies of the same model, each build is unique from the others. The potential for challenges is virtually limitless, and they tend to differ from car to car. That’s partly what makes car restoration very exciting.

Driving a restored car earns you street cred- Driving a hot car speaks volumes on how much you are into owning and driving cars. Only a few cars on the road can add more street cred than going behind the wheel of a classic or vintage car. This street cred will only get higher if you are involved in the build of the car itself! It is very fulfilling when you get compliments on how awesome your ride is. You don’t see clean classics roaming on the roads today. If you can bring out one, you’re sure to hear the oohs and aahs.

It can earn you serious money- Selling classic cars has always been a lucrative business. A properly built and entirely correct restoration will fetch a ton of cash on the open market. Of course, you would make some investments, like buying the right car, investing both time and money on the build, consulting the real people, and putting in the effort to ensure that you get it right. If you get the building right, you are bound to strike gold once you sell your build. Restorers around the world make money this way, and there is no reason why you can’t turn your passion for classic cars into a profitable enterprise.