If you go to car shows to ogle all that chrome and the fancy paint jobs on all the classics, sooner or later you are going to want a collector car. Some people say that car enthusiasts never outgrew their childhood and that as adult kids, we still want our toys. What better toy can you think of than a classic car with the old-style curves, big engine, and retro appeal?
You may even already own one or more collector cars and may want to add to your collection. But it is not like you can go down to the local car dealer and have your pick from a whole line of available cars. Collector cars are harder to find, especially if you are looking for a certain model. But exactly where can I buy a collector car? Are there any sources better than others? If you are in the market to buy a collector car, here are some of the best places to look.
Online Classic Car Sites
While trying to figure out where can I buy a collector car, one of the best places to check out is online. There are dozens of classic car sites out on the web where owners can buy, sell, and trade collector cars. You can find almost any type of collector car in various conditions. Some sites are solely for completely refinished collector cars while others deal in project cars and hard-to-find parts.
Online is also the best place to find other car hobbyists. If you are looking for a specific car, part, or just have a general question, the forums on some of these sites are excellent places to get a quick answer. A couple of the more popular websites where you can buy a collector car are AutoTraders.com, AutoTradersClassic.com, Ebay, Atoncer.com, OldCarOnline.com, and ClassicCar.com.
Collector Car Publications
Before the Internet, the next best place to look when wondering where can I buy a collector car are car trader magazines and collector car publications. For years these sources had been the place to look for any collector cars that were on the market. Anyone who was interested in selling or buying a classic would advertise in these periodicals. Even today, the trades and magazines are still a good place to find that right car you are looking for. One of the most popular sources is Auto Trader magazine. You can find it on just about any newsstand where they sell newspapers or other magazines. There is also Car Collector magazine, Low Rider, and Hot Rod.
When someone mentions a car dealership, most people think of a big open lot full of the latest model of cars. However, there are specialty dealers out there that deal only in collector cars. There are not as many of these dealers around and you usually won’t find their inventory of cars out on an open lot. Generally, these dealers keep their classic cars in storage where they are well protected. To find out what the specialty dealer has in their inventory, you will need to contact them. An appointment has to be made in order to get a look at the car. If you go through a specialty dealer, though, you may not get a great deal on the price.
Direct From Owners
The most common way to find a collector car to buy is to purchase it directly from the owner. You may find an ad in the newspaper or just happen to be driving by and see the car with a for sale sign. If you are looking for a specific model of collector car, you are generally going to be limited on what is available in the local market. However, you can often get the best prices by dealing directly with an owner. If you want to buy directly from the owner, keep looking at the newspapers for ads or look up the local classic car club to find out if anything is for sale.
Collector Car Auctions
Collector cars often appear in auctions. Buying a collector car at an auction is a lot like playing the lottery. For one, you can never be sure what will show up at auction or what condition it will be in. Second, you can never be sure how the bidding will go. If there is a large crowd at the auction, chances are the price of a collector car will go high. If there are not many people at the auction, you might find the cars going for a lower bid. Be aware that auctions are popular places for collectors of classic cars. Everyone is there for the same reason you are; they are looking for a bargain.