Your vintage car repair and restoration project may not just be an act of automotive love. It might also be a wise financial investment.
Repairing and restoring classic cars often seems more about love than money. There’s no way you could recoup the hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars you’ve poured into your six-cylinder 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster. Right?
1. The classic market has heated up
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the market for vintage cars has exploded, with demand often outstripping supply.In 2013, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO set a record when it was sold for US$52 million. A Reno car auction once had a 1967 Ford Mustang selling for US$97,900 and a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible going for US$82,500.
2. Many factors affect how vintage car values are calculated
Your baby is worth as much as you can get for her, of course. Calculating what this will be is sometimes luck, but there are guidelines and sources to help you come up with a value:
- Demand: This is the primary consideration for how much your car is worth. Check car collector magazines to see what dollars similar cars in similar condition are commanding.
- Rarity: Rarer cars will fetch higher prices. If you own a classic that only comes onto the market every few years, you can set your own price.
- Condition: A fully restored classic will fetch a higher price than a partially restored one. And a professional restoration is worth more than an amateur job.
- Potential: If your vehicle is a project car that needs to be restored, then the extent and potential cost of this work will have to be taken into account, lowering its value.
- NADA appraisal guides: NADA guides is the main source for classic car valuations, taking over from the Gold Book. However, the classic car market is volatile, so you shouldn’t take the prices found here as set in stone.
3. Using old stock parts improves value
While new car parts may work better and last longer, your car will be worth more if you source parts manufactured during the same era as your car, or new old stock parts.
4. Toning the body is worth the time
Repairing the body of your car—fixing dents, doing new paint, etc.—will increase its value.
5. Matching numbers are a plus
Your car will be worth more if it has all the original factory parts. All its major parts should match the original factory numbers, including the ones for the engine, transmission, and rear axle.
6. Keep a record
A thorough maintenance record will prove the work you’ve put into your car and give a work history to interested buyers, perhaps coaxing a few extra dollars from them.
If you do your vintage car repairs and restorations correctly, your buyer will drive away happy while you go to the bank even happier.