Car enthusiasts appeared as soon as the automobile was introduced to the general public in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through the years, certain vehicles have proven more desirable to customers than others based on their looks and other attributes.
Auto hobbyists devote substantial time and effort to purchasing, restoring and displaying classic cars. While the hobby of restoring classic cars is not necessarily for everyone, its popularity suggests it’s an activity that’s here to stay.
According to an article in The Economist, in the wake of the recent recession, investors were increasingly pulling their money out of stocks and converting assets into tangible items, such as classic cars. As late as 2013, collector cars were outperforming other tangible investments like art, wine, stamps, and coins by large margins.
Those ready to dip their toes in the classic car waters should understand a few key factors that can affect how much they enjoy this potentially rewarding hobby.
Environmental regulations. Some collectors face challenges when attempting to restore classic vehicles because the cars do not meet today’s stringent clean air initiatives that govern automobiles. With the increasing number of new, clean cars on the road, vehicles that fail to meet modern emissions standards may pose a costly problem to classic car collectors.
Introduction of alternative fuels. As governments increasingly emphasize the importance of clean fuel options, classic car owners may find it challenging to find more traditional fuels or face the added expense of adapting their vehicles to run on alternative fuels.
Lack of mechanical expertise. Workers in the automotive trade are trained to manufacture and repair new vehicles. As a result, classic car owners without much mechanical ability of their own may find it difficult to find mechanics with the skills necessary to repair and restore classic cars.
Historic requirements should be heeded. Each state has its own requirements governing classic cars. To qualify for historic vehicle registration, vehicles may need to be 25 years or older, owned solely as a collector’s item and used exclusively for exhibition and educational purposes. When driven for personal use, such vehicles may not be allowed to exceed 1,000 miles per year.
Restoring classic cars can be a rewarding pastime, but one that involves dedication and an investment of both time and money.