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8 Issues That Can Lower a Classic Car’s Value

We have written plenty of articles with tips on buying a classic car.  Our 10 Commandments to Buying a Classic Car is a favorite amongst our regular readers.  If you have already purchased a classic car, we would like to share some advice on how to maintain the value of your classic car or truck.

Keep it Rust Free – Hopefully you had your classic thoroughly inspected for rust before you purchased it.  Rust is the biggest enemy of the classic car owner.  There aren’t many things that can drop the value of a vehicle quicker than rust.  If your vehicle is rust free, it is certainly in your best interest to keep it that way.  Keep it clean, maintain a good coat of wax and try to store it in a covered, dry place during the wet season.

Watch Out for Dry Rot – If you live in dry and hot climate, there is another culprit that can trash your car’s worth and that’s dry rot.  Climates like Arizona can wreak havoc on plastic, vinyl and rubber like dashboards, weatherstripping and tires.  Leather is also vulnerable to the sun’s relentless heat.  Especially in a dry climate.  Be sure to keep these items covered or use a UV protectant to help combat dry rot.

Issues with Paint – Common sense will tell you that your classic car’s value can plummet if it has a bunch of scratches and chips in the paint.  Keeping your paint in tip-top shape is not an easy task, but it certainly will help hold the value of your classic if you do.  Car covers are one of the best ways to help protect the paint from getting scratched or faded from the sun.

Being Unoriginal – There is a lot of debate whether to keep a vehicle all-original or customizing it with more modern features like dropping in a LS motor for better performance.  It often depends on the rarity of the car, but in general, it is often considered a good idea to keep a classic as close to original as possible.  Matching numbers on the engine, transmission, rear-axle assembly, and frame of the car can make a huge difference in the value of a vehicle.   Even matching intake manifolds, exhaust manifolds, body panels, and carburetors can be considered when determining a vehicle’s worth.

Not Keeping Good Service Records – Not having service record might not trash a classic car’s price but having them can certainly increase it.  Not only does it show the history of the car or truck along with what has been worked on, but it also illustrates that the vehicle was cared for by its owner throughout its life.

Accidents or Salvaged Titles – If you have either, the value of your vehicle is obviously going to go downhill.  No one plans on getting in an accident, but make sure you are properly insured in case you do get in a fender bender.  If you purchased a vehicle with a salvaged title, you may have made a costly mistake.  Far too often, insurance companies will incorrectly deem a vehicle to be salvage when the car certainly could have been fixed.

Parts Availability – In some cases, the ability to source parts can have an effect on a vehicles value.  If you can’t find an original or aftermarket part to complete the car, then what good is it?  The good news is there are always advancements in technology like 3D printing that are making hard-to-find parts more readily available.  Rare classic car parts may become a thing of the past!  Imagine 3D printing a 1912 one-cylinder engine that may otherwise have been impossible to find or recreate.

Overall Lack of Care – We hate to see a beautiful classic that has been basically abandoned and uncared for.  Owning a classic car or truck takes a lot of time, love and of course money.  If you want your prized possession to hold its worth, it is certainly going to require regular maintenance and upkeep.  It is advisable to make a scheduled routine of cleaning and inspection to make sure it is in prime shape.  We offer a routine maintenance guide for classic cars you can follow as well as other tips to make sure your classic car or truck holds its value.

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