So you finally have it in your garage, that collector car that you dreamed about, and it’s all yours. It’s a beauty, and you’re hoping to keep it running and leave it to your grandchild, who enjoys working in the shop just as much as you do. Of course, that means keeping an eye on the value of this gem so that your legacy is a gift and not a burden. What can you do to improve your classic car’s value?
Some things are obvious – keeping up with maintenance and preserving the vehicle’s condition are tried-and-true ways to sustain and improve your classic car’s value. Other factors, like trends and popularity, are not in your control. The following factors can contribute to classic car values:
Condition. The closer your vehicle is to pristine condition, the better its value. This is not only true for classic cars. Any car that “feels like new” is going to command a higher price than a vehicle that clearly “needs some work”. Keeping up with routine maintenance and repairs ensure that a classic car is running optimally, which is a requirement for many buyers. Start & exercise your collector car regularly. A vehicle is a self-lubricating piece of machinery that benefits from use. It’s okay to buy a car from a museum if you have a museum but consider its wear pattern or lack of it, if you plan to drive it. Regular washing, waxing, and protection from the elements are also important: cosmetic appearance can be as important as drivability when it comes to classic car values.
Documentation. A classic vehicle benefits exponentially from detailed documentation. A full history of repairs, alterations, routine maintenance, and ownership can make a world of difference in a classic car’s value. Carefully kept records not only prove that the car has been cared for properly improving a potential buyer’s confidence but can also testify to provenance (famous owners or a legendary origin like a Hollywood movie set) and establish one-of-a-kind value.
Restoration. For classic cars that have been restored or altered, the use of original parts is an important factor in establishing the vehicle’s value. Even the shade and type of paint used on a vehicle can change the value of the classic car. While appraisers and car collectors may notice a non-OEM part, your classic car value will be higher if you have records and proof of original parts and faithful restorations.
Trending Values. None of us can predict what will be popular in the classic car market over the next ten years. While some classics retain value and maintain consistent demand, others lose popularity and, as a result, value. The sentimental value of your classic car may exceed the actual demand of the market at a specific point in time, but it is important to keep in mind that a classic vehicle in immaculate condition with excellent documentation will always be valuable to the right collector or museum.
Establish Vehicle Value with AAG. The best investment you can make in your classic car starts with establishing its value today. Documenting your classic car’s origin and condition is a crucial step in improving its value. As you maintain, improve, and restore the vehicle, you can add to your initial documentation more easily and watch your classic car value grow. A certified AAG Classic Car Appraiser can perform a thorough appraisal of your classic car and provide complete documentation to help you establish value. Taking care of a classic car can be a rewarding hobby and a promising investment. You know you need to perform maintenance, so make your first step complete documentation. AAG can help and make it easy for you to enjoy your investment for many years to come.