Over recent years an increasing number of us have turned to the internet in our search for classic cars. Buying from within our clubs is fantastic, but there just isn’t the choice that is available online, let alone the bargain basement prices that many cars seem to go for.
But with that comes real danger, too. Online auction sites offer a tempting array of cars at low prices, but it seems they also attract the wrong sort of seller. It only seems to be these sites that encourage buying cars ‘sight unseen’, with forum goers almost seeing it as a rite of passage.
From my experience, and that of my colleagues, I can only think of one example where a car that was purchased blind has turned out to be a bargain. The rest recount tales of misery, buying cars with papier mache bodywork and undisclosed crippling mechanical faults, the most common being blown head gaskets.
Searching for your car online is no bad thing. It can yield real bargains, and the choice is simply unparalleled. But I would urge anyone embarking on a classic quest to first look at sites such as ours. And I don’t say that from the standpoint of a company man, but from that of a fellow enthusiast.
Buying from a classified advert will involve seeing the car in the metal as a matter of course. Not only that, but meeting the seller before you make your final decision.
You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, and a lot about a car by its owner. Make sure you are fully convinced by both before parting with your hard-earned cash.