However, there are important factors to take into consideration when choosing the car that you will spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollar restoring. If you’re thoughtful, the project can bring immense satisfaction. Conversely, carelessness can result in wasted money and crushing disappointment.
The classic car market in North America at a glance
The Hagerty Market Rating uses a weighted algorithm to calculate the strength of the North American collector car market.
The Hagerty Market Rating measures the current status of the collector car market in terms of activity or “heat”; directional momentum; and the underlying strength of the market.
- For the first time in four months, the Hagerty Market Rating saw a sizable increase. At 69.07, July’srating is up 0.17 points from last month.
- Auction activity saw the biggest positive movement of any section this month and is at its highest since December 2015. The number of cars sold is up 2 percent over last month and the average sale price is up 1.8 percent.
- After its third consecutive drop last month, private sales activity increased, largely driven by an increase in the number of cars selling for above their insured values.
- Despite these increases, requests for insured value increases for broad market vehicles fell for the tenth consecutive month and are at a 26-month low.
- Insured value increases for high-end vehicles also decreased. This is their third consecutive drop and they are at a 17-month low.
According to Hagerty market rating data, auction activity for classic cars is up 2% for July.
1. Choose a car that will retain value
There are an infinite number of old cars for sale that need restoration. Most of these cars aren’t worth much, and will never be valuable no matter how carefully they’re restored. Don’t impulsively settle on a particular model. Do some research to determine which models are more valuable once they’ve undergone restoration. A car with appreciation potential might cost more to buy, but it’s important to remember that the cost of the car is only a small component of the total project cost.
2. Be wary of rust
Depending on where the car you choose has spent its life, you may find the car’s chassis has been eaten away by rust. Rust damage is time consuming to repair, and requires replacement of steel body panels. If you buy a rust bucket, be prepared to strip the entire chassis, sand blast every inch of metal, cut off sections that cannot be repaired and weld new replacement sections. If you’re lucky, you can buy replacement panels from aftermarket manufacturers. If not, you will have to fabricate them from sheet metal. Rust repair certainly isn’t for everyone, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
3. Find a car that starts
If you purchase a car that starts and runs, you significantly reduce the chances of expensive and time consuming mechanical repairs. Buying a non-running car that has been sitting for a decade can be a risky proposition. In the best-case scenario, you might need a new battery, starter or fuel pump. In the worst-case scenario, you may have a seized engine that will need to be rebuilt or replaced.
4. Ensure availability of replacement parts
A shortage of replacement parts can stop your project dead in its tracks. If you buy a car that is particularly scarce, there may not be aftermarket replacement parts available and used parts may be prohibitively expensive. To ensure your project goes smoothly and stays on budget, make sure replacement parts won’t be a major stumbling block.
5. Bring an expert
If you have a friend or acquaintance who knows about auto restoration, bring him or her along to look at a potential purchase. It’s a good idea to get feedback from someone with more experience in auto restoration, and choosing your car is the ideal place to start. Feedback from an expert with a critical eye can save you time and headache down the line.
Changing Markets, Changing Attitudes
When a character from television’s Mad Men bought a new car, it was more than just transportation. Boomers bought wheels that made statements. Today’s consumers care more about gas mileage. Millennials are practical and thrifty, they do their research before buying, and they aren’t always impressed by size and brand.
They have access to non-traditional taxi services too. Uber rivals both Ford and GM with a $50 billion valuation. Families can save money by not relying on a second car, and they can do it without sacrificing convenience. A slow but steady evolution in generational attitudes results in far fewer trips to the local car dealership.
Autonomous Automobile Automation
According to the Wall Street Journal, monthly U.S. car sales topped 1.5 million this past May. While it sounds like lot of deal closing, that number is down 6 percent from last year’s figures. Are we all holding out for robotic automobiles? You’d think so according to recent media reports. The stories rival sci-fi, but who’s really behind all the buzz?
Give credit to the automobile industry for revving up our expectations about driverless cars. Dealerships don’t have showroom models yet, but they’re counting on corporate marketing to keep us excited. Ten years from now, today’s amazing automated innovations will probably seem as ordinary as center stripes on the highway.
Online Game Changers
Did you pick up quality auto parts online last year? Do you have favorite shopping sites for tools, clothes or clocks? If you purchased anything off the Internet, you helped contribute to more than $340 billion in online sales. That number is even more impressive when you consider that it represents a 14 percent increase over 2014 figures.
Would you buy a car online? That question is even more amazing when you realize that it’s possible. Sites like Carvana and Beepi are putting a big dent in the traditional used-car game. For shoppers who don’t like haggling and don’t mind not kicking the tires, these online outlets are a big draw away from traditional dealerships.
A Little Legal Limbo
The laws vary from state to state, but generally they restrict online sites from offering new cars. The services are supposed to act as middlemen between sellers and buyers, but auto dealerships in California filed a lawsuit last year that exposes numerous shades of gray in the industry. Regardless of how the suit is settled, it shines a bright light into a corner of the Internet that storefront car dealerships can’t afford to ignore.
Most dealer franchise laws prohibit manufacturers from selling cars directly to you. That’s where the dealership fits in, but online sales add a currently undetermined dimension to car sales. There are third-party sites that direct customers to brick-and-mortar locations, and then there’s Tesla Motors. The company only sells through its own storefronts and bypasses the dealership model altogether. Competition is tough online, down the street and in the courts.
Staying On Top and Ahead
Do a quick search for car dealerships in your area, and take a look at their online offerings. Whether it’s a local sales operation or part of a national brand, the company knows that it has to stay on top of technology to win your business. You can price different models, post your contact information and get a call back from a company’s Internet Sales Division in just a few minutes.
Auto dealerships get it. Their own industry studies indicate that more than 80 percent of consumers start their car-buying experience with an Internet search. That means you can line up a test drive online, shop around for negotiation-free pricing and still avoid dealing with salesmen. Keeping you happy keeps dealerships ahead of the game.
Riding Into the Future
The industry is getting better at navigating curves on the digital highways. They reach out to you through company websites and stay in touch with social media while they tweak online sales strategies.
Marketing, negotiating and delivery systems will certainly be modified, but the sale will always come down to two people. Whether they seal the deal with a handshake on the showroom floor or through the email box remains to be seen. It will probably be a little bit of both, but just like that earlier switch from legs to wheels, changes will happen, and smart car dealerships will ride them into the future.
Redlining the Porsche Cayman GTS
Even the stripped-out, diamond-hard 2011 Cayman R made do with 11bhp and 7lb ft less than this, and took four tenths longer to hit 62mph. None of which really helps classify this wonderful introduction, because despite all that, the Cayman GTS isn’t a replacement for the old ‘R
Over and above ‘S’ specification, the GTS adds 20in alloy wheels, a retuned PASM adaptively damped suspension setup with 10mm taken out of the normal ride height, Porsche’s Sport Chrono package with dynamic engine mounts, sports seats ‘plus’, bi-xenon cornering headlights, a sports exhaust, special bumper styling, a new rear spoiler and a sportier-looking steering wheel.
For that, as well as the revisions to the cylinder head that produces the additional 15bhp and 7lb ft of torque, Porsche charges a premium of just under 10 grand. But add as much of that as possible as optional kit on a Cayman S and you’ll end up within just $1200 of the Cayman GTS’ price anyway.
You’ll value quality over quantity of performance to justify spending 81k on a Cayman – but that’s all part of the appeal. This is, after all,BMW M4 money – and the BMW is half-a-second quicker to 62mph, and probably quicker still in real-world conditions thanks to all that twin-turbocharged torque.
The car isn’t breathtakingly quick, but every bit as fast as a sports car intended to be driven on the road in 2016 needs to be – and rowing your way up and down the box for sharper corners and overtakes only makes the driving experience more vivid.