How to Become a Car Collector Without Being Wealthy

Have you ever wanted to get involved in car collecting? Whether your goal is fun, profit, or both, you likely nixed the idea because of the common myth that only wealthy people collect cars. In fact, most folks who take part in this interesting, educational hobby are anything but rich. Some buy older, unique vehicles just to fix them up and resell them for a tidy profit. Others mostly to the same thing but tend to retain two or three of their favorite models for personal use. So, what’s what with collectible cars? Here are a few things you should know if you plan to make beautiful, classic, eye-catching vehicles a part of your lifestyle.

Start Small

You’re not collecting baseball cards or coins, so don’t expect to acquire a fleet of sparkling showpieces overnight. Most in the hobby start by trying to locate one affordable vehicle that needs a lot of work. Then, you can either do the fixing up yourself or pay someone else to take on the task. Try to learn as much as you can about the business side of vehicle collecting, and take time finding a reliable mechanic who knows how to work on older models. Even if mechanical work is not your cup of tea, gain some hands-on detailing experience. It will serve you well as you add new pieces to your collection, and you’ll save a lot of money by doing some of the detail work yourself.

Use Online Resources

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There are many online tutorials that teach the rudiments of detailing, finding good cars to buy, basic engine work, and more. You can review dozens of excellent online blogs that discuss cars, how-to guides car buying resources from this site, and where the best shows are. Plus, the online collectible vehicle community is huge. You’ll never be at a loss for someone who is willing to answer your questions.

Know the Local Laws

If you get into reselling for profit, check with a local accountant or attorney and find out what your jurisdiction’s rules are. Some municipalities require you to have a license, but others don’t. Likewise, there are varying insurance requirements based on where you store your classic assets, so get all those questions answered before making your first purchase.

Try One Flip as a Test

A great way to get some on the job training in this hobby is to locate a worthy vehicle, buy it, have a mechanic repair or upgrade the engine, do some or all the cleaning and detailing yourself, and then sell it. At this point, don’t worry too much about making a profit, but do try to at least break even based on what you spent buying and repairing the car. As every collector can attest, you’ll never forget your first flip. Besides, you’ll learn a massive amount going through the process.

Attend Shows and Network

Before and after making your first buy, attend as many collector shows as possible and network with others both online and off. Part of your local network should include trustworthy mechanics, competent detailers, vehicle-storage businesses, and car club members.

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