Which Classic Cars Perform Better at Auctions?

You’ve watched classic car auctions like Mecum and Barrett-Jackson on TV and dreamed of selling your own collector vehicle at an event. However, auctions only make up a small portion of the overall collector car market.

When it comes to vintage cars, there are many variables involved that can cause you to overpay for an auction purchase. To avoid this, you should know the difference between a restored and unrestored vehicle.


Whether or not you view your car as a classic or an antique, it’s worth noting that these vehicles are expensive to own. Depending on the make and model, a well-kept vintage car can cost millions. For the average car collector, this is beyond their budget. Many people who buy classic cars do so out of sheer enjoyment and because they have special memories associated with the vehicle.

There are a number of factors that determine what makes a car a classic or not, but the most important is its age. While there are a few states that differ in their approach, the general rule is that a car must be 25 years old or older to qualify as a classic. Some collectors also separate their collections by era or by type of vehicle. For example, one collector may have a collection of muscle cars from the 1960s, while another might have a collection of Japanese sports cars.

Some car enthusiasts see collecting a particular make or model as an investment opportunity, which can be a great way to build wealth over time. However, Leno argues that it’s better to find a car you enjoy driving and take good care of it rather than simply focusing on the potential return on investment.

Many collectors also spend more money on maintenance than other owners of non-classic vehicles. This is because parts for classic cars are often unavailable in newer models. Instead, a car owner must search for used parts from junkyards or online sources, which can add up to a significant amount of money over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime.

In addition, insurance premiums for classic cars are usually higher than those for regular vehicles. This is because insurers assume that a classic car will be driven more frequently, which can lead to a higher risk of damage and theft.

As with other investments, a classic car can lose its value over time. This can happen if the car is poorly maintained or if market conditions change. However, a good restoration job can help the vehicle’s value increase over time.


As with most collectibles, the value of a classic car comes down to supply and demand. Rarer cars are more sought-after and will typically command a higher price than those that are easier to find. This is why it’s important for buyers to do their research ahead of time. Not only should they familiarize themselves with the auction house’s terms and conditions, but they should also do their homework on specific vintage cars to ensure that they are paying a fair price for their dream vehicle.

Another factor that affects the value of a classic is how well it was restored. While some collectors prefer to keep a vintage car as-is, others take great pride in bringing it back to its former glory. These individuals devote countless hours to restoring their chosen make and model, meticulously working on every aspect of the vehicle to recreate its original beauty. They may even choose to use new old stock (NOS) parts, which were produced during the same era as the original car but have never been used, as these pieces are often considered to be more authentic and will increase the value of the vehicle.

Aside from the quality of restoration, the rarity of a classic car can also influence its value. Some manufacturers produce very limited quantities of a particular model, making them extremely desirable. For example, the Lamborghini Miura and Jaguar E-Type were both highly sought-after at their launch and remain so today. Other models, such as the Ford GT40, have a storied racing history that lends them additional appeal. Owners of these vehicles can proudly proclaim their membership in a very exclusive club.

While many classic car collectors would love to own their dream machine, they must consider the cost of buying and maintaining it. While the price of a classic at auction can be considerably cheaper than purchasing a similar car from a dealership, buyers should be prepared to pay for things like the commission, which can add up to a significant sum. Additionally, a buyer should consider how easy it will be to find spare parts and expert mechanics for their classic car.


The condition of a vintage car can have a significant impact on its price. A classic that has been restored and maintained to very high standards can fetch a much higher price than one that has not. This is because a restoration project can be quite expensive. It can also take time to complete, which means the car will not be able to be driven or enjoyed for long periods of time.

Many people choose to restore classic cars for personal or commercial reasons. Restoring a classic car can be very rewarding and can even make a profit. However, it is important to consider the condition of a car before committing to it. This will help to ensure that you are getting good value for your money and a car that is worth restoring.

There are many factors that can affect the condition of a vintage car, including age, rarity, and mechanical condition. It is also important to consider the overall history of the vehicle, as some will have detailed service histories while others may not. It is a good idea to consult an expert when purchasing a vintage car, as they can provide valuable advice and recommendations.

The most important factor when deciding whether or not to restore a vintage car is its condition. A car that is in poor condition will likely not be worth repairing, especially if it has been in an accident or is suffering from serious mechanical problems. In addition, it is important to consider how easy it will be to find spare parts for a vintage car. The rarer the car, the more difficult it will be to get the necessary parts.

Buying and selling classic cars at auction can be a fun experience, but it is important to be prepared before heading to the auction site. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by the bidding process and end up paying more than you can afford for a classic car. There are a few things you can do to prepare for an auction, including researching the car and familiarizing yourself with the terms of sale. It is also a good idea to look into getting classic car insurance.


Classic cars aren’t as common as modern vehicles, so there is a certain level of expertise needed to restore them. This can be costly, but it is also a major selling point to potential buyers. Many collectors prefer to buy a car that a professional has already restored so they can be sure it was done correctly. This is especially important for older cars that have been in storage for a long time.

While many people may love the idea of power sliding on skinny tires, not everyone will be able to afford a vintage car or even find one for sale. However, there are other ways to get a great classic car without spending the big bucks. Post-vintage cars are a great option because they combine the style and speed of vintage cars with the power and reliability of modern vehicles. This combination is perfect for those who are looking to experience the thrill of a classic car without breaking the bank.

Another way to save on a classic car is to avoid buying a damaged one. There are many different ways to repair a classic car, from replacing parts to refinishing the exterior. Some people choose to buy a car with rust or other damage and fix it themselves, but this can be a risky venture. The smallest mistake can cost a lot of money, so it is best to leave this task to professionals who have the knowledge and experience to do it right.

It is also important to keep in mind that mileage will affect the value of a classic car. The fewer miles a classic car has, the more valuable it will be. If you are going to purchase a classic car, it is best to avoid driving it long distances. Taking a classic car on a road trip can cause it to wear down and decrease its value.

Choosing the right classic car can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start bidding. Make sure to research the make and model you’re interested in so you can determine its rarity, desirability, condition, and quality of restoration. Additionally, be sure to check the price of a classic car before making a bid. If you are not willing to pay a fair price, it is better to walk away and wait for another auction. It is also important to purchase specialized classic car insurance before you take your new ride on the road.

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