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5 classic car collecting experts

5 classic car collecting experts

If you are a classic car owner or collector, you understand.

You know how much these beautiful vehicles can mean to their owners; you know the thrill of finding the car of your dreams and then running your hands over the sleek bodywork for the first time.

But a classic car is a serious investment – a long term deal – so how can you maintain and look after such a valuable piece of machinery, and how should you insure it?

We asked five experts for their top tips on classic car collecting and maintenance.

Go easy on the restoration work

Dan Morphy is a vintage car aficionado and expert for LiveAuctioneers.

He recommends, "going easy on the restoration work, as it's the original vehicles which command the highest fee at auction".

"Prices for these cars are on the rise also, as numbers of original vehicles dwindle," he says.

Help keep your car from being stolen

George Dunbrook, a veteran mechanic who has been working on classic car engines & bodies for over 30 years advises taking additional steps to avoid the theft of your vintage vehicle.

"A vintage car is a thing of beauty, but they tend to lack the practical sophistication of modern models, particularly in the security department," he says. 

George explains how, "simply unscrewing the distributor cap and removing the rotor from the car’s ignition system – a job which takes around 10 seconds – acts as an immobiliser, protecting your car from unwanted attention". 

Keep it in tip-top conditon

Showing us that classic and vintage car collecting is certainly not a male-only environment is Eleni Mitakos, founder of the Galmatic Garage workshop.

Eleni interviewed Sue Cadzow from 50s Vintage Dame who has a wealth of tips for keeping vintage cars looking their best, including using waterless car washing fluid to keep the bodywork in tip-top condition even when out and about, and applying Autosolve Metal Polish to quickly and easily shine the metal fittings.

Use it regularly

It's tempting to treat our vintage cars like the works of art they are, hiding them away in oxygen tents and obsessively controlling the humidity in the garage to make sure everything is just right.

However, according to Classic Car Club Manhattan owner, Zac Mosely, "this is a mistake".

Instead, he says, "we should be using and enjoying our cars, getting the most out of them and loving every minute of it". 

"If we don’t use them regularly", Zac says, "the inner workings seize up and the engine can become damaged".

Drive sympathetically

Mike Prichinello who owns Classic Car Manhattan Club along with Mosely, also has some advice for classic car owners.

Mike recommends, "driving cautiously and being sympathetic to the mechanisms in the car".

“Just because a vintage car has a redline of 8000,” he says, “doesn’t mean you should try to get it to 8000".

"Instead, get a feel of the car slowly and gain an understanding of what it's capable of."

Get specialised insurance for vintage and classic cars

Just like any other cars, vintage and classic cars need to be insured if they're to be operated safely and legally on the road.

However, there are a few key differences that may affect you.

For example, some insurance companies may require the driver to have a few years driving experience on the road, particularly if the vintage car is of a higher value.

In the case of a standard car, the insurance company will simply order replacement damaged parts. For a vintage car, this requires a little more consideration. Always make sure that the parts being used are up to standard or you risk reducing the car’s value.

Modern cars are well known for being terrible investments, with thousands of dollars slashed from the value the moment the vehicle rolls off the forecourt.

This is not the case with vintage models, which tend to go up in value rather than down.

With this in mind, make sure your policy is scalable to cover this kind of appreciation and you cover it for the market or agreed value.

How old must the car be?

‘Vintage’ and ‘classic’ might be subjective terms, but to an insurance company they are very strictly-defined.

Whether your pride and joy is a veteran (pre-1919), vintage (made between 1919 and 1930) or classic (15 years or older) vehicle, you need cover for its agreed value against accidental damage, theft, fire, storm, flood and more.

Need further information on vintage, veteran or classic car insurance for your pride and joy?

 Check out NRMA Insurance for older cars here.

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