• Home
  • traffic
  • Checklist for the classic purchase: So check who is bound forever

Checklist for the classic purchase: So check who is bound forever

Checklist for buying classics
Subscriptions & booklets

W if he knows exactly which vehicle he is looking for, he should go ahead get to know your dream car intensively during the first test drive. And that includes reading material - books, articles in specialist magazines or brochures. Important information can be filtered from this reading. For example, how the car drives. So if you want to strive for distant holiday destinations by car and read that a speed of more than 120 km /h can only be achieved with relatively high speeds that are unhealthy for the engine in the long run, you might decide in advance for another property.

Good preparation starts long before the viewing

Contemporary photos in particular give an impression of what the car looks like should. Because nowadays a classic is not always presented in its original condition, and sometimes it turns out to be difficult or expensive to replace incorrect or even missing parts.

It is therefore advisable to find out about the spare parts situation for the future darling in advance. Of course, you should also know about the typical weak points of the car. The necessary information is provided by purchasing advice in specialist magazines or the classic car clubs. These sources also help to get a feeling for the current price situation of the selected model.

The price information in classified ads and internet platforms such as mobile.de or autoscout24.de is only of limited use because you can only give them the required, but cannot infer the prices actually paid. Nevertheless, at least one statement about the availability of the desired type can be derived from the number of offers.

Collect as much information as possible in advance

And whoever needs the help of a Workshop, should know how far away the nearest specialist company is from where they live. Because the screwdriver around the corner is seldom equipped with the necessary specialist knowledge and special tools, especially for the repair of high-quality exotic vehicles. The Motor Klassik -series Service-Station, which is currently available for over 60 classics or series.

Preferably severalLooking at vehicles

With all this collected knowledge, the interested party can now travel relaxed to the first viewing appointment, whereby it should be noted that it does not hurt to study several objects. Because every time you learn something new. It never hurts to know why this particular car is up for sale. And especially if the seller is a private person, i.e. the vehicle is bought directly by the owner, you should let them tell you as much as possible about your oldie.

Of course, every viewing appointment is different, which is why it has to be decided in each individual case when is the best time to study the existing documents. This includes invoices for maintenance and repairs or even a restoration, whereby the latter should be additionally documented with photos if possible. With high-quality classics, a traceable history and /or, if the manufacturer still exists, proof of authenticity in the form of a certificate ensure a more reassuring feeling. After all, there are also counterfeiters in the scene.

Only the visual inspection

An existing valuation report may also be possible be helpful, provided it is not out of date. For vehicles that can be used in historical motorsport, an FIA or FIVA pass, which contains information about the authenticity of the vehicle, increases the price. Matching numbers increase the value especially of noble classics - if the chassis, engine and gearbox numbers are still the same as when they were delivered.

The assessment of the car itself takes place in two steps: firstly, look at it, secondly, sample drive. First of all, you get an overall impression of the object for sale. How is the state of care? Are the door and hood joints even? Are there any dents when you look along the sides of the car? Is the car hanging crooked? Are all attachments available? Where are there clear deviations from originality? The previously studied literature is particularly helpful in clarifying the last two questions.

Anyone looking for an object to screw or restore naturally has to set other standards. This also applies to those who are looking for a car that is as original as possible. In fact, in the past, the fits on some English or French cars weren't always perfect. And if the sheet metal is still rust-free and the paint is still original, signs of use in the form of small dents, scratches or matt paint are quite acceptable. Because this then counts as patina, and unrestored classics are becoming increasingly rare, which is why they should be kept that way.

Carefully check typical weak points

When assessing the condition of the body, the weak points of the relevant model that are typical in purchasing advice must be checked. Basically, rust occurs whereWhen driving, water splashes there, there are cavities and where dirt and moisture can accumulate. In vehicles with a sliding roof, the water is often channeled from the roof into the sills, and when the water drains there are blocked, the horror takes its course.

Most of the time, however, the rust damage has long been repaired - not always professionally. It is therefore good to know where beads and not a spatula should be. A weak magnet can be used to tell whether a lot of spatula has been used on typical rust spots - provided the body is not made of aluminum or plastic.

It is possible to influence the magnet sample with a metal spatula. If you use a coating thickness meter during the body check, you may see the error message at such points. While this doesn't show how thick the applied metal spatula is, the buyer should at least be suspicious. Because most coating thickness gauges cost from 100 euros and up, you can try to borrow them from an expert or paint shop.

Curb test for open classics

The well-known test of the rigidity of a convertible is used Curb test. So park your bike on the sidewalk and see if the door can still be opened and closed. If this causes difficulties, the inside of the sill could be ailing. One more note on pre-war cars. Many of them still hide a number of wooden parts under their body, the condition of which is difficult to see. If, for example, the open front door is hanging, this could be an indication of a rotten A-pillar.

When checking the interior, make sure that the instrumentation is complete and that the instrument panel, paneling or seats are not damaged . Repairs are costly or even unsatisfactory if, for example, the original upholstery fabrics are no longer available.

Smell, look, feel - the Checking the engine

Now a look under the bonnet follows. There you look at the condition of all hoses and lines and look for traces of oil or water, especially in the area of ​​the cylinder head gasket. The cooling water should not be oily and the oil should not smell of fuel on the removed dipstick. The visible cables of the electrical system should not be brittle or porous. At least the layman can't do much more.

It is an advantage if you can look at the car from below in order to examine the underbody and the side members or, in the case of non-self-supporting bodies, the frame. A thick layer of fresh underbody protection should make you suspicious. Oil traces on the engine or gearbox can be accepted to a small extent with some classics, but freshly overhauled units must be leak-proof in any case.

Finally, you should take a look at theThrow the exhaust and check the chassis. Are the landing gear rubbers porous? Are there any cracks in the rubber sleeves? Have existing lubrication points been regularly maintained? The assessment of the existing play in the cardan shafts and the drive shafts or the wheel suspension by wobbling on the wheel is difficult for a layperson.

Test drive with open ears

Even with the test drive, the recognition and especially the classification of detected defects are for laypersons only possible to a limited extent. Because a rumble from the area of ​​the front axle can, depending on the vehicle and damage, result in a repair of a little over 100 euros, but expenses in the four-digit range can also be due.

Of course, the engine should not warm up first have been driven so that its cold start behavior can be checked. The best thing to do on the test drive is to work through all the points on the checklist on the right. Anyone who finds the engine running or its exhaust gas behavior strange, who believes that there is some kind of damage when the chassis noise on an uneven road - but cannot define it and also cannot assess the scope of a possible repair, should consult a specialist workshop with the seller. It knows its way around better and has more effective testing options - such as a compression test of the engine or looking into the cavities of the body with an endoscope. There are a number of specialist vintage car dealerships that offer an appraisal of a classic for the amount X, and this money is usually well invested.

However, the test drive was satisfactory, and everything from the indicators to the air conditioning (if available) has it works, it's worth taking another look under the car at the end. Because the oil, which has now become warm and therefore thinner, finds its way past worn seals into the open more easily. And cooling water should not trickle out of the radiator or anywhere else. If everything is in order, all that remains is the price negotiations and the sales contract. Then you can start the new and hopefully breakdown-free vintage car season with your new acquisition.

Checklist for preparation

  • Study literature
  • Clarify availability and price situation
  • Consider spare parts situation and available workshops
  • Contact clubs /brand and model experts

Inspection checklist

  • Study existing documents
  • Especially with high-quality Ask cars for evidence of the history
  • Get an overall impression
  • Condition of the body
  • Condition of the interior
  • Condition of the engine compartment
  • Condition of the underbody
  • Condition of the chassis
  • Has there been any accident damage?
  • Are all attachments present?
Test drive checklist
  • Starting behavior
  • Running and power development of the engine
  • Thermal behavior and oil pressure of the engine
  • Shiftability of the gearbox
  • Separation process of the clutch
  • Play and operating forces of the steering
  • Function and uniform effect of the Braking
  • Driving behavior when driving straight ahead and cornering
  • Unusual noises


Leave a reply

Name *