Buying a Classic Car

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Classic Car for sale

For anyone interested in buying a classic car, there is a huge variety of used classic cars for sale by owner online here at Want Ad Digest, where we have been in the classified ads business for 50 years. Here, we will concentrate on tips for buying classic cars, how to decipher between classic cars, vintage cars, muscle cars, and so forth, and we will list classic car clubs in the Northeast for you to check out.

Obviously, you should not jump right into a huge purchase such as a used car without doing adequate research first. Be prepared to understand the terms of a sale, as well as descriptions of vehicles when you observe older cars for sale online. Moreover, you will want to make an appointment with the seller to view the car for sale in person. If you are not mechanically inclined, you may want to bring someone along with you who is.

Classic cars V.S. Other Cars

First of all, what exactly is a classic car, and how do we tell the difference between them and other used old cars for sale? Although experts define a classic car as one manufactured during 1925 -1948, the interpretation of classic cars is more broad, and subject to differences of opinion. Some believe that a classic car is any car between 20 and 40 years old; others simply classify a classic car as a vehicle that maintains its appeal after it is no longer produced. Therefore, when browsing classic cars for sale by owner in classified ads, be aware that sellers may have differing ideas as far as what a classic car actually is.

Similarly, experts have a technical definition for vintage cars and muscles cars, which sellers may not agree on. Experts define a vintage car as one manufactured during 1919 – 1930, and a muscle car as one produced during 1925 – 1948. While most can agree that the beginning year for vintage cars for sale is 1919, some car connoisseurs insist that 1925 is the cut off date, instead of 1930. Generally speaking though, vintage cars for sale are almost certainly going to be older than most classic cars for sale by owner that you will find here.

With muscle cars, some sources indicate that in addition to being produced during the 1925 – 1948 timeframe, the original intent of muscle cars was to put the most powerful motor into the lightest car possible; another characteristic of muscle cars is that they have two doors, with the Dodge Charger being a potential exception.

We must also of course explore classic mopars for sale, which are quite popular among classic car enthusiasts. The term “mopar” is a combination of the words “motor” and “parts.” When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the company decided they needed a steady, reliable parts manufacturer for their cars. The Mopar brand really began being a trademarked term in the 1960s, when Chrysler introduced Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” complete with the highest grade parts. Today, classic mopars for sale typically refer to the muscle cars produced by Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth, during the 1960s and 1970s.

In addition to classic cars, vintage cars, muscle cars, and mopar cars, there are also antique cars for sale by owner, which are usually considered to be cars over 45 years of age. Again, it is important to be aware of the different car categories and their subsequent vague definitions when browsing older cars for sale. Someone looking for vintage cars for sale may end up checking out antique cars for sale by owner as well.

Insurance companies often add to the confusion by listing any car over 20 years old as a classic, and cars over 25 years as qualifying for historical status. As you search for classic cars for sale by owner, understanding some of the factors that make a car a classic will help in navigating the classic car listings. You will be that much closer to your goal of buying a classic car you can be happy to own.

It should be mentioned that classic and other older cars for sale not only handle much differently than modern vehicles, but they also do not have the same safety features that we are normally accustomed to. Seatbelts in vehicles were introduced in the early 1960s, and were made mandatory by 1968; there is no federal requirement to add seatbelts to cars that did not originally come with them installed.


Many people believe that classic, older cars are not as safe as modern cars because of the lack of current safety features; however, this is not necessarily true. First of all, it is possible to update older cars for sale to today’s crash safety standards. Although, many classic car owners believe that doing so ruins a vehicle’s authenticity; furthermore, some classic car show judges will actually deduct points if you have installed seatbelts on a car that did not originally have them. Therefore, even if you are able to equip your classic car with newer safety features, you may simply opt not to. However, it is good to know that you have that option, so bear that in mind when browsing classic car ads.

Many insurance companies offer excellent rates for older used cars for sale like classic cars because they believe they are a good risk, despite the potential lack of safety features. Indeed, classic car owners are usually extremely cautious with their cars that they have often spent a lot of time and money investing in. Many classic car owners simply drive their cars to and from car shows. In fact, in New York State, cars registered as “historic” cars are prohibited from day-to-day use, such as driving to work – do keep this in mind when looking at classic cars for sale in New York and do your subsequent research in terms of how and when you are legally allowed to drive the car that you purchase.

In addition to the fact that owners of older cars for sale are often excellent drivers who have taken especially great care of their beloved vehicles, it is also important to take into consideration the fact that classic cars are on the road less, and therefore have fewer accidents. Also, they tend to be heavier and more visible than current cars, and as mentioned, some classic cars may be equipped with certain upgraded safety features anyway.

Use caution whenever you buy a used car, whether you are looking at classic car ads or other used car ads. All used older cars for sale by private individuals are understood to be sold “as is.” Know what it is you are buying and be realistic as to the restoration potential and the cost involved before you finalize the transaction. For example, new parts for older cars for sale can often be rather expensive because they are typically difficult to find, and sometimes may even need to be custom built. If parts to the car need to be replaced, that is not necessarily a deal breaker, but it is something to be aware of and should be figured into classic cars for sale by owner.

Factors when buying classic cars

You can certainly search for the best places to buy older cars for sale online, but never purchase any used car sight unseen, even after viewing several photographs, which the seller should provide for you. Even if you are purchasing a classic car for parts in the restoration of another vehicle, always inspect the vehicle for yourself in person.

When taking mileage into consideration, keep in mind that a well maintained car can go up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles. So, if everything else about the car is fine, do not let high mileage scare you away from the purchase. However, low mileage can be a bad thing – low mileage can indicate that the car was rarely driven, which could allow sludge and carbon to affect the engine, particularly in older cars for sale.

Again, even if you are just looking to buy a car for parts do examine the potential purchase in person. There may be only a slight difference between one year and the next for the same model car, but do not assume all parts are interchangeable unless you look at them yourself. If possible, refer to an owner’s manual to be sure that the parts available are compatible with the car you are planning to put them in. If you do not have the original manual, it may be possible to locate a copy online.

Simply scanning ads for cars for sale can easily take hours, if not days, before you decide on a closer inspection of the available vehicle that might lead you a step closer to becoming a classic car owner. You did not decide to buy a classic car on a whim, or if you did, you now know that ads for classic car sales do not all contain the same vehicles. Vehicles manufactured in the 1930s could easily be classified as classic cars or vintage cars for sale. Muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s can also be found under listings for classic mopars for sale, and so forth.

Do not forget when browsing classic cars for sale by owner here at Want Ad Digest that we allow you to narrow your search down to better find older cars for sale that you are interested in. Try searching for “classic cars for sale New York” or “muscle cars for sale in Massachusetts.” You can also narrow down your search to a specific model or year, such as “classic Corvettes for sale by owner” or “1960s cars for sale.” Additionally, we have a Dealership Network page, wherein you can find cars available from dealerships as well as by individuals. Try searching for “Auto Trader Buffalo NY” or “Nantucket Net Classified.”

If you do not find what you are looking for right away here in our Classic Cars section, try our Used Cars section as well. Also, we have a Trucks and Vans category, so if you are searching for classic trucks for sale by owner and see none here, try looking under Trucks and Vans.

Ask for references from other classic car or truck owners to find old cars for sale by owner. A local classic car club may be the place to go to speak to a current owner of the type of vehicle you are interested in – classic car owners love talking about their cars, and they will give quality, free advice! Many classic car buffs buy used cars only from trusted sources. At the bottom of this page we have taken the liberty of listing car clubs in the Northeast, organized by state and county.

Want Ad Digest

is a trusted authority when it comes to classified ads. We have been in business for half a century and Classic Cars is one of our most popular category of ads. We understand older cars for sale from a personal perspective, and we have always offered a wide selection of classic cars for sale by owner and other old used cars for sale by owner.

Our expert staff assists sellers in designing classic car listings that describes more than just older cars for sale. We understand that when you want to buy a classic car, you want to know before you drive out of your way to see it person, that the car for sale is a good potential match for you.

We encourage sellers to list complete descriptions of all classic cars for sale by owner along with at least one clear picture of the vehicle. We help our sellers make it clear that they have more than just your typical cars for sale. Our classified car ads feature unique older cars for sale, and with an audience of thousands, we bring qualified buyers right to the doors of the sellers. Indeed, advertising cars for sale through Want Ad Digest is a sure way to get a good price for your car in a fairly short amount of time.

When you are ready to buy or sell a used car, feel free to check out our Classic Car section here, or stop by and discuss your buying or selling needs with our capable staff. Whether you are looking to buy a classic car for your own personal collection, or you are looking for an old car for a teenager’s first vehicle, or you are looking to sell a car, we can assist your needs here at Want Ad Digest.

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