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Old 31st January 2013, 17:12   #31
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Default Re: Tips and guidelines for people aspiring to own/buy Vintages!

Hello chap, a nice sentiment but I think one important thing needs to be said.

Here in the West the vintage and classic car movement has been mature for many years. In India it's only just starting seriously for the first time (from what I can see).

From what I read here, a great many people view anything old as "vintage" and anything imported as "exotic".

You have only to look at some of the posts in the modern car section to see what I mean... A Mercedes SLK is hardly "exotic".

Anyway, my point is this. Just because it is old does not mean it is a collectible car in the sense I would use. India and the developing, or newly developed work (to be more PC) by virtue of their economic history has a huge number of cars that are "old", but I would suggest that almost none of them are collectible.

Do not buy anything just becuase it is a old because it is quite likely to be worthless. I have been stunned by the quality of some of the cars I have discovered on this forum, they are truly collectible. Be sure you appreciate the difference.

Of course, if you are simply buying an old car because it's old, full steam ahead!

Buy the best you can afford and take care of it. Do you research with reference to originality and accepted modifications and you will find working on these cars is really quite simple.

Best of luck mate!

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Old 31st January 2013, 18:09   #32
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Originally Posted by ClassicStanley View Post
Here in the West the vintage and classic car movement has been mature for many years. In India it's only just starting seriously for the first time (from what I can see).

From what I read here, a great many people view anything old as "vintage" and anything imported as "exotic".

You have only to look at some of the posts in the modern car section to see what I mean... A Mercedes SLK is hardly "exotic".

Anyway, my point is this. Just because it is old does not mean it is a collectible car in the sense I would use. India and the developing, or newly developed work (to be more PC) by virtue of their economic history has a huge number of cars that are "old", but I would suggest that almost none of them are collectible.

Do not buy anything just becuase it is a old because it is quite likely to be worthless. I have been stunned by the quality of some of the cars I have discovered on this forum, they are truly collectible. Be sure you appreciate the difference.

Of course, if you are simply buying an old car because it's old, full steam ahead!

Buy the best you can afford and take care of it. Do you research with reference to originality and accepted modifications and you will find working on these cars is really quite simple.

Best of luck mate!

I have owned many cars throughout my lifetime and quite of few of them have been what I would consider classics. Classic is of course in the eye of the beholder. In many countries you will find that typically classic is anything older than 25 years. For instance many insurance companies in Europe will have that as a the main critiria. Classic car insurance is a lot cheaper than for regular cars. Also, in several countries the 25 years is a sort of classic milestone when it comes to formal rules around for instance road tax, emission requirements etc.

My take of vintage and or classics is as follows: Again, very personal, might be very different for each and every one of us.

I buy the cars I like, I dont care what they're worth, I dont care what they will be worth. I dont consider them an investment, I consider them a hobby I very much enjoy. And hobbies tend to cost money.

So I buy what I like and what I can afford. There are a few other practicalities that need considering. You need to be able to park these cars somewhere. Especially older cars, typically don't do well if you let them sit outside 365 days of the year, especially if you've just restored it! Another important factor is my wife. She has some definite views on how many cars are permissible, although she has been very supportive and actually made me buy my very first classic car, an 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider.

Owning classic/vintage cars as a hobby is a very different from "collecting cars as an investment". I like to work on my cars, restore, maintain and drive them as much as I can. I dont worry about their value. I never bought them as an investment.

Currently the "classics" I own are a 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider and a 1982 Mercedes. I bought both of them in pretty good shape, but I must have spent at least twice the purchase amount on them. In Europe these sort of cars tend to have a pretty stable price level. Might go up and down a bit, but nothing major. But I'll never get all my investments back. I dont care. I really enjoy my cars purely as a hobby.

Buying a vintage/classic can be great fun. Nowadays with the internet there is tonnes of information available. Just about every manufacturer and or type has many dedicated clubs and internet sites where you can find a wealth of information. Joining a club that represent the car of your interest is probably a good idea as well. Clubs often have a huge wealth of knowledge, might be offering services and parts to their members.

Also, trawl the various classic car magazines. I buy Classic Cars & Thoroughbreads and also Classics and Sports cars. Not sure about India, but especially in Europe there are huge classic car exhibitions year around. Especially in Germany, UK and France. If you ever get the change to attend, I highly recommend you do, because you'll get to see a huge collection of all sort of classics and vintages and all the accessoires, tools and parts you can think of it.

I would recommend that you try and get the best car you can get for your budget. Especially when it's your first. Your first classic will be special and you don't want to comprimise. Buying cars tends to be a very emotional moment. That's good, because that's what it makes so great! But still, try and keep a cool head. Unless you're after something really special or exotic there are plenty of old, classic cars around.

Enjoy!

Jeroen
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Old 31st January 2013, 18:11   #33
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Default Re: Tips and guidelines for people aspiring to own/buy Vintages!

Stanley, thanks for your point of view, but we have to make do with what is left, and what is available.

Given that supply is limited/non-existent, almost anything and everything you see is desired and collectible by some enthusiast.

In our insulated market, that is the way it is going to be. Unfortunately.
Just a summation of what I have grasped, thanks to people elaborating the same across various posts on the site.

So your point of 'Buy the best you can afford and take care of it' is universally true and we all appreciate it. Am still looking for answers to 3 of the 4 points mentioned earlier.
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Old 31st January 2013, 22:09   #34
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I would really suggest looking into importing a car in from a country with a dry climate. Rust and general disuse are mortal enemies of cars of this vintage.

Surely countries like Dubai are available to you? Personally, my preference is for cars from the US continent, places like California, etc.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 00:42   #35
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Am still looking for answers to 3 of the 4 points mentioned earlier.
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Nice thread, never knew this thread existed. Some valuable suggestions there from the Gurus.

It would be great if the stalwarts can share their weekly\monthly maintenance routine with us. Questions in my mind are:
1) How often do you start your cars?
2) Do you keep the battery connected?
3) Do you keep fuel topped up to the brim?
4) How often do you take your car for a spin?
5) How often do you clean your car? And how often do you wax them?
6) Do you have dedicated fulltime staff to take care of your ride
7) Where do you park your cars? In a farmhouse? How often do you visit?
8) What happens when your car gets scratched? Do you store some paint from the original restoration or just the color codes?
9) Tips on service and checklists, cost of maintenance etc

Thanks in advance for sharing
Ok, here goes what I do with my two classic cars. We moved from our home country the Netherlands to Kansas City in August 2009. I put both of my classics in storage. I know a workshop that deals mostly in Alfa's and other classic cars and around that time he was expanding his shop to also store cars.

So my two cars, 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider and 1982 Mercedes W123 have been in storage there for the last three years. Normally the Spider is kept in my own garage and the Mercedes just sits outside under a special outside cover.

My cars used to run regularly. Around 5000km each every year. In the last three and a half years have only run a few times a year. When I visit the Netherlands I will take them for a spin. The workshop checks them, gives them an MOT if needed. So far the long storage has not caused any problems. Except the first year when the petrol in the Spider went stale, the tank had to be emptied and the fuel system flushed.

We put the cars away all clean and polished and always with a full tank of petrol. That way there is less chance of condensation. Also, I put extra air in the tyros, about 30% above normal. The idea being that this will prevent the tires from going square. When the cars were with me, I never did anything special with the batteries. 8-10 weeks with no top up charge for a healthy battery should be no problem. And these are old cars, only electrics that draw some current is the clock and the start disabler on the Spider. Now they're in storage the batteries are taken out and put on trickle charge.

When you put away your car for more than a few months, the one thing you do need to check when you start it again are the brakes. Calipers that don't get used have a tendency to stick. So, I do regular preventive maintenance on them, make sure they move well and properly coated with the appropriate anti stick paste.

I used to clean my cars very often, nearly always after a days driving. The Spider has a special teflon coating over the paint. Makes it look as if it's permanently polished. You just hose it down and dry it and no need for wax and or polish. The Mercedes I waxed two/three times a year.

I keep matching paint for the Spider and Mercedes for small touch up jobs. But anything more then a chip and I will take it to a professional paint shop. There's a very good one in the village where I live. Very accommodating. He will allow me to strip and prep the car myself in his shop. It's fun, and I get to keep the cost down. Any respray on the Spider also means the teflon coating needs to be reapplied. That needs a professional specialist, cant do that yourself.

I try to do all of the maintenance myself. The jobs I can't do, I have a few addresses that specialize in these sort of cars. Very trust worthy and they're happy to let me watch and help whilst they sort my cars.

Maintenance cost varies hugely. Really depends on what needs doing. But on a well maintained car it's probably around Euro 500 - 1000 per year.

I've bought a number of old/classic cars over the years. Other than of course ensuring the cars are in good condition there are some things I will always replace, no matter what:
- spark plugs
- all high tension leads
- distributor cap, ignition contacts and capacitor

Everything rubbery needs close inspection, ie all hoses and rubbers in the suspension. Everything that looks old and shows wear I replace in the first few weeks after buying. Double check all petrol lines. Old petrol hoses tend to disintegrate over time from the inside out. So I just replace them all, period!

Same thing with all drive belts and filter. If the air filter looks dirty, you can bet the oil filter is in the same shape. So unless there is evidence that the car had a recent oil + filter change I will do that immediately.

Same with fuel filter. Often overlooked/conveniently forgotten. I buy a 25 year old car, I just replace it.

The above list of "replacing after buying" has sort of developed over the years and with a number of cars I owned.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have more specific questions.

Jeroen
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Old 2nd February 2013, 09:12   #36
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That is good to know, Sir. And knowing this is an old post/thread, does this still apply?

Some doubts I have been seeking answers to:

1.
I was advised recently by an RTO agent against buying non-Maharashtra LHD cars as the Mumbai RTO refuses to register inter-state LHD transfers.

2.
How long does the NOC remain active? I have heard 6 months.
Some cars on sale have NOC documents that are really old.

3.
Do you have to provide the original invoice/bill for every classic car or only the obviously imported ones. For example, may be required for an old Mercedes, but will it apply also for cars like the Beetle that were sold officially through dealerships in Goa, and was not a personal import?

4.
The other question I have is how do so many classic car owners keep their old number plates (non Maharashtra) and drive them around? Does it mean proof of residence from all the various states that the cars have been bought, often found with a single owner?
Don't know if this question is too hot for a straight answer, may even invite a private chuckle. But the reason I ask is to know if there is an above board way that I have not figured yet.

Thanks.
These are specific to India and the laws that prevail. Would appreciate some clear answers here or via PM.

Thanks!
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Old 2nd February 2013, 14:36   #37
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Default Re: Tips and guidelines for people aspiring to own/buy Vintages!

[quote=Automaton;3029547] I was advised recently by an RTO agent against buying non-Maharashtra LHD cars as the Mumbai RTO refuses to register inter-state LHD transfers. [quote]

Dear Automation - I did what I felt was correct. I approached the senior RTO officer, presented my business card, introduced myself, told him point blank that I had purchased this car to fulfil my long cherished dream, that it was not a part of some "business transaction", it would not be practical to use this car as a daily drive, I was ready to pay all taxes as applicable to imported cars (my LHD is officially imported from Dubai), produced all the Kerala papers and requested him to help me by registering the car in Mumbai. I had to pay 3 times road tax, Maharashtra entry tax and Mumbai Octroi. After all the formalities were completed, I got the MH01 number. In the book, LEFT HAND DRIVE is written!

So, go and talk to people, things will happen!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 29th November 2013, 20:56   #38
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Hi,
This is a great thread for an aspiring vintage or classic collector.It would be of great help if the gurus could indicate where one could start and as to what approximately would be the prices one would have to pay for different makes and models with proper RC .
I for one have restored a 1965 Ambassador and now I would like to go on to something older.I would like to buy and restore a car with clean papers,preferably a Tamil Nadu registered car.I don't mind go through the hassle of restoring one for which spares are still available either in our country or abroad
Hope one of you would help me in locating a car within a reasonable budget.The help would be really appreciated.
Thanks and Regards
Venkat Kumar
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