A lot of work

If you are planning to buy an old car, don't forget you'll need a little more than just the money to pay the price. A good place for storage is important where the car is protected against bad weather and unwanted visitors. If you've found a suitable object, ask someone you can trust and who has experience to check the car. This will avoid most unpleasant surprises.

Old cars need more attention than modern ones. For example, an oil change is required after a few thousand miles, and there is other maintenance work to do.

Another problem is finding a good garage with experienced mechanics. Many young mechanics can handle a diagnostic computer and replace parts, but an old car requires a real mechanic who understands how something works and who knows how to handle tools. You'll need good luck to find a garage where you can work yourself on your car and ask for support or special tools when necessary.

small crack

This looked like a harmless crack in the paint, but have a look at the picture below. The golden metal shows an unprofessional attempt to solve the problem.

quick and dirty ...

Of course you'll never find all problems by a visual inspection. Look at the brown stuff on the following picture. It appeared just after the screw had been removed.


hidden rust

Behind the chrome.

The Edsel after the first day. Sticky nuts that were hardly reachable were responsible for the slow progress we made.

after 1 day

After a whole week the car was ready for the paint job.

Paint job and re-assembling took several weeks. Others had fun at the beach or at swimming pools while my brother and me were working on this Edsel.

A few words about the costs. Some people believe that it must be very expensive to own such an old car, but that's not right. When the car has been bought and restored, there is only regular maintenance to pay for. Some of the maintenance parts are cheaper than those for modern cars, and, if the car is old enough, tax and assurance are relatively inexpensive, too.

Driving an old car is one thing, but you should do most of the maintenance yourself. This way you'll get familiar with the old technology, and that can be as much fun as driving. And if you ever have trouble with your car on the road, there is a greater chance to fix it before it must be towed to a garage.