HOW TO BUY A STREET ROD

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IT’S NOT REALLY ALL ABOUT WORK!

Street Rods and Hot Rods are normally factory production cars that have undergone modifications for power, performance and appearance. They can be older vintage or modern day vehicles.

Rat Rods, are normally a vintage type of vehicle, modified for power, performance and occasionally comfort. They usually retain whatever exterior condition and appearance it had when the vehicle was modified. This will normally include dents, rust, and extremely faded paint. To a Rat Rod owner, sometimes the worse it appears on the exterior, the more they like it.

A vehicle is normally considered to be a Classic Car at the age of 25 years, by most State DMV/MVD regulations. The term does not necessarily reflect condition or operation. Most of these cars today, have been abandoned and become deteriorated. Depending on popularity and rareness, some of these can be quite expensive, prior to restorations. A properly restored or modified version will carry a high valuation.

A guy or gal car “purist” will knowingly spend an excessive of money doing a restoration or retro modification (retro is a car that retains the original appearance but includes modern day features such as dash, AC, suspension, power train, etc). The final amount invested is almost always significantly in excess of actual retail cash valve. Due to the high cost of these projects, HD TRUCKS & EQUIP LLC recommends purchasing a vehicle that has already had the repairs, modifications and proper titling completed.

Year-Make-Model is a crucial factor to consider in any purchase. As an example, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS/RS Convertible with a big block motor is like the holy grail to Camaro enthusiasts. A 1973 Camaro Convertible, not so much. This does mean there are no 1973 Camaro Convertibles that are desirable. The example is simply to demonstrate the importance of Make-Model-Year. The are both Camaro Convertibles, but the buyer must be aware of which one carries the best resale qualities, to be able to valuate the one they are looking at.

Stock, factory condition …. Modified condition …. The buyer must decide which type is best for themselves. A fully stock factory condition original 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 (Eleanor in the 2000 remake of Gone In 60 Seconds) is arguably valued much higher than a modified-retro version. A Tribute version of a 1965 Pontiac Tempest converted to a GTO Replica, on the other hand will carry a much higher value than an original Tempest will. Replicas, or Tributes, allow an average income person to own a quality “look-a-like” car.

Fiberglass Replica cars, such as the popular 1932 Ford Roadster or Shelby Cobra carry a lower valuation than the steel counter parts. This is mostly because they are not actual factory production units, and not subject to rarity due to attrition. Some of these can become quite costly due to the components used in the building of the “kit” car. These vehicles require the most careful consideration of value. On the highest end of these cars, the buyer may be able to find a true steel body car for similar prices, and have more likely value retention later.

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER. Unfortunately, there are always some people that will attempt to simply “cover up” major issues with pretty paint and seat covers. If you are looking at an older vehicle that is carrying a reasonably low price tag, you need to be flexible in conditions. As discussed earlier, repairs, restorations and paint are expensive. A lower priced vehicle will not be perfect in any way. Look for leak spots under the car, and on the frame / underside. While under the car, look for rust repairs / issues on floorboards, trunk, rocker panels and the frame itself. Virtually everything can be remedied, but you need to be aware of potential future costs. Look at the actual steel brake lines and rubber hoses for extreme rust and cracks which will be definite safely hazards. Engines should run smoothly at idle, unless a modified cam is present, and not have exhaust smoke or blow by under oil fill cap while running. ALWAYS be aware of fans, belts and moving parts on a running motor! Transmission fluid should be clean and not have a burnt smell. Check all fluid levels, low readings may indicate a leak somewhere. If you are not mechanically inclined, consider having a trusted person with you who is.

Quality, higher priced vehicles still need inspections. Signs of a quality vehicle will include clean under hood conditions with no overspray from painting. Serpentine accessory drive belts on the engine are costly and a good indication of quality. All power windows/locks/AC/door poppers/ etc should be operational. Dash should be complete with working gauges. As the price increases, so should the expectations of conditions. Engine modifications and trim should be complete and professional in appearance. Look for loose wiring, unconnected sensors, rust in crevice’s, nooks and crannies. Complete exhaust systems are a high quality build.

Completeness of the vehicle is key. Painting a vehicle in the proper manner is quite costly, and the cost of preparation, rust repairs, and materials is high. Upholstery is also costly since it usually requires hand made and measured components. Watch for missing/damaged chrome and exterior parts. Simply locating these replacement parts is sometimes very difficult, and the costs are reflected in that fact.

HD TRUCKS & EQUIP LLC offers complete, running, legally titled “TOYS”. You may view the inventory at www.hdtrucksandequipmentsales.com.

Contact HD TRUCKS & EQUIP LLC at (731) 435-1605

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