How to Inspect a Classic Car?

Looking at vintage cars for sale is a very exciting prospect for many people. Pulling the trigger and actually buying one can be even more exhilarating. Before you bring your classic car home, however, you should inspect it to ensure you are getting your money’s worth. You may want to use an inspection service or, if you feel confident in your abilities, you can do it yourself. Here are a few areas that you should pay close attention to when inspecting.


First, you should check the title to see if the car is registered to the seller. In some instances, the vehicle might not be registered to anyone at all. If you discover that you must research and apply for a title, you can end up paying a lot in fees and penalties. Keep this in mind before you hand over any cash of the retro car.

Vehicle Identification Number

The VIN on the car’s title should match the VIN tag on the car. Check to ensure that it does. If not, it could be a sign that the vehicle is a counterfeit or stolen. This could also mean that the car was previously in a severe car accident and might have unseen damage or unoriginal parts.


When it comes to the interior, original is always better. Inspect the dashboard, seats, upholstery, radio, badges, and emblems. Look for signs that they have been damaged or are not the factory originals. It can cost a lot to find and replace these features.


Check out the condition of the paint, noticeable denting, and misaligned or mismatched panels. Large welding marks can mean that the car sustained a clip job indicating that the vehicle initially sustained a lot of damage and the front or back of a junked car was attached to it. Be sure to inspect the car during the daytime so you can take advantage of natural light.


Though a little bit of rust is expected with older cars, be sure that the damage is not too extensive. Proceed with caution if whole sections of body panels or floorboards are rusted. You should also look for signals of a recent repair or replacement. If the fixes were not completed correctly, you might see even more rusting very soon.

Though buying retro cars is thrilling, there is also a lot to consider beforehand. Be sure to inspect all of these areas before signing the paperwork so you can be sure that you are not getting scammed or wasting your money on a clunker.

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