Car collectors are passionate about their automobiles, and the Internet is an ideal place to bring them together. Use the Web to make the most of your hobby by learning about online and offline auctions, locating hard-to-find parts, conversing with other enthusiasts, and more.
Car collectors are as diverse as the cars they collect. Some have an affinity for the antique, others for the modern. A collector may focus his efforts on a specific era or model, or follow his eclectic leanings and amass a garage that resembles a museum exhibit on the history of the automobile. Whatever your interest or level of experience, there are online resources to aid your hobby. In this section you’ll find resources with general advice and insight on car collecting.
- If you’re a novice collector, start by familiarizing yourself with the different “eras” in automobile history. Doing so will allow you to develop your tastes and get a sense for where you’d like to begin. A look at AntiqueCar.com’s “Classic Car History” section (scroll down to find it on the left) can get you started.
- There is a recurring theme in the following links: If you expect to treat car collecting as an investment and hope to make a profit, it may be harder than you think. If you want to go into car collecting, do it because you love collecting cars.
For overviews on car collecting …
offers this helpful Web site for those who are unsure of exactly what antique car collecting entails. Find a description of the difference between antique cars and classic cars, and get an overview of how to buy a car, what the prices will generally be, and whether you should consider the hobby an investment.
offers this article on classic car collecting. Written by car enthusiasts, the article provides advice on how to be a successful collector. Look for some helpful links and car reviews at the end of the article.
has an article focusing on the financial and investment angle of car collecting. The article explains what the financial benefits are, if any, to collecting cars, and suggests what you should think about when considering such a hobby.
For car collection trends …
Sports Car Market
is a magazine that claims to be “The Insider’s Guide to Collecting, Investing, Values and Trends.” Visit the “SCM University
” to get an overview of this extremely extensive Web site. Take the full spectrum of free classes, from “Collecting 101 - Intro to Car Collecting,” to “Collecting 301 - Advanced Car Collecting.” Be sure to print out your diploma afterwards.
produces an annual survey detailing the current collector car trends. Read this press release to see a summary of the results of the 2006 survey and learn which car was voted the most popular make.
For car lovers who want to learn about old cars …
Old Cars Weekly
is a weekly news magazine that provides this valuable Web site for car aficionados. Find forums, news, blogs, podcasts, stories, classifieds, and more. The site mainly covers vehicles “from the classic touring cars and roadsters of the early 1900s, to the popular muscle cars of the 1960s and ’70s.”
prides itself on its mission: “at least one page for every vehicle that has ever been produced in the history of this planet.” The site is a searchable database with profiles and photographs of autos. You will not be able to purchase these autos here, but you will be able to see what is in store. Note that there are also links to purchase similar autos on eBay.
For classic cars, muscle cars, and hot rods …
Cars From Yesterday.com
is a novel Web site to explore. The site thrives not only on a love for cars from the past, but a love for the memories evoked by these cars. Read up on the history of classic cars and visit the “Nostalgia” section to find photographs of old billboards, radio and TV ads from the past related to classic cars. Stop by the “Inventory” section to link directly to eBay’s classic car auctions and insurance information from Hagerty. Also, take a look at the blog
hosts this article from CNNMoney.com about the muscle car market. Read the article to examine a ranking of the fastest-rising muscle cars by auction value, as determined by Kelley Blue Book.
magazine’s Web site is a great stop for anyone interested in hot rods or who simply loves cars in general. Look for a variety of blogs and forums and become part of the "Hot Rod Community
Antique and vintage cars elicit images of small towns, grain silos, and the American heartland. And while the technology and your nostalgia may be ancient, the avenue available for acquiring the car of your dreams is not. The Web hosts many sites dedicated to creating vast automotive marketplaces for experienced and amateur car collectors alike.
- The Web's largest auto markets provide very similar services. Most list new cars and allow sellers to buy classified ads for used cars. They offer a variety of research features, like access to reviews and Kelley Blue Book values, and they almost unanimously claim to be the “Web's #1 Resource.”
- Most sites charge sellers a fee for taking out a classified ad. Fees vary greatly in size and structure, with some coming as flat rates and others that must be paid weekly for as long as the listing is up.
, the online home of Hemmings Motor News
, is a large information resource and marketplace for car collectors and vintage aficionados. Find classified listings for more than 30,000 classic cars, along with 10,000 car clubs and a dealer showroom with listings from more than 130 classic car dealers around the country.
is a classifieds marketplace for exotic, high-end new and used cars. Search cars by make or by class. For sellers there are a variety of listings packages.
is a forum for buying and selling classic cars, parts, and dealer classifieds. The site boasts more than 50,000 ads for all types of cars, including antique, exotic, military, and street rod.
is a collector cars classifieds site. Despite the site's lackluster design, there are plenty of solid listings and a modest posting fee for sellers ($45, and the ad remains until the car is sold). For buyers, there’s a prepurchase inspection service to take the stress out of long-distance buying.
Auctions are a great way to buy a car. And unlike Web sites, collector car auctions allow you to see the car live, which makes all the difference when it comes to cars that are this unique and have so much character. These live collector car auctions can provide much more of an “experience” than buying or selling on the Internet, bringing people with similar passions together. The Internet also offers online auction sites, like eBay Motors.
- Most of the sites in this section have photographs of the cars that will be sold at the auction. They also tend to have the results from previous auctions, which could help you formulate a strategy, or at least a ballpark price range for a potential buy, before going into the auction.
- Be sure to check the collector cars magazines for news on upcoming car auctions.
For in-person car collection auctions …
Car Collector’s Online Market Journal
is published 40 times a year and recaps major classic car auctions. Look for event summaries, car descriptions, and result lists. Visit the Web site to see abridged editions of the journal and consider subscribing; a subscription carries a steep price of $240 per year but for the serious collector, it might very well be worth it.
is a prominent organizer of collector car auctions. According to the Web site, RM is the biggest vintage automobile auction house worldwide. Find RM auctions
around the country, and gain access to online auctions
For car collection auctions on the Internet …
is the collector car, motorcycle, truck, and vehicle division of the popular auction Web site. EBay provides buyers with a comprehensive protection plan that will ensure you don’t fall victim to scams or purchase a car of misrepresented quality.
Often old vintage or classic collector cars are restored, and for many collectors, the most valuable cars are the ones put together with their own two hands. Some of the parts needed to reconstruct an old automobile may not have been manufactured for years, but luckily, there are Web sites to fulfill those needs.
- In general you'll find that parts delivery sites have accommodating shipping policies, but double check before making any purchases, as weight limits and your location could come into play.
- Although they most likely don’t stock the old, rare, or custom auto parts you might be looking for, two of the bigger nationwide parts chains, AutoZone and Pep Boys, have useful customer repair information on their Web sites. AutoZone's "Repair Information" section has interactive repair guides for a long list of makes and models.
For auto restoration …
The DIY Network
's Web site features step-by-step walkthroughs for more than 20,000 projects. Visit their "Automotive" section to find repair and restoration tips for a diverse list of projects including bodywork, fuel systems, detailing, and brakes.
Second Chance Garage
is a useful site for learning about car restoration, particularly for antique or classic cars. The writers for the site use whatever car they are working on as an example; follow along and extrapolate information to apply to your own car.
For auto restoration parts …
is a classic and foreign car parts and accessories marketplace. Search for parts by make and model. Although the listings are pretty extensive, they're by no means comprehensive. If the site is lacking a part you're looking for, they invite you to notify them via e-mail.
is an online car parts seller and D.I.Y. repair center that's composed of a customer support network of nearly 3,000 stores in 50 states. Browse the massive product list (including parts dating back to a 1942 Chevrolet) and take advantage of a variety of shipping and pick-up options. Stop by the "Do It Yourself" section to find maintenance schedules, reliability ratings, recall information, and maintenance tips for many models.
As mentioned in the first section of this guide, there are many different types of collector cars, and you’ll find Web sites and organizations devoted to each one. There are people who are passionate about their hot rods and there are those who can’t get enough of vintage cars. Organizations are your chance to share your enthusiasm with like-minded collectors.
- Some of the Web sites listed below have a “Links” section that connects you to other recommended sites related to that particular type of car.
For antique car organizations …
The Antique Automobile Club of America
(AACA) is meant to bring people together who share a common interest in antique cars. The goals of the organization are to preserve these antique automobiles and to hold meets and events to promote this tradition. Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the organization has an extensive library and museum. Find information about the organization and upcoming events.
The Veteran Motor Car Club of America
clearly states that they don’t represent war veterans, but veteran cars. The club specializes in antique automobiles with a focus on “historically significant” autos. Find a history of the organization, upcoming tour information, and a "Calendar of Events." Don’t miss the "Interesting Links" section for a list of Web sites for the car enthusiast.
For classic car organizations …
The Classic Car Club of America
(CCCA) does for classic cars what the AACA does for antique cars. Focusing on cars built between 1925 and 1948, this organization seeks to “encourage the maintenance, restoration, and preservation of all such Classic cars.” Use the links on the left to find information on their upcoming events
and to see how the Club defines a classic car
For muscle car organizations …
The Muscle Car Club
seeks to preserve, restore, and promote American muscle cars. Find lots of information on muscle cars, including the latest news, where to find parts, places to race, and even humor. Be sure to check out their dictionary of muscle car terms if you’re a newcomer, or even if you’re an experienced collector. A yearly subscription of about $33 is required to access all content.
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