The Manchester Classic Car Show chugs into the city again this coming weekend, showcasing the best of the UK vintage motoring scene.
One of the biggest in the country, the Manchester Classic Car Show is a great day out for classic motoring enthusiasts with cars from every decade of the last century.
Taking place at EventCity, next to the Trafford Centre, the car show will feature hundreds of classic motors as well as trade shows, refurbishment demonstrations and some tantalising live rally action.
Here at Duffy Motors, we are fond of classic cars. And although we don’t get the chance to work on them much anymore (some people still bring them in for MOTs and servicing, but not much more than that) we still share the affinity for the classic cars felt by the owners.
Before he took over Duffy Motors, Lee Atkinson owned a mobile mechanic business and worked closely with a speciality classic car importer and refit outfit. During this time, Lee worked on dozens of full classic car refurbishments including a completely unique Lamborghini SUV that was originally imported from Brunei.
Collected below are his top tips for buying a classic car.
First, a warning
Classic cars can very easily become money pits. Even if you buy one that’s in reasonably good nick, you can still sink thousands of pounds into them.
In my experience, they can be quite addictive as well. Be wary because the rusty Austin MINI could be a gateway to something bigger and harder. My advice would be to only start if you have the money to burn.
Choose a car with lots of spare parts
Classic cars will break down at some point. And when it does, it is a lot easier and cheaper to repair them if the parts are readily available. If you buy a classic British car like a Triumph or an MGB then the chances are that spare and replacement parts won’t be too hard to come by.
On the other hand, old Italian sports cars are usually quite tricky to find the parts for.
Don’t buy a dud
The most important thing to remember when you are buying a classic car is to avoid buying a dud. Now this might sound tricky, and it is, but it’s critical because if you get a problem motor then it makes your classic car owning career a lot trickier.
You should be looking for a full and up to date repair and service record. Cars that have these should be in a good condition. Chances are the car will have had a full or nearly full refit at some point, so find out how long ago that was and if there were any problems.
It pays to get an expert to take a look at the motor before you complete a sale. A mechanic will give you a good idea but it may also be worth seeking out an expert from a classic car magazine, or finding somebody at the Manchester Classic Car Show.
Keep your car healthy and safe
Classic cars shouldn’t be driven or cared for in the same way that you would treat a modern car. They are a lot more fragile and take a lot more looking after.
They aren’t everyday cars. And you shouldn’t be driving them to work everyday. Especially not in the winter time. If you can help it, you shouldn’t keep cars outside and exposed to the elements. Ideally they want to be kept in a garage with a dehumidifier working all the time. The more you look after these cars the, less you will need to take them to get repaired.