Lowriders. Classic cruisers. Muscle cars. What do all of these
types of cars have in common? They're all highly prized by owners
who buy or build them for the pride of ownership or the pride of
ownership. They are collectible cars, and like other valuable collectible
items, they are also investments that must be protected.
Whether your car is a re-built vintage roadster or a modern muscle
car that has become a collectible vehicle because of its limited
availability, your investment must be protected. There are three
key factors in ensuring that the money you've put into your car
isn't wasted: car
insurance, storage, and maintenance.
Insuring an antique, collectible or modified vehicle (like a low
rider) is usually best done through a company that specializes in
car insurance for non-standard vehicles. Not only are such policies
usually less money than you would pay if you added your specialty
car to your standard insurance, and you will get better benefits.
One benefit of a specialty policy is the way your car is valued.
Regular insurance bases your coverage on the value of your car,
less any depreciation. If you are lucky enough to be able to use
your vintage car for work or business, then you may be able to
deduct some of the cost of insurance on your online
tax return. Collector car insurance, however, is based
on what it would actually cost to replace your vehicle, and takes
into account what modifications have been made, how old it is,
and what the condition of the car is. While it's true that an appraisal
may be needed, it is often the case that a photograph and itemized
list of modifications are enough.
Not only do most collector car insurers require specific storage
methods for your specialty car, proper storage also keeps your vehicle
safe. At the most basic, you should store your car
in a completely enclosed garage, but beyond that, you should consider
a storage space where you can maintain a moderate temperature.
Other storage options to consider are aimed more at long-term storage,
such as overwintering, where you'll want to mix anti-freeze with
the fuel, alter the tire pressure, clean and oil all the leather
surfaces, and then cover your vehicle with a tarp.
How you take your car out of storage is equally important. You'll
need to remember to flush the fuel system, make sure there is ample
lubrication, and check to make sure no animals have crawled into
any pipes or crevices to sleep away the winter months.
Just as maintaining proper speed on the highway will reduce your
likelihood of getting speeding
tickets, taking proper care of your classic car will help preserve
its life and your financial investment. This means doing all of
the things you would normally do with a street-legal vehicle: make
sure the car is clean, and the paint is in good condition, keep
any trim polished and sealed, maintain adequate tire pressure, and
when you do drive your collectible vehicle on public roads, stay
within speed limits.
Protecting your collector car isn't really any more difficult than
protecting the car you drive to work every day. Even lowriders need
insurance and basic maintenance, for example. By combining regular
maintenance with proper storage and the right insurance you and
your car will be together for a very long time.