Shopping for collectable cars on the Internet


It’s not so long ago when you would spend your long winter evenings leafing through vintage and collectable car magazines. In a few hours, you would have read them all from cover to cover and had to wait for the next issue before indulging your passion once more, without having found the model that you really liked. On the Internet, within minutes, you can find the make, model, year, and colour of your favorite car. If it was to convince your better half and especially your bank manager, you could shop non-stop. A model that recalls our youth, a car our parents drove, and even legendary cars. The original Batmobile recently sold for $4.2 million. Prestigious car auction houses such as RM Auctions or Barrett-Jackson have sold some of the most sought after cars and everyone has access via the Internet. If you’re not a Batmillionnaire and the Aston Martin from the last James Bond film is beyond your means, there are several more affordable options.

Prudence is your best advisor.

Take as example our resident car expert, Richard Petit. He has always had a soft spot for Porsches, especially the 911 series with air-cooled engine, pre-1998. A purist, our Richard. He loves the particular sound of the engine which reminds him of the old (VW) beetles. After a few visits on the Internet, including the popular website Sloan motors, he finds a collector with a reputation for cars of high quality. Reputation is important in the field of collectable cars. The man in question lives some 5 hours drive from Montréal. Richard takes his car accompanied by two friends to see for himself the condition of the cars. It is essential to physically see the car. The photos don’t tell all. If the car is too far, say in California, you must appoint a person to go and see the vehicle for you. There are excellent evaluators throughout Canada and the United States. Richard, a prudent man, also brings with him an expert who is able to examine the car to see if the colour schemes conform to the period, if the serial numbers correspond, and all the finer details that give value to a collectable car. The expert is also there to keep a cool head and to hold the avid collector in check lest he be carried away by emotion, always a poor advisor. Chasing down that dream car is often a long process fraught with pitfalls. “The meeting with the seller allows you to gauge the interlocutor’s passion,” said Richard Petit. It’s by looking one directly in the eyes that one can see the passion, which is impossible to verify on the Internet.

Patience is also warranted.

Collectors will tell you that patience is part of the pleasure of finding a collectable car. It is also a virtue. You know the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” A bad choice will cost you money every time. On the other hand, a beautiful vintage car will only appreciate in value. The Internet is a great tool to find cars, but a transaction must be executed person to person.



Photos : mixte magazine, in collaboration with Richard Petit