I have seen it all when it comes to claims owners make on their classic car. Sometimes they are erroneous claims that could be considered honest mistakes. Other times, a more nefarious plot is underway. As a prospective buyer it really pays to do the due diligence and verify each claim a seller makes about their car. Here are some of the claims I have heard over the years… along with the reality behind each claim.
CLAIM: “The car is completely original.”
REALITY: They didn’t know it had had a colour change, electronic ignition, later wheels from the same model etc. Their father’s mechanic always changed the components to modern ones when he serviced the car. Luckily their father kept all the original components in boxes in the garage. Even the original rear axle. This made a huge difference when it came to selling it.
CLAIM: “One owner since new”
REALITY: Their father never mentioned he bought it when it was 1yr old, it had always felt like new to the kids.
CLAIM: “The mileage is original”
REALITY: Their father never mentioned the broken speedometer cable that went unfixed for a couple of years, twenty years ago.
CLAIM: “Original paint”
REALITY: Many people can’t see that their car may have more than one colour paint or don’t notice the overspray on the lock mechanisms.
CLAIM: “Never winter driven”
REALITY: Their father drove the car to work all year round for the first three years before it was stored every winter.
CLAIM: “1956 Thunderbird with only 2500 miles on it”
REALITY: The car was originally raced by a Ford dealer in Florida. It was then disassembled and put in boxes. Later it was restored to better than new, the owner at this point had the mileage set to 1956, the year he got his license. Original mileage unknown!
As you can see, there are different ways that a classic car can turn out to have a story that is quite different than what is originally reported. Take your time to find out the verifiable facts when purchasing – or hire a professional to conduct a professional pre-purchase inspection. It can save you a fortune.
Stay tuned for Part 2.
LIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons
Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.