Does Your Classic Car Need a Will?

I often get to meet the widow who has been left the cars. Some widows have a hard time letting go of their deceased husbands cars and they need help with the process of moving them to a new home. Some cars stay in their garage so long we have to drag them out with a tow truck. I wonder if it would help the widow if the husband left a will for the disbursement of the cars?

I once had a client who sold his car to a dealer friend because he didn’t want his two sons fighting over it. Guess what? When the children saw the car for sale, they came in and bought it to share it.

Sometimes I’m the one explaining that the treasured classic that the husband has boasted about for years, is not the pristine wonder that they have been led to believe. I just had a client who asked me for my assurance that when he went, his daughter could call me and get help to sell it. He was unusual in that he wants it to receive a full paint restoration so he can enjoy it even more in the time left. Many people I meet mention that they want to leave their car to their sons but it’s said at such an age that they have no idea if their son will want it.

Of course the one that takes the cake is the lady who complained to me that the City of Brampton wouldn’t allow her husband to be buried in his Corvette. I guess you have to know if your wishes are realistic!

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

Classic Car Scam Just Around The Corner

The vehicle was a very desirable 1969 Mustang model and listed on ‘American Listed.’ The owner was working overseas for a world wide major commercial brand. She was a real person with a high profile career, visible on the internet. As she didn’t have time to meet a potential buyer, the car was being stored with a storage facility in Washington State.

An interested buyer could send the $60K USD asking price to the storage company and then you can go and inspect the car. At this point you’d have 7 days to decide whether to buy it. If you don’t buy, you’d get your money back.

That was the story, anyway.

The reality was that thieves had completely assumed her identity and the car was a complete fabrication designed to perpetrate this crime. The storage company was non-existent and was used to make the buyer’s money disappear.

When the lady was contacted, she explained that her identity has been falsely used for the last 3 years in the scam.

This story highlights the importance in working with an experienced, trusted professional to handle your classic car transaction (buying or selling). We have ‘seen it all’ and know all the scams to watch out for and act on your behalf to protect your funds and classic car investment.

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

Selling Your Classic Car Can Attract Bad Actors

When you advertise on Kijiji or similar sites, one expects occasional bad mannered responses — this is a mild one.

As we all know, the Internet gives some people the chance to vent. When selling a classic vehicle, expect to hear from this sort of person.

As experienced professionals, Bramhall Classic Auto is prepared for these people and we insulate you and your vehicle from them. These people are mostly just an annoyance and an unpleasant part of doing business. Other responders may have more nefarious intentions.

Furthermore, we do take great care to qualify potential buyers so that as few people as possible get to see the vehicle being sold. This protects your vehicle as well as the transaction from one of the many potential pitfalls that can be experienced while selling your classic car.

Update: The vehicle cited by this Kijiji keyboard warrior has recently sold to a qualified buyer at a fair price in a smooth transaction brokered by Bramhall Classic Auto.

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

Rare Cars are Valuable

One of the biggest myths in the classic car world is that “rare cars are valuable.”

Here are some of the rules:

A rare car is worth nothing if no one wants it (see many rare cars that went out of production from 1900-WWII).

1960s Mustangs were made in large numbers, demand for all models remains very high.

Ultra rare editions are more valuable, special dealer editions often attract little extra value.

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

Demographics and the Classic Car

A number of years ago I received a call about a Rolls-Royce Phantom V advertised on my website. A Phantom V is the model that HRH The Queen used for years for public parades. In her case it often had a glass roof for better visibility, this one was a normal limousine. They wanted to buy it for their father-in-law. A price was finalized and the car was delivered. My salesman went to get the cheque from the intended user, it turned out he was 92 yrs old and wanted it so he could sit in the rear and have his breakfast served in it. He had previously had one but had sold it to the Middle East and regretted it.

Who buys these cars now? Who will buy them in 2060 when they are around 100 yrs old? Will there always be an exemption for “Classic Cars” when all normal cars are running on electricity or hydrogen? Will gas stations disappear like phone booths have? Will there be Safari Parks where you will take your gas powered car and drive it around for a couple of hours and have an exhaust recycling pipe fitted that stops the CO2 from escaping?

When I’m asked what a “classic car” is, I always say “a car built before 1975”. Is this valid anymore? Maybe any car or bike that is over 15 yrs old that is NOT a daily driver qualifies. We will see, if we are around to see!

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

The Myth of Classic Car Investment

When the media write articles and do interviews in regards the investment aspect of classic cars, I find myself shouting at the TV. When I’m with a client and they ask me what I think the next great classic car investment is, I normally tell them a story about the last classic car recession or the one about the Honda S600.

I was at a house in Brampton and I was doing an MOT appraisal report for tax purposes. The car in question was a Honda S600 convertible sports car that was very much down in the dumps, body-wise, so bad it had to be carried around on a trailer. To say it needed restoration was only the beginning. After doing my report, I asked him what he wanted for the car, he said he wanted $2,700.00, an amount I thought was at least one thousand too much. I didn’t think again about the car until I read an article about the S600 involving Jay Leno. Now that Jay Leno had anointed this little car among the pantheon of collector vehicles, it was suddenly hot with a capital H. There are some universal truths about collector vehicles:

1) Never buy a 4 door car unless it is one of the Major Marques;
2) Think about demographics, is this car I’m about to buy an old man’s car?;
3) Taking into consideration 1 & 2, buying a convertible is always better;
4) Have a pre-purchase inspection done by someone who recognizes corrosion and the signs of the repair of previous corrosion;
5) If the service and restoration history isn’t available, think long and hard.

Back to the myth of investment, when there are so many aspects of classic car ownership that are hard to control, it’s hard to believe that investment and classic car ownership deserve to be in the same sentence.
 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

The Myth of Originality

Originality often has a religious connotation in respect to classic cars. There is now a fashion where totally original “barn find” cars are being venerated with very high auction values. But in real life most of us want a car that offers enjoyment, some level of comfort and the ability to share the experience with our family, friends and collector community.

Having spent some years in the restoration world I got to meet Concours fanatics. One of my clients had his fascia from his Thunderbird on the dining room table for 6 months for the purposes of detailing, the family ate somewhere else. The quest for 99.9 points can be a real burden, but a burden that some of us enjoy. I always suggest to my clients that they enjoy their classic car in the manner that they like.

Originality can get in the way of safety and comfort for no great purpose. My standard advice for improvements for classic cars are, power steering, power brakes and electronic ignition. I also ad to that, if the driver is used to driving only modern cars, getting in a Classic (pre 1974) demands recognition that it can’t stop and steer in any way close to that of the most basic modern car. Letting a family member drive a Classic car without this up front advice can be dangerous to the car and the driver.

One last thought, I drove a white 1974 MGB for many years, I discovered early on that vans and trucks with high mirrors couldn’t see me on their passenger side, so I learnt to keep a safe distance.

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

How Mobile Technology Is Improving Driver Experiences

Currently, we are in the realm of a technological revolution, and mobile technology is a huge part of this innovation. Cars are being developed with the latest in connectivity controls and handy features to make the driving experience safer and customized. Alongside in-car technology, smartphones are also integrating with everything from homes to vehicles, and this fluidity between devices is bringing a host of benefits for drivers. Car companies and manufacturers are creating the next generation of vehicles to bring drivers safe, secure and efficient modes of transport that also offer maximum productivity controls. Take a look at how technology is revolutionizing the car industry, and how it could affect your driving.

Connectivity on the go

With the demand for connectivity everywhere you go, it is no surprise that the latest car models are equipped to handle everything from telephone calls to Internet access. Many cars that are purchased in the current market are considered based on their connectivity features as a priority over other aspects. It’s not just the standard features that also attract people to newer models, but also that of how well they integrate with the latest smartphones. For users, this enables productivity on the go and personalized information at the touch of a button.

The future of data collection

Your vehicle collects tons of data about the performance, safety, and condition of each element of your car. This information at present is used by mechanics and garages to diagnose faults and repair your vehicle, but in the future, it could be used for a host of other things, which could, in turn, be used by third parties. There is a gray area surrounding data usage and collection about cars and how much of it is based on information about the driver, but as this sector develops, it will be questioned significantly to protect the privacy of consumers.

Apps improving car journeys

Mobile technology is often associated with smart applications on your phone, and there is a host of popular apps that improve journey time and fuel-efficiency. This innovation in apps makes it easy to access the latest tools to enhance driving experiences, but as with other features you have on your phone, it will be using the data collected to feedback information to the developers and potential third parties. After you’ve used these apps, you can make sure everything is deleted to protect your privacy, and this resource from Secure Data Recovery explains the how you can delete your private information from well-known platforms.

There’s no getting away from the fact that the next generation of cars will be interconnected to car companies and potential government bodies in the future, which could mean being in complete control of your vehicle might be a thing of the past. Companies are heavily investing in this area, and iconic brands such as Tesla are leading the way in self-drive, eco-friendly and connected vehicles. It’s an exciting time for car production, and technology is the perfect way to complement its progression.

Unusual Classic Car Finds – Part 2

In the ‘80s I was involved in a company that restored classic cars. One day a prospective client phoned up and sent a Porsche down on a flatbed for restoration. The car consisted of the disassembled body on wheels and a bunch of parts thrown in. After several months passed by without any communication, we tried to find the owner. His business address had no one at it, the only phone number we had didn’t work anymore. We took possession of the car by means of a bailiff managed auction. It was only when we started the process of selling the car that we learned that it was one of the rare 1959 356 Convertible D models. A local collector purchased it and had it restored for Vintage racing.

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

Unusual Classic Car Finds – Part 1

In the early ‘90s we got a call to go and see a collection of cars and memorabilia that was uncovered in a barn at Victoria and Eglinton. As any Torontonian would know, there are no barns in that area. As it turned out there was a small barn behind a house. In the barn was a Pierce Arrow that fitted with about 6” inches to spare at each end, how they got it in there was a real mystery. Along with the car were numerous old gas pumps and hood mascots. Along with the contents of the barn there were other cars from the ‘30s stored in Paris, ON.

The background to the cars was that the deceased owner had been a restorer for the Craven Collection. The Craven Collection sent classic car exhibitions to shopping centre malls all around Ontario to promote Craven cigarettes. As friends and family members arrived, the scene got quite hectic, items disappeared with little control.

 

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.