If you thought buying and selling a modern automobile seemed like a daunting task, then you should investigate the rating process when it comes to classic cars. Try not to let the appearance of that 1988 Chevrolet Camaro trick you into thinking that it functions perfectly. Even though it has a slick, smooth design, it may also have an array of irreversible mechanical problems underneath its hood. A prudent classic car shopper knows how to research the fair market value for a worthwhile automobile while avoiding the lemon that nobody wants. Reputable classic car publications have developed a price guide that rates a car's value based on six different categories, according to their conditions ranging from "pristine" to "clunker." In addition, many classic car owners join local associations that will help assist in educating beginners before making a down payment.
To appraise a car before selling or purchasing it, the car owner can determine what category it fits into by judging its condition on a scale of one to five, using five as the highest value. After assessing the values of each category, the car owner calculates the grand total of all twenty categories, and then compares the points to a one hundred point maximum.
Use the following chart for a basic category valuation to determine the car's fair market value:
- Category 1: Perfect shape. The car would earn 90 to 100 points.
- Category 2: Near perfect shape. The car would earn between 80 to 89 points.
- Category 3: Good shape. The car would earn between 70 and 79 points.
- Category 4: Average shape. The car would earn between 60 and 69 points.
- Category 5: Fair shape. The car would earn between 40 and 59 points.
- Category 6: Poor shape. The car would earn 39 points and under.
How to Rate the Exterior
- The appraiser should stand roughly 2 to 3 feet in front of each headlight and taillight. Inspect the side panels for bulges, waves, or other damages incurred as a result of incidents, road debris, or shoddy body repair.
- Examine the car's paint for blisters or signs of rust. Pay close attention to the wheel wells, rocker panels, and headlights.
- Obtain a sizable magnet and move it over the various body parts to check it for body filler, previous damage, and other signs of rusting.
- Closely examine the vehicle for uniform gaps around the doors, trunk, hood, and other inconspicuous parts of the body.
- Examine the doors for worn hinges. If the car door sags, then this is an indicator that the hinges need to be changed. In addition, look for signs of cracking around the weather seals, and other signs of aging, such as paint blisters.
Hood and Trunk
- Carefully examine the car's hood for any rippling, indentation, and rusting. Check the carpeting in the trunk, and around the wheel housings for rust. In addition, check the latches to the hood and trunk to ensure they are properly aligned.
- Closely look over the convertible tops to ensure that the original material remains. For instance, if the convertible was originally manufactured with canvas, vinyl, or any other type of material, then ensure that the top still has that same material. Be sure that the material has not become worn down, unstitched, or ripped. Check the convertible's raising mechanism, and ensure that it fits snugly in place.
- Examine the top of the vehicle for dents, scratches, or other signs of damage.
- Inspect the condition of vinyl covered metal-topped cars. Be sure to seal it tightly without ripping or damaging the material.
How to Rate the Paint, Glass, and Trim
- Check the car's paint to see if it reflects a high gloss, or if it has become dull. See if the finish has a smooth or rough texture. Examine closely for runs, cracks, and drips in the paint. Check a classic car resource guide to see if the car is painted in its original colour. Check the doors, inside of the hood, and trunk to see if the colour matches on the outside.
- Closely inspect all of the chrome plated trim pieces to see if the chrome has lost its shine, and whether the base metal has started to show. Check to see if the headlight and taillight housings have become poorly pitted. Keep in mind that pitting on die cast parts can not be easily repaired. Closely inspect the grill for existing damages and broken parts. In addition, check for missing and dented stainless steel paints on the body's side panels.