The Truth About Buying a Classic Car

The Truth About Buying a Classic Car


rev up your engines,
Jim Kowalski says, Scotty I’m young 24-year old, I have a passion for classic
cars can you offer a recommendation on how to get started with a classic car
hobby and how I might learn to restore a car properly, okay you’re starting so
don’t go for a super-expensive classic like don’t go for a 67 Mustang Fastback,
it’s too much money, you’re gonna get, you might go for something like a 65 Falcon
or something, where you can get them cheaper,
they’re simple cars, they’re easier to work on, you’re not gonna have the
expensive parts and since it’s a Ford, there’s still tons
of parts out there that you can get at a reasonable price, that aren’t gonna cost
that much money and being simple you could do that,
go for that route, don’t go for you know the super expensive ones that are
worth a lot of money, you want to go a little bit lower and if you like it
and you do a good job, then maybe you’ll go for a little higher end one the next
time, that’s the best way to go, the dragon boy, says do you refuse customers
from bringing their own parts realize customers aren’t that rich to pay a lot
more to mechanics, okay here’s the thing, you have to buy good parts and I’ve been a
mechanic for 50 years, sometimes even I get the wrong parts, because I try to
save my customers money but sometimes I find you can’t buy the cheapest parts,
say you go online and buy a cheap alternator, I had a customer do that six
months ago, and I agreed well you don’t any money, you buy it I’ll put it on, well
he bought an alternator for his Honda bought it online,
I didn’t buy it, I put it on and guess what it didn’t work, so then he had to take it
back, his car is stuck here for days, if I would have bought the right alternator
it would have been out and you wouldn’t have any problems, so I warn people, I mean if
they want to buy their own part I’ll warn them, if it doesn’t work you still
got to pay me to take it off put another one on and your car’s gonna be stuck
there you’re better off having me buy the part
from a quality part at a good price, now yes a lot of mechanics are crooked, and
they’ll buy something for $100 sell it for $300, well you know I’m not into that
either, but the problem with having a customer
bringing the part is, a lot of times it’s not the right part or it’s a cheap part
that doesn’t work, and then it becomes a gigantic rollercoaster of who’s to blame
for somebody who wants their car fixed right, that’s why most mechanics will not take
parts from other people, and I can’t really blame them because a lot of times
you get the wrong part and then everybody’s stuck,
Kevin Williams says, Scotty I got a Toyota Camry 1996 whenever I turn on the AC the car
backfires when it starts and the power seems to be cut, okay the first thing you
want to check is have both your battery and your alternator load tested, places
like Auto Zone do that free, and realize that when you turn on the AC,
that stresses the electrical system and so you have a weak battery, weak
alternator it might backfire, now if they check out and alternator is good and the
battery is good it generally means the AC compressor
is starting to wear out, and if it does, it drags the engine too much and can make it
run poorly, but generally backfiring, that has to do with not enough electricity, so
have your alternator and battery load tested first on that one, so if you never
want to miss another one of my new car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

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    This was an excerpt from one of my Live Car Talk shows where I answer your car questions Live. If you enjoyed it, every Thursday at 1 pm CST and Saturday 10 am CST I live stream and answer your questions!

  2. Hi Scotty. Can you please tell me what you think of the Kia souls? The 2018. I am thinking of buying a new car?

  3. Once I figured out my new mechanic wasn't raping me on the parts, I decided to let hem buy them, except he told me for an oil change to get what oil I wanted and he'd do the job… no extra charge because he was doing a lot of other work at the time. So, when you find that rarest of all things, an honest mechanic, let them order the parts and then if they don't work, it's on them. How to find out? Ask for a parts quote first befoee any work is done, then check the parts prices yourself to see what that part costs. They won't always find the cheapest part, as "buy cheap, get cheap" rule is almost always in effect, but they probably buy the middle of the range for your car, if there is a range. Some cars only OEM parts work, and for those you pay through the… well some part of your anatomy. My guy was actually able to find a better deal on some parts than I could, and he didn't pad the price. He makes no bones about his hourly rate but he will often cut me a break when I need it, given that I send him a good bit of business from other people looking for a square deal mechanic as well.

  4. “Don’t go for a super expensive classic like a 67 mustang”

    Maybe the dumbest statement ever. A classic mustang is one the cheapest and most common cars to restore their is

  5. Y cant everything in life be like this, Straight factual answers with no BS….
    Love scotty fromm India

  6. Yep you gotta buy OEM parts for major items on your car such as timing belt kit,alternators,water pumps CV gaitors,drop links,track rod ends.
    Pattern brake pads,rotors,gaskets etc are usually ok.
    Pattern CV gaitors last 1-2 years for example whereas OEM ones last 7+ years and inner ones last even longer because they dont move as much as the outer ones.

  7. I recently had some suspension work done on my 2001 Chrysler Sebring Convertible Limited and I was kinda surprised that the shop in Dallas said I could buy the parts myself and bring them over or they could do it. Like you said Scotty….while I can lookup a part number with the best of them, I'm no expert and maybe I'd get all the right parts or maybe not, either way, the shop gets paid to install/uninstall them….so I had the shop order the parts (they didn't mark them up) and do it right the first time.

  8. This is WAY BETTER than the half hour or longer videos covering 20+ different questions because I don't have time for long videos and I'm not interested in all things auto-mechanical.

  9. Reminded me when 1997, I bought a 17years old FIAT 127… fun car, learnt a lot from it but had to give up when the engine blew up the second time.. Heck! When changing the clutch plate, took 3days to look for the spare part. Only to realised at a spares shop when saw a very similar clutch plate with the FIAT 127 but for another totally different car model.. took out the worn FIAT clutch plate and put it side by side – it WAS the same.. apparently the FIAT was using the same clutch plate as the VOLVO 240!!!…

  10. Buying stuff online like a box a chocolates. Never know what you're gonna get. And
    There's a good chance it won't work.

  11. Read this in a forum once… "Buying a classic muscle car, then being surprised that it only gets eight miles per gallon is like marrying a hot blonde and being surprised when she doesn't cook and clean"…

  12. Hey Scotty I’m 18 and just got a 2007 Honda Accord. It’s in fantastic shape for being 10 years old. Is there anything maintenance wise I should always look out for

  13. Or even (god forbid) a brand new kit car OO

    Btw, great vids Scott. Thanks a lot. But can u tell me exactly how and why a bad battery causes the car to backfire?

  14. What’s your thought on a 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix LJ? I’ve had the car since it was brand new. The Grand Prix is the same as the Regal, Monte Carlo and Cutlass. It’s a very nice car! Is it worth getting it back to showroom condition?

  15. Most Mustangs are a bit overpriced but if you look long enough you'll find a good deal I personally suggest trying to get a Mercury Cougar or Ford Falcon reasonably priced and enjoyable cars 👍

  16. This is great advice. A friend bought a 65 Dodge Polara with a 383 off of ebay for $1500 with crazy low original miles. Ran great, there was a dead cat behind the back seat.

  17. I prefer OEM parts in nearly all cases whenever possible-including brake pads/shoes. They always fit, they always work like they're suppose to, they usually last far longer than aftermarket parts.

  18. Hi Scotty! I have big respect for your work. I'm a big rig driver,not a mechanic.But I know lot about cars and trucks,and I know a lot of mechanics,and have spent lots,and lots of time with them,so I know you're a good one! You bring closer many thigs to average driver. And that is priceless for people who don't know anything about their vehicles,but they are willing to learn,not just to turn the key and drive off. One question (of a many I would ask you): You told us about changing oil in automatic transmission in 50000 miles. (some say in VW DSG even in 20000 mls).And I agre with you.. But,all transmission specialist here in my country say same (50.000) for manual gearbox,if you want to last and shift smoothly for long time. I agree with them too. Doing it personally in my cars for long time.(and there are "experts" who think,by habbit,that we should pour more,when there is a lack of fluid. I think that they don't know that all fluids are hygroscopic,and that changing fluid in brakes,steering and gearbox is just big fraud of big companies and authorised dealers) What is your opinion about that? Greetings from Serbia!

  19. Well, even though I likely overpaid for my '62 Studebaker GT Hawk, it's been a very worthwhile experience so far! Lots of documentation, immaculate condition, intriguing and attractive aesthetics, and a bulletproof drivetrain all make for one very good automobile.

  20. I bought my first classic at 16, 1978 Chevy c10 swb I’m 18 now and I’m still not done, but I’m doing a full restoration, it’s fun and they come out awesome! Its expensive to do everything though.

  21. I CAN'T wait to catch your next live video. I have questions. My husband thinks I'm stupid and I have some good questions lined up. Some of them have bets between us.
    I can't wait!
    Girls understand things too.

  22. When I needed new break calipers for my 98 Crown Vic., I sucked it up and bought some good calipers and brought it to a Ford dealer to put them on. The bolts were fused from years of heat and not being replaced oftern enough properly. It wasn't cheap, but worth having mechanics that actually work on nothing but Fords work on my car. Plus it is STUPID to buy cheap tires or breaks. Just suck it up and save up the cash and get good parts.

  23. I usually don't recommend some of these kids in their early 20's buy a classic car because it would be their only car. Sure they are simple and easy to fix. There are problems though, First is having it break on you when you absolutely need it. That's never good and it will happen often with a classic car. Second is they are very unsafe, early 20s male with an unsafe car traveling at 60-80 mph does not mix well.

  24. Scotty I have a question for you. I have a 1992 Ford F350 crew cab pickup truck what is 7.6 liter engine in it. The problem is when I started up and go for a while and travel and I cut it off, when I go back to start it back up it won't start up. But if I sit there for a period of time like an hour or so it was startup what could be the problem?

  25. Scotty I'm going to bring my 2003 Stang to you. I'm in Tomball, Tx. Man I drove it from Oregon. It runs way better in Oregon than Texas, I need your expertise scotty. I restored it. I left it all natural aspirated, no turbo or supercharge. Met an awesome mechanic in Portland Oregon. It only has 116,000 miles its 2003 Gt Convert. Get the history 🤣I bought it for $17,700.00 in 03 my son was 1years old, he just turned 16 this summer. He went from carseat to learning to drive it. It's still to much for him 5 speed manual but he just needed to learn. Man its drying crappy right now. I did notice that if I dont drive it every day, its ride like boo boo.

  26. SCOTTY I hope you read this. I like old cars, but for some unknown reason, I lean towards big ugly cars. I found a '75 Plymouth Grand Fury in Tucson Az. $1000 or best offer. The bumpers and chrome looked brand new. Just had a new, more likely rebuilt transmission, the dash and front seat had all of the Arizona Suns evils heaped upon it. It had a 360 v-8 original to the car. This woman told me her dad bought this car new in 75 and had driven it ever since. The only rust was under the bubbling vinyl top. The ORIGINAL MILAGE . 480,000! For a Chrysler product! It started right up, no grinding, to ticking silence. It revved smooth and responsive. Who says there's no such things as miracles! After witnessing this, I'll have to go to church Sunday. I still can't believe it, but I saw it and heard it. This engine must have been assembled by St Mopar himself.

  27. Another tip for classic cars. Don't go for a classic car that has high popularity. High popularity = High demand and High demand = High price tag regardless of condition. Going for something like a Chevy Nomad is going to be cheaper than a Chevelle, Bel-Air, or El Camino.

    Even going with some models of Corvette's will get you a decent affordable project car because they're more despised by the car snobs. So you can get an awesome, (if somewhat underpowered) sports car. Time and research helps out big time. Personally, I'd love to have a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. You can get one for a decent price as people hated them for being front-wheel drive.

  28. Hi scott, I have a ford fusion 2016 and i feel a bit of lag in my steering wheel, can you tell what it might be? Thanks

  29. Can some one explain to me the part of the AC making the car back fire. What does that feel like or what does the car do?

  30. Scotty I disagree on customer supplying parts . I want the mechanic to concentrate on the labor of the job not searching for parts. Also I like to upgrade my parts also (suspension great example)
    I agree having a mechanic put on low end parts and blame him for failure down the road is not right.
    The cat pillow rocks- I have a similar one of a Siamese.
    What is your thoughts on a used 1991-1994 F150 with the 4.9L straight 6 4 X 4 w/5spd manual ?
    Not a speed demon but that old 4.9L can last over 200k !! LOVE the body style- Last of the real trucks in my opinion.

  31. Rust is the deal breaker on classic cars. That will be the highest expense to fix any classic. Look under the car at the floorpans.

  32. I almost bought a 1968 Pontiac Firebird for $7,100 on EBay more than 10 years ago. It needed a few tweaks and fixes to make it a daily driver, but I just didn't feel confident buying a car online. It would be worth a lot more today. I ended up not buying it and instead saved the money for a down payment on a home. It was the right decision.

  33. Hey Scotty i'm thinking of buying a 1985 Nissan 300zx for a decent price, what are your thoughts on the car and anything I should know about before buying.

  34. I had a mechanic who is independent from the dealership and sent me to go buy a part from the dealership and gave me his mechanics registered number. That number discounted parts from the dealership. Most time mechanics can find the part cheaper since they buy more parts and get special discounts regular consumers can't get.

  35. I really love your channel. Your sincerity, your kindly nature, and your abundance of knowledge that you are able to succintly convey are absolute gems. Thank you.

  36. Scotty i bought a $50 valao altinater with warren out brushes put new brushes in it 5000km later I,m going to put new bearings in to hows them red apples

  37. Beware of rust hiding below the shiny new paint jobs on the old classics. Pay less for faded or original paint because you are more likely to see where the rust resides. I know from experience.

  38. How can u tell the quality parts from non quality parts? Is it the source? Is it the brand? You mention Autozone, are their parts typically higher quality?

  39. A classic car sales purchase is a minefield for the average buyer. Be very cautious when dealing with those type of businesses. When somebody advertises "frame off" or "rotisserie" restoration ask for photo or video documentation. They usually don't have any because they bought the car to flip. Do a lot of research or bring/hire someone who knows the classic car business and can vet the purchase.

  40. Only difference between restoring a car and buying a restored car is the fun of restoring it yourself. Either way it's gonna cost thousands. Never put a price on a dream car

  41. Most of these cars priced 3 times their value….bunch of poor baby boomers trying to make up for their lack of retirement money……they think their sitting on a gold mine just cuz their old.

  42. Cheaper to buy a totally restored car instead of finding a nice Driver for around 10k and then deciding to make a show car out of it!!

  43. What do you think of a ford taunus 1976 1.6L diesel coupe, it seems like its in a good condition, no rust, the owner says that he took good care of it and that it works but he hasn't driven it properly in 5 years, he is asking for 3100$. Should i buy it? I'm 19 and me and my grandad are thinking about buying it and maybe cleaning it up a bit.

  44. I’m 15 and my mom promised to give me her 1967 mustang aqua marine it’s really nice will only cost around 8000 to fully fix it

  45. Hello Scotty I like motorcycle better because batchlorism and I think people buy classic cars because they are comfortably obsolete. I think in the next 10years if practical electric cars exist in terms of being overall cheaper overal then gas cars then service to convert classic cars to ups with exsist.

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