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So You want to Buy a Collector Car! Part 2

We have begun another new feature on Legendary Collector Cars. We invite guest authors to submit their articles for publication in our Blog. Today’s contribution is from Bill Culp of Decatur, Alabama. If you would like to make a submission for consideration please send it to:

Part 2

Speaking of value, I find that I have relegated myself to some rather odd cars because I am naturally thrifty.  I can and have purchased a Studebaker instead of a Chevrolet because they have equal value to me and the Studebaker is much cheaper.  That is why I have owned an R2 Avanti instead of a Corvette and a 1955 Studebaker President Starliner instead of a 1955 Chevrolet BelAir Sport Coupe.

This “value” perspective does not apply in the same way if you are planning on a restoration. I am only talking about the initial purchase here as the restoration of a Studebaker is every bit as expensive as a Chevrolet; maybe more as the parts are more difficult to find and thus more expense to acquire. The cost of a paint job may be the same but the parts are not.

The research on restoring a Studebaker is also much more difficult than a Chevrolet.  Much less is known by the general old car fraternity of Studebakers than Chevrolet.  There are even whole books on exactly restoring a 1955 Chevrolet.  With the Studebaker one must find cars to photograph and learn from. Searching out knowledgeable owners and trading secrets is also a common practice.  I suppose that I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of a more difficult car and the pride in driving something unique.

Now that I have broached the subject of research, I must say that the next thing that a new owner must do is to learn as much as possible about the car you have so long lusted for.  When I say, “next thing” I mean that this is after you have the acquiescence of your family (hopefully enthusiastically so) and have the means to purchase and then restore this vehicle.  Research includes the probable value of such a vehicle as well as its strengths and failings.

To Be Continued

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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