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So You want to Buy a Collector Car!

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: Richard@Legendary

Part 1

I have purchased a few old collector cars during my lifetime. Most have been rather good cars that usually ran or could run with a couple of weekends of work. Usually they didn’t have good paint or good upholstery. They did have three qualities that caused me to fall in love with each and every one of them;
1. they were cars that I had always admired;
2. the condition was acceptable and original with very little modification, and;
3. I could afford the purchase.

I won’t tell you that I felt that I could afford to restore them in any short time frame. I just knew that I could enjoy them in their present form.

Allow me to start with the last condition; I could afford the purchase. By that I mean that my family was not going to sacrifice for my personal enjoyment. It also meant that my wife wasn’t going to be angry with me. I would discuss the whole enterprise with her, I would encourage her to see the car for herself and she would approve of the purchase. This may be the most difficult part, but also the most important part.

This also included the restoration of the said vehicle. Nothing was spent without discussion and approval.

Each of us has a set of dream cars. They may be the muscle cars of the sixties and seventies. They may be the colorful heavyweights from the nineteen fifties cars. Possibly it is a car from your family’s past. Maybe it is a pony car or a convertible. For some it may be a Classic or a brass-era car. Maybe it is a car from your birth year or your wedding day or even the car your first born came home from the hospital in. Whatever, that car or set of cars has held fast to your heart for some time.

My dream cars have been those of my youth; the bright colored nineteen fifties cars, and they had to be hardtops or convertibles. However, I wouldn’t mind a Pontiac Safari or a Chevrolet Nomad. If they were dramatic enough (1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser or 1957 Rambler Rebel) I could see myself in a four-door hardtop. Being much broader than this era, I love most all of the pony cars. Corvettes up through 1967 are a favorite. The muscle cars from the sixties and seventies are attractive to me if they aren’t the plain-Jane ones painted dull colors with dog-dish hubcaps. I like the ones with the luxury accessories (AC, power windows, sport wheels, deluxe models, and bright upholstery.) They needn’t be the most powerful models either as I do not really enjoy a temperamental car that must be babied just to get it out of the garage (440’s instead of Hemi’s.) Convertibles of the thirties and forties are attractive too. A brass era car or a Model A can also turn my head. While I love seeing the Classics, I know that there is not a car of any kind that could get me to try to afford six and more figures. I’ll just enjoy those investment level cars from the comfort of a car show.

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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