How to Start Searching For Your Dream Classic Car

Buying a classic car might be one of the most exciting auto purchases you will ever make. After searching for hours, maybe you have a list of cars you want to go look at. There are numerous options when buying a classic car, but before making a decision, it’s good to think about what is right for you. Farm Boy Garage is here this week to help you make a smart decision by guiding you through a checklist when searching for the classic car of your dreams!

Decide How the Car will be Used


Think carefully about what you want to do with the car. Will it be a daily driver or just on weekends? Would you like to show it? Will it sit in your garage under a tarp and rarely get used? With that in mind, here are some factors to consider when searching for your dream ride.

Clean and Clear Title

This might not be something you think of right away, but it needs to be on your mind. You do not want to fall in love with a car only to find out there are issues with the car's title. You need to make sure the car has been registered with the state and that the title is in the seller’s name. If there is or was ever a lien on the car, you need proof of that lien being satisfied before you can register the car in your name. Double check the title and look for any signs of lien.

VIN Number

While you have the title in your hand, make sure the Vehicle Identification Number on the title matches the title. Pre 1981 the VIN will look different than the seventeen digits we see on today's cars. Make sure they match up. Fixing this later could be a disaster and may not be able to be resolved at all. If they don’t match up be aware the car could be stolen, had a major accident, or the title could be fake.

Inspect the Car

This inspection will be different for everyone. It will depend on what condition of car you are expecting to purchase and what your plans are with the car after buying. If you are expecting a fully restored car that you can jump in and drive, then your inspection will be different than if you are looking at a car knowing it will need to be restored. People have gotten very good at hiding issues so take your time and get the car in the natural light and give it a thorough inspection. Know the car and its common issues or take someone that has knowledge of things to be aware of on that particular car. If you find a car that you are interested in and have some concerns find a reputable shop and see if they would be willing to look over the car for you. This could be money well spent!

Test Drive

If the title and the car check out good, then it is time to take a drive. Tell the owner that you are going to be gone for a while and offer for him or her to ride along. If you have a buddy with you, make him tag along to listen and feel for anything odd. Put the car through its paces and pay attention to how the car feels. Does it track straight down the road? Any strange sounds, noises, or vibrations? This is the perfect time to also check and make sure all features like air conditioning, radio, any power options work.


Classic cars can be a great and fun investment, but it can also turn into a nightmare if you run into troubles. Hopefully, these tips help you catch any issues before you pull the trigger. If you would rather have a professional find your dream car, Farm Boy Garage can lend a hand. We offer a classic car finder service. We can find the car and restore it to its former glory! You can fill out a form right on our website and we will start searching for you.





Farm Boy Garage
10660 E. County Line Rd.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320
Phone: 515-528-8904
Cell: 515-333-1238

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