Take a moment to explore the market for classic cars in the U.S. and you’ll find a thriving and active segment. People buy and sell these automotive treasures for various reasons, and when they do, having a solid platform for this activity is essential. One of the most popular classic and collector car websites is cars-on-line.com.
Let’s explore the Cars On Line platform. We’ll look at its features and explain some of the pros and cons when buying a collector car on the website. Before diving into the details, let’s first understand the classic car market.
Background: Why Do People Love Classic Cars?
There’s no single reason why people love classic and collector cars so much. They just do! If you were to ask most enthusiasts, you’re likely to hear at least one of the reasons.
Classic cars are often bought by deep-pocketed older drivers who want a vehicle that brings back memories of happy and youthful times. There are particular car makes and models over which people get really misty-eyed and nostalgic for: the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, 1968 Ford Mustang, 1955 Ford Thunderbird, and the Pontiac Trans Am, to name a few.
It might be a car they drove as a teenager, or their parents or grandparents had one. Such vehicles help replicate those warm and fuzzy memories. And certain cars are also representative of their era, like the previously mentioned Chevy Bel Air. Built in the wake of the Second World War, the ‘57 Chevy signaled to the country and the world that Americans were ready to embrace luxury and style. Cars were no longer just mere transportation.
It’s impossible to escape from the fact that so many classic and collector cars are just gorgeous to look at. They’re just as stunning today as when they first rolled off the production line. These cars’ good looks have stood the test time and are embraced by so many seeking to eschew the pervasive sameness of modern vehicles.
Another reason people are still in love with classic cars is the restoration factor. They want to buy beat-up old cars and return them to their former glory. Finding the right parts and putting things back to their original condition is part of the challenge. If you understand the importance of “new old stock,” then you get it.
Finding the right parts online and putting things back to how they would have been new is part of the challenge. And others take a different approach by adapting classics into resto-mods. These cars retain their classic appearance on the outside but get fitted with all-new and modern equipment throughout. Regardless of the type of restoration, seeing a classic car as a fixer-upper can be a big motivator to buy a collectible.
Finally, some enthusiasts approach classic cars as investment opportunities. While many collectible vehicles get maxed-out value-wise, people try to predict the next must-have classic with value potential.
To determine what cars to buy, investors look at limited editions, unusual colors, hard-to-find features, and other factors. At the same time, pricing has to be rock-bottom to allow for any restoration requirements and create profit potential down the road.
Pricing volatility also adds an unknown element to classic car investments, as valuations can rise and fall for many reasons. For instance, following the infamous 1994 O.J. Simpson car chase, no one wanted to be seen in a Ford Bronco. But fast forward to today, and classic Broncos are in high demand.
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Classic Car Vs. Collector Car - What’s the Difference?
Let’s define two terms: “classic car” and “collector car.” A classic car is a model usually at least 25 years old. Older vehicles, such as those approaching 50 years get labeled as an antique (it depends on the car and state DMV regulations)
On the other hand, a “collector car” can technically be any age, but it has some quality that makes it sought after. This might involve rarity, originality, and a car’s status as a classic. However, not every collector car is a classic car.
Cars-On-Line.com - How it Works
The cars-on-line.com platform connects shoppers with ads for classic cars and classic car parts. The site offers a classic car inspection service, detailed feature stories on various vehicles, and how-to articles for enthusiasts. There are also warnings on avoiding classic car scams that are present in the broader marketplace.
Car Sales Ads
Sellers can opt for a Slideshow Ad that sells for $65 and runs for 90 days. The user submits up to 26 photos and a 100-word description to accompany the ad. Each listing includes contact information to allow potential buyers to put in their offers. The site also takes mail-in ads that involve completing a form and sending in photos. The cars-on-line.com team adapts the information into an online listing. It’s a convenient service for old-school sellers.
One of the most significant issues that classic car enthusiasts face is getting genuine replacement parts for restoration or repair work on their vehicles. These difficulties come from these needed components no longer being in production. While many classic car owners turn to sites like eBay, authenticity can be hard to verify. The Cars On Line platform aims to create a more reliable outlet for authentic parts.
As a way of ensuring that the vehicles shown on the site get priced fairly and correctly, the platform provides an inspection service for $275. Sellers can make an appointment with the inspection department. An inspector will look over the car and certify its value in a satisfactory way to all parties. This is especially helpful for banks and insurance companies who may become involved with financing or covering the vehicle.
The site’s Archives section contains a collection of articles and other media, including a weekly newsletter. It’s here you’ll find resources to get a better understanding of the classic car scene, a look at popular models, learn maintenance tips, and more.
Cars On Line takes an effort in making enthusiasts aware of known scams within the classic car community. This information is beneficial for first-time buyers and can prevent an exciting time from turning into a rip-off.
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Pros and Cons of Cars-On-Line.com
Let’s consider the pluses and minuses of this platform as a whole:
Huge Range of Vehicles
In addition to classic car ads, cars-on-line.com has listings for various other vehicles, including import cars, trucks, sportbikes, tractors, and trailers. It’s a comprehensive selection covering just about every type of classic vehicle you can think of.
Simple Ad Placement
Submitting an ad to cars-on-line.com is a straightforward process. A large number of words isn’t required. Instead, the site lets the pictures do the talking. Buyers are also encouraged to contact the seller to build trust and rapport and ultimately lead to a sale.
The Website is a Resource
The site’s Archives and scam alerts provide valuable resources that classic car enthusiasts can use before and after a sale. Plus, the parts for sale section provides owners with reliable sources for authentic components.
The available inspection service promotes peace of mind for all parties, and the $275 rate is cheaper than the typical $300+ fee charged elsewhere.
A Dated Platform
The main negative about cars-on-line.com is that the platform is quite dated; the website looks like a throwback from the 1990s. The information is there; it’s just presented in a way that appears antiquated. This makes mobile browsing less than ideal, too.
As dated as it may be, cars-on-line.com still offers comprehensive listings for classic cars of all stripes and ads for hard-to-find parts. The site is a great go-to resource for classic and collector car shoppers and owners for these reasons alone.
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