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Classics 101: An Introduction to Classic Cars
The articles are presented with the permission of the publishers and authors with full credits on each.
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A Classic Car doesn’t have to be expensive.

Many people who would like to join our Club are of the belief that buying a Classic is an expensive proposition. In reality, many affordable Full Classics® are available for less than the price of a used Toyota Camry. You don’t have to spend $100,000 to have a Classic Car to be proud of and we should collectively put an end to this misconception. It’s keeping new members away.

I joined the CCCA in the 1970s when I was in my early 20s after purchasing a 1947 Lincoln Continental cabriolet. It had a beautiful Earl Scheib paint job that looked like it was applied with a paint roller and a Naugahyde interior to match. I remember driving around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, usually running on ten or 11 of the 12 cylinders. Even so, I was proud of it.

Since this car was far from a 100-point Classic, I used the vast resources of the CCCA to keep it on the road. Learning from other members, I was able to improve that Lincoln and eventually expand to other Classics. That Classic Car camaraderie and the sharing of knowledge and experiences, unfortunately, is a lesser-known benefit of Club membership.

Getting back to that inexpensive Classic, I spend an hour a day combing eBay, looking at Hemmings online and paging through the Bulletin classifieds for leads or the next “gotta have” Classic. It’s amazing what you can find out there, often at a reasonable price.

Here’s a sampling of what I found on eBay in just one session. They’re not perfect, but they would make either great starter-Classics, tour cars or project cars that you can improve over time. My “affordable” threshold was set at $30,000 and while I’m probably losing a few of you tossing around $30k of discretionary income right now, Classic Cars have been better investments than real estate or the stock market. And they’re a lot more fun.

The text in these ads is as it appeared on eBay and I’ve included their eBay item number.

1939 Cadillac 60 Special
Buy it now for $22,500
“All glass is good and works well. The doors close with a gentle touch and just click shut! Runs and drives perfectly and shifts smoothly from gear to gear. Brakes work well on the car and has plenty of deep tread in her 7.00 x 16” wide walls. Interior is original and very nice with one wear spot at the top of the driver’s seat corner. Headliner and carpet in very nice condition.”

1940 Cadillac 75 Fleetwood Imperial Limousine
Buy it now for $27,000
“This car did receive a total restoration 20 years ago. The motor was rebuilt and runs whisper quiet . . . interior is perfect . . . the paint I would rate as driver quality.”

1929 Cadillac Fleetwood 341B sedan
Winning bid: $29,450
“Traveled only 736 miles in the last 37 years . . . V8 runs great, clutch is silky smooth, brakes are good . . . tires replaced about 1995.”

1939 Cadillac 60 Special
Winning Bid: $10,000
“This Cadillac originated in California and was brought to Ohio. An APAC appraisal was done May 4, 2000. The appraised value was $23,500. The car has been stored in a temperature-controlled facility. It has been maintained and restored in a craftsman like manner. The car drives and runs well.”

1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine
Winning bid: $24,700
This car is in great shape. In years past it has won a Senior badge at the Classic Car Club of America. The interior is original. I had the exterior paint removed to the bare metal to see if there were repairs done with Bondo filler and there is none. Then I had the car painted with enamel paint . . . the engine, body & frame numbers match.”

1948 Bentley Mark VI
Price: $15,000. Asking price is $15,000 straight out cost or best offer.
“Right-hand drive, 4-speed side shift . . . some rust on the bottom of all four doors . . . it’s been garaged at all times.”

1937 Cord 810 Westchester
Winning bid: $18,100
“This car is solid and looks to be virtually a ‘no hit’ car and was driven into the space where it has been sitting in a warehouse just less than ten years ago . . . the only pieces that are missing for the car are the tail light lens, one stainless steel beading going around the hood bevels and the emergency break lever and the four hubcaps.”

1947 Packard 2126 Custom Super Clipper
Winning bid: $24,400
“1947 7-passenger, body by Henney, 56k original miles. This car is completely original, including the paint. We are the third owners . . . car has always been garage kept. It has a 356 straight-8 engine, 3-speed transmission with overdrive. Body is very straight, no rust and never had any.”

1935 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Saloon, Thrupp & Maberly
Winning bid: $29,500
“The car runs and drives . . . the car stops fine, the brakes are sticky from not being used much . . . the front seat looks like is has the original leather . . .  the carpets are wool and look to possibly be original . . . the body looks very good, straight and looks not to have been painted over too much.”

1929 Pierce-Arrow 133 7-passenger sedan
Winning bid: $23,000
“Radiator cleaned and checked, new oil pump, NOS UUR2 Stromberg float bowl, new exhaust manifold, timing gears are noisy, water pump rebuilt and water jacket cleaned, rods and mains checked, new rotor and distributor cap, wiring replaced, new Archer, gas tank cleaned, just completed 70 mile trip in one day.”