Classic car pre-purchase inspections

Classic car inspection before purchase saves pain later

Buying classic cars can be a minefield for the inexperienced. Whether it’s the excitement of having finally found the muscle car or classic car restoration project you’ve always wanted, the desire to get the deal done before the vendor finds another buyer or just a plain old midlife crisis brain fade, it’s easy to succumb and hand over your hard-earned cash without doing due diligence on the vehicle.

Catocraft offers classic car pre-purchase inspection from our Echuca HQ because we know what to look for, and we understand that not all classic and muscle car enthusiasts have the skills to identify faults and flaws or distinguish a lemon from a treasure. We’ll happily inspect the vehicle and, if it passes the grade, arrange transport to our Echuca classic and muscle car restoration business or other destination for you.

Catocraft’s classic car pre-purchase service

Before we do anything we’ll stand back and just look at the vehicle. We’ll walk around it looking for anything obvious – whether panels are well spaced and line up, the condition of the paintwork, whether there are any ominous bumps, dents, bubbles and sags, what’s original and what’s not, whether tyres are worn or okay, what’s right and what’s wrong. This overall assessment usually gives us a good indication of what closer inspection will reveal.

Rust inspection

Once we’ve done our walkaround we’ll get up close and personal with the vehicle and the first thing we’ll look for is rust. Body rot, car cancer, call it what you want, rust is the enemy of any classic, muscle or historic car restoration project. Some rust is acceptable – almost expected in some cars – but extensive rust can stop a project before it starts. Our classic and muscle car repair experts know precisely where to look, including under doors, inside guards and fenders and in the floor. A tip for the inexperienced: It’s important to realise that any sign of paint bubbling is pretty much a guarantee of rust beneath the paint. We’ll assess whether the vehicle has rust and, if so, the extent of the problem and whether it’s repairable or whether you should walk away and wait for another project.

Panel gaps

We’ve had a distant look at the vehicle panels but now we’ll closely inspect the gaps between the hood and the guards, the boot, the door alignments, whether everything opens and shuts as it should. If everything’s not aligned then we need to know why. If the chassis isn’t straight then your classic car repairs might well add up to a small fortune.

Under the hood

Our classic car engine restoration experts will take a look at the motor, assessing whether it’s been cared for, checking the fluids and generally looking for signs of wear and tear or disrepair. We’ll ask to hear the motor running and listen and look for anything suspicious. We’ll check how the motor compares with the odometer reading and ask whatever questions are necessary.

In the cabin

Vehicle interiors can take a beating and, depending, on the car’s history and past use, can require extensive work to restore to their former state. Catocraft understands the elements of classic car upholstery restoration and our Echuca classic car pre-purchase inspections team will assess the state of the vehicle’s vinyl, plastic and leather, the condition of seat frames and springs, the condition of the door cards and parcel shelf, the state of the carpet – the list goes on.

On the road

Vendors can be wary of letting prospective buyers drive their classic car but it’s crucial to drive any vehicle before buying it so you know what works and what doesn’t. If a seller won’t let us drive the vehicle, then our suggestion will probably be to walk away. We’re happy to have the vendor in the car with us but we want to test it on the road. Of course, not every historic car restoration project is a runner and in those cases we obviously won’t be driving the car but price will also reflect the vehicle’s mechanical status. Be guided by our classic and muscle car repair team in Echuca.

General advice

As well as mechanical and body advice on your classic vehicle restoration project, Catocraft’s Echuca classic car inspections experts  can also provide general advice. Have you thought about the cost of fuel once your muscle car restoration is up and running? What about the scarcity of parts for your historic vehicle restoration? Is that car you’re admiring a genuine classic that’ll appreciate in value or are you considering investing in a historic vehicle that has little chance of increasing in value? Who’ll help with your classic or muscle car maintenance in your part of the world?

Importantly, we’ll tell you to walk away if you’re looking at investing in a money pit. At Catocraft our commitment is to ensuring people have access to beautiful classic vehicles without handing over a small fortune. We want you to enjoy driving your classic and not be driven around the bend worrying about costs.

Please contact Catocraft Automotive for classic car inspections and classic car pre-purchase inspections. We also perform classic and muscle car maintenance and servicing in Echuca.

And while our classic and muscle car engine restorations and engine repairs HQ is in Echuca, we will travel so please don’t hesitate to call, no matter where you are.