Do People Buy Expensive Classic Cars to Drive Them?

Classic cars have always held a special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts. They evoke nostalgia and showcase the craftsmanship of a bygone era. For some collectors, they even represent a significant investment.

So when it comes to the more expensive classic cars, it’s easy to wonder: are they bought primarily to be driven, or are they more of a collector's item to be admired from afar?

For many aficionados, the allure of owning a classic car lies in the joy of driving it. These cars offer a unique appeal that modern vehicles cannot easily replicate. From the throaty roar of an engine to the tactile feedback of manual steering, driving a classic car can be a visceral and rewarding experience.

In this article, we will talk about classic cars and whether or not enthusiasts buy them to drive them around. Let’s take a closer look.

The Appeal of Driving Classics

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by lewsky (@bustruckcars)

Classic cars hold a timeless appeal that transcends mere transportation. From the elegant curves of a 1950s Cadillac to the raw power of a muscle car from the 1960s, these vintage vehicles tell a story of automotive history and innovation.

Behind the wheel of a classic, drivers are transported, not just physically but also emotionally. Those who want to connect to the spirit of motoring’s golden age would appreciate the opportunity to drive a classic car.

Even the experience itself is different from driving a modern vehicle. The rumble of a vintage engine, the smell of leather and gasoline, and the tactile feedback of a manual gearbox engage the senses in a way that modern cars with their electronic gadgets and noise-canceling technologies cannot give you.

Classic cars demand attention and involvement from the driver. This fosters a deeper connection to the road and the machine itself. It’s a hands-on driving experience that car enthusiasts love.

Driving a classic car means joining a community of enthusiasts who share a passion for preserving automotive history. Classic car rallies, scenic drives, and track days provide opportunities for owners to showcase their prized possessions while enjoying the open road. It creates a sense of camaraderie between people who love to celebrate the art of driving.

Whether it's the thrill of cruising down a scenic coastal road or the satisfaction of wrenching under the hood, driving a classic car offers a truly authentic and rewarding journey for enthusiasts of all ages.

Investment and Preservation

Some enthusiasts do use their classics as daily drivers, relishing the attention and sense of connection to automotive history that comes with it.

But while driving a classic car can be immensely gratifying, there's no denying that many expensive classics are also seen as investment assets. Rare and historically significant vehicles can appreciate in value over time, making them lucrative additions to a diversified portfolio.

Unlike more traditional investment avenues such as stocks or real estate, classic cars offer a tangible and often nostalgic appeal. They are the ideal investment for car enthusiasts and investors seeking alternative assets.

Additionally, classic cars are finite in number. Many models are becoming increasingly rare over time because of factors like accidents, natural deterioration, or simply being lost to history. This scarcity can drive up the value of well-maintained and desirable models, making them potentially lucrative investments.

This is why some owners choose to preserve their valuable classics by minimizing their time on the road. These cars are meticulously maintained and often kept in climate-controlled garages to protect them from the elements.

Instead of racking up miles, they're showcased at prestigious car shows and auctions, where their rarity and condition can command top dollar.

Some people choose to drive their classic cars around while others preserve it as an investment. Keep in mind that if you are going to use a classic car as an alternative investment, this comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. No investment is without risk and that applies to classic vehicles as well.

Unlike financial assets, the value of a classic car is subjective and can fluctuate based on trends in the market, shifts in consumer preferences, and the condition of the vehicle. Maintenance and storage costs can also be significant, particularly for older or more delicate models.

Liquidity can also be a concern, as selling a classic car can take time and may require finding the right buyer willing to pay the desired price. Despite these challenges, for those with a passion for vintage automobiles and a keen eye for value, investing in classic cars can be a rewarding pursuit.

Balancing Act

For most owners of expensive classic cars, the decision to drive or preserve their vehicles is a delicate balancing act.

On one hand, they want to enjoy the thrill of driving these automotive treasures and share their passion with others. On the other hand, they're keenly aware of the financial implications of wear and tear on their investments.

Some compromise by driving their classics sparingly, reserving them for special occasions or organized events where they can be appreciated by fellow enthusiasts. Others take a more pragmatic approach, recognizing that driving their cars adds to their enjoyment and memories, even if it comes at the expense of some depreciation. At the end of the day, it’s all about doing what feels right for you.

What Should People Know About Driving Classic Cars?

Driving a classic car can be a unique and enjoyable experience, but there are several important things people should know before hitting the road:

Maintenance Requirements

Unlike modern vehicles, classic cars often demand more frequent upkeep and specialized care due to their older technology and materials. Regular maintenance tasks such as oil changes, lubrication, and brake adjustments are crucial to keep these vehicles running smoothly. Additionally, classic cars may require more attention to their mechanical components, such as carburetors and ignition systems, which may be less reliable than their modern counterparts. Owners should also be vigilant about rust prevention and corrosion management, as older vehicles are more prone to these issues.

Mechanical Understanding

Classic cars usually have simpler mechanical components compared to newer cars and their computerized systems. Knowing basic mechanical skills can be beneficial for troubleshooting and performing minor repairs on your classic car.

Handling and Performance

Classic cars may handle and perform differently than modern vehicles. They may have manual steering, drum brakes, and different weight distributions, which can affect how they handle on the road. Take the time to get familiar with the handling characteristics of your classic car, especially if you're used to driving modern cars.

Safety Considerations

Classic cars often lack modern safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control systems, which are standard in contemporary vehicles. This means drivers need to be more attentive and proactive in their driving approach, as they don't have the same level of passive protection in the event of a collision. Additionally, classic cars may have outdated suspension and steering systems, requiring a different driving technique compared to modern cars.

Fuel and Fuel Economy

Classic cars, especially those from the mid-20th century, typically run on leaded gasoline or lower octane fuel, which may not be as readily available as unleaded fuel used in contemporary cars. Their carbureted engines also tend to be less fuel-efficient compared to modern fuel-injected engines, resulting in lower miles per gallon. Classic car owners need to plan their routes carefully, considering fuel stops more frequently, and be mindful of the vehicle's fuel consumption to avoid running out of gas unexpectedly.

Specialized Parts and Repairs

Finding parts for classic cars can be challenging, especially for rare or obscure models. It's essential to know where to source parts and establish a relationship with reliable suppliers or restoration specialists.

Storage and Protection

Classic cars are often more susceptible to rust, corrosion, and damage from the elements due to their age and construction. Proper storage, such as a garage or car cover, can help protect your classic car when it's not in use.

Insurance Considerations

Classic cars may require specialized insurance coverage tailored to their unique value and usage. Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage that accounts for the value of your classic car and any restoration work you've done.

If you are planning on keeping your classic car as an investment, remember that maintaining its originality and condition is crucial for preserving its value. Avoid unnecessary modifications that could detract from its authenticity, and keep detailed records of any restoration work or maintenance performed.

Best Classic Cars for Use as a Daily Driver

Driving a classic car is not just about getting from point A to point B; it's about enjoying the experience and appreciating the history and craftsmanship of these vintage vehicles. That said, if you want to choose a classic car for your daily driving needs, you need to consider certain factors like reliability, ease of maintenance and availability of parts.

Here are some classic cars that are often considered good options for daily driving:

Volkswagen Beetle (Type 1): Known for its simplicity, reliability, and ease of maintenance, the Beetle can be a great daily driver. Its air-cooled engine is relatively easy to work on, and parts are still widely available.

Ford Mustang: With its iconic design and plentiful availability of parts, the Mustang is a popular choice for daily driving among classic car enthusiasts. Models from the 1960s and 1970s offer a balance of performance and comfort.

Chevrolet C10 Pickup: Classic trucks like the Chevy C10 are practical for daily driving with their ruggedness and utility. They offer ample cargo space and are relatively easy to maintain.

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40: Renowned for its off-road capabilities and durability, the FJ40 can also serve as a reliable daily driver. It's a classic SUV with a strong following and good availability of parts.

BMW 2002: This compact sports sedan offers a balance of performance and practicality. It's nimble and fun to drive, with a supportive enthusiast community and decent parts availability.

Mercedes-Benz W123: Known for its legendary durability and comfort, the W123 series offers a smooth ride and classic luxury styling. These cars are often praised for their robust engineering and longevity.

Volvo Amazon (Amazon): Renowned for its safety features and reliability, the Volvo Amazon is a classic car that can serve as a dependable daily driver. It offers a spacious interior and comfortable ride.

Mazda MX-5 Miata (NA): Although newer than some other classics, the first-generation Miata (NA) is now considered a classic in its own right. It's fun to drive, reliable, and relatively affordable to maintain.

When considering a classic car for daily driving, it's essential to have realistic expectations regarding fuel economy, safety features, and comfort compared to modern vehicles.

Work with Classic Car Deals to Find The Classic Car of Your Dreams

In the end, the answer to the question of whether people buy expensive classic cars to drive them ultimately depends on personal preferences.

While some owners prioritize the driving experience above all else, others view their classics primarily as investment assets to be preserved and admired. Regardless of your goals, if you want to own a classic car, you may want to consider consignment.

Consignment for classic cars is when the owner of a classic car entrusts a dealership or specialist to sell the vehicle on their behalf.

In this arrangement, the consignor retains ownership of the car until it is sold, while the consignee, typically a reputable dealer or auction house, takes responsibility for marketing and selling the vehicle.

Consignment can be an attractive option for classic car owners who may not have the resources or expertise to effectively market their vehicle. It’s also a good choice if you simply prefer to have professionals handling the sales process.

With consignment, sellers can reach a wider audience of potential buyers, as dealerships or auction houses may have established networks and platforms for showcasing and promoting classic cars. When in doubt, work with the experts. Work with Classic Car Deals.

Classic Car Deals is the world’s largest online consignment company. Their headquarters are located in Cadillac, Michigan, where they have a showroom that features the classic cars and trucks that they have in stock.

Classic Car Deals has consignment cars all over the United States. You can view them online through the Classic Car Deals website. Their sales team will work diligently to help you find the classic cars for sale that fit your exact needs and desires.

Once you’ve found your ideal classic car or truck, call Classic Car Deals to double check on the location. One of their classic car specialists will answer any questions you may have. They will then help you get started on the process.

If you don't see your dream car, don't worry: Classic Car Deals has clients all over the USA. They can get you exactly what you want. We provide an easy and hassle-free way for you to shop classic cars for sale nationwide.

Classic Car Deals offers the widest selection of vintage, exotic, and collectible cars and pickup trucks. Your first step to buying your dream car is to contact one of their reps today. You can also sell a car with Classic Car Deals. Visit their Consignment page for more details.


*While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with Dealer.