Buying a classic car is an emotional experience, and sometimes excitement can overwhelm reason. How many times have you or someone you know brought home what was supposed to be a perfectly restored classic only to find out that it wasn’t nearly as good as the seller claimed?
That’s especially true when buying a classic car that you can’t examine first-hand because of distance or other factors. But even when you can see the vehicle in person, wouldn’t it be great to have a bona fide expert evaluate its condition before you plunk down your money and attempt to drive it home?
Classic cars are old and therefore imperfect by nature, but we just want to make sure that our customers are getting what they are expecting to get.”
That’s where Road Ready Inspections come in. A new service supported by ClassicCars.com, Road Ready Inspections helps mitigate the risk of buying a classic vehicle, having it thoroughly vetted by someone who knows exactly what to look for to determine its overall condition and roadworthiness.
“With Road Ready Inspections, we are helping to take the guesswork out of buying a classic car,” said Roger Falcione, president of the nationwide service. “Buyers can make their purchase with peace of mind or walk away knowing they made the right decision, potentially saving thousands of dollars.”
Barry Sprague, the Phoenix director of Road Ready Inspections, said the service utilizes the knowledge of around 500 experienced vintage-vehicle inspectors to perform the evaluations.
“We only inspect classic vehicles so our expertise is in that segment,” Sprague said. “We’re a mobile service; we have inspectors nationwide who go out and inspect the vehicles.
“It’s a very detailed, very comprehensive, 158-point mechanical, electrical, body and chassis inspection. We road test the vehicle for three to five miles for drivability, ride quality, roadworthiness and reliability.”
Road Ready inspectors are well-prepared to look beneath the surface of a nice-looking restoration to tell what unapparent and possibly expensive problems might be lurking there. Rust is a critical issue, and the inspectors can tell whether the vehicle has had poor rust repair that would come back later to haunt the new owner.
“The inspectors that we send out are ASE-certified technicians,” Sprague said. “They have experience with classic cars.”
Even for a car that’s being offered in fixer-upper condition, the inspections can reveal its true condition and what its actual needs are, he added.
“Classic cars are very old and therefore imperfect by nature, but we just want to make sure that our customers are getting what they are expecting to get; that’s what we’re really there to determine,” Sprague said. “You don’t really know how to value the vehicle unless you know the condition of the vehicle.”
Sellers of classic cars also can take advantage of the Road Ready service to assure potential buyers that the car is in as-described condition, having their for-sale vehicles inspected beforehand to use as a selling point.
Road Ready Inspections is based on years of research, feedback from classic car owners and collaboration with McPherson College’s Auto Restoration Program. The service includes the 158-point inspection and three-to-five-mile road test, plus more than 30 photos.
The inspections are available anywhere in the United States for a flat fee of $297. They are performed within two or three days from the inspection request, Sprague added, depending on the availability of the seller or such unforeseen factors as the weather.
For more information see the Road Ready Inspections link on the ClassicCars.com webpage, or at roadreadyinspections.com.