5 Reasons to Buy a Classic Car

There’s something eminently cool about driving a classic car. It means you stand out from the crowd and it’s a great conversation starter.

Yes, you may need to take more care of your vehicle and there might be some immediate repairs that have to be carried out at your local
garage, but there are a lot of different options out there which make owning a classic possible for practically everyone.

Whether you’d love to drive a classy MG or have set your heart on a more gentle Morris Minor or even something older, you can often find vintage vehicles for sale online at very reasonable prices. These have often been well looked after and hardly need any work doing them at all.

Here we look at 5 great reasons why you might want to go down this route rather than buy a brand new vehicle.

1. The Cost

If you want to buy a new car nowadays, it can certainly cost a lot and put pressure on your finances. The most popular option is to take out a loan. You pay a sizeable deposit first (anywhere between £500 and £1,000 depending on the car) and then a monthly amount for several years until everything is paid off.

The average cost of a new car is between £12,000 and £17,000 so it’s a big investment if you’re buying your first vehicle and have limited finances. What’s more, new cars tend to lower in value over time and more quickly than most of us think.

In contrast, you’ll probably pay much less if you are buying a classic car. A lot, of course, depends on the car that you are choosing. If it requires a good deal of restoration work, you are going to have to fork out for those garage bills. But many classics are in excellent condition and available for sale online. You just need to do your homework and due diligence before you part with your cash and there are some great deals out there.

2. Classic Cars Can Increase in Value

Like most antiques, the value of your classic car is likely to increase with age as long as you look after it properly. It’s also worth considering older models (perhaps made 10 to 15 years ago) that are likely to fall into the classic category at some point in time.

There are several things to consider if you want to own a car that is going to appreciate over time.

For example, you should make sure that it has most of the original fittings and parts as possible. Check the mileage too – the lower this is the more value you are likely to find it increasing by over the years. Certain brands appreciate more than others but they cost more – if you’re looking for a good investment, however, it’s worth checking out makes such as Jaguar, Mercedes and MGs.

3. You Get a Better Drive

Okay, this might be a personal opinion but there’s nothing better than getting in a classic car and hitting the road. Of course, you won’t have the techy ABS and state of the art air conditioning but you have all the style and panache that you need.

Let’s face it, driving a modern car can be pretty boring – you have no such problem with a classic. They’re certainly more challenging and rewarding to drive. And you’ll certainly get noticed.

4. You Get to Learn About How the Engine Works

Owning a classic car is more than just about the look and feel of a particular vehicle. Owners are generally engine fanatics and take great pride in learning how everything works.

Classic car engines are certainly less complex than modern vehicles but you can spend hours tinkering away to your heart’s content. If you like getting your hands dirty and learning new things, a classic is a great choice.

5. You Don’t Need an MOT

This might sound counter-intuitive for an older car but, if it was built more than 40 years ago you don’t need an annual MOT. This applies as long as the vehicle has not been substantially changed during its lifetime.

You do have a responsibility, however, to ensure that your car is properly serviced and is roadworthy – you could be still stopped and fined if there is found to be a fault that is considered dangerous. But you don’t have to fork out for that MOT every year.

Of course, owning a classic car takes some level of commitment on your part. A lot will depend on how often you want to drive it and the age of the vehicle you choose. If you are looking for a cheaper buy than a new, modern car, however, there are plenty of options out there. Our advice is to do your research and make sure you get the vehicle checked over by a qualified mechanic before you buy.

At White’s Bodyworks, we’ve got decades of experience of dealing with classic cars of all makes and ages. If you are planning to buy a vintage vehicle, contact our expert team for some friendly advice.

6 Best Motorcycles to Restore

Just like classic cars, vintage motorcycles are highly treasured by their owners. You may have a particular model or make that you have an affinity for or perhaps you want to buy a classic bike that will increase in value as an investment.

At White’s Bodyworks, we’ve got almost 30 years of experience repairing and restoring classic motorbikes of all kinds. If you’re thinking of buying one, either as an investment or a labour of love, here are our 6 favourites that you might like to consider.

Some may be out of your price range, but if you’re looking to restore a classic motorbike, part of the fun is dreaming of what could be.

1. 1937 Brough Superior SS100

Even by classic car standards, this is a very rare bike and you’ll be lucky to find one in working order. There are thought to be only 71 dotted around in various locations across the globe.

It’s age and design mean you’ll have to part with some serious cash if you do manage to discover this little gem somewhere. One model recently up for auction at Sotheby’s had a list price of between €180,000 and €250,000. Find one hidden away in a garage somewhere that requires serious restoration and you could end up earning a tidy profit once it’s back on the road.

2. 1962 Norton Manx

Norton is synonymous with classic bikes and it’s one of the most popular models to buy for the dedicated enthusiast. Speed and reliability are probably the main calling cards of this superb bike. This model was the last Manx produced by the company as by this time they were suffering from competition in the marketplace and low sales.

While not as rare as the Brough, you will need a fair bit of financing to afford one in relatively pristine condition. At a recent auction in Stafford, one fetched £33,000.

3. 1974 Ducati 750SS

Ducati is another big name in classic motorbikes and this 1974 version is probably the epitome of Italian racing. Its distinctive style and design make it a highly sought after bike which has been known to fetch up to £100,000 at auction, depending on provenance.

4. Triumph Bonneville T120

No list of classic motorbikes would be complete without a Triumph or two. Often thought of as the motorbikers motorbike, the Bonneville was in production between 1959 and 1975.

It’s a great bike to ride and there are still quite a few on the road today if you keep your eyes open. Expect to pay around £10,000 to £11,000 at auction for a bike in reasonably good condition.

5. 1969 Honda CB750

If you’re looking for a mid-range motorbike with a fair amount of pedigree, you can’t go wrong with a Honda. This 1969 model is still seen on the roads today but the rarer ‘sand cast’ is probably the most valuable. These are the bikes that were produced using sand-casting for the crankcases before new processes came in. A rare prototype of the bike sold in America recently for more than $200,000.

6. 1955 Moto Guzzi V8

If you’re searching for a classic motorbike that looks out of the ordinary, this one is certainly well worth your attention. At the time it was designed, the V8 was considered one of the most advanced racing bikes in the world. Today, its slightly odd shape might put some enthusiasts off as could the estimated auction price over $300,000.

Over the last 27 years or so, we’ve seen many, many vintage motorbikes come to our garage in West Sussex. We recently had this amazing Moto Guzzi 750 Ambassador in for repairs which made our team purr with delight.

If you have a passion for classic motorbikes and want a partner you can trust, contact the team at White’s Bodyworks on 01273 933633.

How Hard is it To Restore a Classic Car?

At White’s Bodyworks in West Sussex, we’ve made a name for ourselves helping enthusiasts rebuild, restore and repair classic cars of all varieties.
There’s no doubt that restoring a classic car is a labour of love and it takes a special kind of person. But is it hard work?

Well, that all depends on the condition of the car, what parts need replacing or sourcing and what kind of skillset that you have. It all depends on why you are renovating a vintage vehicle in the first place.

Is a Classic Car Right for You?

The first thing you need to think about is whether this is a good idea or not. The team at White’s Bodyworks are often seen at local classic car meets and there are always a few people there who love the look of a vintage vehicle and start to consider whether they should restore one

  • A classic car is not just a hobby, it’s a long-term commitment. You have to be prepared to not only hunt for the right car to restore but put the hours and the money into doing getting it back on the road.
  • It can take as many as a thousand hours to restore a classic back to its former glory. You may have to spend a lot of time hunting for rare parts and you will need a certain amount of funds available. You’ll also need plenty of patience.

Choosing Your Classic Car

If this doesn’t daunt you, the next step is finding your classic car. You have two choices here: buy one that has been restored already or pick a doer-upper. Of course, there are varying degrees of restoration. If your classic car just needs work on the body and a tweak to the engine, it’s not a lot of effort.

If it requires more, however, you’re going to have to ask if it is worthwhile.

The people who go for major classic car restorations are usually those with some mechanical skill, a place where they can strip their car down and a real passion for vintage vehicles. Classic car restoration takes a lot of patience, so if that’s in short supply you may want to think twice and choose a model that only has a few things wrong with it.

5 Things to Consider Before Restoring a Classic Car

  • How much are you going to spend? The trouble with any restoration is that the budget can quickly get out of control. That’s why it’s important to assess your purchase and form a realistic budget for repairs and restorations. You’re never going to get this completely right but make sure the budget you set is manageable and leaves some leeway for unforeseen circumstances.
  • Where are you going to restore it? You need a garage to house your classic car while you restore it. This can be a big stumbling block if you don’t have the facilities though you can rent space. It’s worth joining a local classic car club, as you’ll be able to get plenty of advice from people who’ve been through it all before.
  • What are your skills? Yes, you can learn new skills as you go along and, if you have a mechanical bent, this will probably be quite useful and enjoyable. Be realistic, however, about what you can achieve and where you might need a little help.
  • What equipment do you need? At some point, you may well need some specialist equipment. For example, if you have to get the engine block out you will need some kind of heavy-duty winch or crane. You will need a decent, high-quality set of hand tools, maybe welding equipment and an air compressor to start with and it’s a good idea to get the very best you can afford.
  • Do you need a specialist classic car garage? It’s possible to learn as you go when it comes to classic cars but it’s difficult. Having the backup of a specialist garage means you can easily call on them when you have a job that you can’t handle. Many classic car enthusiasts want to do as much of the work themselves as they can. But they’re realistic enough to know when they need help.

Finding a Garage in Sussex That Specialises in Classic Car Renovation

If you are undertaking a major restoration, it’s important to look for a local garage that has some experience of classic cars. Ideally, you want someone that shares your passion and is willing to take on those jobs you can’t handle and at a price you can afford.

At White’s Bodyworks in West Sussex, we’ve got nearly 30 years’ experience handling a wide range of classic cars, helping with everything from stripping and repairing engines, mending bodywork and sourcing rare parts.

If you’d like to find out how we can support your classic car restoration, contact our team today.

01273 933633 / repairs@whitesbodyworks.co.uk
Unit 23, Firsland Park Estate, Henfield Road, Albourne, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9JJ