Looking to drop some money on a sweet '68 Mustang that somebody's hawking on Craigslist? It might be a crazy bargain, or it could turn out to be a colossal waste of cash. Unless you know what you're doing, there's just no way to tell.
Jeff Allen knows what he's doing. At Flat 12 Gallery in Lubbock, Texas, Allen and restorer Perry Barndt buy, fix up, and resell classic cars, often for big profits. Now they're bringing their expertise to a car-flipping TV show, 'The Car Chasers,' which premieres on CNBC March 5 at 10 p.m. EST. "The show is not just about cars," says Allen. "It's about the negotiation process and why to invest in what."
We asked Allen for 10 tips that will help you avoid making a terrible mistake when buying a vintage automobile. "Most people want to be able to have fun on the weekends with their car," he says. "But it also has to be an investment that they're going to make money on down the line."
Cars from the 1980s are a good long-term investment.
Allen isn't making any promises, but he predicts that the next trend in classic-car collecting will be now-neglected models from the 'Miami Vice' era. "There's going to be a lot of people who are going to hate what I'm about to say, but I think the next up-and-coming collectible car we'll see in the next five to 10 years is going to be those Eighties performance cars," says Allen. "The 1980s Camaro IROC-Zs, Buick Grand Nationals. Right now they're really affordable, and if you like those cars, then I would definitely recommend buying one. Don't think you're going to be able to turn it around and make all your money next week. That's going to be a five- to 10-year investment."