Allen always looks for what are known as "numbers-matching" cars: That is, cars where the engine, transmission, and rear axle all link up to the vehicle's VIN number. "True investment cars are going to be numbers-matching cars," he says. How do you know if the numbers add up? Allen says most motors have the last six digits of the VIN number stamped on them, which makes that an easy check. The transmission and rear end are a bit trickier. Usually they'll be stamped with date codes, which you can look up to determine if the dates sync correctly. "It's not a problem [if not everything matches]," says Allen. "It's just not going to bring the bigger money that an all-matching car will. You can never lose if you find an all-numbers-matching car. It's a way safer bet."
Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty Images
Gear of the Year
The best tools, tech, and toys of 2013.
Plus: Lance Armstrong's Downfall
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.