Buying your fantasy car doesn't have to be just a dream. People achieve their own auto nirvana every day, often with a lot less cash than you might think. So what does it take to actually own a car that turns heads ands lights up your face with a smile every time you rev it up?
We talked to three auto experts who regularly buy, sell, and work on drool-worthy cars to find out. Buying a dream car requires patience, planning, and, preferably, cold-hard cash. Our experts couldn't stress how important it is to be an educated buyer.
Richard Rawlings stars in Discovery Channel's 'Fast N' Loud,' a show in which he and his colleagues scour Texas for undervalued cars, restore them, and then flip them for a profit. His conquests include everything from a rusty old Ford Galaxie to a Ferrari F40. He says there's no shortage of dream cars just waiting for a good home. But he doesn't necessarily recommend following his buy-and-fix method for most people.
Mike Sarcona owns and operates Classic Cars West, a boutique vintage dealership in the San Francisco Bay Area. His current inventory includes a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 2008 Aston Martin Vantage, and a fully restored 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback.
We also spoke with Laura Fisher of Experience Auto Group, which has Maserati and Ferrari showrooms in New York and New Jersey.
No matter your budget or taste in vehicles, you should follow these seven steps to make sure your car dream doesn't turn into a nightmare.
Involve your significant other.
Buying what's essentially a very expensive toy can cause rifts in some relationships. Sarcona says he loses sales all the time when men go home to talk their purchases over with their wives rather than buying on the spot.
But Fisher believes involving your spouse in the purchasing process and getting her behind the steering wheel can change the dynamic. "Let her drive it! She will love it," says Fisher. "I can tell you that if my husband wanted to buy himself a Maserati, he better damn well let me drive it once in a while." She points out that owning collectible and exotic cars is about much more than just cars. There's a strong community aspect to having one, with special events for like-minded individuals that can be a further lure for potential owners.
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