Owning a classic car or truck is like owning your own unique piece of
history with your fondest memories attached.
Millions of people around the world enjoy the thrill of owning a classic
or even building a collection. For many of us, the nostalgia of owning a
classic takes us back to the good old days. From the memories of sitting
a wide bench seat as toddlers to the hot August nights of cruising the
in our teenage years.
Many of our customers have a fond memory of a friend or relative that
share with us while searching for their dream car-
The memory of Grandpa driving us around in his 1950 Ford ¾ ton farm
bouncing over rutted out farm roads after summer rains.
The memories of that 1965 Ford Galaxie convertible- When we’d make a
trip to the ice cream parlor on a hot summer night. Mom and dad in the
bench seat and my three brothers and I in the back seat. We talked
about what flavor we were going to devour when we got to this funky
called Punch Cool Ice Cream Parlor.
The awe of my dad buying his first muscle car, a 1970 Fastback Mustang
then racing it against his brother-in-law’s 1969 Camaro at the local
Going on a date to the drive-in movie theater with my first love- a 1972
Chevy Nova with more rust than paint, but she was all I could afford!
Gawking at the 1979 Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am, wishing I could
it with my minimum wages of $2.65/hr. working as a bus boy in a
The memories with these cars bring so much joy and a genuine smile to so
many of us.
We at Gateway Classic Cars are committed to helping our customers find
dream cars that help take them back to “The Good ol’ Days.” We take
helping our customers find that perfect time machine to help them relive
those fond memories today, in the 21st century.
You can still go to the local ice cream hang out with your beautifully
restored 1965 Mustang Convertible.
Or take that Restomod 1970 Chevelle to a local Cruise.
Or drive around in a ‘34 Ford Streetrod playing ZZ-Top loud enough for
next car stopped at the light to hear your music, see your car and be
envious of your toy.
What memories flood back to you when you slide into that beautiful
vinyl interior? Your childhood? Your adolescent years? Your honeymoon?
While you may already be dreaming of owning a classic, there are several
important factors to consider.
Owning a classic car is like owning a historic home- they are beautiful
command attention and respect, but like that turn-of-the-century
home, classic cars have their own ownership quirks that you should be
of, especially if you are a first-time buyer.
Making educated decisions now will not only enhance your buying
but will add to your long-term enjoyment of owning a classic car. The
informed you are about your dream car, the better your purchase
In nearly 20 years of helping to connect people with their dream
automobiles, I’ve seen nearly everything there is to see in this
I’m happy to share my experiences with you to help you maximize the joy
classic car ownership. From my own personal experience, here is my
you- the Do's and Don'ts of owning a classic car:
As I mentioned above, Classic Cars are like older homes and require more
upkeep than modern ones. Unless you are an advanced automotive restorer
master mechanic, you’ll be ahead financially by purchasing a classic
has already been restored to a high level. Alternatively, if collecting
your passion, you may be seeking a car in excellent original condition.
This article is for those who want to own a classic car for the simple
pleasure of owning and enjoying the car- not restoring it.
There is a totally different group of classic car enthusiasts who love
restoring cars. These guys Eat, Sleep, and Breathe 103 octane race fuel
NOS parts. You, on the other hand, would like to own, drive and show off
these beautiful time machines, without the bruised knuckles, greasy
fingernails and headaches associated with a full restoration.
Buying one restored will put you several thousand $$$ ahead and help
frustration over the years. Having said that, I also want to point out
there is no such thing as a completely restored car. I have never seen a
with every flaw or imperfection removed in the restoration.
substantially restored cars will give you the best opportunity to enjoy
while performing simple routine maintenance with a minimum amount of
Furthermore, there is no such thing as a “perfect” classic car. Flaws
inherent in any man-made machine, and cars costing upwards of $1 million
more) are no different. That's the nature of a classic, and part of what
makes each vehicle as unique as the people who own them.
It is important to note that even the highest-level restoration will
require routine maintenance and will not be as reliable as a modern era
computer-controlled vehicle. These vintage classic cars and trucks were
built in a time and era when machines were simply not as advanced as
are today. They required additional maintenance when new, and they were
prone to mechanical failure than the cars and trucks of today.
For example; I watched a $3.5 Million Duesenberg break down while being
brought to the auction floor. The radiator hose sprung a leak. Not an
expensive or complex repair, and certainly not a surprise on an 80+ year
car. It was simply taken back and brought out the next day with the
fixed (and sold for $3+ Million).
Buying a well restored car and taking good care of it will be the key to
your happiness and help you enjoy your investment. It will also help
that your car retains its value into the future.
Let’s start off with the “Don’ts” and get those out of the way:
1. Don’t buy a classic car or truck to take to work every day, run your
errands in, and to be your primary driver. Unless you live 5-miles or
from work and the sun shines every day in your state, while the temps
reach into the 90s or fall below 60F, ALL within a dry climate, it is
good idea to rely on a classic car as your primary source of
2. Don’t take old cars on long distance trips unless you know the car
and out, are mechanically inclined, have a tool box full of necessary
and don’t mind being stranded miles from the next human population.
for classic cars are readily available online, but not so readily
in your local auto parts store. You can order just about any part online
today and it will arrive in a few days. No problem if your car is in
garage or at your mechanic’s shop. However, on a long road trip, you may
stuck in a budget hotel watching re-runs on a local TV station for the
few days. A malfunction 10-miles from home is far less stressful and
than your classic breaking down 400-miles from home.
3. Unless you’re buying a classic within 50 miles of your home, please
buy a classic car and then drive off into the sunset for the same
stated above- We highly recommend getting the car shipped to your
destination, avoiding the risks of driving the car the first time and
yet being familiar with its mechanical and driving capabilities.
Enough of the Don'ts for now- Let's talk about the things you should
strongly consider before owning a classic!
1. Know your budget. Classic cars can be bought with cash or can be
financed. Know what you can afford if you want to finance. Unlike new
that decrease in value as you drive off the lot, classic cars are
to hold their value well into the future. Some will even rise in value
the years to give you a sizeable return on your investment while
the pleasure of ownership.
We at GCC can help you in determining the best financial options and
several financing sources. We can get you pre-approved in a matter of
minutes and take care of all the paperwork while you get to know your
2. Know the car's make and model you want, and educate yourself on the
strengths, weaknesses and usefulness of that model. For example, a 1965
Cobra Replica has no top or windows. It’s best for short local drives on
nice sunny day. This car cannot be locked or secured, which makes these
beautiful roadsters an unfortunate choice for a long-distance getaway.
Educating yourself about the car is the best way to maximize your
3. Work the budget in such a way that provides you with the best quality
for your money. Meaning buy the most mechanically sound restored vehicle
your budget allows- Mechanical condition should be your top priority
choosing your favorite year, make, and model.
4. Know the value of your car - Classic cars and trucks have a wide
values. The largest single factor is the current condition of the car.
most recent and best restoration will bring the highest value. Rarity,
demand and options on the car will make a significant difference in its
value as well. A 1970 Plymouth Road Runner with a 318 engine may be
$25,000 with a 5 to 7 year-old restoration. It's nearest cousin, a
Superbird with a 426 Hemi engine with fresh restoration and low
original miles could be worth $750,000 in today's market- Knowledge is
5. Buy only from a private seller if you are mechanically savvy and can
fully inspect the car and can understand where the flaws are. We
viewing any car in person before making a purchase. Ask for independent
inspection wherever possible- An experienced inspector can be very
as is buying from a dealer with years of experience and a good
The majority of classic and collector cars are offered for sale by
on a national and global basis. We at Gateway Classic Cars sell and ship
of our cars to long-distance buyers. Of those cars, over ten percent
their new homes overseas. We will gladly help you import your next
if you are an overseas customer. Our Customs and Clearing Agent partners
make importing a car as easy as buying domestically.
6. Use a trusted transportation company that will protect your car
transit and get it to you safely. Paying a bit extra for a quality
is a wise move (this is not a wise place to try to save a few dollars).
7. Insurance is very affordable on these cars. Assuming you drive for
pleasure, the cost to insure is just a few hundred dollars per year. Get
full coverage insurance from a trusted classic car insurer.
8. Register your car when it gets to you. Driving unregistered cars is
9. Pay your taxes on time. No one likes paying taxes. However, paying
taxes will keep you on the right side of the law.
10. When you first get your classic, have the oil changed right away.
classics are not driven regularly. A fresh oil change ensures you are
driving on 2-year old oil. Change the oil every year-even if you have
driven the car a few hundred miles the summer before- this critical step
ensures that contaminants and moisture trapped in old oil aren’t
impacting the life of your engine. Additionally, always put a liner or
pan underneath your car. Old cars are notorious for oil drips, even the
that are freshly restored.
What are you waiting for, let’s drive this beauty!
Take it easy on your first few drives and get to know the car.
Don’t abuse your new classic! Many freshly restored cars have engines
are not broken in yet (remember breaking in your engine from days past?)
rodding can seriously damage a rare and potentially expensive
These classics don’t handle like todays vehicles! Carving corners in
classic will quickly make you realize that these cars were not built
the cars of today. You don’t want to end up in a ditch on your first
Old cars are not equipped with the safety features of modern vehicles-
Forget traction control- seat belts didn’t show up until the mid 1970’s!
Front air bags? Not a chance!
Go for nice drives for the summer and enjoy your machine. Take your
and your family to a winery, a cruise-in, or that ice cream parlor where
saw all those classics last Friday night. Join a classic car club. Clubs
active in the community and do a lot of fun events. This is a great way
meet other car enthusiasts like yourself.
We want you to enjoy your classic car experience for many years to come.
Should you ever decide you’d like to trade up to a different model, or
looking into adding another classic to your collection, we would love to
talk to you.
Throughout our 20 years in business we have developed friendships and
with many of our customers. These relationships allow us to serve those
customers when they decide to upgrade or add to their collection. It is
always a compliment to hear from a customer from Australia that he is
his 11th car from us and adding to his collection.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing a familiar face from years past pop
into one of our showrooms to show off his classic. The most recent
is that of a customer and his 1947 Chevy truck- The one he bought from
years ago and has been making his own memories in since driving it home
our very first showroom!
As Fats Domino sings the song: Kansas City, here I come:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mypHZmXdU3o, we are preparing to open
18th showroom in January in the Kansas City market in Olathe, KS!
This showroom, like our other 17 showrooms, will feature some of the
classic and exotic automobiles from the area. Plans are to house about
125-privately owned classics and exotics and market them to our
For more information, please contact our marketing team at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or in early 2019 when we open our doors
Gateway Classic Cars of Kansas City
Gateway Classic Cars, first opened its doors on February 8th, 1999. In
we celebrate our 20th anniversary. Our first 20 years has taken us from
humble beginnings in an old department store outside of downtown St.
to 18 markets nationwide. As of this writing, GCC features nearly 3,000
classics and exotics valued at over $80-Million in our inventory across
country. As we celebrate this milestone and our journey forward, we want
thank all of our friends and patrons who continue to support us by
and selling these timeless classics and exotics over the years. We hope
share our journey with you too. We would love nothing more than to help
begin making your own classic memories over the next 20 years.