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How to Find a Used Classic Car

Reference Library Index
Last Reviewed: September 29, 2016

Whether you are looking for a fully restored Hudson or a fender for your Graham, locating discontinued vehicles and parts is rarely easy. The realm is everywhere, from junk yards and old barns to factories and museums. Here are some suggestions to help:

1923 Chevrolet

1923 Chevrolet *

1. Get to know the make and model of vehicle you are after:

  • Subscribe to specialized magazines.
  • Read historical automotive books.
  • Read documents and books on specific makes and models of vehicles.
  • Join car clubs and other appropriate organizations and participate in their events.
  • Get to know the owners of vehicles similar to what you have in mind.
  • Study resources on the Internet.

2. Search the Internet:

  • Search for specific keywords and phrases, such as 'model a ford', 'graham', 'antique cars', etc. Start by making a list of every appropriate combination you can think of and use the 'Advanced' search features to get specific. (Search engines are not case sensitive and different word combinations will get different results.)
  • Use the 'Favorites' feature of your browser to set up a file system to organize your newfound links.
  • Develop a demographic profile of who is likely to have the vehicle and where it's likely to be located.
  • Collect pictures of the vehicle you want.
  • Put together virtual and physical packets of information and pictures describing the make, model, condition and price range of the vehicle you want.
  • Maintain a list of the suitable vehicles you find that includes pictures, contact information and asking price.

Collectible vehicles are a buyer's market.
Take your time and know
the market before proceeding.

3. Search for contacts in companies and organizations:

  • Use the Internet to create a list of historical registries, car clubs, junk yards and other businesses and organizations that might have or help find your vehicle.
  • Prepare an introduction for each location and send your virtual information packet via email. You might also offer a finder's fee.
  • Join appropriate groups and let the members know what you are looking for.
  • Place 'Wanted' ads wherever possible.

4. Search for advertising opportunities:

  • Select newspapers, magazines and other local periodicals that market the type of vehicle you are looking for.
  • Search the classified sections of online periodicals on a regular basis. (Many will have an automated notification feature.)
  • Subscribe to the most promising printed periodicals, or purchase them at news stands.
  • Place 'Wanted' ads in appropriate places.

Search For Your Favorite Vehicle
Enter keywords (Ex: 1919 Ford, black) or filter

5. Project vehicles may be harder to find:

  • Watch for old barns and all but forgotten cars parked under trees. The owners might have what you want.
  • Let the owners of local businesses such as barbershops, garages and parts stores know what you are looking for.
  • Search, and on a regular basis.
  • Use the words like 'recycled' 'reconditioned' and 'remanufactured' in your keyword search.
  • Concentrate on rural areas rather than cities.
  • Prepare and send information packets (with an incentive) to likely people and organizations.

Here is some more information about antique, vintage and classic vehicles. You will find services and resources in our Business Directory.

* Pictures are from ads on and may not be used without the vehicle owner's permission.