How to purchase and care for a classic car

58 Chevloret - PD

58 Chevloret - PD - Credit: Archant

Driving and maintaining a car are just part of the fun. But there are a number of steps you must take to ensure you car remains in peak condition.

1966-Jaguar-S-type (c) Jolox wiki commons

1966-Jaguar-S-type (c) Jolox wiki commons - Credit: Archant

Buying a classic car or high-performance sports vehicle is a big decision and there’s a lot to consider. The market fluctuates, and fashions change, meaning you have to be in the know to get a good return on your investment. And, just like other financial investments, if they are not looked after properly, they will begin to deteriorate.

Graham Cox, founder and owner of Ernigrip Motors has an outstanding reputation for his engineering skills and you will often see his name in many national publications. Graham is also a keen motorcyclist and he can be found on track days across the UK.

Ernigrip have recently launched a classic and performance car purchase and support program that allows you to own and have a fully maintained classic or performance vehicle in your garage. “This has become very popular with many of our clients here in the Cotswolds,” says Graham. “Many of our customers require support at auctions or simply when purchasing a vehicle. This service is tailored for individuals who wish to buy a classic or performance vehicle but find the whole process daunting.”

72 Volkswagen - PD

72 Volkswagen - PD - Credit: Archant

Here are the main things to consider when it comes to classic cars:


When buying a classic car, it’s important to look for the best possible condition. Don’t rush into a purchase, no matter how much you fall in love with the vehicle. You must keep a cool head and look for any signs of damage, or poor quality restoration.

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A test drive is also essential, as it can help spot any worrying engine sounds or underlying problems. As with any vehicle purchase, you should also look for a full service history and minimum mileage and previous owners.

Classic British sports cars are among the most sought after vehicles, with a 1960s Aston Martin fetching prices of up to £600,000.

But James Knight, head of Bonhams’ motoring department, points out that the classic car market is not exclusively for the very wealthy. Many sports cars from the 1980s and 1990s have gone through their depreciation, so now is the ideal time to buy. He points to models such as the Audi Quattro, or Porsche 911 (Source:


Nobody likes to deal with insurance but it is an even more important consideration if you own a classic car. Most of the larger insurance companies have divisions or clauses which relate specifically to these types of vehicle. Or there are even some companies which deal exclusively with classic cars. When you’re making such a large investment, it’s important to ensure your car is protected with the correct type of insurance.


A garage space is essential for classic cars – not just to deter burglars, but because most insurance companies will specify that the car must be stored off-street. Not only that, but having a garage will protect your car from the elements, and help prevent premature damage or rusting.

If you do not already have a garage at your home, then this is something to think about, because rented lock-ups can prove very costly. If you have no choice but to store your vehicle outdoors, then you will need a heavy cover to protect it.


It’s important that you regularly drive your vehicle, as keeping it locked away in a garage can lead to serious deterioration. Even taking your car out for a spin once a month is sufficient, but really, why wouldn’t you want to drive it more?!


Regular cleaning is an important part of the maintenance for a classic car to ensure that the paintwork remains in top condition. Ideally, you should wash the body and undercarriage, then apply a coat of wax. The interior will also need regular attention.

Servicing and Maintenance

With classic cars, it’s vital that you perform regular maintenance checks, such as topping up the engine oil and monitoring tyre pressure. Regular servicing is also a must with older cars requiring servicing every few thousand miles. It’s important that you take your vehicle to a specialist garage who are experienced in dealing with vintage cars and restorations, as poor quality work will seriously reduce the value of your car. Bear in mind that parts for older models can be extremely rare and expensive, so it’s important that you do everything you can to keep your car in proper working order.

About Ernigrip Motors

Ernigrip Motors are a fully independent and family run MOT, Service, Sales & Repair centre, which operates two sites in Oxfordshire, located in the heart of the Cotswolds. They offer a full range of services for all makes and models of cars, motorcycles, vans, equine vehicles and motor homes.

They focus on delivering high levels of customer service to all customers no matter vehicle they drive. They cater to individuals who require a personal service on all purchasing, repair and servicing whether they drive a Porsche or more mainstream vehicles.

Although they can offer service and maintenance packages to suit all vehicles, one of their strongest points is many years experience of working on specialist vehicles such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, Porsche, Ferrari and many other prestige brands. All staff members are trained to the highest level via a variety of training schemes with a BOSCH master tech among the workforce.

Graham says:

“No matter what you ride or drive you will receive the same level of care at all times, we pride ourselves on having a friendly approach to your motoring needs.”

Whether you own a classic car or a modest everyday vehicle, Ernigrip welcome you to discuss your motoring needs.

01608 677836

For more on Ernigrip Motors, read about their advice on essential maintenance checks here.

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