The Intrinsic Cost of Vintage Car Repair in Cincinnati

Terry Robert's 1970 E-Type 01Owning a classic car is living the American dream, until the bill comes due. Vintage cars can often put you between a rock and a hard place. They’ll naturally deteriorate if you drive them, and rust from lack of use if you don’t. They are not exactly an investment that keeps on giving, at least not on the fiscal balance sheet. But they can provide a lot of pleasure, which is its own reward. There’s nothing like driving a classic Malibu with the top down on a sunny spring day with James Brown turned all the way up.

What’s the Difference Between Classic, Vintage & Antique?

Let’s break down how most in the auto industry define a car as classic, vintage or antique. Age is the primary definition driver. And no, modified cars or replicas are not considered classic or antique — though they are pretty cool.

Classic applies to any car over 20 years old. Antique are over 45 years old. The exact definition can vary according to state, insurance companies, and auto clubs.

Generally, if a car was manufactured after 1922 and is over 25 years old, it’s considered a historical vehicle. Any 16 cylinder vehicle made between 1922 is a horseless carriage.

The Classic Car Club of America consider cars between the years 1915 and 1948 to be classic.

But regardless of what you call it — the important thing is the vehicle gives you joy. And if it’s special to you, rest assured your classic automobile is in good hands at European Auto Specialists.

Minimize Repairs by Only Driving Vintage Car on Weekends

Don’t plan on your classic car being your main mode of transportation. Save this beauty for the weekends and special occasions – this is not what you want to take to work. Vintage car repair can be expensive if you drive the car all the time, especially in Cincinnati. And the type of car you own can vary the costs greatly. A V12 engine will be exorbitantly more expensive to maintain when compared to a four cylinder. Generally, the rarer and more exotic the car, the more expensive it will be to maintain.

Make sure you have a well maintained garage to store the vehicle, especially during winter. The storage space needs to not only be dry, but the right temperature. This beauty is your baby. It deserves to be treated extra special. Classic cars need love, especially when it comes to classic car maintenance.

Antique Cars Do Need Driven

That being said, it’s also important to not let your car sit too long, especially if it’s classic or antique. Naturally, you’re not going to want to take it out in inclement weather. But take it for a weekend cruise at the first sign of a nice day. Let the engine breathe a little. Give those European brakes some flex. It helps to get the fluids flowing again.

The Value of Expertise

Can we be honest with you? Restoring and repairing classic and antique cars can be a great hobby. They can also be an incredible value. But you have to know what you’re doing. If you aren’t careful, they can be a bottomless money pit. It’s like Vegas. You have to know when to hold, when to lay your cards down — and when to leave the table.

That’s why it’s so important to have a specialized mechanic that understands vehicle restoration. We can let you know when a restoration job just isn’t worth it. We can save you from betting the farm on a broken down mule. And we can also suggest more affordable approaches that can save you a bundle. Achieve the same performance for less. That’s the beauty of working with a mechanic that truly understands what they’re doing.

The bottom line is if you plan on driving it to at least drive it occasionally. It doesn’t need to be a lot, but a quick half hour drive every week or so can do wonders. Make it a weekend hobby to take it for a spin. Get the whole family involved and have fun! That after all is why you own a classic or antique car. It’s not about practicality — it’s about having fun with cars. Life’s a joy ride. Take it for a spin.

Special cars require specialized work. If you’re classic car is a BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, or Jaguar, you’ll want a technician who specializes in that type of vehicle. We’ve been specializing in European cars since 2001. We understand the specialized care these cars require. We treat it as if it was our own. We live and breathe European cars. We’ll treat it like our own and ensure it maintains its quality. Keep your car looking classic!

Take It from a BMW Technician: Inspect Your Cooling System

Not understanding how your cooling system works in your BMW can easily cost you several thousand dollars in engine replacement. Ask any BMW mechanic. Your cooling system can be your best friend or your worst enemy. For starters, always keep a good eye on your thermostat, especially in hot weather. If the hot temperature gauge should go off, pull over immediately, not when you get to a convenient exit or are just a few miles from home. Driving just another hundred yards could cost you your engine. Have your radiator inspected at least once a year, and that includes all belts and hoses as well. Keeping up on your cooling system can significantly prolong the life of your vehicle.