The Car Collector’s Online Compendium
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Car collections come in all shapes and sizes. From collecting only German models made before World War II to collecting the fastest legal performance car from last year’s line-up, fans create their own goals and challenges to suit their lifestyles. Some prefer foreign cars, some like domestic trucks, and some are content with high-quality die-cast models. Whatever your interest or specialty, the Internet is filled with guides and communities to help fuel your passion. The key is finding what sites work for you. Here is a list to begin with:
Antique Cars (20 to 25 Years Old or Older)
- Hemmings: Hemmings has a little of everything. From foreign models to antique and true classic collectibles, it covers the international car collector world with a fascinating blog and multiple feature articles. Join the community, find events, or shop at the Hemmings store…just try not to lose track of the time.
- Classic Cars: This online car marketplace is a highly usable resource for shopping for all kinds of cars. While it is called Classiccars.com, most of the cars for sale fall in the antique range, usually between 1950 and 1980. The site also offers a number of services for financing, inspections, and more.
- Car Show News: This site is excellent for finding shows, auctions, museums, and more. The “Antique and Classic” calendar may be of special interest.
- Classic Car Collector Tips: Again, these tips are most useful for antique cars and those that stray close to the border. The video is on Mustangs, but the information has some general use and is worth a watch.
- Hupcap Cafe: This resource gives you information on clubs, sales, and appraisers. It also includes info on Price Guides and a nifty photo gallery. Use this site as a starting place to access further resources.
Classic Cars (Generally 1925-1948 Models)
- Classic Car Club of America: This is the club responsible for defining a “classic car.” It has a news feed, buyers directory, and options to join in and find local events. If you are ready to start a truly classic collection, start working on your membership today.
- Approved List of Full Classic Cars: Here you can find all brands, all models, arranged in an easy list. For serious collectors that want to add history to their collection, this list is the perfect starting point.
- Nada Guides: Classic Cars: The search function on this site is much-needed. Search by brand, then by year, choosing last “& older” tab. Then move through all created models to learn more about what options exist. Finding a model for sale is more difficult, but at least you know what is out there.
- Old Cars Weekly: Preware Classics: Observe and drool over the many articles about pre-war collective models and restoration projects. For slightly more recent cars, go to the Collector Cars tab and choose your decade for more information. Stop by for frequent updates and news.
- Exotic Car Resource: Newsroom: Start at the newsroom, but remember to move onto the other sections of this site to find more information. The feature pieces on Classic Exotic Features are especially interesting, but every tab is worth at least a few minutes.
- Old Car Online: Exotic, Foreign, Import Cars for Sale: If you want to hurry up and buy something, this list provides potential buys located around the United States, but focused on foreign models. The Resources tab has more information.
- AutoTrader Classics: Exotics: Foreign and exotic cars (essentially, anything across the Atlantic) can be a massive category. AutoTrader Classics shows some of the more recent models from Italy, Germany and other European countries, along with how much they are selling for.
- RS Sports Cars: Nothing antique about this site – if you are looking for the most powerful and most recent performance models, this should be your first stop. Shop by make, look through the forums, and search for events through this high-quality resource.
- Old Cars Weekly: Muscle Cars: Part blog, part news feed, this section offers you information on the more antique side of muscle cars. Read about what models are selling, what restoration projects are showing success, and what the fastest antique cars are like.
- AutoTrade Classics: Modern Performance: Here you can find performance cars, few more than five years old and all boasting turbo and boost qualities that make them unique. Look through the list to get a good summary of current prices, which tend to be higher than most other categories.
- Parts Geek: The Muscle Car Resource: This list is filled with a plethora of online sites on muscle cars, including race info, photos, and communities. Start here, and prepare to spend a lot of time returning and exploring other links.
- Classic Truck Shop: This “shop” is more of a community hub filled with restoration projects, forums, and articles. Shop for parts, find out how to restore properly, and look at the work of other collectors across the United States.
- Legacy Classic Trucks: It can be difficult to find communities and sites oriented around classic trucks. Here is a list to help you get started, especially if you are interested in a particular brand or in restoration projects.
Protection Your Collection: Insurance
- Collector Insurance Guide: This guide goes over the basics of insuring collective cars. Essentially, you have both standard and specialty policies, and specialty policies are best suited for cars you buy for collection purposes. Read the guide to learn more.
- American Collectors Insurance: ACI specializes in all types of collectors insurance. Start here, research their quotes, and collect data before comparing their policies to the collectible policies of more standard companies.
- Fossil Cars: Classic Car Financing: This page offers several different insurance options, not only for classic cars but for all types of collections, including exotic.
DIY for Mechanics and Builders
- Leland West: Restoring Your Classic Car: This brief article is nice, but the links below that go to specific projects and restoration guides are invaluable. Search through them to find articles, instructions, and forums.
- Cars Direct: Muscle Car Restoration: A Beginner’s Guide: Aptly named, this section shows you what tools and resources you need to get started on restoration, not only of muscle cars but nearly any collectible. Read through and make a list.
- The Guild of Automotive Restorers: Sign up for the newsletter and browse the site to see what the guild has to offer. The showrooms are great for inspiration, and the projects section offers key snapshots and advice.
- Dream Garage: Workspace is important, right? So is display space. Get inspiration, ideas, and products from this site, designed for serious car collectors who need some room…or like to dream.
Model Car Collector Guides
- Diecast.org: Links: These links hook you up with multiple websites to visit in search of model car information, ordering, and collectors. The Collectors Resources section is especially helpful for inspiration.
- Collectors Weekly: Vintage Model Cars: While the article is an interesting read, remember to move through the rest of the page to find interviews, galleries, and other resources. Explore the websites at the end to see if they offer any products that interest you.
- Diecast By Mail: This site is simple in its purpose and execution. It offers an easy way to shop for different diecast models, divided by model, size, and type. Shop carefully and compare prices before you buy, but make sure to look around.