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Fuzz Townshend’s Guide to Buying a Classic Car


There are a few things that a person intent on buying a classic car should consider before taking the leap into ownership. This approach is not always the fun way to acquire an ageing collection of potentially mobile metal, plastic and rubber – yes, that adrenaline-fuelled pressing of an instant purchase button last thing on a Friday evening is certainly packed full of dreamy excitement – but often that’s not reality for many. 

Your newly-bought classic car is definitely going to need maintenance. It will break down, and it will wear out, but it’s far better to find one which isn’t imminently on the brink of any of these, as it will spoil those first ‘skipping through the fields’ moments of this great new love affair.

Of course, there may be those reading this who will scoff at such lily-livered advice, for they are the tough nuts of the classic car world and they are going to buy a project car. But there are perils to be had here as well, perils that will lead to muttering into ancient cardboard boxes, as out is pulled a ‘Mark One’ part for the recently bought ‘Mark Two’.

My first and probably most important tip is to join the club which best represents your car. Make your presence known to its members via the forum, or perhaps at club meets and have a listen to some of the sound advice available to you. Perhaps these club members might not be ‘your type’, but it’s likely that they have greater knowledge of the type of mistake that you may be about to make and steer you away from it.

Club members will often know of cars for sale and have a good handle on their condition, having known a vehicle’s history and perhaps of the vendor’s fastidious maintenance regime, or cataloguing of parts.

Clubs will often also be the best source of spares and data for the car of your dreams, although they will ultimately try to flog you an ill-fitting polo shirt and an unflattering baseball cap. But they might also be able to arrange for one of their technical experts – probably wearing the aforementioned – to accompany you on your purchase recce, although there may be a cost implication here.

There you have it, it’s simple really. Listen to good advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Ah yes, I’ve only proffered one tip, but I have only two in total. The second is to follow your dream; it is better to have loved and lost (a few quid), then never to have loved at all.

Happy car-hunting, all.Just started out on your hunt for the perfect classic car? For some inspiration, check out my personal collection in this video.

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Tyre Size Guide

The normal width of the tyre
The aspect ratio, this mark represents the height of the tyre sidewall
The diameter of the tyres inner rim in inches
Load capacity of the tyre
The maximum speed for this tyre at full load