Buying a classic car is an act of commitment, whilst they are fun to drive, they are entirely different to modern day vehicles but owners often prefer to buy “barn finds” - cars which have been abandoned and forgotten about in barns, garages and yards across America – because they want to experience the satisfaction of overseeing a full restoration followed by the thrill of driving an exceptional and unusual car. Often the climate of the State in which a car is found is indicative of the level of deterioration one finds it in. eBay is a great source of classic cars, pick-up trucks and motorcycles, it is easy to use and good sellers are easy to spot because they provide many photographs and always include the vehicle’s rust and other defects; a full description of the specification should also be included on the seller’s webpage. Sellers in America must have clear title for the car which they are selling, it is technically illegal to sell a car without clear title. Tornado tend to use the same UK shipping agent who will handle all documentation, customs clearance as well as haulage and shipping from collection in America to final delivery in England; we also have a colleague in North Carolina who can organise inland transportation and transatlantic shipping on our behalf. I have decades of experience with American classics, my knowledge stems from my passion for the subject as well as many years of classic car restoration, if potential clients require my advice it will be given freely providing the work is coming to Tornado. It should be remembered that certain models are intrinsically more valuable, therefore more collectible, than others and this is also an area where my knowledge is comprehensive.
Written by Mike Sargeant
Mike Sargeant, owner of Tornado Automotive, is a professional car restorer and mechanic specialising in classic Amercian vehicles based in High Wycombe, United Kingdom. See company page for more.