Most dads remember when life changed forever after becoming one themselves. It reminds us of the adventures and even struggles of fatherhood your own father went through to raise you to be an upstanding adult. 

Most dads remember when life changed forever after becoming one themselves.

A lot of times, there are sacrifices. One of them can be parting with their beloved dream car  to “buy something more responsible” that can fit a family.  Or maybe passing up a chance to own something pop always wanted to make sure you were growing up the happiest you could be, go to college, and have food on the table. Whatever the reason, your dad probably has only posters, pictures, or maybe  even a model of the car of their dreams at home.

So, if you’re like many grateful parents wanting to give back and contemplating buying dad his dream car, you’re not merely giving a vehicle. You’re giving an experience, a journey back in time. And maybe if you found his exact car, that could be even more of an emotional trip back to the past.. Let’s explore how you can find that classic car for them, and be absolutely sure it is a quality purchase that will make the most of your budget.

Broaden Your Search Horizons

If you are looking for a car just like the one Dad had, or even his exact old one, you can’t expect to just keep the search local. It’s a simple supply-demand principle. Some parts of the country may have a higher demand for classic cars, thus driving up the prices and even bringing them out of their original homes in another state. 

If you’re willing to look beyond your immediate vicinity, you can often find better deals and more cars like the one he wants.. With modern search tools you can have the car delivered right to your doorstep, often at a cost less than what a dealer might charge for shipping.

black muscle car driving over cable bridge

Top Classic Car Websites and How to Use Them

There’s no shortage of online platforms dedicated to classic cars. Here’s a list of some of the best:

Hemmings: Often referred to as the “bible” of the classic car world, Hemmings is a marketplace that features listings from private sellers and dealers. The advanced search feature lets you filter by make, model, year, price, and location.

Classic Cars: This site offers thousands of listings and an easy-to-use search tool. With Classic Cars you can also sign up for alerts, so you’re notified when a particular model becomes available.

Autotrader Classics: A branch of the well-known Autotrader Classics, this platform focuses exclusively on vintage and classic cars. Their detailed search allows you to hunt down the exact specs and era Dad is passionate about.

When searching these sites, use filters and set alerts for specific models or makes dad loves. This way, you get real-time updates, giving you an edge over other potential buyers.

Inspecting for Quality

It’s crucial to ensure the car is in good condition, especially concerning rust, which can be a silent killer for classic cars. Here’s how:

Check the Vehicle History:

Websites like Carfax or AutoCheck can provide reports detailing any previous accidents or issues. With classics, at times before the 90’s, data can be scarce, but it’s worth the effort.

Get a Pre-purchase Inspection: 

Consider hiring a professional, especially one who specializes in inspecting classic cars, to do an inspection.

Look for Rust: 

Before anything, do the obvious. Look for rust issues. Critical areas include the car’s underside, wheel arches, door bottoms, and trunk. If possible, always view the car in person or have someone trusted do it on your behalf.

Saving Money on Shipping

Shipping can be a substantial added cost when buying a car from another part of the country. However, using professionals like NX Auto Transport, can prove cost-effective compared to dealer shipping or traveling to get it yourself.

Use Enclosed Transport:

After all the effort put into finding the perfect car, the last thing you’d want is for it to get damaged during transport. Enclosed transport options make sure the vehicle remains shielded from external elements. This protection is particularly crucial for classic cars that might be susceptible to damage.

Advanced: Finding the Car Dad Sold!

Wow, having the exact care he once owned may even bring bigger tears to his eyes!

Imagine the joy and surprise on his face if you could track it down and perhaps even buy it back. While the task may seem daunting, with persistence, some detective work, and the right tools, it’s possible to find that long-lost vehicle. But how?

Gather All Information

Start by collecting as much information as possible:

VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): 

This is the most crucial piece of information. If Dad kept old paperwork or pictures, the VIN might be on them.

Make, Model, and Year: 

Even if you don’t have the VIN, knowing the car’s specifics can help narrow down the search.

Past Owners and Locations: Any previous addresses or the last known location of the car can be beneficial.

Use the Gathered Information to Your Advantage

Check Online Databases: 

Websites like we mentioned earlier, such as Carfax or AutoCheck, can provide a trail of the car’s history, including ownership changes and locations.

DMV Records: 

Some states in the U.S. may provide information based on VIN searches. There might be fees involved, and due to privacy laws, they may not provide the current owner’s details but might share the car’s current location or state.

Join Online Forums and Communities:

There are many car enthusiast forums and communities dedicated to specific makes and models. .

Post About the Car: 

Share the story, make, model, and year, and ask if anyone has seen it or knows its whereabouts.

Network: Interact with long-time members who might have knowledge or connections that could assist in your search.

Social Media is Your Friend:

Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) are filled with car enthusiasts:

Use Hashtags

Search using relevant hashtags related to the car’s make and model.

Join Groups: Facebook groups are an incredible asset to your search.. Share the story and ask members if they’ve seen the vehicle.

Private Investigators

If all else fails and you’re genuinely committed, consider hiring a private investigator. They have tools and resources not available to the public and can often dig deeper. However, be sure to discuss the scope of their work, ensure they operate within legal limits, and understand the associated costs.

Contacting Current Owners

If you manage to track down the current owner, approach with tact and respect!

Express Genuine Interest: Start by explaining the emotional connection and history with the car.

Be Respectful: Understand that they might have an attachment to the vehicle. It’s crucial to approach the conversation without any sense of entitlement.

Offer Compensation: If your goal is to buy back the car, be prepared to offer a fair price. Also be prepared to have little room to negotiate. Even if you manage to pull those heartstrings, money talks. Remember, the car’s value might be appreciated, especially if it’s a classic and the exact car!.

Wrapping Up

Finding dad his dream car isn’t just about the destination—it’s about the journey. It’s about the hours spent researching, the excitement of finally locating the right match, and the joy of seeing it delivered safely. By broadening your search, utilizing top online platforms, being sure of the car’s quality, leaving no stone unturned, you’ll not only give dad his thought to be a long lost dream car, but also the beautiful story that comes with it that will resonate for years within your family.

, Super Dad Guide: Unveiling Secrets to Finding Pop’s Dream Car, Days of a Domestic Dad