Why Working With Specialty Classic Car Lenders Will Make Your Purchase So Much Easier

Have you decided to buy a classic car or collector car? If so, you are probably looking for information on how to finance that purchase. This article will explain how to make the process easier to eliminate the problems many borrowers can face when financing a classic car or collector car purchase.

If there is only one thing you get out of this article, it is that you understand to compare specialty classic car and collector car lenders. Purchasing a classic car is not the same as purchasing your new daily commuter vehicle, and financing through your bank. A typical new car value can easily be determined by looking it up in a price guide, and easily calculated with depreciation due to miles and age. A classic car or collector car is quite different, and the value can be determined by many factors including how rare it is, the options on the vehicle, has it been restored or is it all original parts, etc. A typical lender may not know how to go about properly evaluating the true value, causing problems in the loan process, or making you pay higher interest rates since they don’t understand the true value of the car being purchased.

As is with any loan, it is dependent on your credit score. A score below 600 and you will probably be turned down by any lender. 600 to 700 may be good enough for a loan, but be prepared for higher interest rates. A score above 700 and you will sail through the loan process and receive the best interest rates. Most lenders will require 20% down on the car, so be prepared for this. If the cars value is hard to determine, such as most hot rods and other one of a kind models, 30% down may be required. Knowing this beforehand is important. The last thing you want to do is go through the loan process and fall in love with the car you are ready to buy, only to find that you do not have the initial down payment.

Classic car lenders will not expect you to have the car you want to buy found when you start the loan process. They understand that customers may be looking for a truly rare model or a specific car, option, color, etc. You will not be going to your local car lot to test drive whatever is there. Keeping this in mind, you will probably only have 30 to 60 days after being approved for a loan before you will have to reapply. The length of the loan through a specialty lender can be extended as well. Whereas a typical auto loan will be from 3 to 6 years, a specialty car lender may extend it from 12 to 15 years, depending on the loan amount. Be prepared for higher interest rates the longer the loan is.

You may choose to have your car inspected by a certified collector car inspector before purchasing it. More than likely the lender will also require an inspection before purchase, and they usually require you to choose one of their certified inspectors. Make sure you find what inspectors they suggest before going out on your own finding one, so you do not have to have two inspections. Inspections can be a bit pricey, depending on where the car is and what is being inspected.

When determining the loan amount, do not forget about extra money you may need. If you find the car you want out of state, you will probably want to see the car before purchasing it. There will be travel costs involved with that. If the car is far enough away, or is not in drivable condition, you will need to pay for transportation costs of the vehicle back. Sometimes insurance companies will not let you drive the car too far, even to get it home after the purchase. All this could add up to thousands of dollars, and can usually be rolled into the loan. Check with the lending officer for more details on this if required.

Financing your classic car purchase should not be a painful experience if you shop around with specialty lenders. I am not affiliated with any lender so I will not name any names of lenders to contact, but a simple search online brings up many reputable companies. Visit some classic car forums and ask some questions regarding certain lenders. More than likely someone has dealt with them, and forum members are more than willing to lend a hand to a new classic car owner. A smooth loan process will make the enjoyment of driving around town in your new classic car so much more enjoyable.

Classic Car History – 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray

Specs for 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray

Engine: OHV 90 degree V-8, 327 cid, 396 cid, 427 cid

Construction: Cast-iron block and heads, single cam, pushrods

Compression ratio: 11:1

Induction: Rochester fuel injection or one/two Carter four barrel carbs

Maximum Power: 250-375 bhp (327 cid) 390-435 (427 cid)

Top Speed: 152 mph

0-60 mph: 5.4 sec, 427 cid

Transmission: Four-speed, all syncromesh manual, optional three-speed manual, or Powerglide automatic

Body/Chassis: Steel ladder frame with two door convertible or coupe fiberglass body

Wheels: Five bolt steel (knock off aluminum optional) 6in. x 15in.

Tires: 6.7 in. x 15 in. Firestone Super Sport 170

Brakes: Drums to 1965, then four wheel discs

Front Suspension: Double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar

Rear Suspension: Semi-trailing arms, half shafts and transverse links with transverse leaf spring

Wheelbase: 98 inches

Length: 175.3 inches

Height:49.8 inches

Weight: 3150 lbs

Quarter Mile Performance: 12.8 @112

Fuel Mileage: 9-16 mpg.

Production: 118,964 including 1963-67

Price: $4240 for 1967 Convertible

The 1963-1967 Corvette Sting Ray

The second generation Corvette was the 1963-1967 Sting Ray, not to be confused with the third generation 1968-82 Stingray (1 word). The styling was the expression of many of the styling ideas of new GM styling chief Bill Mitchell. The interior implemented a dual cockpit similar to earlier Corvettes, but updated for the Sting Ray. Starting in 1963 the first hard top coupe was offered, featuring the a two piece rear window design. Bill Mitchell intended for it to form a visual connection with the central raised sections on the hood. The feature was dropped in 1964 because it limited rear visibility. However the 1963 Sting Ray coupe is now the most sought after model of second generation Corvettes.

Like all Corvettes, the Sting Ray’s body is constructed of fiberglass panels mounted on a steel ladder frame. Another new feature was the hidden twin pop-up headlights, which not only added style they aided in aerodynamic efficiency. Other styling cues of the Sting Ray include optional side mounted exhaust, a power bulge on the hood (this was wider for the Corvettes that had the big block engine), and absence of a trunk lid (access is from behind the seats). Additionally the Corvette’s convertible top folds away completely when not in use and is stored beneath a flush fitting fiberglass panel behind the driver. There was also an optional hard top. The different year model Sting Ray’s can often be differentiated by their side vent designs , for instance the 1967 had 5 side vents, the 1965 and 1966 models had triple side vents, the 1963-64 had horizontal double vents.

Sting Rays came in three engine sizes, the 327 cid, the 396 cid and the 427 cid. Horsepower varied between 250 and 435 hp. The 396 engine was only offered in 1965, and dropped in 1966 in favor of the 427. The 1967 L88 427 cid V8 marked the pinnacle of performance for the second generation Corvette. The V8 engines drive the rear wheels through a four-speed manual or a three speed automatic transmission. The Sting Ray also had an alloy clutch housing and alloy-cased gearbox to help with weight reduction and weight distribution. The 1963 Sting Ray was the first Corvette to have an independent suspension. The 1965 was the first to have 4 wheel disc brakes.

The 63 Corvette also had a racing option, the Z-06. The Z-06 was created by Zora Arkus-Duntoz as a purpose built racer. The Z-06 option consisted of a fuel-injected 327 cid V8, 36.5 gallon fuel tank, heavy-duty brakes, heavy-duty suspension, and knock-off wheels. The heavy-duty brakes consisted of drums with sintered metallic linings, power assisted and backed by a dual circuit master cylinder. “Elephant ear” scoops rammed fresh air to the drums and cooling fans spun with the hub.

For 1967, there were four versions of the 427 available. The first version, the L36, cost just $200 more and featured a single four barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression and hydraulic lifters. It was rated at a stout 390 bhp. Next up was the L68 for $305 which featured triple two-barrel Holley carbs (a first for Corvette) and was good for 400 bhp. At the top was the L71 with triple two-barrel Holley carbs, solid lifters, special performance cams, and 11:1 compression which was conservatively rated at 435 bhp. Extremely rare (only 20 were built) was the top of the line L88 for $948 more. The L88 featured new aluminum heads, 12.5:1 compression, and a single Holley four barrel carb rated at 850 cfm that sat on an aluminum intake manifold with a special raised plenum chamber. In addition, you got a transistor ignition and Positraction differential but didn’t get a fan shroud, heater, nor defroster. Chevrolet was reluctant about revealing the engine’s true potential and officially rated at only 430 bhp, but most experts believed that it in fact developed close to 600 bhp! In all, 9,707 big-blocks were built, meaning that 42.31% of all 1967 Corvettes were 427s. Transmission choices were relatively simple. With the L36 and L68, buyers could choose between the wide-ratio ($184) or close-ratio ($184) four-speed manuals, or Powerglide automatic transmission ($194). The L71 came only with the close-ratio four-speed. Rear end gear ratios ranged from 3.08 to 4.11. Other options included side-mounted exhausts at $132, cast aluminum bolt-on wheels at $263 and detachable hardtop for the convertible for $232.

Stats by year:


Production: 21,314

Coupe: 10,594

Z06 Coupe: 199

Convertible: 10,919


327 V8 250 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.

L75 327 V8 300 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

L76 327 V8 340 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 344 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

L84 327 (“fuelie”) V8 360 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 352 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.


327/370: 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.9 seconds.


Production: 22,229

Coupe: 8,304

Convertible: 13,925


327 V8 250 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.

L75 327 V8 300 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

L79 327 V8 350 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

L76 327 V8 365 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.

L84 327 (“fuelie”) V8 375 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm.




Production: 23,652

Coupe: 8,186

Convertible: 15,376


327 V8 250 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.

L75 327 V8 300 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

L79 327 V8 350 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

L76 327 V8 365 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.

L84 327 (“fuelie”) V8 375 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm.

L78 396 V8 425 bhp @ 6400 rpm, 415 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.


396/425: 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.1 seconds @ 103 mph.


Production: 27,720

Coupe: 9,958

Convertible: 17,762


L79 327 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.

L36 427 V8 390 bhp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

L72 427 V8 425 bhp.


427/425: 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14 seconds.


Production: 22,940

Coupe: 14,436

Convertible: 8,504


L79 327 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.

L36 427 V8 390 bhp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

L68 427 V8 400 bhp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

L71 427 V8 435 bhp @ 5800 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

L88 427 V8 430 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.


L88: 1/4 mile in 12.8 seconds @ 112mph.

Skills You Need to Restore a Classic Car

Restoring a classic car can be a scary topic for some people. There are a lot of different types of work that goes into a classic car restoration and most people are not skilled at all of them. When you break the process down into the types of repairs that go into your classic car restoration, it’s easier to come to grips with what you really can or can’t do yourself.

An accounting of your skills can help you decide how much work you can do yourself, and how much of the restoration work you should get done by a professional.

Your classic car restoration can be broken down into a few repair categories.

  • Knowing your car,
  • Mechanical repairs
  • Electrical repairs
  • Interior or upholstery work
  • Sheet metal or rust repair
  • Surface preparation and refinishing
  • Auto body and painting
  • Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Some of these categories are self explanatory. Allow me to clarify the ones that aren’t so obvious.

Knowing your car

Cars have always been available with options like sport trim packages, air conditioning, V8, 6 cylinder, or 4 cylinder engines, and the list goes on. As the car gets on in years, some of these options get removed from the vehicle, replaced with something substandard, or never replaced at all. Option codes and shop manuals are generally available for most American classic cars that detail this information.

Mechanical repairs

This covers a lot of what makes up a car and would be most of the moving parts. You’ll find the engine and transmission will need rebuilding, as well as all the regular maintenance repairs like brakes and suspension, and rebuilding components parts like starters, water pumps, and generators. Other components that rarely get considered are the under dash parts like heater or vent controls, window parts inside the doors, hinges, and latches. I’m only touching on the subject, but you get the idea.

Electrical repairs

Electrical can be the scariest of them all. On an old vehicle the sheathing on the wiring can be dry rotted, and cracked and brittle creating the risk of an electrical short. Switches wear out and even fall apart. On some vehicle where these parts are impossible to find, you’ll need to be creative and improvise by using parts from another vehicle make.

Interior or upholstery work

Cloth, vinyl, leather, threading, and stuffing or padding materials all dry rot over time and need to be replaced. Colors fade really bad as well.

Sheet metal or rust repair

Any metal made with iron will rust, even aluminum will oxidize and even disintegrate under the right conditions. The body sheet metal will need to be replaced or patched. This means knowing how to work with sheet metal, how to weld, and even how to shape metal.

Surface preparation and refinishing

Other than the exterior of the car body, there is a lot of sheet metal surface that will need to be stripped of old paint and surface rust, then prepared so it won’t rust anymore, then painted again. This includes the car frame, suspension parts, differential, fasteners and more.

Auto body and painting

Aside from the sheet metal work the exterior of the car body will need to be smoothed and painted. This is an enormous amount of work which is why it can be so expensive.

Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Classic car trim and molding was made mostly from metals. There are steel chrome plated parts, chrome plated pot metal parts, aluminum, stainless steel and even brass or copper. until recently, some parts can’t be fixed and re-plated, pot metal is on of those. In extreme cases, you’ll need to weld new metal into your trim or moldings, grind and sand them down, polish them and get them ready for re-plating.

That’s a lot to know how to do.

Luckily there are some really good how-to DVD’s available that cover all these topics. Even still you might want to specialize in only 2 or 3 of these skills, and get a professional to do the others.

Learning how to do something like this can be entertaining. Even you if you don’t plan on doing some of this work yourself, you’ll want to know how the work is done so you can recognize a job well done.