At Carrot Town Garage, we understand the risk of buying a car without viewing it. There are several things you should consider looking out for when buying any used vehicle. From panel dents to tyres, and electrics to upholstery; at Carrot Town Garage we've got a very long checklist! So, as experts at importing Classic Cars, it's not surprising that customers sometimes come to us for advice when purchasing their own American Classic Car.
We recently had a gentleman called Tom contact us about importing a 2011 Crown Victoria New York Taxi. He had found a suitable car online and had been chatting to the dealer in New York about the car, selecting various options to add such as pay meter's, credit card machine and roof sign.
He had agreed a price with the dealer and contacted Carrot Town Garage to see if we could import the car for him and help him to get it registered here in the UK.
The first thing we suggested was to have our American Classic Car specialist, (who is based in New York) go and see the car on his behalf to inspect it before collection. Tom agreed to this, even though he was entirely confident in what the seller was offering him.
Phillie our Classic Car specialist in New York arrived at the Taxi Depot, to find a giant collection of derelict Taxi's in various states of disrepair, that were spilling out onto the surrounding streets. There was one car which looked like it may have been complete, but also looked like it had not run in years. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, was our Tom's car!
The Classic Car dealer came out and attempted to start the car. Eventually, after a few minutes of cranking over whist smoke poured from under the bonnet (where oil was leaking onto the manifolds), the car fired into life. The engine was misfiring and running really rough though - not what we were expecting.
Bodily this car had been put together using panels from other Classic cars which were full of filler (it's a taxi afterall, so it was going to have had a few knocks). However, rather than refit good panels they had obviously used whatever they could get their hands on. The front wing had a big dent in it and even the colour didn't match. The Taxi's headlights were cracked and broken, and to top it all off, the additional electronic devices that had been ordered were not fitted to the car.
Phillie called us whilst there and also sent us various video's and pictures of the Classic Car. I contacted Tom and broke the bad news; he was obviously very relieved and grateful for the insight, as this American Classic Car purchase could have turned into a very costly mistake had the car arrived here in that condition!
If you're thinking of purchasing an American Classic Car, Carrot Town Garage should always be your first port of call! You can contact us on 01354 552427. If you're considering buying a used Classic Car in the UK you can read the Citizen's Advice full list of tips for buying a second hand car here.