When you’re thinking about a new addition to your collection, what’s the first thing that you look for? 

Last week, I talked a little about project cars, and we’re covering that topic in the next issue of ACC as well. But that’s got me thinking about buying project cars that aren’t complete basket cases — and when we do that, what sorts of problems are deal-breakers?

Answering this question really gets to the heart of the type of car person you are. I’m more of a mechanical guy, so I’d rather buy a car with a bad engine, no rust and decent paint than one with a solid drivetrain and cosmetic issues. I look for good body and paint — or at least passable body and paint — first, before anything else.  

I’m comfortable building an engine or replacing a transmission, but I don’t have a lot of experience in cosmetic repair, and that’s a skillset that can take years to hone. So for me, that’s an area where I’d rather buy something already done versus doing it myself. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I also know some car people who have the exact opposite sentiment.

How about you? Are there certain problems that will always turn you away from a potential purchase? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

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