Vintage Wheels wants to make it easier for you to buy classic cars

The Internet can be a daunting place for someone in the market for a classic car, particularly those who don’t necessarily know what they’re looking for. While some sites already aggregate classified postings, new classic-car browsing site Vintage Wheels sifts through the classified detritus with a slick and powerful interface. The site aggregates postings, sure, but it also offers an incredible wealth of information regarding the classic car market to make sure the buyer is getting what he or she wants.

Vintage Wheels is the brainchild of Jason Davis, a man with several start-up ventures in his background. Davis, a car enthusiast, recently turned his talents to the world classic cars to make finding classics easier. To cater to that, Davis designed his site with two fundamental characteristics in mind.
“The first thing is to make it super-easy to browse,” Davis said. “The second thing we did is build a very powerful tool for buying classic cars. If you’re in the market to buy—and I was recently in the market to buy an early ’80s [Porsche] 911 SC—once you’ve established your search criteria, you can save the search and get updates.”
Davis used the tools he’d built to buy a 911SC, an affordable classic whose prices fall in with the typical Vintage Wheels browser.
“The crazy Ferraris and the guys who collect them, they know where they are and how to find them; that’s not who we’re after,” Davis said. “Our sweet spot is a price range from $5,000 or $6,000 up to $25,000. Occasionally, our customers might be willing to spend $30,000 or something on a [Porsche 930], but we’re not getting the guy who’s spending $10 million on a 1960 Ferrari.”
Vintage Wheels pulls its listings from a variety of selling sites like eBay, Hemmings, and Auto Trader Classic, but unlike pure aggregation sites like AutoTempest, the site hosts the listings on its own pages. Not only does this make searching easier with content hosted in one place, it also makes browsing quicker without waiting for dozens of CraigsList pages to collect and then having to comb through a mountain of false positives.
The aggregation doesn’t just collect listings for the sake of browsing ease, though. Vintage Wheels has compiled pricing data for most car types so that a buyer can compare the asking price with the car’s average selling prices and, with a little more digging, one can use the site’s Pricing Guide to make pricing comparisons geographically to find the best deal possible.
For example, a typical Porsche—just about any Porsche—costs significantly more money to buy in the Midwest where they’re more scarce than in California. A Midwestern buyer may find that a particular model is cheaper to buy and shipt from the West Coast than it is to look for a similar-condition car in the region and pay a premium for it.
Davis perhaps understated it: “These are important tools in the market for figuring out what you want.”

But wait, there’s more

While Vintage Wheels hopes to cater to those looking to buy, Davis also knows that a lot of enthusiasts simply enjoy thumbing through car classified ads. If you’re on this site and reading this story, you’ve probably picked up a free copy of the local auto classifieds at the grocery store for the same reason: It’s fun and, to some extent, educational to take note of cars and what they’re fetching.
So in addition to classifieds browsing, Vintage Wheels offers a couple of fun features for those just hanging around the site. The Classic Car Taste Test presents the browser with a number of generic car preferences. After picking out your preferred 10 characteristics, the site then suggests the types of cars the browser might find of interest, using actual car listings so that the impulsive might even reach for the credit card. It’s far from an exact science—although the site mirrored this writer’s own thoughts by suggesting he needs an MGB-GT or an early ’60s Ford Fairlane—but it’s all meant in fun.
The site also features a blog with some more in-depth information on specific car models for the prospective buyer or even for the morbidly curious. The “Dive & Discover” features give a solid introduction to models, like the Chevrolet Corvair, and some basic things to keep in mind when shopping for them.
[Images courtesy]

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  1. Sjalabais Avatar


    1. nanoop Avatar

      Content in brackets within verbatim citations mark things added or left out ([…]) by the editor. Old school journalism, if you want.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Hehe, yes, I know. Just wondering who needed an explanation to "911 SC" around these parts.

        1. Eric Rood Avatar
          Eric Rood

          Ah, you never know who's reading things and who knows what. Can't assume too much, even though I probably already do that with the LeMons stuff I write.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            You're right, but a light tease was in order. =8^)

        2. nanoop Avatar

          Apologies for underestimating a hooniversalist. Editing copy is my profession, I am used to authors who don't know what this red snake is doing under their words…

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            Cool, where do you work? I'm not offended, it might not be too clear that I was an academic writer in my heyday…

  2. skitter Avatar

    The taste test thinks I might want an '87 Chevy Suburban or a '68 Lotus Seven.
    Remarkably accurate.

  3. Devin Avatar

    Lots of Lotus on the taste test. Apparently I secretly want to be a bit on fire.

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    I'm not convinced that making the process easier is doing me any favors. As matters stand I get myself into enough trouble.

  5. sporty88au Avatar

    The taste test gave me an eclectic assortment – quite a few Lotus Sevens, a Chevelle drag car, some VW Beetles and El Caminos, but most notably an early '80's 911 and a Lotus Esprit. So, according to the test, when I'm not at the track, pottering around town, or hauling stuff, I'd most like to be snorting cocaine and soliciting prostitutes – I'm wondering if this test knows me too well.

  6. Elliott Avatar

    Speaking of eclectic, here are the selections chosen for me: 1951 MGT, 71 & 73 MG MGB Roadster & GT, 2 1967 Chevelles (one a drag car), 68 Mustang convertible, 89 & 91 Mustangs, 68 Deville convertible, 82 & 83 Ferrari, 83 Lotus Esprit, 76 & 83 911's, and a 69 Charger R/T. The 51 MG??? is older than I am, no interest there, but I've always liked the MGB GT (although @ 6'4", fitting into one would not be easy, same w/ the Lotus). I've owned A Chevelle, I like Mustangs, Porsches, and big 60's Cadillac's. And I currently own a 1970 Charger 500! I'll probably spend a lot of time on this site!!! 🙂

  7. Prince Halibrand Avatar
    Prince Halibrand

    Wow, now I have to buy this. Thank you very effing much, assholes.
    <img src=",g_center,h_540,w_720/yngt06cukvptotzvyh8r&quot; width="500">
    74% below average
    Prospect, Pennsylvania USA

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Gold on black is great, but the dad in me says: