Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale

By: Ross Vasse, Photography by: Unique Cars magazine archives

Presented by

Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
UNC_354_etch-A9X-E49--_042A.jpg UNC_354_etch-A9X-E49--_042A.jpg
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale

Classic car buying expert Ross Vasse takes us through how to present your car for sale...

Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale
Detailing tips: Presenting your car for sale

 

Presenting your car for sale

SELLING UP

Things change; it’s time to move on. What was once your pride and joy has sat in the shed untouched for months. Maybe you’ve run out of room, or it’s simply time to move onto something different. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of another classic car to tick off your bucket list.

Or simply work, family and other commitments have left you with no time to enjoy your classic car, and you’ve made the hard decision of letting your baby go. In order to get a quick, no-fuss sale and achieve the best price possible, here are a few easy tips on how to prepare and detail your ride.

As is often the case, we don’t ever get around to fixing and adjusting those little things until it’s time to sell. With this in mind, walk around your car and make a list of all the ‘things’ you need to do before selling. Your list should include tasks such as fixing a torn driver’s seat, having a dent or a scratch repaired and basically getting the car detailed and polished to look its best. A mechanical safety check, an oil change and general servicing should also be on the agenda.

On a separate list, write down all the ‘things’ you will need to do to prepare the car. This will include items such as a replacement window winder, a missing or damaged hubcap, new tyres or perhaps some touch-up paint. All of these items should give you a basic idea of the budget you need to prep your car for sale.

You may decide not to fix everything, or sell your car in ‘as is’ condition. That’s fine too, as many potential buyers are classic car enthusiasts who expect to tinker with an old car. Keep in mind, though, you may not achieve the price you have in mind.

Next you’ll need to work out a reasonable date to complete all the ‘things’ on your lists. Allow a couple of weeks, depending on what needs to be done. Find out the deadline for the next edition of Unique Cars and aim to have everything completed a few days before. Having a deadline to work to will help keep you focused on the task at hand.

Spare parts for your classic can be easily sourced from online auctions, auto-part stores and junk yards, or by networking with others. Some parts may be rare or hard to find, and you may have no choice but to pay a high price. Reproduction parts are a great alternative, with quality as good as or better than the original. Specialty parts stores such as Rare Spares carry a wide range of reproduction parts, while your local auto-parts store will sell general products such as oils, spark plugs, polishes, cleaners and additives.

It’s now time to give your car a good clean. For a few bucks, the local ‘Do-It- Yourself’ car wash station is an ideal place to clean the engine bay, door jambs and undercarriage with a pressure washer. Presentation is everything, so be thorough and clean everything. If you can’t get to the local wash station, a strong degreaser, a standard garden hose and a bucket of warm soapy water will also do the trick. You’ll be amazed how much nicer a classic car looks after a good scrub. Besides, it’s much easier to work on a clean car when doing repairs and adjustments.

Now that you’ve made all of the necessary fixes, it’s time to detail the car. Detailing is not a difficult task, but it does involve some elbow grease. Alternatively, you may choose to have a local detailer do it for you.

A good detail will remove years of car. Detailing also involves polishing the paint, chrome and brightwork, cleaning the windows, vacuuming and deodorising the interior, doing some paint touch-ups and spraying some tyre shine onto the wheels. See the breakout (p.50) for a rough guide on what to start with. Clean cars will always sell well.

Now that your classic is looking its best, it’s time to showcase it with some glamour photos. Find a good photo location that complements the car, making it even more appealing. Try to select a location with a theme – for example, in front of an old rustic garage or in a tree-lined street.

Take each photo as if it’s a postcard, similar to the pictures in a factory sales brochure. Your photographs should highlight the car as the main attraction. Think of the car as a billiard table, and take a shot of every pocket. All up, you should take about a dozen glamour photographs. grime, grease and dirt and revive an old Check out the breakout (see left) for some further suggestions.

While you’re at it, take a bunch of close-up photos of the odometer reading, the radio, the door trims, the roof lining, the taillights and any other part of the car that might attract a buyer’s attention. These photos will come in handy, especially if an interstate or overseas buyer requests more detailed pictures. Now choose one photo (your best one!) to be your main image for advertising. Unless the car has a unique rear end like a ’63 ‘split window’ Corvette, your main photo should be a front three-quarter view, highlighting the front, side and partial top side of the car.

Reaching this stage, your classic car is now ready for sale and looking its best. All that’s left to do is write a good advert to attract buyers and sell your classic for the best possible price. 

TIME TO WASH YOUR CAR

Scrub under hood and degrease the engine bay, wheel arches and door jambs with a stiff brush. Rinse these areas with a high pressure washer or standard garden hose.

Cut and polish (buff) the paintwork.

Lubricate all hinges, door locks and the hood cable with WD-40 or other lubricant.

Wash the exterior with warm, soapy water and rise with a high pressure washer or hose.

Clean the roof lining with a cloth soaked in warm soapy water or wipe over with a quality interior cleaner. Dry it with a towel.

Scrub vinyl seats with a stiff brush, and warm soapy water. Dry with a towel.

Steam clean the interior fabric (if needed).

Treat leather upholstery with a cleaner, reviver or conditioner (if needed).

Clean the dashboard, steering wheel, air vents, console and general trim with a cloth soaked in warm soapy water, or wipe them over with a quality interior cleaner/protectant. Spray the interior with a pleasant deodoriser.

Clean all the glass thoroughly inside and out.

Polish the chrome and spray the tyres with a tyre shine.


PHOTOS: WHAT TO SHOOT...

- The right front three-quarter view, highlighting the right, front and partial top side.

- The left front three-quarter view, highlighting the left, front and partial top side.

- The right three-quarter view, highlighting the right, rear and top partial side.

- The left rear three-quarter view, highlighting the left, rear and partial top side.

- The right side of the car.

- The left side of the car.

- The engine and engine bay.

- The dashboard and steering wheel.

- The front seats.

- The rear seats.

- The owner's service books and/or the data tag compliance plate.

- The boot area.

 

Selling your unique car? Read how to place your ad here 

 

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition