Published in July 2019 Classic & Sports Car Magazine | Written by Kenneth E Y Wong
KENNETH WONG 黃恩揚- Classic insider 創辦人，經營高級經典及跑車買賣。對處理高檔車種擁有豐富經驗。曾是香港首間經典車拍賣行的營運總監。經常參與高端古董及跑車的相關活動，貼近市場脈搏
第二，正如我先前在這個專欄中提過，原裝就是皇道，而要向準買家證明眼前的放盤是原裝，更是箇中的重點，而上文提及的各類文件就是最好的證明。當決定要買一部價值連城的經典車時，首先就要看它是否原裝。很多車廠現時都有自家的經典車復修部門，有很多原廠紀錄是可以購買的，例如平治(Mercedes-Benz) 就會稱它為data card，有些公司會稱為build sheet，而要替車輛購回這些文件，收費通常都會很高，但有了這些文件，你和準買家就會對車子原本內外顏色、底盤編號、引擎編號、生產日期和產地等資料有更深入了解。所以不少汽車拍賣會都會標榜一部車擁有與車廠紀錄相符的車身號碼，同時會令車輛身價提升不少。當然，廠方只會知道離開生產線前的事情，之後的就要靠你去搜尋了。
In all genres of collectible and historical artifact, few things are valued more than originality. Well preserved and cared for examples of rare and relevant pieces of history have no substitute in terms of importance in the historical record. From historically significant fine art to watches, well kept original pieces sit at the top of the value food chain. Needless to say, a car with well documented ownership and maintenance records is almost always easier to appraise in terms of value and nearly without exception worth more.
#1 It Can Increase Your Car’s Value
Everyone agree that a well documented vehicle makes it more valuable by establishing the pedigree of a classic car, both for collection purposes as well as for future sale. History, originality, preservation, correctness and provenance of the vehicle's components and equipment can add to your vehicle's value, and accurate documentation of these factors is essential to assessing the value of your car.
Documentation of a classic car can be a deciding factor for the next owner, whether it is exhaustive maintenance records or the ability to trace ownership history to the original purchase. Most people are nervous about buying a classic car. They have no way of knowing if you or the previous owners took care of it or not. Having physical proof of all maintenance work done on the vehicle will prove that the car has been well cared for and the potential buyer will be more likely to pay the asking price.
Owner’s Manual, Warranty Book, Radio Code Card, and dealer invoices are some of the most common but overlooked form of classic car documentation, and not having them can have a big negative impact on the value of the car. There is no under-estimating the importance of documentation when it comes to car collecting. If you are buying a collector car, you want to have the original documents that came with the car, especially when the vehicle is reported to be original.
Restoration records often tell the story. Like the car’s accident history, modifications, change of color and so on. It is also great for the buyer to have a timeline of the work done, so you should keep all invoices for every bit of work done on the car, preferably accompanied by pictures and other evidence.
#2 A Car Is Only Original Once. Proof of Originality is Key
Documentation can confirm your classic car’s originality and one of the most important part of owning a classic car is establishing its provenance. Pay for factory records if it is available. More and more car manufacturers have created classic car departments to provide collectors with information such as Data Card or Build Sheet. They’re usually expensive, but they are a great source of basic data about original specifications, Interior & Exterior Color, VIN, Engine, Transmission Numbers, optional equipment and your car’s production/delivery dates.
Every important part on the car is usually numbered. Having the date card can help you match up the important ones such as the color, engine number, transmission number, Rear Differential number, Body number and VIN number. “Matching numbers” increase the value of your collector car.
Since the factory won’t know the history of the car after it left the production line. So it is up to you to document the “Real-life” history. Contacting/Researching your car’s old owners can unveil surprises, unearth documents and, if you are lucky, find some old pictures that feature the car in earlier times. The journeys a car has made always add glamour, especially if they were international or owned by someone famous. If the car was a racer, old magazines are precious sources, as are starting grid listing and racing programs. And never forget that actually taking a car to a show is the best way to make people aware of it; and it’s surprising how often a friend of a friend of a passer-by happens to know a thing or two about your car’s history.
#3 Keeping good record will help you win Concourse
Proper documentation is also a necessary asset for concourse competition and shows. A nice, maybe even beautiful looking, ring binder is the best approach. Arrange the file by theme, e.g. basic data, general history, restorations of body/engine/interior, journeys/races, and so on. Possibly the most important interest to consider along with originality is rarity. Rarity is always a consideration, and by nature, with a car only being original one time in its life. Obviously, the rarer the car, and still rarer the amount of original ones, the more valuable the automobile will be. Showing these documents to the judges increase your chances of winning against competition.
#4 Keeping a good Record Will Help You Keep Track
Everyone knows that maintaining a vehicle, new or old, is very important when it comes to keeping it in good running condition. Having a regular maintenance schedule can save you tens of thousands of dollars because sometimes it takes just a small problems to escalate into big ones. We all have very busy lifestyle and that makes it difficult to remember exactly when you changed the oil or changed your tires. When you have accurate maintenance records, you know what work has been done to the vehicle and when. You never have to wonder how many miles you have driven since the oil was changed or when the technician checked the hoses and belts last.