How to Buy a Classic Southwestern Rust Free Car or Truck

How to Buy a Classic Southwestern Rust Free Car or Truck – Tips & Tricks

 

 

picture of a 50's rust free cadillac
How to Buy a Classic Southwestern Rust Free Car                                                                              How to Buy a Classic Southwestern Rust Free Car or Truck seems easy, yet you could potentially buy a rust bucket if you’re not careful.                                                                     I’ve been buying, and selling cars and trucks for over 40 years, and in that time I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Out of those mistakes I learned what to do, and what not to do. I used to live in Silver Spring Maryland which borders on Washington D.C. , and Virginia. There were a lot of cars, and trucks to be had. Most of them weren’t too bad rust wise, yet you could tell right away which vehicles were local, and which were shall we say ‘out of state’. You know, the ones that use salt on their roads, and even if you couldn’t see the rust on the outside, as soon as you opened the doors or the hood, you’d know that you shouldn’t buy that vehicle.
picture of a rust free GMC Truck
Rust Free GMC 4×4 Truck

I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1996, and I couldn’t believe how well preserved the cars were there. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was buying Early 60’s cars, and trucks, and there wasn’t a speck of rust on them so to speak. The bodies, frames, parts were in such great shape. You could take all of the parts on and off easily. I’m talking brake parts, suspension, steering, and body parts. Any other part of the country you’d need a torch to cut them off.

Old classic southwestern rust free cars are beautiful, and it’s really sad to see them in the in a bad condition sitting in some junkyard.
A great thing about classic southwestern cars is that you are able to always restore them, and bring them their shine they’ve had their first day.
However, you just can’t go and pick a classic car in any shape and expect it to be a good restoration. There are many problems which could occur so it’s the best idea to choose the classic car wisely.

Reality is that not all old classic cars can be restored and even if they can be, maybe it won’t be profitable.
One of the reasons for that is rust. Many people don’t take rust seriously, but if you’re restoring an old classic car, the first thing you should look out for is rust.
Rust can make or break your car, and by restoring a rusty car, it can be one of the toughest projects you’ll be working on. It’s always the best to avoid rusty cars, and in this post, I’ll tell you how to find a rust-free car with a few tips and tricks.
Finding Rust-Free Classic Southwestern Cars
So as you could have guessed, checking a car for rust is one of the most important things you should do at every car purchase no matter if it’s the old classic car or a new car.
Rust is a big problem in cars nowadays, and especially in old classic cars. It’s a process where rust forms through chemical reactions which might be complicated to understand, but the result is easy to spot.

If you’ve thought you’ve found a perfect classic car for your restoring process, better think twice, and search it completely for rust.
Rust can weaken the car’s structure and all the hard work and hours you put in a rusty car might be in vain.
Any car can get rusty, and rust is not a problem of a specific brand or a model. However, it would be a smart idea to look out for geographical locations where it’s low-humid climate. Also, keep in mind that if you’re located in a low-humidity area – you still won’t be safe from rust.

Areas to find basically rust free cars would be Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, some parts of California, and some parts of Florida
Heavy road salt use can also bring to the rusting process of a car as well.
Luckily, in this post, you will find how to look out for rust and how to find a rust-free classic car even from the 70’s. I will also show you how to find if the rust has been covered up.

What To Look Out For & Where Could Rust Be
You need to understand and always remember what I’m going to tell you now. The rust is always going to affect the bottom of the car first.
So if there’s no rust on the outside, most likely there’s rust on the undercarriage, and I would highly recommend you to never buy an old classic car without checking its underside or the frame.
The easiest way to do so would be to agree with the seller to take the car to a local mechanic shop and let them put it on a lift.

~ You can have AAA (American Automobile Association) check it out.

~ You could take the vehicle to a dealership that the car has the same badge brand for instance (Ford, Chevy, Dodge etc…)

~ You could Google the name of different Classic Car Clubs, and ask their members what advise they could give you. There is a complete list within the link of all of the different cars.

By spending a few hundred dollars on a reputable company that’s going to inspect your possible purchase, you will have piece of mind when you start laying out the bucks.

picture of a rust free Lincoln Continental
Rust Free Lincoln Continental
picture of a 50's Chevy Station Wagon
50’s Chevy Station Wagon
picture of a Chevy Suburban with Barn Doors
So Cal Rust Free Chevy Suburban with Barn Doors. Is your mouth watering yet?

Once the car is on a lift, there are spots where you’ll more likely find rust than at any other places.
Most common spots to check for rust are:
Frame rails
Wheels
Exhaust
Suspension
Any other component under the car that are made of steel or metal
Frame rails run underneath the car’s doors on each side, so you should follow them and inspect closely. Rust on wheels, exhaust, and suspension will be easy to notice once the car is on a lift.
After you’ve checked most common places for rust, then I’d suggest you check the car’s underneath completely as any component made of metal or steel can become rusty.
After you’ve checked the car’s underneath, and you’re happy with it – the inspection doesn’t end there.
Next things you should check when the car is off the lift would be:
Under the trunk’s carpet
Both inside and outside doors
Areas around the windshield and rear glass
These are most common places where you can find rust, and you should definitely check them.
Also, keep in mind that if you see paint bubbling at any part of the car, it’s a sign of an early rust process. I’d recommend you to check the car before signing the papers because if you don’t pay attention to the rust when purchasing a car, it might cost you money and time later.
How Could Someone Cover The Rust Up?

If you didn’t know, the rust can be covered up and made to look like there has never been a rust before.

picture of a rusty station wagon
Rusty Station Wagon. Worth Saving?

If you spot an old classic car which has  no rust at all – it should be a red flag for you.
Every old car is going to have some rust spots and that’s okay, but you don’t want it to be completely rusty or rusted all the way through the body, especially if you can put your hand through it….Lol…..
There are many different ways to cover the rust up, and one of the ways is by using a product called Bondo, which I will talk about later. It’s a way to replace (cover up) the rusty part on the car and once it’s painted, it will look like there was never any rusty before.
If you aren’t familiar with ways to cover the rust up, you’ll easily get fooled. However, you’re in good hands now because I will tell you why Bondo can be bad particularly if the person putting it on slaps on a thick layer of it.
I know that the purchasing an old classic car might seem like a hassle, but keep on reading and at the end of the post you’ll have the knowledge to find the best classic car possible.
What Is Bondo And How Does It Work?
Bondo is a name for the body filler which is actually a brand name which turned generic.
It’s a fast hardening plastic which can be used to repair body of the classic cars, and trucks, by replacing the rust with Bondo body plastic filler.
It might sound like a good option at first, but it’s very wrong and I’ll tell you why.
When people use Bondo, they remove the rusted body part section of the car and they fill it with the fast hardening plastic. But unless you remove every molecule of corrosion, the rust process will continue even under the Bondo. Eventually time will catch up with you, and you will start to see the rust rear its ugly face on your beautiful investment.
As the rust process continues, Bondo will eventually fall off or crack which it will  be true especially if there are extreme temperature changes or you continually run your car or truck on rough surfaces.. The end result will be that you’ll still have the rust, but with a lot more damage since you’ll be missing the body piece which has been filled with Bondo.
In reality, Bondo will never be good enough to solve a problem entirely. It will rather just cover the problem until the rust spreads even more. But don’t get me wrong, Bondo can be very useful if it’s done properly on parts of a car where it’s actually rust-free.

This video below will show you how Bondo is used, and how it can coverup major problems.

It’s a very wrong way to restore old classic cars, and it’s really pity some people do it. It’s mostly done by people who are looking to sell their cars for better profit, by stating that the car is rust-free or trying to pass the year’s inspection patching up the rusty spots.
But how can you be sure if the car is actually rust-free or it’s been patched with Bondo?
There’s an easy way which I will be explaining you below.
How To Spot Bondo In Old Classic Cars?
If you know what the Bondo is, it can be easily spotted just by paying attention a little bit more. However, if someone isn’t aware of the Bondo, he can get easily fooled.
There are many ways to spot Bondo on a car, and it can be done in two ways. Inspecting the car’s body with an eye, or use a little magnet tool ( or a refrigerator magnet works great) to find out.
If a car doesn’t have any dents at all, it might be fixed up with Bondo. You should pay attention if there are any sanding scratches, surfaces that are bulged instead of flat, bubbles in the paint or even cracks.

picture of a women with the 50's look
Old School’s Coming Back

However, the easiest way to spot Bondo on a classic car would be with a magnet. There’s a small tool which looks like a pen, and it’s used to check whether the body parts of a car is really made out of metal or plastic filler.
Simply by touching the car’s body with a magnetic pen tool, you will instantly know whether there’s a Bondo installed or not.
If there’s no Bondo, pen magnet will stretch as you move the pen away from the body, however, if there’s Bondo, the magnet won’t even stick and stretch.
It’s one of the easiest ways to check, and I am sure that even a simple magnet will help you out.
Conclusion
Finding an old classic car in still somehow good condition might seem like a hassle, but if you pay attention to the important factors – you won’t have any problems and you will save a lot of money and time in a long run.
When you’re purchasing a car, take your time and inspect the car completely before signing the papers. Look out for the rust, but also for removed or covered up rust by Bondo.
I hope you have found the post useful, and if you did you can share it on social media.
Also feel free to leave a comment with your experience or ask any questions you might have and I’ll be there to help you out.

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