If you’re looking to buy a vintage car or truck, Schuerenberg has some advice.
“Start with deciding what you want,” Schuerenberg said. “Educate yourself and I don’t just mean on motors and transmissions. You need to research more than that. Where is this car prone to rust? What are the mechanical issues they were known for? Is this car super-desirable, or a run-of-the-mill car? Know those ins-and-outs.“
For instance, just about everybody has said at one time or another, ‘I’d love to have a ’69 Camaro.’ More people have wanted that car than any other. I run into guys who say this, they find one that looks pretty cool and bring it home to discover it isn’t really what they thought it was. Maybe it was a clone Z/28 and they paid $60,000 but it’s really only worth $35,000. It’s very easy to get burned because there are so many variables.
“Be cautious and be comfortable before you buy something. Go look at four or five cars before you buy something and don’t buy the first car you look at, not until you’ve looked at several cars.”
If you’ve got a car to sell, he says, it’s crucial to be honest with what you have.
“Selling a classic car has everything to do with buying,” he insisted. “Just buy a good car in the beginning, that’s the key. If you are patient and buy something nice, selling is the easy part. A quality car, those are really easy to sell.
“It’s important to be honest about your car. I deal with people every day who, when I get on the phone with them about their car, they describe all the flaws and tell me what’s wrong with the car up front. That’s the guy I want to deal with, because he’s honest, and he’s looking at his car objectively. Let the car speak for itself, on what it really is. Be honest with your buyer and that guy will be glad to work with you.
“I’ll usually list my cars on my personal Facebook page and sometimes I’ll list them on eBay. I’ve built a reputation as only having stuff that’s quality, and that’s important. Your reputation as a dealer is everything, really.”
Schuerenberg says the biggest challenge is finding the time to pursue opportunities with vintage cars. Life as a full-time racer and the needs of his young family, doesn’t leave much spare time.
“It’s tough to chase deals and details when you’re on the road and we’re on the road a lot,” he said. “I’m used to spending all my time on the race team, used to being busy. It helps that today we have my brother-in-law, Clinton Boyles, as my crew chief, and Danny Cook is our tire guy and car chief. That frees up some of my time and allows me to work on the vintage car business a little bit.
“I’ve figured this can be something I can pursue more actively someday when my racing career has finished, but for now I’m happy with doing it part time. Actually, I think that helps me enjoy the process more, because I don’t have to look at this as a paycheck I’ve got to have.
“Vintage cars are my passion and it’s fun to chase your passion. The main thing is to steadily build my contacts so that someday, when I retire from racing, I can develop this business and turn it into something full time.”
It’s obvious Schuerenberg is excited about vintage cars and trucks. All you have to do is ask him about his all-time favorite vehicle, and his eyes light up.
“If I could have just one absolute favorite car, it’s a 1962 Chevy Bel-Air “bubbletop” with a 409 engine and a four-speed,” he said. “I had one last spring and sold it for what I thought was a good deal, but eight months later realized I’d be glad to buy the car back for full price.
“They only made about 600 of those cars and to have one that you can document, that’s cool. Who knows how many of those original 600 cars are still around? If I ever get another chance at one of those cars, I’d hang onto it for a while.”
Hunter Schuerenberg has enjoyed one of the best seasons of his winged sprint car career,
racing full time with the All Star Circuit of Champions.
At press time, Schuerenberg had won four features and finished in the top 10 24 times in 43 starts,
while ranking third in the standings behind Tyler Courtney and Justin Peck.