You too can own a classic car without spending big money - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

You too can own a classic car without spending big money

Restoring a classic car can be achievable with a little patience and know-how. (Source: CBS 5 News) Restoring a classic car can be achievable with a little patience and know-how. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Meander down the row of shiny classic roadsters at a Valley car show, and you may feel like there's no way you could ever have the time or money to own of these beauties.

"This car took us about two years and the convertible took us about five," said Tom Walcott, who has been a self-described "car guy" all his life.

The cars are valuable, but they didn't all start out that way. Many restored classic cars started their second lives as rust buckets. All it took was the right person with the right amount of money or the right amount of patience and know-how.

"Business is good," said Felicia Peters, standing in the parking lot of Tempe's Then & Now Automotive, which she owns.

Peters' business caters to people who want to restore and refurbish classic cars, at just about any budget. She shared some tips with CBS 5 Investigates that could help people who are interested in their first piece of automotive history.

[RELATED: Valley man at center of international classic car scam case disappears]

Her first piece of advice? Decide what type of car you're looking for. A classic cruiser? Or a muscle car? Once you've made that decision, choose a car that was mass-produced. That may sound like a misnomer, but it actually makes sense.

"There are a lot of readily available parts," said Peters.

That means you can find parts, panels and others details easily, both new and used from a junk yard.

"If they're looking for more of a muscle car, I would direct them to a Chevelle. If they're looking for just something to cruise, probably a Mustang convertible," said Peters.

Both makes and models are easy to find and relatively inexpensive to restore.

Peters recommends starting with the engine. It can be cheaper to get an old car running than to restore it to its shiny original finish. For that, she recommends taking your time. A full restoration at her shop can take as long as two years.

One danger lots of classic car owners warned about is scams. A little caution and a little car knowledge will go a long way.

"There's definitely an underbelly to this entire industry," said attorney Robert Rutila.

He says it can be tough to get police or prosecutors interested in cases where unscrupulous car dealers and con artists take victims' money. They normally have to hire their own attorneys.

"It's time-consuming. And yes, it can be expensive," said Rutila.

Finally, just about every car buff who spoke to CBS 5 warned that the slew of classic car restoration shows make it seem like you can take a rust bucket and turn it into a car show star practically overnight. They say that is just not the case. The more time you take, the more money you'll save and the fewer mistakes you'll make.

Copyright 2016 KPHO (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award, and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. In October 2016, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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