Their rarity on the road and head-turning qualities make vintage cars appealing to a lot of people. But to own an old-school ride often means having to restore one.
For such a project, those in the know will point you to Alfred Perez, owner of Alfred Motorworks in Kamuning, Quezon City. The 45-year old knows both the triumphs and struggles of the process, having been in the restoration business 25 years and counting.
“Just imagine before, maghahagilap ka talaga, especially for the parts. Wala pang online noon and you’d really just look for kung anong meron dito sa Pilipinas. Pag wala, you fabricate, and even yung kokopyahan mo na pictures, hahanapin mo pa sa lumang libro na hahanapin mo rin sa Recto,” Alfred shares.
A haven for old books and all sorts of antique knick-knacks, Recto’s stores also stocked old automotive books and magazines. These publications, according to Alfred, were often the only source material restorers had back then.
However, as the Internet made information more accessible, hunting for vintage car parts has become an easier undertaking. People who have older cars parked in their garages for years or car parts gathering dust in boxes are now being found, thanks to online selling platforms like OLX.
Vintage car hunters like Alfred, more commonly called “pickers” start their picking online, an experience which he says is always surprising. “Marami na rin kasi ang napo-post and when you’re buying or selling something, the inquiries branch out to other items you may not be necessarily looking for or selling.”
Having been in the business of restoring and collecting rare rides, including a 1918 Chevrolet pick-up truck, for over two decades, Alfred observes that appreciation of vintage cars is currently trending and no longer resonates with just older folks.
“Noon, my youngest clients would be around 50 years old. Ngayon, hindi lang matanda ang nakaka-appreciate. Even those who are in their teens or in their 20s are looking to acquire much older cars that were around before they were even born,” he says.
And in a time when communication is first mostly digital, Alfred says using OLX has not only made the search process easier; it has also expanded his network within the vintage car community.
“Nakakatuwa kasi dati, mano-mano ang hunting. Now with a just a few clicks, you can find what you’re looking for. Minsan nagbebenta ka ng lumang steering wheel, then the person who buys that refers you to their own friends in search of different parts or cars.”
But just like any endeavor, vintage car hunting requires a careful approach. “Sa dami ng nagpo-post, you need to really research. Click on each post, read the details, and compare. Sa OLX itself, research na rin eh. In OLX, you can compare prices to find out the average price for what you’re planning to buy or sell,” advises Alfred.
No doubt, the enthusiasm for old-school rides is here to stay and will continue to grow. The good news is, you can start looking for them via a new-school route—you might just find the vintage car of your dreams through OLX.
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