Technological advances, a renewed interest in classic cars and a successful business model are fueling a local entrepreneur’s expanding business across Texas and around the world.
Since its opening in 2006, American Classic Cars of Conroe, has developed a faithful following among vintage vehicle enthusiasts and the attention of other entrepreneurs interested in combining business with pleasure.
“Everybody seems to love classic cars,” said Craig Wood, founder of American Classic Cars of Conroe. “In the 80s, a lot of people bought them strictly as investments. Now people are buying them to enjoy as well.”
Indeed, quality vintage vehicles have been appreciating in value at a rapid pace, according to Wood. Rare and scarce vehicles easily command six-figure prices – when they can be found.
“The vehicles are out of production, so it’s a seller’s market,” said Wood. “Interest in classic American cars is worldwide.”
Wood has been fascinated by classic cars since childhood – finding, fixing and restoring them was a favorite pastime until two years ago when he decided to open a showroom in Conroe.
“There’s a lot of interest in classic cars in Texas,” he said. “And since a lot of business is conducted via the internet, this is a good, centralized location.”
Nearly 80 percent of the vehicles Wood sells are shipped to buyers outside of Texas. A significant number of his sales are international – Europe and Australia being the most common destinations.
“The weak dollar is a strong inducement for international buyers,” said Wood. “We can help evaluate vehicles, make requested upgrades and ship the car to owners anywhere in the world.”
In most instances, Woods accepts classic cars on a consignment basis for owners interested in selling, but not wanting the inconvenience of negotiating or handling the sale agreement. In addition to classic car sales, Wood provides a wide range of repair and restoration services.
“Classic cars need special attention,” he explained. “Owners of rare cars don’t want to drop them off at a local quick lube place. We have the experience and contacts with specialist to properly repair or restore classic vehicles.”