HomeCar CultureClassic car experts gear up for Road Ready Inspections

Classic car experts gear up for Road Ready Inspections


Road Ready Inspections inspectors can evaluate any kind of classic car | Larry Edsall
Inspectors can evaluate any kind of classic car | Larry Edsall

Buying a classic car is an emotional experience, and sometimes excitement can overwhelm reason. How many times have you or someone you know brought home what was supposed to be a perfectly restored classic only to find out that it wasn’t nearly as good as the seller claimed?

That’s especially true when buying a classic car that you can’t examine first-hand because of distance or other factors. But even when you can see the vehicle in person, wouldn’t it be great to have a bona fide expert evaluate its condition before you plunk down your money and attempt to drive it home?


Classic cars are old and therefore imperfect by nature, but we just want to make sure that our customers are getting what they are expecting to get.” [/pullquote]

That’s where Road Ready Inspections come in. A new service supported by ClassicCars.com, Road Ready Inspections helps mitigate the risk of buying a classic vehicle, having it thoroughly vetted by someone who knows exactly what to look for to determine its overall condition and roadworthiness.

“With Road Ready Inspections, we are helping to take the guesswork out of buying a classic car,” said Roger Falcione, president of the nationwide service.  “Buyers can make their purchase with peace of mind or walk away knowing they made the right decision, potentially saving thousands of dollars.”

Barry Sprague, the Phoenix director of Road Ready Inspections, said the service utilizes the knowledge of around 500 experienced vintage-vehicle inspectors to perform the evaluations.

“We only inspect classic vehicles so our expertise is in that segment,” Sprague said. “We’re a mobile service; we have inspectors nationwide who go out and inspect the vehicles.

“It’s a very detailed, very comprehensive, 158-point mechanical, electrical, body and chassis inspection. We road test the vehicle for three to five miles for drivability, ride quality, roadworthiness and reliability.”

Road Ready inspectors are well-prepared to look beneath the surface of a nice-looking restoration to tell what unapparent and possibly expensive problems might be lurking there. Rust is a critical issue, and the inspectors can tell whether the vehicle has had poor rust repair that would come back later to haunt the new owner.

“The inspectors that we send out are ASE-certified technicians,” Sprague said. “They have experience with classic cars.”

Road Ready inspections include an extensive road test
Inspections include a thorough road test

Even for a car that’s being offered in fixer-upper condition, the inspections can reveal its true condition and what its actual needs are, he added.

“Classic cars are very old and therefore imperfect by nature, but we just want to make sure that our customers are getting what they are expecting to get; that’s what we’re really there to determine,” Sprague said. “You don’t really know how to value the vehicle unless you know the condition of the vehicle.”

Sellers of classic cars also can take advantage of the Road Ready service to assure potential buyers that the car is in as-described condition, having their for-sale vehicles inspected beforehand to use as a selling point.

Road Ready Inspections is based on years of research, feedback from classic car owners and collaboration with McPherson College’s Auto Restoration Program. The service includes the 158-point inspection and three-to-five-mile road test, plus more than 30 photos.

The inspections are available anywhere in the United States for a flat fee of $297. They are performed within two or three days from the inspection request, Sprague added, depending on the availability of the seller or such unforeseen factors as the weather.

For more information see the Road Ready Inspections link on the ClassicCars.com webpage, or at roadreadyinspections.com.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. This article describes exactly what happened to me. I purchased a classic Mopar that was billed as a total resto-mod. The description made it sound like it was a chassis to finish restore and the car was beautiful. I had an “independent” inspection performed and the only thing I can say is this “inspector” must have been on the dealers payroll. Without going into detail, the transaction cost me several thousand dollars. No one inspected under the dash, many of the features that were checked off as working were not functional, etc etc. The power train was in good shape and the body was gorgeous but the restoration of the vehicle itself was not to the level as described. I hope Road Ready is brutally honest with their inspections and I hope they don’t “sell” their services to dealerships. If they do there must be strict oversight on the honesty of the inspections completed for those dealers. What I learned the hard way is the best inspection is the one you do yourself. It’s worth the few hundred dollars of travel and a few days of your time. If you can’t do this I hope Road Ready is a good second choice. It would be great to read some stories of how Road Ready has been of service to potential buyers. Have fun out there but be careful!

    Ron Z.

    • Thanks for the comment, Ron. It’s unfortunate that you had a bad experience with a different inspection company. The Road Ready Inspections team informed me that their inspections are most definitely independent and never influenced in any way by the seller or dealer. They said a thorough and complete inspection is carried out by an ASE Certified Inspector that specializes in classic cars, then checked by ASE Certified Quality Assurance experts, then checked again and reviewed by a classics expert. Having a good relationship with a classic car specialist inspection company that you trust would save you from making multiple trips yourself to examine cars until you found the right one to buy.

  2. I inquired about a heavily advertised inspection service in this price range a while back, with its 150+ point inspection and photo taking. When I asked about the underside of the vehicle, they would not guarantee being able to inspect that adequately. Needless to say, I did not take them up on the offer.

    • Thanks for your comment. According to Road Ready Inspections they do examine the underside of the vehicle as part of the regular 158-point inspection, which includes checking for such things as frame damage, rust and the condition of the steering and suspension components. On the roadreadyinspections.com website, check out the sample inspection reports for the list of points that are inspected.

  3. I work with Collector Car Lending – providing financing for classic cars and we use and recommend these guys for our customers. If you are paying $10K, $15K, $20K and up for a car I cannot imagine expending the few extra hundred to have someone with knowledge lay eyes on the car. They are well worth the money.

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