4 Tips For Finding Classic Cars For Sale Online

Finding classic cars for sale

We’ve all been at the point of getting deep into searching for the right classic car or truck to buy. You might be searching for a restoration project, investment, turnkey Sunday driver, or a restomod. Sometimes it can get repetitive seeing the same listings on craigslist, Ebay motors, and auto trader. Here are 4 tips to expand your search of classic cars.

Tip 1- Search large amounts of craigslist ads at once

SearchTempest.com   Groups craigslist ads in regions (See below) or cities and allows you to search up to nationwide. You can also group listings by state or city. You can also sort by most recent, best match, price low to high, and price high to low. All of the craigslist ads in a given area will be shown once you click on a result. Below is an example of the search results for 1981 Chevy C10 in a thousand mile radius. Clicking on the results will give craigslist ads of that given region.

classic cars for sale search tempest

Tip 2- Try using OfferUp

Checkout OfferUp.  Offerup started allowing auto sales a few years ago and is a great way to expand your search. OfferUp has a downloadable app that is very user friendly and is available as a web browser. If you are willing to travel to find your classic, try changing the location and search distance. Below is a search for a Chevy C10 in our area. You can also set search notifications, so if an ad is posted that meets your price, location, and other requirements, your phone will send a notification.

offer up Chevy C10 search

Tip 3 – Checkout the many car auction sites

There is a wide variety of  auto auction websites to browse and maybe find the perfect deal. These auction sites have exploded in popularity in the recent years for good reason. Auction sites like Bring a Trailer select ads that have enough information and photos to fit their criteria. Also, bidders can comment on listings which allow other bidders to see answered questions. The only drawback to these sites is usually prices can get higher due to competition. Here is a list of recommendations-

Chevy C10 bring a trailer

(Example of an ad for a C10 on Bring a Trailer)

chevy c10 bring a trailer

(Example of comments on Bring a Trailer)

Tip 4 – Use Google search operators

This is a more advanced way to search for ads but it is very useful since it uses Google. You’ll have to experiment a bit to see which search works best for your area and needs. Google has special search operators that let you customize a regular Google search. These can be used to narrow down to the right classic cars for sale ad you’re looking for. These operators include:

  • ” ”
    • Quotes can specify exact match. Such as “Mustang for sale”
    • A minus symbol excludes words from searches. Such as: -blog or -ebay if you don’t want searches with these words included
    • Ellipses are used to search for a range of numbers. Such as: 1965…1970 Ford Mustang
  • $
    • Can be used to search for pricing. Such as: $15,000  (You can also add a period . at the end for an exact price match. Such as: $15,000.)
  • OR
    • Used in all caps, OR is used to search for either two terms. Such as: 1965 OR 1966 Ford Mustang. Can also be used for locations such as Chevy C10 for sale Las Vegas OR Reno.


For simplicity, let’s say you looking for a Ford Mustang between the years of 1965 and 1970 from $20,000 to $30,000 dollars. You might begin a search like this-

mustang search 1

The result is websites that is pretty broad pricing and only includes the year 1965. This would require manually going through each search result. Now add the pricing and year with the ellipses operator. This will now search for that pricing and year range.

mustang search example

Sometimes the results returned will be a little random. Experiment with adding the quotes to explicitly search for sale ads. An example is: Chevy C10 “for sale”. If you are receiving results of websites or listings your don’t want, then add the (-) symbol. If you wanted to not see ads from eBay you could do: Chevy C10 “for sale” -eBay.

Enjoy the hunt

Hopefully one of these tips help you out with your search. Most people I know hate the idea of research or finding a project car but for some reason it’s a thrill to me. The hunt is a fun part of finding a new project and sometimes you might need to take a break for a few days and stop looking at ads if you are feeling burnt out. Good luck with finding your next classic car and if you need help with the interior, feel free to contact us.

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