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You’re Buying A Classic Sight Unseen – What Could Happen?

These days, the marvels of the Internet make it possible to buy a vehicle online from a website. You, of course, could be anywhere – most certainly not standing in the same place, considering your possible dream car in person. While this opens a wide variety of opportunities for selection, buying sight unseen can pose a number of hazards in terms of a good deal. To paraphrase the great Kenny Rogers, you got to know what to look out for.

Online Photos Can Be Misleading

Most auto websites provide at least one picture of the vehicle. A lot of times there will be multiple photos of the outside of the car. But depending on the angle, external damage could be hidden. Many times, the photos are poorly composed and make it difficult to determine the real condition. Look for vehicles that have a complete set of pictures, including the inside of the car. Focus on pictures that show high-wear areas, such as the driver’s seat, the front end (which could be dinged or pitted) and the underside (which could be scraped or damaged). Sellers rarely include photos of the tire tread. With new tires a costly item, this should be a big consideration in factoring the price of the car.

Sellers Can Be Dishonest

It should come as no surprise that unscrupulous people are out there. Sellers who provide few photos might be trying to hide damage to the vehicle. If a listing mentions damage or imperfections it might be an indication of a seller who is willing to provide full disclosure. If you are in contact with a seller, it’s okay to ask for additional photos of the exterior, interior and tires. A seller who is unwilling to provide additional photos is likely not giving full disclosure.

Beware of Outright Scams

The biggest hazard of buying a car without seeing it in person is the possibility of being scammed. Beyond the dishonest seller who is hiding details about the vehicle, scam artists attempt to get money without providing the car at all. Top scams include:

Title Washing - When a car is damaged by a natural disaster, such as a flood or tornado, it is given a status of “Salvaged.” While rules restrict washing the car’s title of this status, guidelines vary from state to state. Salvaged vehicles frequently suffer from mechanical and other issues. By washing the title, sellers are able to get more money from a faulty car.

Fake Escrow Account - With the rise of online car sales, the escrow account has been popularized. Scammers will create fake escrow accounts, sometimes going so far as using the logo and user interface of legitimate escrow companies. If you are asked to wire money to an escrow account that is not of your choosing, be suspicious.

Shipment Scam - The seller claims to be out of the country and asks the buyer to wire the funds to pay for shipping the vehicle. Usually the seller claims that they will ship the vehicle as soon as they receive the shipping funds. You probably see where this goes.

Negative Equity - A dealership offers to buy out what you owe on your new vehicle. In reality, the amount you owe is rolled into the price of the new car. Now you are paying for two cars.

Get a Vehicle History Report

Whether you’re interest is in new model autos or classic collectibles, most online car buying sites will provide a vehicle identification number (VIN) for a vehicle, which is a 17-digit number that is unique to that vehicle. Using the unique VIN of any auto, you can research online and locate a vehicle history report for that auto. You can buy the report for a fee. It is worth the money to get information on a vehicle, such as salvage titles, prior accidents, multiple owners and odometer rollbacks.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Whether or not you buy your collectible sight unseen, a policy from Classic Auto Insurance protects your valuable investment for years to come. Let us customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 4/18/2019 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Rise of 80’s and 90’s Collector Cars

Which generation are you a part of? Which one do you identify with? This could have a lot to do with what kind of classic and collector car enthusiast you aspire to. For instance, cars built in the 80’s and 90’s are rising in popularity with collectors, especially GenXers and Millennials. Just like those in the 1980’a who were mad for muscle cars, those of Generation X and the Millennial group are seeking cars that they couldn’t afford in their youth. They enter the collector market with a love for using their finds as day drivers. Now that they are financially stable (it’s all relative), Gen-X and Millennial collectors are buying vehicles from the 80’s and 90’s, which is causing a rise in their value.

Popular 80’s and 90’s Finds

Analysts are looking what’s trending in auto insurance quotes to identify cars that are popular with enthusiasts. In 2018, the top 14 quoted vehicles of the 1980’s are the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet C10 series, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Pontiac Firebird and Mercedes-Benz 560SL. The Mustang, Corvette and Camaro also make the top 14 list for 1990’s models, followed by the Chevrolet C1500 series, Mazda Miata, Porsche 911 and Ford F-150.

Affordable Models to Watch

These vehicles are not only affordable, they are stable in value and won’t depreciate – good condition prices are between $5,000 and $10,000 - which makes them a very reasonable investment.

1975-91 Jaguar XJ-S - Primed for a renaissance after once being considered a heavy, less elegant successor to the legendary E-Type, this vehicle presents one of the few ways to get into a V-12 for under $10,000.

1976-86 Jeep Wrangler CJ-7 - This classic round-headlight vehicle can be found for around $8,000 in good condition, which is a few thousand less than the CJ-5 that sold alongside it for many years. Prices can vary widely, however, due to customizations done by owners.

1985-92 Mazda RX7 - With agile and responsive handling that is hard to come by in its price point, the second generation of the Mazda RX7 gained more power, a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension and handsome looks reminiscent of the Porsche 924/944.

1983-92 Volkswagen GTI - This compact car with surprising power and handling was the quintessential hot hatch in the United States. Values for cars in good condition run around $4,000 and have been rising over the past five years, due mainly to the historical significance and fun-to-drive qualities of this compact car.

Know the Investment Value of Your Ride

No matter what collector or classic vehicle you love, experts say it’s important to stay up-to-date on the value of your collectible as years go by. Check the value of your vehicle on a yearly basis to make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage. Even that Ford Fiero you picked up 10 years ago on a whim may now be worth more than you think!

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Protect your 80’s and 90’s cars or any collectible or classic vehicle with Classic Auto Insurance, which protects your valuable investment for years to come. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 4/16/2019 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

[Video] A 1970 Ford Bronco That Poses for Wedding Pics

A gorgeous 1970 Ford Bronco owned by a guy named Thor stands out in the crowd at the 2019 Indy World of Wheels, and Classic Auto’s Drew Yagodnik stops by to get his story on the gleaming white beauty. He does all the work on it himself, with some help from friends on the paint and body. “It’s in a constant state of evolution,” Thor says. “It’ll never be completed.” Over the years, he’s put three different motors in it, two different interiors and a variety of parts and trim that make it unique. Thor explains his passion this way: “There's always something more to do to it. I just have a vision in my head of what it's gonna look like when it's done and until I complete that vision, I'm gonna keep working on it.” We can relate.

Part of the Wedding Party

Thor’s son loves the Bronco so much, he wants it to be part of his wedding - and his fiancée is right on board with that idea. Several years ago, the couple asks Thor to drive them away at the end of the ceremony so they could wave to their guests from the back of the Bronco. They also want to photograph the Bronco as part of the wedding party (it is quite photogenic, after all). Well, things do not go according to plan for Thor and his Wedding Belle. “I had a new motor built for it probably nine months previous to that, and less than a month before the wedding, the motor died and it was gone.” Thor buys a blueprint engine online and has it shipped immediately to install. A week after that, his Bronco is equipped with a new 408 500-horsepower motor. “Three weeks later I was hauling them away from the wedding at the end of the ceremony,” he recalls, with the newlyweds waving from the back of this super-hot collectible vehicle to boot.

Why Broncos are a Good Investment

The market for collectible Broncos is exploding. These bulky beasts have a classic body shape and iconic mystique that captures the hearts of enthusiasts around the world. During the winter each year, interest in classic Broncos spikes even higher. “The 1966–77 Ford Bronco is the hottest vehicle in the land,” Hagerty reports this winter, calling it one of the best auto investments in the world. The Bronco’s value has risen 200% in the past decade, due to a combination of interest from aging Baby Boomers and a fresh generation of Bronco-buying Millennials.

Valuable Part of the Family

Thor sure understands the value of his Bronco. For him, it’s worth far more than money. His Bronco is part of his family. It’s featured in many family photos, including those from his son’s wedding where the bride and groom pose in the bed of the truck. Everybody in the family enjoys riding in it and seeing what Thor has done to it lately. He’s put a lot of money into the Bronco over the years, but he’s proud of the value it holds. “I convinced my wife that I'm not throwing money away,” he laughs.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Restoring a classic vehicle, yourself? Then you definitely understand the importance of protecting a valuable investment with specialty insurance. Let us customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 4/9/2019 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Using the Rope Technique for Installing Windshields

In Episode 16 of Project C10, work gets done on the cab. It takes Rick Drewry and the crew about five hours to install the windshield properly -with three tries to set the glass into place for a perfect fit. Many first-time restorers are surprised that installing a windshield can be one of the most frustrating parts of a restoration. In the episode, Rick gives several tips for installing a windshield successfully, including planning the steps in advance, enlisting the help of other crew members and preparing yourself for the fact that it may take some time -and a little elbow grease- to get the job done right. The Project C10 crew uses that ol’ soapy rope technique, a classic trick for setting a windshield into place smoothly.

Project C10 Tech Tip - Rope Technique Explained

Start with a freshly cleaned windshield that’s totally free of old adhesive and any other debris, with its rubber gasket on. Take a long cotton rope or string - thin, about the size of the string on window blinds - and drench it completely in a mix of water and dish soap. You’ll need at least two or three people to do it right, so get a small group of workers together. Leave about six inches of soapy string free at the start and take it to the inside of the vehicle. Then wrap it tightly into the channel of the vehicle body, starting in the top center and going all the way around until you’re back at the top. Leave about six inches at the finishing end, too. The two 6-inch ends become handles to pull. Now work with your helpers to put the windshield into place, with one person putting pressure on the outside top of the windshield and someone else working from the inside of the vehicle, pulling one end of the rope gently until rubber pops through. The person pulling the rope should move around the windshield slowly, taking out the rope bit by bit, and the windshield should settle into place.

Real-World Rope Technique Advice

Of course, even with the rope trick, a windshield doesn’t always go in perfectly the first time. Rick says it’s not uncommon to attempt it two or three times before you get it right. In fact, it could take a few hours of careful tries before you’re satisfied with the result. Make sure you’re working with patient friends. He also advises using plenty of dish soap - at least a few tablespoons in a bucket of water. Lay drop cloths across the seats and the garage floor to prevent a soapy mess. Don’t yank out the rope too quickly, because you’re looking for a smooth, slow popping of the rubber gasket.

Ask a Classic Truck Restoration Mentor

Stuck on installing a stubborn windshield? Ask the experts at Project C10 for advice. Restoring a classic car or truck can be extremely tricky, and it’s helpful to hear tips from people who have done it all before. We welcome you to become part of the Project C10 community and seek help when you need it. From bodywork to engine work, bumper to bumper, we’re here for your toughest restoration questions.

Join the Project C10 Truck Community

Project C10, powered by American Modern, an original video series from Classic Auto Insurance that chronicles the restoration of a 1965 Chevy C10 truck to a beautiful restomod worthy of car show display. Stay up-to-date with Project C10 by subscribing to Classic Auto’s YouTube Channel, following us on Instagram and visiting our C10 Restoration page on, where you’ll enjoy step-by-step episodes, project-specific Tech Tips and behind-the-scenes articles that give you an inside look into what it takes to restore a classic collectible like a Chevy C10 truck.
Posted: 4/4/2019 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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