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Cadillac - The Car That Had No Crank


Cadillac, an American luxury vehicle owned by General Motors, is the second oldest American automobile manufacturer. Cadillac was founded in 1902 by Henry Leland. The brand later fell into the hands of General Motors in 1909.   

Within six years of its inception, Cadillac established itself as America’s premier luxury car. It also brought in certain technological advances like full electrical systems, clash-less manual transmissions, and steel roofs. In 1908, General Motors launched the Model 30, named for its 30 horsepower engine, and continued its show on the roads through 1914.  

A tragic accident that occurred in 1910 caused the Model 30 to make its greatest contribution to the automotive world. The accident, in which a female motorist lost her friend while cranking her car, eventually resulted in Charles F. Kettering developing an electrical starter. The 1912 Model was the first car to have electric starting and lighting, popularly known as the ‘Delco’ system.  It was delivered at a cost of $1,890.

The electric starter, known as a ‘World Wonder’, revolutionized the automotive industry, attracting more female motorists to take to the wheel, with the ease of starting up and driving away without the complicated crank start.

By then, this classic brand had laid the foundation for the modern mass production of automobiles by featuring complete interchangeability of its precision parts. Cadillac was also awarded the honor of being the recipient of the Dewar Trophy, from the Royal Automobile Club of England, on two separate occasions, once in 1908 and again in 1913.

Interestingly, the greatly hyped vintage car, the 1912 Cadillac, ranked number two on the list of “Top Ten Production Vehicles” released by General Motors, while celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2008. Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942 says that ‘model year production for the 1912 Cadillac was 13,995 cars’

A 1913 Cadillac Model 30 Auction sale reports the average sale value based on two auctions as $68,750, with lowest value at $55,000 and the highest bid at $82,500.

In the market for one of these historical vehicles? Give Classic auto insurance insurance a call today to find out how we can customize an vintage auto insurance plan to fit your needs!


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 4/29/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Bugatti Royale - The Car for Royalty


Ettore Bugatti, the creator of nearly 7800 cars, strongly believed in building cars that were technically flawless and impeccably sophisticated. This philosophy is reflected in his creation of the Bugatti Royale, also referred to as “The Bugatti Type 41”.

The Bugatti Type 41 (1927) was said to have been born out of a challenge. An English lady once remarked to Ettore that while his cars were excellent for racing, people would still opt for the Rolls-Royce or Daimler when they wanted elegance. Ettore stepped up to this challenge and created the most elegant car he could conceive. The Royale, a car befitting of the kings, was built during the Depression. Unfortunately, because of this and the raging war, even kings were unable to purchase this highly expensive but elegant car. Ettore had initially planned to manufacture 25 cars but only 6 cars were built, out of which only 3 were sold to customers.

Even before Ettore completed the Bugatti Type 41 prototype, the skill and the dexterity involved in the craftsmanship of the partially completed car was difficult to ignore. The majestic car was fitted with a 12.7 liter engine, the longest engine for a car ever manufactured. The car engine was about four and half feet long and three and half feet in height and produced between 275 to 300 hp at 170 rpm’s.

The 6 Bugatti Royales built have all survived the years and are considered as the rarest and the most sought after classic cars. The bodies of the cars were designed by some of the most popular coach builders of that period and hence each car had a different body style:

  • The Bugatti 41.110, also known as the Coupe Napoleon was built by Ettore Bugatti in 1930. The car was used as his personal car and is now exhibited at the Musee National de l’ Automobile de Mulhouse museum in France.

  • The Bugatti  41.111 or the Coupe de Ville Binder was designed by the French coach builder, Henri Binder and is considered as one of the most popular Bugattis. Originally made for the King of Romania, the car was never delivered because of the world war. The car is now used as a part of brand promotion by the Volkswagen Group (they now own the Bugatti brand name).

  • The Bugatti 41.121 or the Cabriolet Weinberger was built by the Munich coach builder, Ludwig Weinberger, for a German doctor, Joseph Fuchs. The car was almost destroyed when the doctor migrated to the US during World War ll. However the car was restored by a GM employee (Charles Chayne) and is now exhibited at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

  • The Bugatti 41.131 or the Limousine Park-Ward was designed by the British Coach builder, Park Ward. This car has an English touch to its style and is now exhibited at the Musee National de l'Automobile de Mulhouse Museum in France.

  • The Bugatti 41.141 or the Royale Coupe por Kellner was designed by the French coach builder Kellner. This car made history in 1987 by selling for $8.7 million at the Christie’s auction - the highest price for a classic car sold in that period.

  • The Bugatti Type 41.150 or Berline de Voyage was the first Royale to be completed, excluding the prototype. It is now a part of the Blackhawk collection in California.

        If you have your eyes on a Royale classic car or already own one, do not forget that this precious possession needs to be protected! Classic Auto Insurance gives you the best collector car insurance quotes. For more information on how we can help you, fill out our FREE quote form today!


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 4/26/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The All-American Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe


For the late Carroll Shelby, it was all about winning races. This winning streak is clearly seen in his historical wins and the amazing American race cars he's designed. The Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe was one of the cars born out of his indomitable competitive resilience.

In order to gain a cutting edge over the unbeatable Ferraris that dominated the European races, and in order to win the World Sports Car Championship, Shelby needed a car with more speed to race across the long straights of Europe. Even though the old Shelby Cobra had won many GT races, it was no match for the Ferraris when racing across the European race tracks. This was mainly due to the aerodynamic disadvantage of the open top that the Cobra had. Together with Pete Brock, a former car stylist at GM, Shelby created an aerodynamic hard top version of his earlier Cobra.

While creating a prototype of the new car, Brock used the chassis of an old Cobra that had crashed at the 1963 Le Mans. The first hardtop Cobra Coupe was completed in early 1964. The new car was tested at the nearby Riverside track, beating a Cobra Roadster by 20 mph. The new car had a majestic round nose with sharply raked windshields and cut off tail end. The mechanical features of the car were similar to that of the Cobra and because of this it is often referred to as the “Daytona Cobra Coupe”.  Due to the limited production capacity at Shelby’s California Assembly unit, the next 5 coupes (of the 6 built) were produced at the Carrozzeria Gransport in Modena, Italy. However the Italians made a few changes to the primary design and the new car was 11 mph slower. Despite the setbacks the coupe suffered in 1964 while racing with the Ferrari, the year 1965 saw a major turnaround. In 1965, the Daytona Coupe won the Daytona, Sebring, the Nurburgring, the Reems, and also the World GT Championship. Ironically, the car won the title on the 4th of July, and also set the record for the first American car to win the world racing championship.

If you are the proud owner of one of the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupes, now is not the time to let your investment go unprotected. At Classic Auto Insurance Agency, we provide tailored muscle car insurance policies to protect your priceless investments, such as the Cobra Coupe. For more info, please visit


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 4/24/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

A Potential Fortune on Wheels

Invest in Collector Cars

Classic cars are proving to be one of the most lucrative investment avenues, provided you chose the models in which to invest.  Based on reports from the Historic Automobile Group International, it is evident that there has been a spurt in the investment of classic cars as of late.  Figures show that there has been a 20% rise in the prices in some segments of vintage cars compared to other alternative investments like equity shares in 2011, and yet another hike in price by 10.33% in the first half of 2012 which clearly outperforms the 4.54% gain of the S&P Global Index.

In spite of depreciation, wear and tear, emptying your wallet on frequent trips to garages and mechanics, there has been an annual growth rate of 12% in the performance of 50 key collectable classic cars in the past 30 years. However the performance varies between different types.

For instance, a 1955 Aston Martin drophead coupe fetched a clear margin of 25% in just two years. Porsche models fetched a gain of 10.63% in the first half of 2012 while Ferraris gained by 9.49%.  A Ferrari 250 GTO clinched a record value of $35m in 2012 with a mind-boggling margin of $27m.

Here is the best part! Investments in  classic cars are said to be exempt from capital gains tax, so it is a hassle-free investment.  

However, this vintage car investment comes with certain essential needs - a large garage, continuous maintenance, shielding it from inevitable scratches, and accidents.  So if you have a classic car (or are planning to buy one), you need reliable collector car insurance that takes care of your classic automobile. Classic Auto Insurance has a whole list of standard insurance plans like agreed value, roadside assistance and next term mileage rollover that you can opt for, or you can contact us for more information on one of our customized plans!


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 4/22/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Model T Ford Car - The Legacy of American Automobile Industry


The first Ford Model T rolled out of the assembly line on October 1, 1908. This car was said to have introduced the concept of mass production in the American automobile industry and later to the rest of the world.

The first series of Model T’s were fitted with 22 horsepower, four-cylinder engines, could reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour, and got approximately 13 to 21 miles per liter of gasoline. The 3-point suspension system gave the car plenty of space for axle movement to run on rough ground, by allowing the chassis to twist easily. The separation of the engine block and the engine head into two pieces made it easier to mass produce the car and service it appropriately, and even took some weight off the vehicle. The use of Vanadium steel, which was mostly used to build expensive European cars, greatly increased the durability of the car. The simplicity of the car’s design enabled users to easily repair the car with the help of just a few tools and some basic know-how, and that was one of the advantages to owning a Model T in those days, as service stations were few and far between.

The Concept of Mass Production:

The Model T revolutionized the concept of mass production in the automobile industry. More than 15,007,033 Model T cars were produced between the years 1908 -1927. Fondly named the “Tin Lizzie”, the production rates of this car were much higher than that of the other automobile manufacturers of that period, because of the simplicity and efficiency of design. By the end of 1913, the Model T car production set a new record in the automobile industry: A complete car could be assembled in just 93 minutes. This helped Ford gain a cutting edge over their competitors, most of whom took several days to complete the same process of vehicle production. In 1914, Ford produced nearly 3,000,000 Model Ts while only employing 13,000 workers, while 299 other companies used an average of 66,350 employees to produce a much lower number of 2,080,000 cars.

Owning a Model T:

Be it for the concours or going on a weekend vintage ride, you can buy Model T cars at affordable prices nowadays to add to your antique car collection. The rarest Model T cars were the 3 pedal and 2 hand lever fitted models that were produced between the years 1908 -1909. Some of the enclosed cars produced in the mid-twenties are priced at $8000-$9000. But several Model T’s that were fully restored for concours events often fetch over $50,000.  If you are on a shoestring budget, you can get Model T’s for as low $2500 but they usually come completely disassembled with an un-seized engine. If you want to spend on a slightly higher budget, you can get restorable cars for $4000-$5000. Adding in the cost of restoration, Model T’s are usually well worth their investment value, and often bring much higher market prices when sold at auctions. Various websites like, Model T club newsletters, estate sales, local papers and swap meets can help you find perfect car parts for your Model T restoration project.

Once you buy your classic Model T, get your antique car insurance to protect your investment. Classic Auto gives you the best collector car insurance quotes for Model T’s and can customize a plan for you based on your intentions for the car. Give us a call today, or visit our website at


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 4/19/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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