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DeLorean Reunion Set for May 3-5 in Northern Ireland

Former Employees Gather for 35th Anniversary

Attending a reunion can summon a bag of mixed emotions for many. From seeing old co-workers to re-connecting with high school classmates and more, looking back can stir up a lot of unresolved feelings. This may happen for the 150 former DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) employees who will be attending a reunion for the now defunct car manufacturer on May 3-5, 2015 in Northern Ireland.


The Best of Times

Gathering at the Culloden Hotel in Belfast, DMC employees from top executives to production line workers will reminisce about the company that created the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 automobile 35 years ago. “The common denominator is that everyone considers it to be the best time of their working lives,” says Barrie Willis, former purchasing director and the company’s last CEO. “We went from a cow pasture outside Belfast to shipping cars to dealers in California in 28 months.” The attendees will visit the former factory just outside of Belfast where 9,800 cars were produced in 1981-82.


Back to the Future and Beyond

Most people today may only know the DeLorean DMC-12 as the time traveling car in the Back to the Future movies, yet the car’s own history is the stuff of a Hollywood blockbuster. It is a story filled with big dreams and big disappointments and it is all centered on one man, John Z. DeLorean.


Mastermind Behind Pontiac GTO Strikes Out on His Own

John DeLorean is a cultural phenomenon in his own right. He was the youngest-ever GM executive, credited with developing the Pontiac GTO. His innovative style helped boost sales for Chevy to record levels. Mr. DeLorean was also the driving force behind the Firebird and Grand Prix. A flamboyant visionary whose personal life didn’t sit well with the stuffed shirts in Detroit at the time, he left GM in 1973 to form his own company, DeLorean Motor Company.


Tough Times for DMC

Mr. DeLorean wanted to build a car that was sporty, fuel efficient and safe but reaching that goal proved difficult. “The idea was good but the timing was terrible,” says John Lamn, author of DeLorean: Stainless Steel Illusion. The first DMC-12 model cars came out in 1981 when the U.S. was in the midst of a recession. Despite the hard economic times there was a waiting list of potential customers for the new “DeLorean,” which carried an average sticker price of $25,000 - more than the cost of a Corvette or a Porsche 924 Turbo back then. Sales were slow.


Familiar Tensions Plague Production

Surprisingly, the British Government was the largest contributor of startup funds for the new company. Mr. DeLorean was able to obtain tax incentives from the British by agreeing to locate his factory in Northern Ireland, where soaring unemployment was fueling old tensions between Protestants and Catholics. The majority of the workforce at the new Belfast factory was inexperienced in automobile production and the manufacturer was soon plagued with quality issues. Correcting the production issues added to the rising costs DeLorean Motor Company faced.


They All Look the Same

When introduced to the public, the DMC-12 received mixed reviews. Its unusual design, stainless steel body and gull-wing doors were either loved or despised by car enthusiasts. Owners complained that the stainless steel body panels showed fingerprints and were too difficult to paint. None of the cars coming off the line in Belfast were painted with factory paint, so every DeLorean looked just like the next. This concerned car dealers to the point where they had their cars painted just to differentiate them from other DeLoreans on the market


“Would you buy a used car from me?”

Lack of demand, cost overruns and unfavorable exchange rates took their toll on the company’s cash flow. The final blow came when John DeLorean’s name headlined an FBI investigation into an alleged money laundering scheme. Though charged and never convicted, the scandal was enough to put an end to his dreams of building the perfect sports car. After his acquittal, Mr. DeLorean famously asked, “Would you buy a used car from me?” DeLorean Motor Company filed for bankruptcy in 1982 - a sad end to a promising endeavor.

DeLorean Motor Company Holds 35th Anniversary Reunion In Ireland

Loyal Fans Keep Legend Alive

After 35 years, nearly 6,500 of the 9,800 cars ever produced are still on the road today. The DMC-12 has an active enthusiast community with strong support from owner’s clubs. A number of businesses still provide parts and service. A DeLorean DMC-12 is always a popular draw at car shows, which helps to keep the legend alive.

DeLorean Motor Company Holds 35th Anniversary Reunion In Ireland

DeLorean - Defying Convention

Even though the DeLorean DMC-12’s movie career launched a timeless vision of what a people mover would look like in the future, this car is more than just a futuristic-looking anomaly. In pursuing his dream, John DeLorean brought together some of the best and brightest in the automotive industry to design a car that defies convention. He wanted his group to think outside of the box and to push the envelope. Sometimes these attempts fail and sometimes they succeed. The DMC-12 does a little of both. One thing is for certain: John DeLorean and his team made an unforgettable car, one that will hopefully be in whatever future we travel to.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Time travel isn’t easy, so if you want to take your DeLorean or any classic car into the great unknown, make sure it’s covered. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 4/30/2015 1:49:14 PM with 0 comments

DIY Garages – Every Car Lover’s Zen Moment

Becoming One with Your Car

In America, we love our cars. They are a part of the family. We depend on our cars to not only get us where we need to go but to help us escape from the everyday grind. That’s why we take pride in keeping them running and looking their best. Whether you are rebuilding a classic or working on the family car, doing the work yourself is an extremely satisfying experience. Some car enthusiasts also have a greater sense of pride simply because they do the work themselves.

Ask any enthusiast and they will tell you that when they work on their car they don’t know where the time goes. That’s because getting your hands dirty while doing the work yourself is every car lover’s Zen moment. It is when you become one with your ride. Certainly, DIY is also about saving money on repair costs.

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage)

The Perfect Place to Go

The challenge for many do-it-yourselfers is finding a place to work on their cars without having to worry about safety or the potential concerns of neighbors. Changing your oil should not involve having to first clean out the garage. This is why local DIY garages are the perfect place for a car lover to indulge their need to “tinker” on their vehicles. It is a place where you can bring your car, work on what needs to be done, and leave. No more rushing to change your oil between rain showers. The DIY garage has everything you need all in one place and without any hassle.

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage Indy)

Indy’s DIY Garage – Where You Can “Do it Right, Do it Yourself”

We spoke recently to Tyler Griffin, owner/operator of Indy’s DIY Garage, and asked him the reasons behind his opening this type of facility. After realizing there was nowhere a do-it-yourselfer could go in the Indianapolis area to safely work on their car or to have access to the correct tools needed for the job, he opened DIY Garage. “Opening DIY Garage gave me the opportunity to fulfill a need in the community, while exploring my passion for automobiles and helping others in the process,” he tells us. For Tyler, it is all about his love of cars and being around others who share his enthusiasm for doing the repair work themselves.

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage)

Clients Find a DIY Garage Home in Indianapolis

Gearheads in the Indianapolis area can now rejoice over having the perfect space in which to work, thanks to DIY Garage. There they can rent lifts or flat bays on an hourly or daily basis and have access to the necessary tools and equipment needed for whatever job they want to do. DIY Garage is even willing to work with customers on projects that may need extended time to complete.

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage)

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage)

Getting a Head Start with a DIY Garage

This garage is not just for the average car enthusiast. Tyler also offers space to commercial customers. A portion of the shop is dedicated to commercial rental. Small businesses that are just getting off the ground, like a detailing service, a vinyl wrap specialist and a mobile tint company, have found a home at DIY Garage.

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage)

Building a Community One Oil Change at a Time

Whether a person is new to car repairs or is a seasoned professional, customers at DIY Garage know that Tyler is available to help when needed. “If a customer gets in over their head on a job and I can’t figure out, there are always skilled mechanics in the shop to help address any tough problem.” Indy’s DIY Garage is truly a community of car lovers who want to share their knowledge and skill with others.

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of

Do Your Homework or Don’t Do It

Starting a business today can be a challenge, one that Tyler Griffin understands all too well. Like many DIY garage owners, he has had to contend with the high cost of insurance needed for his business. Liability insurance can be a large chunk of the operating costs for a business like his. Combined with the long hours, Tyler suggests that anyone wanting to open a DIY garage do their homework first. “I would encourage anybody looking to open a DIY garage to heavily look into insurance options before making any decisions.”

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage Indy)

Where Car Lovers Bond

Starting a new business may be daunting, but maintaining it is even harder. Building a loyal customer base is essential. One way to achieve this is by providing superior customer service. The folks that use Indy’s DIY Garage know that if they need help, all they have to do is ask. This is a facility where car lovers bond and where they help each other with their repair problems. “Outside of providing quality tools and equipment, the reason our customers become lifelong DIY’ers is because of the customer experience we provide here,” Tyler says. Seems he and DIY Garage know what they’re doing. Leave it to a car enthusiast to prove that if you want it done right then you have to do it yourself (preferably in one of the service bays at DIY Garage).

DIY Garage Indy Is A Haven For Car Enthusiasts
(Photo courtesy of DIY Garage Indy)

DIY Garages

Still curious about DIY garages and what they offer? Check out one of our other article, The Wonderful World of DIY Garages.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Like the folks at Indy’s DIY Garage, the friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance is ready to help you find the right insurance policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 4/23/2015 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Speaks for Itself

Who Needs James Bond?

When the name Aston Martin is mentioned most of us conjure up images of a dashing British spy in a tux that has a car that oozes sophistication as much as he does. One look at the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and you don’t need to trot out a handsome Brit to get everyone hot and bothered. From the sound of this massive engine, one thing is perfectly clear: This car can speak for itself.


Not Just a Pretty Face

Our friends at Elite Autos in Jonesboro, AR have a prime example of an Aston Martin V12 Vantage in the preferred carbon black paint choice. This beautiful vehicle and many other classic cars can found on their website, The V12 Vantage is a handcrafted piece of art. From the sleek exterior to the sumptuous leather interior, this car is the epitome of sophistication. Don’t be fooled, the V12 Vantage is a sports car with muscle and not just another pretty face.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of

A Big Engine in a Small Package

When Aston Martin decided to stuff their most powerful engine into a smaller sports car, most of the world was left scratching their heads. Why take the 510 hp 5.9L V12 engine from their premier model, the DBS, and put it in the smaller Vantage? Wouldn’t this weaken the image and status of the DBS? It was a risky move but one that seems to have paid off. With a top speed of 190 mph the Vantage V12 is a force to be reckoned with and has elevated the small sports car into a true driver’s sports car.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of www.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of

Does this Engine Make Me Look Fat?

In order to squeeze the bigger V12 engine into the smaller Vantage, Aston Martin reworks the front structure of the car. With 154 lbs of additional weight, designers need to lighten the load somewhere. They compensate with carbon ceramic brakes and forged aluminum wheels. Aston Martin says that no changes are made for purely cosmetic reasons. All of their changes to the Vantage body are to enhance its performance. The V12 Vantage has the same sleek styling as its V8 counterpart.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of www.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of

It’s Out to Get You

The look of the V12 Vantage is predatory. The large menacing vents on the hood help to reduce air pressure and lift while allowing heat to escape. The aggressively styled front splitter channels air to the front brakes and radiator while also producing down force. Extreme Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires are specifically designed for the V12 Vantage’s 19 inch wheels and provide it with a death grip on the road.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of

What’s That Other Pedal For?

There’s the gas pedal and the brake pedal but what’s that other pedal? Before you think you’ve traveled back in time, the only choice of transmission on the V12 Vantage is the Graziano 6 speed manual transaxle. Yes, a decidedly old school choice by the designers but one that gives the driver the feel of the V12 engine’s power right through the clutch. No sissy computerized shifters for this car.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of www.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage 
(Photo courtesy of

They’ll Hear You Coming

This engine isn’t just built for speed. It sounds big. The V12 Vantage sounds like most sports cars when idling at a stoplight but step on the gas and this engine screams to life. The “Sport” button on the dash uncorks the exhaust and gives the throttle a quicker response. This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Its fierce growl will definitely wake the neighbors when you come roaring into the hood.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of www.

Luxury Car Insurance For The Aston Martin V12 Vantage
(Photo courtesy of

The Stuff of Dreams

The V12 Vantage is the stuff of childhood dreams – a big engine, big wheels and a sleek, powerful body. Aston Martin was eager to be respected for their sports car performance, which is what made them create the V12 Vantage. They achieved their goal. The V12 Vantage has the precise handling of the V8 Vantage with the all-out power of the DBS. It also retains all of the sophistication the Aston Martin name can conjure. Speeding down the highway in one of these beautiful cars, listening to the roar of the engine and feeling power at your fingertips might have been a childhood fantasy but the Aston Martin V12 Vantage can make it a reality.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage is a lot of car. Make sure you have the coverage you need to protect your investment. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right luxury car insurance policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 4/16/2015 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Sun and Fun in a 1951 Willy’s Overland Pickup

Check out this piece of tropical magic on display for the last time in the continental United States at the 56th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in February.

1951 Willy’s Overland Pickup Classic Truck With Hawaiian Theme

Sitting amid sand, palm trees and a tiki hut was a 1951 Willy’s Overland pickup the color of a Hawaiian sunset. Visions of warm, beautiful beaches and fruity drinks with umbrellas enticed the crowds circling around the exhibit. 

Going Native and Then Some

Restorer Wayne Harmless created this amazing truck for owner Clyde Terry of Oahu, Hawaii and “tropical” is the theme du jour. Tasked with turning an old jeep, which drove like “a beast,” into the vision it is today is Wayne’s original mission. Like most restoration projects, it turns out one thing leads to another – and Clyde finally gives Wayne the green light to restore the truck “his way,” and that’s when things really start to go native.

1951 Willy’s Overland Pickup Classic Truck With Hawaiian Theme

Drives like a Caddy

Now, the “Hawaii Truck” has a smoother ride thanks to a new suspension and rack & pinion steering. The transmission is an AOD, 289 with 302 heads. According to Wayne, the truck drives like a new Cadillac.

1951 Willy’s Overland Pickup Classic Truck With Hawaiian Theme

An Amazing Job

Wayne also customizes the truck with a hydraulic bed and a tailgate that lights up. A “WO” (the logo for Willy’s Overland) is emblazoned on the rear of the truck and lights up when you step on the brake. The comfortable interior with its beautiful wood work on the dashboard has vintage air and heat as well as electric doors and windows. Wayne Harmless does an amazing job meeting the client’s needs and bringing this “monster” truck to life.

1951 Willy’s Overland Pickup Classic Truck With Hawaiian Theme

Get Your Priorities Straight

Throughout the restoration process, Clyde’s friends send him photos of the work. He and Wayne communicate back and forth via emails and phone calls in order to work out details of the build. As his excitement grows, Clyde decides to halt work on restoring his new house, switching gears to build a custom garage for his new truck. “Priorities,” as Wayne Harmless says, are important in life. Besides, a pickup this sweet needs a garage to match!

1951 Willy’s Overland Pickup Classic Truck With Hawaiian Theme

Enjoying a Classic Truck …The Hawaiian Way

When Clyde Terry takes delivery of this one-of-a-kind ride in Oahu, he fully intends for life to slow down a bit. He plans to enjoy his retirement. He says he’ll grab his guitar and drive his new truck down to the beach where he plans to serenade the waves and watch the sunset. Now that’s the way to enjoy a classic truck.

Get a Closer Look at the Hawaiian Truck

Watch our full interview with restorer Wayne Harmless and learn more about his inspiration for the unique “WO” brake light:


Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Taking on a classic truck restoration can be challenging but finding the right insurance doesn’t have to be. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 4/10/2015 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

April is Car Care Month

Bring on the Crowds and the Classic Cars

For months you’ve been planning and now it is time to get ready for that first car show of the season. Where do you start? You’re in luck!

Every year, the Car Care Council designates April as National Car Care Month, part of the Be Car Care Aware Campaign, a national program that educates consumers on the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. So not only is now the time, the time is now to offer up a little friendly advice on how to get your collector and classic car show-ready.


Time to Get Up Close

After months of winter slumber, your car is in need of a good spring cleaning. You want your car looking its best at the next car show. You want it to shine. Hiring a professional detailer is one way. To assess the true condition of your car, the best way is to do it yourself. Are you ready to get up close and personal with your car?


Something Shady Going On

To start off, find a shady spot in which to work. Washing or waxing a car in the heat is a bad idea. Let your car cool down before starting any cleaning routine. Hot surfaces cause soap and water to evaporate, leaving water spots and streaks. No point in making more work for yourself right from the start.


Getting it All Together

Sometimes being a little obsessive compulsive is a good thing. Getting together all of the products and materials you need before starting your marathon cleaning job is the way to go. It will eliminate having to run around looking for stuff and save you time in the long run. Make sure you have ample cleaning rags so you’ll have enough to use for each phase of the detailing process.

Make that Engine Shine!

Nothing shouts “look at me” better than a bright shiny engine. Make cleaning your engine the first item on your checklist. Cleaning the engine first will eliminate any grime and grit that might scratch your paint. Cover the fenders with towels to avoid getting harsh chemicals on them.


No Mix Zone

Remember the term “cross contamination.” Repeat it to yourself like a mantra. The point we are trying to make is that bits of dirt and chemicals can get on sponges during washing and damage your paint. A good way to avoid “cross contamination” is the “two bucket” method. Have one bucket with soapy water to wash from and another with clean water to rinse the sponge or mitt in between washings.

Wax On, Wax Off

You’ve finished washing and drying your car so now you can move on to the polishing phase. If you are new at DIY detailing, you may be tempted to reach for a power tool to help you with polishing the wax off. Stop and take a moment, first. Know the difference between a dual action buffer and a polisher. The first will give you a dazzling shine and the other will sand the paint right off your car. When in doubt consult a professional. Check out, which is an online forum dedicated to auto detailing and car care. You can always use the tried and true “Karate Kid” method - wax on, wax off. It builds muscles.

The Naked Truth about Streaking

The somewhat tedious glass cleaning stage is next. It seems no matter what you do, you cannot get streaks out. Here’s a tip – wipe the glass in a vertical direction on one side and in a horizontal direction on the other. It will help you determine which side has the streak. Unfortunately it will not help you eradicate them. Patient wiping is all we can offer you here.

Shine On

Before you start cleaning your tires and rims, beware. Some of the chemicals that you will be using are highly toxic and spraying them on your tires will also get them on brake calipers, rotors and suspension parts. If any of these parts are warm the chemicals can vaporize and you may be breathing in the fumes. Remember, safety first, shine second.


A Labor of Love

It’s not called “detailing” for nothing. To classic car enthusiasts, cleaning their car is not a chore but a labor of love. After a day-long marathon of detailing your car, it is possible that you may have missed something. Don’t forget to give your car a thorough once over before calling it a day.


Laminate that Thing!

Clean the car, register for the show, load the trailer … Would you like help remembering everything you need to do for your next car show? Classic Auto can help. We’ve put together a comprehensive Ultimate Car Show Checklist to assist you in making your next car show an awesome experience. Print one out here and laminate that thing! You can always use an erasable Sharpie to fill it out.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

As we say, it’s a labor of love keeping your classic car in tip top shape. One thing you won’t have to stress over is insurance. Classic Auto Insurance will help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 4/9/2015 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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