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Artomobilia Presents: The Passion Behind the Owners Part 4 [Video]

2015 Carmel Artomobilia August 28-29

Meet the caretaker of a ’92 Ferrari F40 Twin-Turbo. The 2015 Carmel Artomobilia takes place right in the heart of the Arts & Design District of Carmel, Indiana this weekend. Just before the festivities begin, Artomobilia’s Jon Pitz learns more about one of his favorite cars of all time from fellow Indianapolis collector and owner, Rock.

Piatto Forte of Impressive Collection

The first car he purchases as a young man may be a '51 MG TD and his collection may contain a few BMWs and Porsches, plus a 308 GTS Ferrari … yet the pièce de résistance of Rock’s classic car collection (piatto forte in Italian) is Ferrari's 40th anniversary gem: the rare F40 Twin-Turbo. “It was the last car that Enzo Ferrari was personally involved with,” Rock says. “Porsche had come out with a 959, which was a 200-mile-an-hour car. So Ferrari, as part of his 40th anniversary in 1987, he came out with the F40, and this car is capable of 201 miles an hour. He wanted to outdo Porsche and he obviously did.”

One of 235 Made in the USA

Rock’s F40 is made in the car’s last year of manufacture, one of only 35 cars made in 1992 and one of only 235 manufactured in the U.S. He says, “It’s a terrific car to drive and it’s an iconic car. And I’m just a caretaker.”

Respect & Stewardship

Rock realizes that someday, his collection will be passed on to a future car collector who he hopes will respect, care for and enjoy the cars as much as his does. “It's very important to me to make sure that they go to the right place when I go somewhere else beyond this place.”

Listen Up, Future Car Collectors

Rock also thinks it’s really important to share his cars with young people, get them interested in car collecting as a hobby. “When a young child comes up, I say, ‘Go ahead, sit in the car, it won't bite.’” Inevitably, the kid will jump right in the driver’s seat. “It's a pleasure for me to see the smile on somebody's face when they have the opportunity to sit in a car that they may not ever get to sit in again.” Of course, Jon reminds him that a certain 51-year-old kid may be asking to sit in the F40. “Well, we'll try to put you in,” Rock quips. “We may need a shoehorn for you.”

Come on Out to the 2015 Carmel Artomobilia

Popular with car enthusiasts nationwide, this year’s Artomobilia is expected to draw nearly 400+ participating collector cars and 15,000 attendees. The one-day collector show has expanded to a two-day event, with the Fuelicious charity dinner at the Lucas Estate Friday night, followed on Saturday by the Carmel Artomobilia featuring 26 classes of collector cars including Super Car, Exotic, Classic, Sports car, European, Domestic, Vintage and Racers. It’ll be a blast!

Proud Sponsor of Carmel Artomobilia

Classic Auto Insurance is proud to support the 2015 Carmel Artomobilia. Stop by our booth and say hello. Come meet us and see what Classic Auto Insurance has to offer. Car collectors everywhere agree that great customer service and customizable insurance coverage is a winning combination. Let our friendly staff help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car collection.

Posted: 8/25/2015 8:08:07 AM with 0 comments


Artomobilia Presents: The Passion Behind the Owners Part 3 [Video]

2015 Carmel Artomobilia August 28-29

One man, one car, and 53 years of good memories. The 2015 Carmel Artomobilia is quickly approaching on August 28-29 in the heart of the Arts & Design District of Carmel, Indiana. Artomobilia’s Jon Pitz pays a visit to fellow Indianapolis collector John for a little car talk in anticipation of the popular event.

A Family Car with Style

For John, his Jaguar XK150 is part of the family. It is only two years old when he buys it in California, and spends the next 53 years as the family car. John and his wife, Billie, buy it because it is the only Jaguar that comes with two jump seats in the back for their kids. Now, that is a family car with style.

Not an Easy Car to Drive

The Jag starts out as Billie’s car. She drives it around town to do the shopping or to the doctor’s office. Although it is a head turner, John points out, “It’s not an easy car to drive. It doesn’t have power steering”. As Billie (and many other women) will point out, being stylish is never easy. It’s hard work.

He Touched Every Nut and Bolt

Like most car enthusiasts, John spends a lot of time working on his Jaguar. Every nut, bolt, wire and plug has felt his touch as he lovingly keeps it running over the years. That is why this car is part of his family. You can’t put that much love into something and not grow attached.

Just Roll the Windows Down and Go

Some of John’s fondest memories of driving his Jaguar are when they lived in Florida. Driving a car with no A/C in the blistering tropical heat is no picnic. Add a black interior and that spells misery. The only way to cool things off is to roll the windows down and drive 60 mph. Heat or no heat, driving an XK150 was the fun part of John’s daily commute.

One Lone Hubcap, One Miraculous Tale

John’s garage also contains a lone hubcap from his first car, a 1940 LaSalle. In what he describes as “careless driving by a young man down a rocky Colorado road”, the young John rolls the car, crushing the body. Miraculously, all five people in the car survive the harrowing event and were unharmed. As a testament to the solid construction of cars of that time, the LaSalle is able to drive despite its crumbled body.

Over 15,000 Expected to Attend 2015 Carmel Artomobilia

The 2015 Carmel Artomobilia is a collaborative effort of the City of Carmel, Indiana, the Carmel Arts and Design District, and a group of classic car collectors that draws attention to automotive art and design while showcasing the beauty of Carmel. Popular with car enthusiasts nationwide, this year’s Artomobilia is expected to draw nearly 400+ participating collector cars and 15,000 attendees.

Proud Sponsor of Carmel Artomobilia

Classic Auto Insurance is proud to support the 2015 Carmel Artomobilia. Stop by our booth and say hello. Come meet us and see what Classic Auto Insurance has to offer. Car collectors everywhere agree that great customer service and customizable insurance coverage is a winning combination. Let our friendly staff help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car collection.

Posted: 8/20/2015 12:18:05 PM with 0 comments


Mosler MT900S – Too Fast and Too Pretty

A Race Car or a Sports Car?

Our friends at Elite Autos in Jonesboro, AR let us know they have a very rare car sitting on their lot – a Mosler MT900S. It is so rare that few people have heard of it, let alone seen one. They call this car a sports car, yet it screams race car from every inch of its carbon fiber body. It’s just too fast and too pretty to be street legal – but it is.
 


(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)
 

True American Know How

The brainchild of eccentric financier and car builder, Warren Mosler, the MT900S is more racer than sports car. Mosler had a dream to produce a lightweight super car that would blow the doors off of anything else on the road and he achieves that. While the racing version of this car can compete with the Porsches and the Ferraris on the track, this sports car is a product of true American know how.

 


(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


Corvette C5 Influence

If the body of the MT900S looks familiar it might be because the designer, Rod Trenne, worked on the design of the Corvette C5 for GM. He clearly brings the best of the Corvette over to the MT900S. The aerodynamic body is sleek, sexy and a twin to its racing sibling the MT900R.

 


(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)
 

May the Force Be With You

The MT900S is the first car to be designed on a computer then straight into production. There are no prototypes. Only 35 of these cars were produced at the company’s Riviera Beach, Florida facility. George Lucas took possession of the first street legal version of the MT900S in December 2006. Let’s hope the Force was with him when he drove this monster off the lot.

 


(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)

 

Like Owning an F-16

With a top speed of 179 mph, the MT900S is considered by some to be a barely disguised flying machine. Weighing in at only 2,500 lbs., this is one of the lightest super cars around. It can go from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and do a quarter mile in 12 seconds. A Motortrend magazine review compared the MT900S to owning an F16 fighter jet that you could drive around town. It is raw power at its finest.

 


(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)

 

An Exotic Corvette?

The similarities to the Corvette C5 aren’t just external. You could say that the MT900S is the exotic Corvette that GM could have built and didn’t. Chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, better known as the Father of the Corvette, lobbied to make just this type of Corvette for years but was shot down by GM executives. Mosler took the idea and ran with it.

 


(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)

 

Who Needs Automatic Transmission?

A Corvette Z06 derived LS6 V8 engine powers the MT900S and boasts an impressive 435hp. It redlines around 6,500 rpm. Because Mosler felt there really was no need for an automatic transmission, the car comes with only a Porsche standard transmission. The suspension and interior draw elements from the Corvette. With so many former GM engineers consulting on the design, how could it not be influenced by the Corvette?

 


(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)

 

MT900S – Stands Out in a Crowd

With race car reflexes and incredible speed, the MT900S gives you that racing experience without having to go to the track. It looks like a race car inside and out. The interior is surprisingly roomy for a sports car, with ample head, leg and foot room. It is easy to drive but the out-of-nowhere speed will challenge you to pay attention. If speed is something you crave then this is the car for you. Rare and elusive, the MT900S is one car that will stand out in a crowd.
 

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Exotic sports cars like the MT900S have special needs. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 8/19/2015 1:26:57 PM with 0 comments


How to Get Started Collecting Classic Cars

Entry Level Cars for First-Time Owners

After attending a Classic car show you often catch the “fever” to start collecting cars yourself. With many of the cars on exhibit costing thousands of dollars; it can be a little discouraging to a would-be collector. Owning a classic car is much more possible than you may think. Let Rick Drewry with American Modern Insurance Group introduce you to some cars that are perfect to jump start your entry into Classic car collecting.
 

Where Do You Start?

The question I get most often is - “Rick, I have $10,000 and I want to buy a Classic car that will increase in value. Where do you start?” My basic answer is “do your homework”. Start by researching the market. Plenty of Classic car categories out there are popular but haven’t quite taken off with the buying public. These are the cars that will be in demand in a few years so getting in now will bring the best return. Also, think about the next generation of collectors out there. What will they be looking to buy?
 

Under-appreciated “Throwaway Cars”

One under-valued group of cars from the 60’s and 70’s is what I affectionately call “throwaway cars” - Corvairs, Vegas and Pintos. Inexpensive little cars whose owners drove them until the wheels came off. Many wound up being crushed or left to rust in scrap yards. You may be able to find one that’s still in good shape, and buy it –possibly from the original owner- for between $5K and $8K.
 


(Photo courtesy of www.carsbynisbet.com)

Is That a Pinto?

Sure the name “Pinto” usually brings a chuckle from folks but I have a 1974 Pinto woody wagon that I bought 10 years ago for $1,500. Right now it is worth around $5,000. (You’re not laughing now, are you?) It’s all original, never been wrecked and I’m the third owner. I haven’t done anything to it and that car gets more attention at shows than my GTO’S or my ‘53 Chevy. People come by saying, “I haven’t seen one of those in forever” or “my dad had one of those”. These cars are a great place to start a collection. You just have to look around for them.
 

 

(Photo courtesy of www.bestcarsin.com)

Gen X Cars – IRoc Z and Trans Am

For members of Generation X (like me) who went to high school during the 80’s, cars like the IRoc Z or the Trans Am were the cars to own. Now enthusiasts are beginning to remember these cars from their youth and seek them out. You can still find some of these for under $10,000. Remember to look for ones that don’t need a lot of work and are not a complete rebuild.

 
 

80’s Cars Finding Popularity

The IRoc Z, the Trans Am and even the Formula 350 Firebirds are beginning to increase in value. Five or six years ago you could buy one in good condition for $3,000 to $4,000 and now they are more like $8,000 to $10,000. This is because buyers, who are looking for a Classic car but can’t afford the cost of a Muscle car, are looking into these cars. They remember how cool they were and for $10K this time machine can take them on a drive down memory lane (just without the mullet).
 


(Photo courtesy of www. images.classiccars.com)


Got to Have a Mustang?

Got your heart set on owning a Mustang? Well, starting your collection off with a 1967 Mustang may not be possible but a later model Mustang may still be in your future. You need to do your homework. Getting your hands on a 5.0 LX Mustang that hasn’t been modified or totally gutted may be tough, but they are out there. These models have a big following but are still affordable.
 

 
(Photo courtesy of www.chubbcollectorcar.com)
 

Corvettes to Keep Your Eye On

If you want a Corvette, try looking at the C3’s (1968-82) or the C4’s (1984-96). This group of Corvettes is halfway between the classics and the new high performance models. You can still find some in good shape for around $7,000 to $8,000 and with a little bit of work you can have a real gem on your hands. People love their Corvettes, so their value will only increase with time.
 

 
(Photo courtesy of www.cdn.instructables.com)
 

A Blast from the Past (with Four Doors)

For the person that wants a Classic car from the 50’s and 60’s, there are the four door passenger cars like the ’56 Chevy. These were family cars but they still have a lot of American Graffiti pizzazz to them. They aren’t as popular as the two doors but they are going up in value now. You can still find one in nice shape for about $10,000. Keep it for a few years, drive it around and then sell it. You’ll make your money back and then some.

 


(Photo courtesy of www.2.bp.blogspot.com)

Make Mine a Station Wagon

The last group of Classic cars to look out for is the wagons of the 60’s and 70’s. These are the old Vista Cruisers, the Caprice Station Wagons, and the Bonneville Station Wagons. Remember those nine-passenger models with the seat that faced backwards? These wagons are very popular at cruise-ins. Just load the family up and away you go. There’s a lot of nostalgia surrounding the demand for these cars and their value is on the rise.

 


(Photo courtesy of www.stationwagonfinder.com)

The Right Car is worth It

All of the cars mentioned would make great starter cars for someone wanting to get into Classic car collecting. Decide how much you want to invest (for the purchase of the car and to make any minor repairs) and stick to your plan. It may take time to find the right one but it is well worth it. Being a part of the Classic car community is a fantastic way to spend time doing what you love – being around great looking cars. Dive into Classic car collecting. What are you waiting for?

(Rick Drewry is a Senior Claims Specialist with our partner, American Modern Insurance Group.)

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Just starting to collect Classic cars? Got a lot of questions? Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 8/12/2015 9:55:31 PM with 0 comments


Artomobilia Presents: The Passion Behind the Owners Part 2 [Video]

2015 Carmel Artomobilia August 28-29

One man’s love of Italian cars has helped him create a one-of-a-kind collection here in Indiana. It has even helped him fulfill a dying woman’s last wish. Chuck, who’s participating in the 2015 Carmel Artomobilia that takes place in the Arts & Design District of Carmel, Indiana August 28-29, recently invited Artomobilia’s Jon Pitz over to share some fascinating stories and talk cars.

Italian Cars Don’t Like Winter

Chuck’s garage is filled with Alfa Romeos, Abarths, and Fiats. It is an Italian love affair that started back when he was 16. While all of his friends were buying GTOs and Camaros, Chuck spied his first car, an Abarth, sitting on a Glenview dealer’s back lot. It was a rocky start for Chuck and his first love. “Italian cars don’t like winter,” Chuck laughs.

A Collection is Born

Though he parted ways with his Abarth when he graduated from college, Chuck never forgot about it. “Like most people, the first car was the most important.” Forty three years later, Chuck found a car just like his first love and a collection is soon born.

“They’re Italian…You Talk to Them”

His garage is like many garages; filled to overflowing with boxes of tools and parts. For Chuck, his passion isn’t just for collecting cars but working on them. He understands their sensibilities. “They're Italian, you massage them and you talk to them. You make sure that they're feeling good that day. These cars absolutely have individual personalities.”

Still in Mint Condition

Chuck does have other cars in his collection like his 1967 Datsun 2000 which he bought new and has kept in mint condition. “I just get in it, turn the key and it drives. It's like a fancy MG of the day.” Still you can tell that his love for all things Italian reigns supreme in this garage. It is a passion that prompted Chuck to invest in his next car.

Working Class Car Immigrates to America

In the back of the garage sits a small green Fiat 126 which was the replacement of the Fiat 500. With a 600 cc two cylinder air cooled engine, it was an affordable car for the masses in Italy and Poland. This tiny working class car has a unique history, though - Chuck helped it immigrate to the States.

For the Love of Momma

After spotting an ad on Ebay saying the seller would ship the car anywhere in the U.S. (from Perugia, Italy) for a mere $1,500, curiosity got the best of Chuck. He tracked down the seller to get the whole story. “The guy said it was his mother’s dying wish, since she couldn’t come to America, that her car would come instead.” What car lover could turn their back on that kind of story? “I told my sons that this car is never to be sold. As long as we can, we will keep it.”

An International Friendship Begins

Where one part of the story ends, another begins. Not only did the Fiat 126 find a new American home but an international friendship began. Chuck still stays in touch with his new Italian friend, giving him reports on how the little car is doing. “Believe it or not he collects Thunderbirds in Perugia and he's got like five or six T-birds, it's the craziest thing. He calls me from time to time and says, ‘I need a coil for a 1959,’ and I find it for him. We send stuff back and forth.” Two friends united in a common love of cars.

Keeping the Passion for Cars Alive

While Italian cars may dominate the majority of the space his garage, Chuck is a true car enthusiast. Whether he is working on them, driving them or just talking about them, there is no mistaking his love for his four wheeled companions. The Artomobilia is fortunate to be able to bring collectors like Chuck together with others in the car community. Together we can keep the passion for cars alive far into the future.

Enjoy Our Ongoing Video Series

If you’ve enjoyed our interview with Chuck be sure to check out the first video in our series - Artomobilia Presents: The Passion behind the Owners for another fascinating look at a Classic car lover and his collection.

Proud Sponsor of Carmel Artomobilia

Classic Auto Insurance is proud to support the 2015 Carmel Artomobilia and classic car collectors everywhere, who all agree that great customer service and customizable insurance coverage is a winning combination. Let our friendly staff help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car collection.

Posted: 8/7/2015 12:39:30 PM with 0 comments


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