What’s on Your Wish List?
You’ve likely heard the news about three recent Powerball lottery winners who are splitting a huge jackpot of $564 million. Whether you’re a winner or not, thinking about all that money tends to stir the imagination. After all, what do they say about the lottery? “All you need is a dollar and a dream”.
Lots of dream-plans fill most people’s wish lists, from owning a brand new home, taking around-the-world vacations, even quitting the day job to pursue the leisure life. Inevitably, one item appears on every wish list: buying a luxury car. A status symbol on wheels, a new luxury car can be the rolling personification of your new found wealth. For so many, especially for passionate car collectors, it is the stuff of dreams. So, what’s on your luxury car wish list?
Let’s Get Busy Shopping!
In 2014, luxury car brands enjoyed record sales. BMW, Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Audi all had a banner year. Even Rolls Royce sales were up 33%. Overall, luxury auto sales were up 11% in 2014, largely due to the number of “entry level” luxury class models made available from companies like Mercedes Benz and Audi. However, when you factor in the 219 extra billionaires made in 2014, it could explain why Rolls Royce sales increased at a dramatic rate.
Indulge Yourself. And Your Dreams.
Say you do win the lottery … or have the cash to indulge yourself. As the official newest member of the “Wealthiest One Percent of Americans” club, you’re eager to start burning a hole in that black American Express card so let’s start shopping for that luxury vehicle.
The definition of luxury is “an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease; something that is expensive and not necessary”. What could be more pleasurable than sinking down into the leather seats of your very own Bentley while being chauffeured around town? See, luxury looks good on you!
The Price Tag of Pleasure
Our first guilty pleasure is the Bentley Mulsanne. This car doesn’t just get you from point A to point B in style. It announces you. This automobile is a rolling work of art. The Mulsanne is so popular with the uber elite (those are your peeps by the way) that it sold out two years prior to its launch in 2010. Your four-wheeled beauty will only require 12 weeks to craft but the wait is worth it. Bentley will assist you in creating your masterpiece from 114 standard paint colors, 21 different carpet options and nine polished wood veneers. Less than 800 vehicles are built each year and one of them can be yours for the low starting price of $300,000.
(2015 Rolls Royce Phantom. s3.amazonaws.com)
Roll Like the Queen
Perhaps the Bentley Mulsanne isn’t quite your cup of tea. If so, then let’s shoot for the moon and go for the granddaddy of all luxury vehicles, the Rolls Royce. Soon you, too can be rolling like the Queen in a Rolls Royce Phantom for around a $400,000 starting price. Featuring full grain woods and hand stitched leather, the Phantom takes 60 pairs of hands 450 hours to bring to perfection. Just sit back and enjoy the rear seat DVD entertainment center and the 26 speaker premium sound system while using the heated and cooled cup holders on the ride to your palace. Weighing at close to 6,000 pounds with a 6.75L V12 engine, this gilded behemoth commands the road. This is why the Rolls Royce Phantom is still at the top of the list of elite cars.
The Sky’s the Limit
Whichever magnificent car keeps rolling through your dreams, just know that the sky’s the limit. Companies like Mercedes Benz, Bentley and Rolls Royce offer the epitome of opulence on wheels. These car makers are ready, willing and able to fulfill your wildest wishes in order to create for you one-of-a-kind luxury automobiles. While you are learning to like caviar and perfecting that queenly wave remember, they say money can’t buy happiness … but it can buy gas for your Rolls.
Count on Classic Auto
Before you take a lap around the block in your new ride, be sure you protect your new investment with the right luxury car insurance policy from Classic Auto Insurance. Check out our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 2/26/2015 9:00:00 AM
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Right now, you might find yourself at a crossroads of sorts.
You work long and hard; day in and day out. You go about your daily routine of raising the family and running errands, but all the while something is eating at you in the back of your mind. You can’t quite put your finger on it until you look in the rear view mirror of your “soccer mom” SUV and ask yourself … is this all there is? Have I lost my swagger, the fun of my youth? Well, maybe what you could be asking yourself is … do I need a little “muscle” in my life?
Face it folks, the muscle car is as American as apple pie. Not everyone needs to own a boring car and the Camaro is anything but. It is the epitome of style and performance. There is nothing like the feeling of motoring through a turn, g-force full throttle, pushing you into the driver seat. Or the power of a V8 engine when you step on the gas.
The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most iconic American muscle cars there is. From its launch in 1966 to compete with the Ford Mustang, the Camaro has been a symbol of speed and power on the road. Chevy even made its name sound like a true predator in its initial press release when they told the automotive world, “A Camaro is a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs”.
Throughout all of its five different design stages, the Chevy Camaro has remained one of America’s most popular muscle cars. It is known for turning heads. When Chevrolet decided to create the fifth generation Z28 in 2010, they made it lighter overall. As Chevy put it, “we took out everything that didn’t make it go faster, or was required by law”. Camaro engineers called the Z28 a “momentum car” because it had tons of grip and tons of power under the hood and would blow the doors off anything on the track.
The fifth generation Camaro also got a big promotional boost to its street cred when it became a box office super hero, as the character “Bumble Bee” in DreamWorks/ Paramount Pictures’ Transformer movies. Soon, young and old alike recognized the body shape of the mighty Z28.
Photo credit: BumbleBee Camaro 02 by Kevin Ward/ Eastpointe
“The sleek two-door coupe looks like a cross between a 60’s muscle car and a spaceship,” says NPR.com’s Frank Langfitt. Owners of the Camaro Z28 agree. As one owner of the 2014 Camaro Z28 proclaims, “I love the way (the futuristic style) looks; it’s all angles. It has almost a Battlestar-Gallactica-Darth-Vadar look to the grill in the front. There aren’t going to be any cars out there that look like this car.”
So next time you think your world is getting a little too stagnant, why not decide to add a little muscle to your life? It’s like what actor Shia Lebeouf’s character says in the first Transformer movie, “Fifty years from now, when you’re looking back at your life, don’t you want to say you had the guts to get into the car?”
Well, don’t you?
Elite Autos Car of the Month
If you are ready to bring a little “muscle” back into your life then talk to the folks at Elite Auto about the sweet 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 featured in this article. The limited production Z28 comes loaded with a 7.0L V8 engine, 6 speed manual transmission, and Z28 performance suspension with performance traction management. Call Shelby at 870-931-8004 or Eric at 870-351-7008 to answer all your questions. Don’t forget to call Classic Auto to protect your new ride with our competitive Camaro insurance policies!
Posted: 2/19/2015 9:00:00 AM
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When a famous car meets an iconic tune on television or
the big screen, something wonderful happens.
Whether it’s a re-run of The Dukes of Hazard or a James Bond movie marathon, what happens when a modern collectible or classic car pairs off with a timeless theme song? Magic happens, that’s what. If you’re a movie or TV show buff and a classic car collector, you can probably appreciate how legendary duos are sometimes made from the sights and sounds of great entertainment – they may have even inspired you to collect and restore vintage cars.
- What Hollywood blockbuster do you think of when you see a DeLorean DMC-12 while listening to Huey Lewis belt out “The Power of Love”?
- What car comes to mind when you hear “Mrs. Robinson” from The Graduate?
- What wild world are you in, if you’re bobbin’ heads to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” while driving a 1976 AMC Pacer?
We’ve put together this graphic of “Famous Cars and Their Famous Songs on the Screen” for you to enjoy and share with your fellow collectors. It’ll have you toe tappin’ and motor revvin’ all the way down memory lane.
Count on Classic Auto
If you own any famous cars, Classic Auto can help you protect them, offering affordable rates, agreed value coverage, roadside assistance plans, and term mileage rollover options on collector car insurance policies. Learn more at www.classicins.com.
Posted: 2/13/2015 9:00:00 AM
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After 50 years of tough economic sanctions, last month the U.S. relaxed trade restrictions against Cuba. This new dialogue between the two countries has classic car buffs back in the States salivating over the thought of some 60,000 vintage cars potentially hitting the collector’s market. Before everyone gets too excited, let’s settle in for a reality check.
Though Cuba has been in a virtual time warp, the classic cars seen on news segments or online reports may not live up to all the hype. Many of these vehicles have been kept on the road by any means available to their Cuban owners. “What you see are a lot of cars that are just kind of rolling hulks held together with duct tape and chicken wire,” says Lance Lambert, host of the U.S. television show, Vintage Vehicles.
Keeping Cuban Cars on the Road
With no access to original parts or high quality fabrications, these cars are often labeled “Frankenstein cars”. The only original part remaining on many is the body. Diesel engines have replaced the original motors, interiors are often handmade and owners paint the cars with whatever they have available, including house paint.
For many Cubans, these rolling pieces of history provide vital income. With the average monthly salary for a Cuban citizen around $20, this explains why there are so many of these antique taxis still on the road. Another reason is that for decades the only cars that most could afford were the pre-revolutionary ones. These are the only vehicles that can be bought and sold freely. All other cars have to be purchased from state run dealerships. Not only that, a brand new sedan costs upwards of $200,000 in Cuba, which makes it almost impossible for the average person to own.
But surely there has to be a few pristine classics sitting in a garage or a shed waiting to be rescued? It appears that a “barn find” would be rare, though. Many collectors from other countries have sought them out and failed. Still, hope springs eternal.
So what happens if you do go to Cuba, you do find that elusive ’57 Chevy hidden in some barn (in near mint condition) and you are able to buy it? What then? Well, you may face yet another unfortunate reality: A 2010 Cuban law bans cars from being taken off the island. Maybe this will change with the proposed governmental policies …
Or maybe you should just buy a lottery ticket.
Seeing all of those vintage Cuba cars on the small screen can get you thinking how you might love to see your own classic ride make its Hollywood début (and earn a little cash in the process). How does one go about getting their car or truck in the movies or on a television show?
Decades ago, Hollywood studios owned their own fleets of cars but as times changed, studio executives realized that this just wasn’t cost effective. Now studios rent the vehicles they need from car brokers, who act as point people for studios when they want to find a specific car for a movie or television show. Many of these agents have an inventory of cars at their disposal ranging from classic models to the everyday variety. The car brokers visit car shows around the country to look for vehicles they might want to represent. Just like talent agents for actors, these individuals contract with a car’s owner to make it available for use by the studios.
Before you go and think – “Wow, I’m going to get rich doing this” – the average rate for a day’s rental on a car is $200. (Think background extra rather than major movie star). It could be more or less depending on if the car in question is a one-of-a-kind model. Subtract the broker’s fee (usually 25%) and you could probably make enough to cover gas and a burger.
Let us not diminish the role cars play in setting the mood of an entertaining period piece. “In some movies, cars are almost as important as the actors,” says Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Watching an iconic car on the big screen is what ignited many an individual’s desire to collect and restore vintage cars. Thankfully Hollywood will continue to showcase cars as long as collectors are willing to make them available. Just beware of fly by night outfits and stick to reputable companies that have worked in the movie or television business for a while. Soon you, too, may see a Hollywood leading man leaning against your vintage car in the next blockbuster movie.
Just not close enough to scratch the paint.
Count on Classic Auto
Most reputable broker agencies have their own liability insurance to cover the vehicles they lease. It is still a good idea to make sure you are covered with your own policy. Before deciding to rent your vehicle for display or entertainment, have your existing collector car insurance policy reviewed. You may also want to take detailed photographs of your car to have in the event of an accident on set. An expert at Classic Auto Insurance can help you prepare your car for the big screen. Check out our website at www.classicins.com.
Photo credits: www.reuters.com/stringer; www.reuters.com/stringer; www.wilsonauto.com; www.cbs.com/shows/csi/; www.fox.com/bones
Posted: 2/12/2015 9:00:00 AM
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Whether the classic variety or brand new straight off the production line, U.S. consumers love their pickups.
For so many Americans, the truck is king. This love affair is ignited right after the first mass produced truck, the Ford Model T Runabout
, rolls off the assembly line on April 25, 1925. These trucks were built to transport materials and little else. Their basic design offers no creature comforts like heating or padded seats. Some came with only a soft convertible top -a far cry from the trucks we see on the road today.
As pickups evolve from primarily utilitarian vehicles to the family car, America’s love affair with the truck deepens. Nowhere else in the world do people buy pickup trucks at the rate they do in the United States. As a result, nowhere else in the world do people collect and restore the classics like we do in America. At the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, a beautiful 1940 Ford Boyd Coddington
red pickup went for the amazing sum of $374,000.
The 50’s era introduces us to the Ford 100, the Dodge D100 Sweptside
and the Chevy Cameo Carrier
, a few models that begin to incorporate the public’s demand for comfort and style. These models came in a variety of colors and offered options like passenger style seating. Go to any car show in the country and you will find an appreciative crowd gathering around these beauties. Everyone can see the hard work and passion that goes into restoring them.
Truck Love a Generational Phenomenon
So when someone says they have decided to restore a classic truck, realize there may be more to it than bringing an old pickup back to life. For many, these classics are symbols of their childhood. They remember how they hauled everything from lumber to kids, day in and day out, on old country roads and city traffic. Our love for the truck is a generational phenomenon. In his book, Pickups: A Love Story –Trucks, Their Owners, Their Stories
, author Howard Zehr
documents the lifelong relationship folks have with the American pickup truck. He shares stories of individuals who have lovingly restored vehicles they remember from their youth. Like Sali Hott, who recalls listening for the low rumble of her father’s 53 Ford, signaling his return home from work in the evenings. “Its engine was beautiful music to my ears,” she says. She remembers Sunday drives with the entire family piled into the cab and playing with her toys in her own private playground right inside the truck bed. It is her love for her father and his trusty truck that sets her on the path to finding a vehicle she could rebuild, and re-capture those wonderful memories.
Remembering the Good Old Days
Restoring a classic truck speaks to who we are as individuals. It speaks to memories we wish to hold onto and pass on to the next generation. Some collectors will lovingly recreate their trucks exactly the way they remember them from childhood while others will personalize their trucks into artistic expressions of their adult personality. Some will store their trucks and bring them out only for shows or an occasional spin. Others will drive them every day. Regardless of how a person arrives at the decision to take on the challenge of restoring a classic truck, the “why” is still the same: The love of a man (or a woman) for their truck. It speaks of forever memories and of adventures that lie ahead, an American love story that stands the test of time.
Count on Classic Auto
We love classic trucks, too. Let us help you protect your “family member” with just the right vintage truck insurance
policy. Our streamlined claims process makes dealing with life’s little bumps in the road a lot easier. Learn more at www.classicins.com
Posted: 2/5/2015 9:00:47 AM
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