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Hot Rods and Customs Roar into Motor City for 2016 Detroit Autorama


The Country’s Best Hot Rods on Display

“America’s greatest hot rod show,” the 64th Annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama, is hosted by the Michigan Hot Rod Association and is also one of the Motor City’s best. The three-day event at the Cobo Center showcases some of the country’s best hot rods and custom built cars.


So Much to See and Do

From the Cavalcade of Customs (a 10 car exhibit) and the Chop Shop demonstrations to a burnout competition, car enthusiasts enjoy over 600,000 square feet of exhibits, demonstrations, and live bands – there’s even an entire floor for the traditional hot rod and rat rod lovers. Truly something for everyone.


The Ridler Award

One of the weekend’s highlights is the presentation of the prestigious Ridler Award. Named for early Autorama promoter Don Ridler, this trophy is presented to the car design that best displays creativity, engineering and quality workmanship. In 2015, Chip Foose, former star of the Velocity Channel show Overhaulin’, won the Ridler for the fourth time with a 1965 Chevy Impala that he re-imagined to be “what an Impala would look like if the Corvette Division created her.” Nicknamed “The Imposter,” she sits atop a new 2009 Corvette frame (thanks to some strategically placed cuts). By maintaining the Vette wiring underneath, Foose turns this family car into a bulked-up sports car.


Corvette Features on an Impala Body

Taking their style cue from the Corvette, the Foose team adds familiar features like bucket seats, mesh side vents and rounded tail lights to the Impala. They shave 14 inches off the rear section and shorten the roof by eight inches, to make the body fit the extended Vette frame. This car looks like nothing else out there.



“The Imposter” Can Take You for A Ride

Ridler Award cars are required to be operational and this Impala certainly is. The owner built it as a daily driver for his wife to “drive to pick up groceries.” Powered by a 6.2L supercharged V-8 Vette engine, “The Imposter” can definitely take you for a ride.


Pirelli “Great 8” Ridler Award Finalists

While the 1965 Impala may have taken home the top prize, the other seven Pirelli “Great 8” finalists are no slouches. The group consists of a neon green 1965 Dodge Dart, a merlot colored 1956 Plymouth Belvedere convertible, a 1959 Nash Rambler wagon, a 1969 Mustang, a 1969 Camaro, a 1937 Ford Woody Wagon and a 1932 Highboy Roadster. All are being presented for the first time in Detroit.


America’s Greatest Indoor Hot Rod Show

The Detroit Autorama, sponsored by O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, is part of the World of Wheels and Summit Racing Equipment Show Car Series as well as the International Show Car Association. Treat yourself to a weekend of great customized hot rods, informative exhibits and plenty of entertainment at the 2016 Detroit Autorama. See you there!


Meet Classic Auto at the Detroit Autorama February 26-28

We love hot rods and custom built cars which is why we’ll be at the Detroit Autorama. Stop by the Classic Auto Insurance booth at the Cobo Center and let our friendly experts help you find the perfect policy for your collector car or classic rod. With onsite quotes, we can instantly help you insure your vehicle for less. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 2/25/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Wow in the 2016 World of Wheels Indianapolis

Addicted to Car Restoration

We’re still so jazzed about what we saw this year in Indianapolis at the World of Wheels Custom Auto Show! As we spoke with car owners during the event, one recurring theme seemed to run through every conversation: car restoration is an addiction we all suffer from - and we all love every minute of it.

Just Can’t Stop Ourselves

You know how it goes. You start off tweaking the engine or giving her a new coat of paint and suddenly a newly restored car is sitting in your garage. Many an overhauled classic has started out this way. While the stories may differ, the underlying truth is we just can’t stop ourselves.


2016 Hoosier Award Winning 1969 Chevy Chevelle SS

Jack Stone owns the shining black 1969 Chevelle SS that took home this year’s Hoosier Award. He was just going to repaint his future race car, only things took off from there in a quest for perfection. This muscle car may not be winning races (yet) but it’s sure turning heads at WOW.


Scrapbook of Memories

Original owner Kurt Wright figured his 1971 Plymouth Barracuda just needed a new paint job to cover up a “little bit of rust.” One thing led to another and soon Ken Mosier at The Finer Details auto restoration in Danville, IN was doing a total renovation. For Wright, a Vietnam Vet, his “Cuda” is more than just a show car, it’s a scrapbook for his memories.


Dragster is Car Show Beauty

The Finer Details folks also exhibited an orange 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T at the show. Prior to its life as a show car, this baby was a dragster. The owner wanted it made into a driver. Getting it back into shape took long hours and attention to detail. The hard work paid off, though, when Chrysler asked to use the car in a commercial introducing their new Scat Pack cars in 2015.


The ’73 Cuda Story

When the new Dodge Chargers came out, Bruce Haines decided it was time for everyone to see what a real muscle car looked like. He dusted off his old 1973 Plymouth Barracuda, which had been sitting in a barn for 35 years, and got busy. He thought to make it a daily driver but once he and Vail’s Classic Cars in Greenfield, IN got started, “things just evolved” and went beyond “just a driver” (as they often do).


Find More Great Car Stories Online

World of Wheels is always a great time to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones. Sharing car stories is what collecting is all about. If you want to hear more car talk, check out our interviews from WOW 2015 on our blog.

Meet Classic Auto at the 2016 Detroit Autorama Feb. 26-28

If you missed us at WOW Indianapolis, be sure to stop by the Classic Auto Insurance booth at the Cobo Center in Detroit. Let our friendly experts help you find the perfect policy for your collector or classic car. With onsite quotes, we can instantly help you insure your vehicle for less. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 2/18/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Which Corvette Model is the Best? The Debate Continues [INFOGRAPHIC]

Which is Your Favorite Corvette?

For over 60 years the Corvette has been American’s sports car. Vette enthusiasts everywhere love to expound the merits of their favorite models. We’ve put together a comparison of the 1953 Corvette (C-1) and the 2016 Corvette (C-7) to help with your next discussion. Which side of the debate are you on – original or C-7? Share our fact sheet with other Vette lovers and see which model is their favorite.


A Legend is Born

In January 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette takes center stage at the GM Motorama in New York City and a legend is born. Capitalizing on its success, GM rushes Harley Earl’s EX-122 prototype into production and the first C-1 model rolls off the line in June. Three hundred white convertibles (the only choice available at the time) are produced that year.

V6 Engine Dropped for the Powerful V8

Corvette sales grow slowly over the next couple of years along with its fan base. In 1955, sales explode when Chevy offers the choice of a small block V8 engine. As a result, only seven V6 Corvettes are built in 1955; the rest are V8 engines. Acknowledging their customer’s desire for more power, Chevy begins putting only V8 engines in their Corvettes.

C-1 Tops 100 mph

The Corvette is the first all-fiberglass bodied American sports car. With a lightweight body and a powerful engine, the C-1 Vette has a top speed of 100 mph and can do 0-60 in 8.5 seconds. Not bad for 1955.


Corvette Production Stops but Not for Long

The Corvette has had many re-designs over the years. By the time it reaches the sixth generation, sales start to slip. Viewed as “an old man’s car” by younger car buyers, Chevy decides to stop production in 2013. Yet fans demand its return, and in 2014 a totally new Corvette C-7 rolls off the line, resurrecting the Stingray name last used in 1976.

Cutting Edge Technology at the Heart of C-7 Design

In true Corvette style, the C-7 uses the latest technology in its design. The Eco-mode shifts fuel delivery to the 8-cylinder engine, reducing it to a 4-cylinder for better fuel economy. It also possesses an all-aluminum frame and carbon fiber elements to make it one of the lightest yet most rigid sports cars out there.

Corvette C-7 - An “Old Man’s Car” No Longer

A 6.2L LT1 V8 engine produces 460 hp and can go from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. The current generation of Corvette is a true race car, making it the ideal choice to be featured in the popular video game, Grand Turismo. No one is calling this an “old man’s car” now.


Bring On the Next Generation of Corvettes

Innovations are always being incorporated into the design of the Corvette and expectations are high for the next generation 2017 C-8 (tentatively titled the Zora or ZR-1). Chevy is giving this model a mid-engine architecture in order to open up the body design possibilities. They want this generation of Corvette to compete against Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche.

The Corvette – America’s Sports Car

Whether you think the original C-1 or the 2016 C-7 is the ultimate Vette is a debate that will rage on forever (And you think the presidential race is a tough choice!). The one thing everyone can agree on is that the Corvette is America’s sports car and has been for over 60 years. Long live the Corvette!

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Corvette owners love their Vettes, which is why choosing the right insurance coverage will bring you peace of mind. Let the 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: 2/15/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Quality Workmanship On Display at World of Wheels

What Are You Waiting for? World of Wheels is Here!

The O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels Custom Auto Show is happening right now thru Valentine’s Day at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds - four massive buildings jammed packed with beautiful cars, trucks and motorcycles on display. Don’t believe us? Check out this 2015 WOW video highlighting a stunning black 1959 Chevrolet Impala. Amazing cars like this one are waiting for you at the show.


The Impala Puts Chevy Back on Top

In 1958, GM is celebrating 50 years of production by having each of its brands introduce an anniversary model - the Cadillac Eldorado Seville, Buick Roadmaster Riviera, Oldsmobile Holiday 88, Pontiac Bonneville Catalina and the all-new Chevy Bel-Air Impala. Named for a Southern African Antelope, the Impala’s instant popularity lifts Chevy back into the top production spot among auto companies.



What a Showstopper

Chevy’s success means the Impala soon gets its own model series and a makeover by Chevy design chief Harley Earl (in his last official design project before retiring). Earl is inspired by Chevy’s need for a car that can compete with Chrysler and Ford, and he wants the Impala to look different. His flamboyant style is clearly evident.


Introducing Bat Wings

Designers slope and lower the roofline by three inches, giving the Impala a longer, streamlined look. A radical “bat wing” rear profile is introduced with the fins curving outward rather than upward, forming a “V” over the back of the car.


Impala “Eyes” Have It

Distinctive “cats eye” tail lights, framed by rear fin “eyebrows,” make the Impala one of the most recognized models from the ‘50’s. Chevy also installs wrap-around glass for the windshield and rear window, giving an almost unobstructed view from the inside.


Over 13 Million Impalas Sold

Under the hood, a six cylinder inline (235 cid) or a V8 (283 cid) small block engine comes standard. In 1959, a new Impala cost $2,592 for the V6 engine or $2,967 for the V8. From 1958-1966 over 13 million Impalas are sold, which bests any other full sized car in history.

Quality Workmanship On Display at WOW

What draws our attention to the’59 Impala featured in the video is the exceptional paint job. Everyone knows that black paint shows every bump, blemish and speck of dust. This car is as smooth as glass and the color reflects light like nobody’s business. It is a prime example of superior body work and attention to detail. This is the kind of quality workmanship you will see at this year’s World of Wheels as well.

Largest Indoor Automotive Show in Indianapolis

The 57th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels Custom Auto Show is part of Autorama, the Summit Racing Equipment Show Car Series and the International Show Car Association. The largest indoor automotive show event each year in Indianapolis, it features traditional rods, customs, trucks and motorcycles. The three-day event is packed with live entertainment, charity auctions and exhibits. WOW is a car lover’s dream weekend, so be there!

Meet Classic Auto at WOW Indianapolis Feb. 12-14

Attending events like WOW Indianapolis 2016 is a way for us to meet fellow classic lovers and to be a part of the collector car community. Stop by the Classic Auto Insurance booth at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and let our friendly experts help you find the perfect policy for your collector or classic car. With onsite quotes, we can instantly help you insure your vehicle for less. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Eleanor and the Cars of Gone in Sixty Seconds Still Tops on Our List


“Eleanor” Calls Illinois Home

Ask an auto geek to name their favorite car movies and Gone in Sixty Seconds is always on the list. Do you know that the four-wheeled star of the film, a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 - code named “Eleanor,” currently lives at the Volo Auto Museum in Illinois? Check out this video from our recent visit.


Boost 50 Cars in 24 Hours

In 2000, Touchstone Picture’s film, Gone in Sixty Seconds, thrilled car enthusiasts and movie goers with an action packed story of a retired car thief (Nicolas Cage) who is forced to steal 50 exotic cars in 24 hours to save his brother life. Cage and his crew (Angelina Jolie, Scott Caan, and Robert Duval just to name a few) race against time, boosting all the cars on a list that includes Cage’s allusive trophy, “Eleanor” – a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500.


How Much Would These 50 Cars Cost?

The entire car list (along with their female codenames) can be found on Imgur, a site where millions of people share photos and stories about their interests. Fifteen years after the movie, car enthusiasts continue to debate what the total cost of this car collection could be. With beauties like a 1966 Shelby AC Cobra and a 1994 Jaguar XJ220, the price tag would be record breaking … and pure speculation.


“Eleanor” Mustang Created for the Film

Many people don’t realize that “Eleanor” isn’t a true Shelby Mustang. She was created by Cinema Vehicle Services (with the help of designer Chip Foose) specifically for the movie. The car design is based on the 1967 Shelby GT500 created by the legendary Carroll Shelby. Only 300 Shelby Mustangs are ever produced and one recently sold at auction for $1.3 million.


Only 7 “Eleanors” Survive

The film’s producers wanted the car designers to modernize the Mustang’s looks to compete with performance cars like Lamborghinis or Ferraris. The 11 “Eleanors” created for filming are built on ‘67/’68 Mustang fastback bodies and given a new sleek design. Of those cars, one is chopped up to allow for camera work, two are destroyed during stunts, and seven survive.


“Eleanor” Auctioned for $1 Million

In 2013 the car used for beauty shots in the film (and later for publicity events) is sold at the Dana Mecum Spring Classic Auction in Indianapolis for $1 million. The popularity of the film and the history of this particular car make it truly unique. Today, you can order your own “Eleanor” from Cinema Vehicle Services, built to your specifications and ready to race.


“Dorothy” - 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

“Eleanor” isn’t the only lady on the list with pedigree. “Dorothy,” a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, has a top speed of 161 mph and was the fastest production car of its time. With its iconic gullwing doors, “Dorothy” can easily command $800,000 - $1 million at auction.


Let “Bernadine” Take You for A Ride

The 1994 Jaguar XJ220 Coupe, called “Bernadine” in the movie, is a two seater supercar. This performance vehicle has a top speed of 213 mph and is one of the fastest production cars around. Only 275 are made, which makes it both rare and beautiful.


Car Love Everlasting

The fact that people are still talking about the vehicles in Gone in Sixty Seconds proves we love our cars. Whether your favorite is “Eleanor,” “Dorothy,” “Bernadine,” or any of the other 47 ladies, just getting to look at beautiful classic cars on the big screen is priceless.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Your classic car is number one on your list, which is why you want the best protection for it. Let our friendly experts find the perfect policy for the star of your garage. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 2/11/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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