Most of you have likely tucked your classic cars away until next spring. Since having vehicles sit for months can cause issues for both you and your cars, it never hurts to review a few basic facts about storing classic cars for the winter.
Protect Your Investment
Rick Drewry, collector car specialist with our underwriting partner American Modern Insurance Group, shares some recommendations on preparing a classic car for the cold months. “As a fellow classic car owner, the main goal is to protect our investment. It is less work to maintain a car than to fix it and it’s cheaper.”
Keep Your Car Dry
According to Rick, moisture is a big culprit of car storage issues. Unheated garages warm and cool with outside temperatures, causing condensation to build up on the interior and engine of your car. Condensation will corrode car parts, which can result in costly repairs. Install a garage dehumidifier to help control moisture and keep a fan running to circulate air.
Car Covers a “Must Have”
Using a car cover in a garage isn’t just for keeping dust and debris off. Breathable covers allow moisture to evaporate, giving an extra layer of protection for your car. While plastic encapsulating car covers protect a car from scratches and dirt, they can trap moisture, Rick says. Make sure the fan/vent system on them is working properly before leaving your car inside.
Add Fuel Stabilizer to Gas Tank
Before storing your car, change the oil, add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and run the engine long enough to let the fresh lubricants work their way through the system. Check your tire pressure. Improperly inflated tires can develop flat spots from sitting too long. Better yet, raise your car on lifts, which will take the pressure off your tires.
A Good Antifreeze Prevents Expensive Repairs
Rather than simply topping off your radiator, replace the antifreeze entirely. Use a good quality product to assure it will not freeze and crack the engine block, cylinder heads or radiator. Look for one rated to withstand temperatures dipping down into the single digits or below. You never know when your garage may lose power and heat.
Keep On Charging
Good batteries are expensive. Keep your battery charged by purchasing a battery tender, which is a lot cheaper than buying a new battery each year. With the consistent charge of a battery tender, you are actually extending the life of the battery.
Don’t Store a Dirty Car!
Grime left on the paint can etch and stain it. Give your beauty a thorough cleaning (inside and out) and protect it with a good wax. Wipe both sides of the tires with WD-40 to keep them from drying out. Clean all the vinyl and leather, too. Rick says this is a no-brainer. “Come spring, your car will be road ready the instant it turns warm.”
Check Under the Hood for Guests
Your car’s clean, winterized and protected in the garage. What could possibly go wrong? Well, a family of mice has set up their new home in the engine. These pests can literally eat their way through the wiring and interior, setting your restoration back months. Try these tips to battle animal infestation:
- Eliminate entry points and hiding places - Block all holes and cracks into the garage.
- Block entrances to engine compartment - Set traps near the wheels so rodents can’t crawl up the tires. Some owners have even put wire screen over engine openings.
- Use repellants or traps around the car – Spray repellant or set snap traps, glue boards, or capture cages on the floor around the car.
- Leave the hood up – Pests are looking for a warm dark place to hold up. If this isn’t practical, then set up a light to shine into the engine to give them fewer places to hide.
- Go high tech with ultrasound devices – Rodents are sensitive to the high frequency sounds they emit, although it’s anyone’s guess as to whether this scares them off or simply bores them.
Check for Friendly Fur-babies, Too
Whatever you do, look frequently for signs of nesting. Rodents will drag any number of things into their nests – dog food, pine cones, pine straw, newspapers, acorns. (Imagine your engine catching fire due to a stash of pine cones wedged in there!) Also, before testing the engine, tap loudly on the hood to give your would-be tenants a chance to scurry. Remember, the family pet may like to hide there, too.
Show the Love - Prepare Your Car for Storage
You are passionate about your classic car, which is why you take the time to prepare it for long months of storage. Waiting to get back behind the wheel may be killing you, though. Don’t worry – you’ll be reunited soon. Winter doesn’t last forever.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Want to learn more about protecting your car during winter storage? Check out our past blog on the subject or this handy car storage checklist. Share it with your fellow car enthusiasts. Passion for cars is what we’re all about. Let the friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the perfect policy to protect your classic all year long. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 1/28/2016 2:05:49 PM
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Rolls Royce Sports Car?
Typically, you don’t associate sports cars with the name Rolls Royce but the Wraith may change your mind. It’s what you find under the hood of this luxury sedan that will get your attention. We’re giving you a look at a 2015 Rolls Royce Wraith that’s available at Elite Autos in Jonesboro, AR and believe us, it doesn’t disappoint.
An Imposing Presence on the Road
The Wraith may have elements of the Rolls Royce Ghost, though it’s no knockoff. This luxury coupe still has an imposing presence on the road, with a shorter wheelbase, fastback roofline and sportier look. To put it into perspective, it has a longer frame than the Chrysler 300 and a wider berth than most mid-sized SUV’s. This is no shrinking violet.
The Most Powerful Rolls Royce Engine Ever
Rolls calls the Wraith one of its “most potent and technologically advanced” cars ever produced. Boasting the most powerful engine Rolls has ever offered – a 623hp twin turbo-charged V-12, potent may be an understatement. With a top speed of 155 mph, you tend to forget the car weighs roughly the same as a mid-size pickup truck (5,500 lbs.).
Power Ride Plus
This Rolls doesn’t just cruise, it blasts down the road, going 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. Even its Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament seems to be leaning slightly forward in anticipation. Yet this is no bone jarring jaunt in an uncomfortable vehicle. It’s a sumptuous ride in one of the world’s best made automobiles.
This Big Car Can Corner
Driving a Wraith, you soon discover it possesses something others Rolls’ do not – the ability to corner. That’s amazing considering how big this car is. Think less about the razor sharp turning capability of a Porsche and more about the nimble aptitude of the Ghost or the Phantom, only better.
GPS Guided Transmission Senses the Road
The Wraith benefits from BMW technology with its 8-speed ZF Auto Satellite Aided transmission, which uses GPS data to manipulate the gear box and to sense how the car should respond to the road ahead. This car knows what needs to be done before you do.
450 Man Hours, Perfect Production
As with all Rolls Royce automobiles, the cars are rolling works of art. It takes 450 man hours to build and craft a Wraith. The steel body is molded by hand. The interior panels are placed perfectly on the dash and doors. You only have to slide into the buttery soft leather seats to know what luxury truly is.
Leg Room and a Killer Sound System
Since the Wraith is a two-door fastback, you probably think sitting in the backseat would be a torturous affair. You’re so wrong, man. Two adults (yes, full grown humans) can sit comfortably back there with plenty of leg room – sumptuously suitable for enjoying the world class sound system standard in all Rolls Royce cars.
Unique View of Night Sky
Above you on the interior roof is the Starlight headliner. Fiber optic strands are arranged to mimic a starry night. You can adjust the brightness of the 1,340 tiny lights to suit your mood. This unique feature is created several years ago for the Celestial Phantom to commemorate the car’s inaugural unveiling at midnight on January 1, 2003. The fiber optic stars are aligned just as they were on that night. Beauty!
Wish List: 1. Wraith
One hundred years after Henry Royce decides to create “the best motor car in the world regardless of cost”, Rolls Royce is still creating motor car masterpieces. The Wraith is no exception. Speed, agility, and superior construction make this luxury car one to add to your wish list.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
It’s easy to find the right insurance for your luxury automobiles or collections when you let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the perfect policy. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 1/21/2016 12:00:00 AM
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Big events like the 45th anniversary of the Barrett-Jackson 2016 Scottsdale Auction (Jan. 23-31) demand big ticket items like a 1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Worblaufen Cabriolet. This beautiful car, with its flowing lines and teardrop fenders, is one of only three bodies made by the famed Swiss coachbuilder, Worblaufen. It is sure to draw a big crowd.
Antonio Lago – A Man on a Mission
In 1935, Italian engineer and entrepreneur Antonio Lago acquires a French factory outside of Paris from the failing Sunbeam-Talbot-Darraq conglomerate. He sets out to build light sporting cars that would challenge the pricier luxury cars from Delahaye, Delage and Hotchkiss. His goal is to use Talbot-Lago racing as a tool for development and publicity.
Talbot-Lago Cars Are Unique
Capitalizing on the Talbot racing success, Lago designs his sports cars using one of four different chassis sizes. Clients pick the frame they want and order the preferred body type from a variety of different coachbuilders like Figoni et Falaschi, Saoutchik, Franay and Worblaufen, making each Talbot-Lago car unique.
Swiss-Built Iconic Classic Car Designs
Carrosserie Worblaufen, F. Ramseier & Co. is a premier coachbuilder in Switzerland, creating high quality bodies for luxury cars from 1929-58. Sir Fritz Ramseier builds many car bodies with the “teardrop” style including the Bugatti Type 57, Bentley 4.25, Delahaye 135 and the Alfa Romeo 6C2300.
Body of a Sports Car, Soul of a Racer
Lago outfits the chassis from his Grand Prix and LeMans racers with a two seater sports car body. The Talbot-Lago T-26 has a 4.5L 6-cylinder engine with a top speed of over 100 mph. It is one of the fastest, most reliable Grand Touring cars of the 40’s and 50’s.
1938 Talbot Teardrop Sells for $4.5 Million
Talbot-Lago’s most famous car, the 1938 T-150 C-SS (nicknamed the Talbot Teardrop) sold for a cool $4.5 million in 2011 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy. The T-26 has many of the features associated with this Art Deco car: flowing lines, teardrop fenders, bold front grill and headlights set high on the front. They are some of the most beautiful and collectible sports car from that era.
8 Days of Non-Stop Automania
Being a part of the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction ensures that the 1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Worblaufen Cabriolet will be enjoyed by millions. The event runs for eight days and features auctions, fashion shows, drifting, ride-n-drives and demonstrations. Two-hundred thousand spectators are expected to attend and millions more will be watching the 36+ hours of live broadcasts on Discovery and Velocity.
Everything’s on the Block at Barrett-Jackson
Since the first event in 1972 when they auctioned off Hitler’s Mercedes-Benz 770K for a record breaking $153,200, Barrett-Jackson has featured everything from cars, trucks and motorcycles to airplanes, boats and memorabilia. American manufacturers often sell their first production vehicles of a given model at Barrett-Jackson’s auctions for charity.
Other Barrett-Jackson Collector Car auctions include Palm Beach, CA, Las Vegas, NV and the 2016 inaugural event at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.
Record Making Sales at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
Notable sales at previous Scottsdale auctions include a 1966 Shelby COBRA 427 “Super Snake”, which sold in 2007 for $5,500,000; the 1966 #01 Batmobile, selling in 2013 for $4,620,000; and a 1947 Talbot Lago T-26 Grand Sport, garnering $2,035,000 in 2013. Total sales for the 2015 Scottsdale event is close to $137 million.
Rolling History Lesson
The appeal of large auctions like the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale event is getting to see all of the fascinating vehicles on display. Having the opportunity to glimpse a rare classic car like the 1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Worblaufen Cabriolet is a thrilling experience for those of us in the collector car community. If you’re going to Scottsdale, enjoy yourself and be sure to take in the rolling automotive history lesson around you.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
To own a rare collector car is such a pleasure, and a privilege. Finding the right insurance policy will give you the protection you need. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your collection. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 1/14/2016 12:00:00 AM
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Throughout time there have always been eternally perplexing questions that manage to divide us, challenging us to our very core. You know the questions: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which tastes better, Coke or Pepsi? And the ultimate for enthusiasts – Which is truer to the spirit of car collecting, a traditional restoration or a Restomod? It would seem easier to bring about world peace than to settle this classic car debate.
Restoration is About Preserving History
To the traditionalist, a classic car should be restored to its original factory condition using only OEM parts. For them, a restoration is about preserving history. The car is perfect when it comes off the line and as a collector it is their duty to keep it that way (or as close to original as possible).
Bringing a Classic into Modern Times
The Restomod rebels want to keep the classic car look while enhancing its safety, performance and overall comfort. It looks like a restored classic while underneath, modern components are added. Sure, they keep the original parts so it can easily convert back, but critics say once you mess with an original, it stops being an original.
Which Side Are You On?
Many of us find ourselves solidly in the middle of this debate. As with all things in the classic car world, it is never just black and white. For many, if the car is a rare numbers matching vehicle, then keep it original all the way. If an owner wants a car they can drive on today’s busy highways, then adding items like seat belts and a better braking system is a no brainer.
A Piece of History or A Comfortable Ride?
The question you have to ask yourself is, how do I plan to enjoy my classic car? Will it be a garage queen that only gets trailered to and from a show? Or will it be the car you cruise around in all the time? If driving your car is important to you then upgrading to modern components will allow you peace of mind. For those who want to keep their vintage cars in pristine condition as an homage to car history, then so be it. To each their own.
OEM Parts a Hard Find
Why is the Restomod movement so popular? Face it, finding OEM parts for many cars is a costly and challenging endeavor. Owners often opt for aftermarket components. With the increasing number of bolt-on parts available for vintage cars, crossing over to the other side isn’t as painful as you’d think.
Upgrades Make for a Better Ride
Once you’ve been assimilated in the Restomod world, upgrades come easily and there are plenty of companies to help you do it. Vintage Air makes AC systems that can be easily adapted to almost any car. Dynamat insulation can be added to your classic car to give it a cool, quieter ride. No longer does driving your classic car have to be the bone jarring, bake-fest it used to be.
Will Modifications Ruin Value?
Let’s talk value. Yes, a rare numbers matching classic car will command a nice price at auction but an enhanced Restomod can fetch a nice price, too. Some buyers want modern modifications already done and are willing to pay for them. If your Restomod is closer to an artistic statement than an upgrade for safety or comfort sake, then resale may be tougher.
Yet Another School of Thought
In recent years, a European concept has taken hold in the U.S. among purists. While most American car lovers want their classic cars shiny and looking like new, this group believes “original” means a car remains completely untouched. Original parts that fail are removed and rebuilt back to factory specs and the exterior is kept “as is” – rust, dents and all. Owners of these “survivor” cars want the vehicle’s history to be evident.
Just Enjoy Your Cars, Folks!
Original versus restoration. Restoration versus Restomod. These healthy debates may never be settled. The one thing all of these groups DO agree on is that working on their classic cars brings them joy. With the start of the new year, let’s make a pact – live and let live. Enjoy your classic car your way and have fun with the great people that make up our collector car community. We’ll tackle world peace next week! Until then, Happy New Year!
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Whether your classic car has all its original parts or is a Restomod with AC and a killer sound system, the right insurance coverage can give you the peace of mind you are looking for. 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: 1/7/2016 12:00:00 AM
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