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What’s Your Classic Car Worth?

Classic car restoration costs

In the case of classic cars, it is difficult to quantify how a person’s desire or taste may ultimately affect the final value of a vehicle.

Take the example of an appraiser who had to inspect and determine the value of two 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadsters. Both cars had 327-350 engines, had run around 45,000 miles with factory air- conditioning and all other options. One of the cars had all original documentation with Tank and Window stickers, Protect-O-Plate and the bill of sale. The car was entirely original with no restoration work except for a new high quality paint job. The other car had no documentation and had undergone a restoration worth $100,000. Both cars were appraised at a value of around $75,000.

It’s not impossible for a car that has undergone 100 hours of extensive restoration to cost the same as one that has had no restoration work done at all. In fact, in most cases the cost of restoration will always exceed the book value of the vehicle. When you look at the bigger picture, the cost of classic car restoration is often not worth the work, time, energy, and return value of the car itself.

Before you purchase a car with the intention of restoring it, a thorough investigation must be done to evaluate whether or not a certain vehicle will bring enough of a return to make it worth investing in. Rusting, alignment issues, signs of water damage or other aging; these are all things to look out for that will make a restoration much more labor intensive and costly. A few more specific things to watch out for:

Body - Check for waves, paint blisters or damage on the side panels. Look out for rust on the wheels or headlights and other places where rust usually occurs. A magnet check all over the body will help you locate body fillers, rust, and body damage.

Doors - Are there gaps or do they sag, which will indicate worn out hinges? Do the edges have rust or paint blisters? Check the weather seals for aging or cracking.

Hood and Trunk - Is anything dented, rippling or rusting around the hood, and is there rust under the carpeting? Do the doors close properly?

Top - What material is the top made of? Is it original material, is the material showing discoloration and is the stitching intact? Can the top be raised and lowered smoothly? Is the rear window of the top made of original material?

No matter the condition of the car, it is always important to retain some form of original paperwork or identification with the vehicle. If the vehicle has no significant marker of originality, this can damage the value significantly.

Every collector defines his own terms to appraise the value of his desired classic car. Every car has its agreed value, replacement value and a fair market value. No value is wrong or right but the only value that matters is the one that makes a restoration worthwhile.

The value of a car is also always higher when it is insured and maintained well. Contact Classic Auto for affordable collector car insurance options that will help take care of your classic in every way.


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 7/31/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Hispano Suiza: Culture, History and Technology on Wheels

Vintage Hispano Suiza cars

Hispano Suiza, one of the world’s greatest automobile legends from the mid 1930s, was an innovative mix of Swiss design, Spanish capital and French production. Body work, however was left to the preference of customers. Synonymous with luxury, style and performance Hispano Suiza was intended for the elite and wealthy clientele who wanted to have a hand in the design of their cars. 

Top of the Line Hispano Suiza Models:
The first Hispano Suiza vehicle was produced in 1906 with 3.8 and 7.4 liter models, which were soon followed by two six-cylinder models, all custom made. However, to most vintage car fans, the name Hispano-Suiza would bring to mind the images of just four models:

  • The Alphonso, introduced in 1912 and acclaimed to be the world’s first true production sports cars.
  • The 6-1/2 liter H6 of 1919, considered to be the most advanced luxurious car in the whole world.
  • The 8 liter model called the 46CV that came forth in 1924.
  • And the legendary 54-220CV introduced in 1930.

Among these, the most exquisite creations were the J-12, the H-6 series, and the Alphonso. These were the ultimate in luxury and style, and were designed to compete with the Rolls Royce.

The Royal Hispano Suiza Classic Car:
The Type 15T was rechristened as Type Alphonso XIII in honor of King Alphonso XIII of Spain, a great motoring enthusiast and a patron of this marque. He had 30 of these vintage classic beauties lined up in his stable, proving his high regard for the make. The Type Alphonso XIII soon earned a mark of status among Hollywood stars and other nobility.

A 1913 Alphonso XIII was put up for sale at RM Auctions in 2012, expecting to fetch around $750,000.

The Rich Man's H-6 Classic Automobile:

Equally in demand among popular Hispano Suiza models was the robust and revolutionary H6, epitomized for its speed, quality and unmatched artistry. It was the most expensive vehicle in all of Europe. The H6 series were empowered with a six-cylinder, 6.5 liter overhead shaft-driven engine, which was quite uncommon at the time.

The 1930 models evolved further, with the engine being replaced with a V-12, with a pushrod valve to reduce engine noise, proving to be miraculously quiet and refined.  Interestingly, the body was designed by the American coach designers Hibbard & Darrin.

The short chassis H6C was nicknamed 'Boulogne’ as this car had tasted repeated success in a sports car race in Boulogne. The resplendent and legendary H6 has quite a few achievements to its credit:

  • In 2001 it was invited to Pebble Beach
  • In 2002 it was rated as having the Most Outstanding Interior, in the show 'Meadowbrook Concours D'Elegance'
  • In 2003 it was judged as the Best European car, in Greenwich

While all these Hispano Suiza models were definite favorites among classic car collectors, the one that grabbed the most attention was the 46V, which proved to be the Hispano Suiza masterpiece with a torque nearing 100 to 144 mph.

This classic vintage car is undoubtedly worth your investment and if you are looking for collector car insurance coverage to take care of your Hispano Suiza, we are here to help you with our most competitive vintage car insurance quotes.  Call us today for a free classic car insurance quote!


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 7/29/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Classic Bikes: A Car or Bike Collector’s “Must Have” List

The rise in prices of classic cars has probably been received by vintage vehicle collectors with a mixed response. If you find yourself unable to afford a vintage car at this point, a good option is to shift gears and zero-in on vintage bikes. Classic bike market rates are more subdued than that of vintage cars. At the price of a single classic car it is possible to own at least 3 classic motorcycles. They even make the garage space seem more economical. The most resourceful groundwork before venturing into classic bike collection is to take guidelines from reputed bike collectors.

Currently classic bike sales have increased from only 400 to 500 per year, to a jaw dropping 2000 every year. David Edwards, the editor of the popular magazine Cycle World, has worked his collection of classic bikes up to a staggering 30. He concludes that the Indian Chief is one of his strongest assets. With a 42 degree V twin layout, the Indian Chief was popular in the motorcycle market during the years 1922-1953. Though it was initially manufactured with a 1000cc engine, the capacity was later increased to 1300 cc. Several additions like front brakes and the popular fenders, still make it a popular bid among bike collectors.

The Harley Davidson WLA is another show stealer for bike enthusiasts. In the year 1940, shortly before the start of World War II, Harley Davidson WLA was produced for the aid of the US army. With modified fenders to prevent mud clogging and several additions like leg guards, wind shields and blackout lights, the bike out-shined its civilian counterpart, the WL model. It had custom made racks to support war related accessories ranging from machine guns to radio equipment.

However what stole the limelight, and caught the attention of bike collectors everywhere, was the Ner-a-car. It is undoubtedly the strangest looking motorcycle. Till date, motorcycle experts have tried to replicate its mechanisms with little success. The asset was designed by Carl Neracher during the years of World War I. Of the 16,000 that hit the markets in the year 1928, only a 100 still remain. The asset is a genius piece of work that functions on a variable friction drive mechanism. The chassis of the vintage bike resembles a car more than a bicycle. For any classic car or bike lover, Ner-a-car is definitely a “must-have”.

An essential requirement for all the above assets, is vintage bike insurance. Classic Auto provides the owner with tailor-made insurance policies, suiting the owner’s preferences and requirements. Contact us today for an instant classic motorcycle insurance quote!


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 7/26/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Enjoy Vintage Cars and Racing Opportunities

<div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="vintage racing" src="/images/muscle-car/" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" /><br /> <a href="&amp;lt;a href=";&&gt;L Barnwell&&lt;/a&&gt; / &&lt;a href=&&;;&&gt;;/a&&gt;">L. Barnwell/Shutterstock</a></div> <br /> There&rsquo;s perhaps nothing as exhilarating and empowering for <a href="">classic muscle car</a> lovers, as being able to share their classic automobile with the rest of the world, and demonstrate their skill at the wheel. There are a vast array of events, races, communities and classic clubs that classic car collectors can participate in to show off their fantastic classic vehicle(s), and/or racing skills.<br /> <br /> Racing enthusiasts can participate in prestigious racing events, which are organized for classic car enthusiasts who love to test the limits of their classic automobile. In September this year, The VSCDA Lake Elkhart Vintage Festival will showcase a wide range of classic beauties, including a few pre-war models. Almost 300 vintage and historic classic car owners will compete over 3 days of races. Another major sporting car event was held on June 28th, called the Portland Historics Vintage Weekend. A grand line up of 250 historic race cars from a variety of manufacturers were featured in the event. The restored vintage cars were raced at their highest speeds, in groups, divided on the basis of their age and horsepower.<br /> <br /> Entries into these races are often restricted to high performance classic cars that attract the organizers&rsquo; attention, and the entrant&rsquo;s ability to meet the required budget to compete in the racing event. However, classic car racing can also be an economical affair, with more and more budget conscious organizers getting involved in classic car racing. Now it&rsquo;s possible to compete in a classic car racing event on a budget of less than $1500. You don&rsquo;t necessarily need a racing license to compete in all these events, as the license requirement is based on the endurance levels of the cars, tracks and drivers.<br /> <br /> Many companies and tracks offer people who do not own a classic car the chance to engage in classic car racing. You can enjoy a couple of laps in a classic sports car on a professional racing circuit for just a few hundred dollars. offers you a chance to take the wheel of a 1956 <a href="">Porsche</a> 550 Spyder or a 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 for an hour on open roads for just $200.<br /> <br /> There are non-competitive events as well where you can just enjoy travelling or touring, or experience a classic car with friends or fellow enthusiasts. There are numerous car shows and collector communities that a vintage car collector can participate in as well. Charitable organizations are also known to host events, car shows and rides for vintage car enthusiasts where all proceeds are used for good causes. An event you may love to be at is the 50th Anniversary of the <a href="">Ferrari</a> Club of America, scheduled to take place in August this year, which will bring together Ferrari owners from all around the world, and some special guests as well. To know more about upcoming events, races and auctions, take a look at this year&rsquo;s calendar at <a href=""></a>.<br /> <br /> Classic racing cars are also a great investment. Ferraris from the 70s, the Porsche 911 RD, Jaguar E-Types, the Lotus Cortina, the <a href="">Aston Martin</a> DB4, Cobras and American muscle cars from the last 50 years are great classic race cars to invest in.<br /> <br /> Before you head out for the next event, make sure your classic racing car is covered by collector car insurance. Contact Classic Auto for some of the best insurance options for <a href="">classic and vintage automobiles</a> that we can tailor to fully cover your classic car needs.<br /> <br /> <br /> <sub>Sources:<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> <a href=""></a></sub> <h3> <br /> About the Author</h3> <p> <a href="" rel="author">Drew Yagodnik</a> is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.</p>
Posted: 7/24/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Thinking of Racing Your Vintage Car?

In 1984, The Vintage Sports Car Club of America made its modest beginning with a meager 62 followers. What began as a humble effort to preserve cars manufactured since 1959, is presently the oldest organization in the United States that holds multiple vintage car racing competitions and rallies each year. Classic car racing provides the opportunity to indulge your love for sports and show-off the assets of your collection. However, there are a few things you need to know before entering a race.

Choose the Right Car

In recent years, classic car racing has gained popularity across the globe. The Association of Adventure Sports describes vintage car racing as one of the most economical forms of adventure sports. Their standards require that entrants have been cleared off the production market for a minimum of 10 years and are at least 36 years old; the standards are similar for most classic racing events. A prerequisite for vintage car racing is to select the right car for the right race. The mode and track of the race determine the classic car that can enter the competition. Popular choices for the race include the Austin Healey Sprite or the Triumph, which, if in well-maintained condition, usually perform well on most race courses. In order to maintain a fair competition when competing with classic cars, the majority of events divide the participating cars into groups such as pre-war cars, small production sports cars, historic stock cars etc.

Get your Car Ready

Preparation of the car is the next level in vintage car racing. Racing experts advise not to put more stress on a vintage racer than it had to endure during its original era. A systematic check has to be carried out on the chassis of the car, analyzing it for its frail crack junctions. Equal emphasis must be placed on analyzing the engine and driving systems of the vehicle. Regions that are subjected to the most stress and abrasion, such as the axles, U-joint crosses and tires should be checked thoroughly. The car’s brakes and suspension system should be given ample attention as well to check for any wear and tear past normal usage. The vehicle should be equipped with items of personal safety such as seat belts, a shoulder harness, fire extinguisher etc.

Before entering your car into any type of race, it is necessary to ensure its safety with classic car insurance. Classic Auto can protect your racing cars while they’re off the track, and we can help you find a partner agency who can protect your car on the track as well! Our agency will provide you with expert tips and suggestions ranging from car restoration to the safe transport of your vehicle to racing venues. Classic Auto insurance Agency offers collector car insurance for garaged racing cars that can be tailored to suit the requirements of your vintage vehicle. Give us a call today for more information!


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 7/22/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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