Weigh in on the Proposed 25% Import Tariff
The Department of Commerce is currently investigating whether cars imported into the U.S. pose a threat to national security. The U.S. government is determining whether to impose a 25% import tariff on all cars, trucks and parts (new or existing). In this inquiry, there is no exemption for classic or collector vehicles. They will be subject to additional fees. We question whether this tax may affect current and future restorations as well as sales and purchases of classic cars. Could it seriously hurt the collector car community? Let us know how what you think about this possibility. We look forward to reading your comments. (Keep it clean please!)
No Distinction Between Classic Cars and New Imports?
This possible tax is part of the recent U.S. tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) imports. The White House hopes to bring back manufacturing jobs that have gone outside of the country. The old tax separates classic cars from newly produced vehicles. This proposal does not make a clear distinction. Unless officials re-write the bill, all imports would taxed the same.
Fate of International Collector Car Sales
The collector car hobby is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Buying or selling classic vehicles overseas accounts for 50-70% of this market. Automotive industry analysts have even suggested the tariff could finish the international collector car trade. For many American enthusiasts, overseas sales opportunities could move beyond their reach. Independent U.S. businesses that purchase, sell and restore collector vehicles could also be affected. Ready-made parts for European acquisitions could be harder to come by.
Auction Houses Not Immune
Auction houses would also be hit by this tariff. They bring in cars from overseas under Temporary Importation Bonds. Currently, companies avoid paying the import duty by posting a bond guaranteeing to export the vehicle out of the country within a year. The U.S. bond is double the normal import tariff. The current bond is 5%; if the proposed import tariff passes, the bond would increase to 50%. Getting your hands on that vintage Bentley could get a lot tougher.
Then There is the Chicken Tax
Are you wondering if a precedent exists for this kind of tariff? There is. The first time the U.S. tries to stop the flow of imported vehicles into the country using high tariffs is in 1964. President Lyndon Johnson initiates the Chicken Tax that heavily taxed foreign-built pick-up trucks and vans. Imports from Toyota, Datsun, Isuzu and Volkswagen soon become too expensive and virtually disappear over the next few years. With the tariff still in place today, the American truck remains king.
Voice Your Opinion
A 25% import tariff could cost the classic car community. If you want to weigh officially, you have until June 29, 2018 to comment online at www.regulations.gov. A public hearing on this proposal is scheduled for July 19 and 20, 2018. If passed, the duty takes effect in early 2019. Let Washington know we want classic and collector cars exempted from a 25% import tariff.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Keeping the collector and classic car community thriving is an essential goal for us because we are classic car owners, too. Classic Auto Insurance wants to help you safeguard your collection. Let our friendly, knowledgeable staff customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Visit our website at www.classicins.com or call 888-901-1338 and get a quote on the spot.
Classic Truck Community is Here for You
During classic renovations, the simplest looking projects can be the most challenging. Looking at the rear window of your truck with its aging rubber seal, you think, I got this. Two frustrating hours later, you are still struggling to remove the deteriorated mess that has your glass locked in place. First, do not get discouraged. You learn to restore classic vehicles by doing. Second, reach out to a collector truck comrade for help. Asking for help shows you appreciate the vast pool of knowledge that exists in our classic truck community. Accept your mentor’s advice, keep learning and show that window seal who is boss. You most certainly got this.
Project C10 Tech Tip - Removing Rubber Seals on Glass
When restoring a classic truck or car, experts recommend that you remove the existing rubber gaskets, window seals and door bumpers. Keeping everything as original as possible is the goal but do not try to salvage old dried out rubber. Even if it appears in good shape, it can leave your collector vehicle vulnerable to leaks and rust. Retain some of the old seals for reference but dispose of the rest. American Modern’s Rick Drewry explains a quick way to eliminate the dried gaskets around a window in our Project C10 Tech Tip to remove rubber seals around glass. Do you have a great tip for removing old seals? Share your favorite garage tips in our comments.
Protect Your Restoration – Replace all Rubber Seals
The Classic Car Club of America suggests replacing old rubber seals with new ones when doing a restoration. While keeping numbers matching on parts is important, trying to retain or find original rubber seals is not practical. All rubber, natural or synthetic, ages and breaks down. Exposing it to sunlight, temperature fluctuations, ozone and a lack of use contribute to the deterioration. In an attempt to extend its life, scientists are incorporating additives into synthetic rubber. An additive known as carbon black helps to improve rubber’s strength and durability for use on tires. It still does not keep them from drying out, however. Replacing the seals on your classic truck protects your completed restoration work.
Removing an Old Seal Around a Window
The rubber seal around windows (like our C10’s rear glass) becomes a stubborn, hard mess over time. Rick uses a hooked utility knife to remove it. The sharp tool cuts through the rubber, making it easier to pull out. Having someone on the other side of the window helps stabilize the glass. Glass often gets pushed out of the grooves in the frame as the rubber expands and contracts due to extreme temperatures. Removing the rubber causes the glass to slide out. With the old seal gone, you can assess the condition of the metal around the window frame. Damaged rubber makes it easy for rust to form undetected beneath the glass and seal.
Ask a Classic Truck Restoration Mentor
Don’t let simple restoration tasks hang you up. There is nothing that says You must attempt this restoration alone. Before you get frustrated picking chunks of gummy, cracked rubber out from around your truck’s window, remember the Rubik’s cube. As a kid, you could never solve it. Then, seeing your friend master it in seconds, you had to know how. They show you the secret, and soon you become a pro. Classic restoration projects are the Rubik’s cube at this stage in your life. All you have to do is ask a mentor in the classic truck community for the answer. You will wonder why it took you so long.
Join the Project C10 Truck Community
Project C10, powered by American Modern, an original video series from Classic Auto Insurance that chronicles the restoration of a 1965 Chevy C10 truck to a beautiful restomod worthy of car show display. Stay up-to-date with Project C10 by subscribing to Classic Auto’s YouTube Channel, following us on Instagram and visiting our C10 Restoration page on ClassicIns.com, where you’ll enjoy step-by-step episodes, project-specific Tech Tips and behind-the-scenes articles that give you an inside look into what it takes to restore a classic collectible like a Chevy C10 truck.
Too Ahead of Its Time
Looking at a 1935 Chrysler Airflow C-1, we can’t help but wonder why this innovative automobile is not a bigger hit with the public at the time. We can fathom only one answer: it is too ahead of its time. This incredibly progressive classic car belongs to Russell, a long-time Carmel Artomobilia attendee, who discuss his rare Art Deco-inspired vehicle with Artomobilia’s John Pitz. Many of the Airflow’s features go on to influence future automobiles. So, pop quiz - can you name other classic cars with early lackluster sales that change future car designs? It should be easy for a classic car buff like you; let us know in the comments.
Chrysler’s Pioneering Car Stuns Buyers
Can an automobile be too innovative for buyers? When Walter P. Chrysler wants to build a car that stops people in their tracks, he gets the Chrysler Airflow. The car is the brainchild of three of Chrysler’s best engineers; Carl Breer, Fred Zeder and Owen Skelton. These Three Musketeers design a new vehicle based on the principle of form follows function. Their research methods, state-of-the-art components and willingness to push the envelope creates a revolutionary car for 1934. Mr. Chrysler decides the Airflow line should sell under the Chrysler and DeSoto marquises. Hedging his bets, he orders a more conventional design, the Airstream, produced and priced below the Airflow.
Envisioning the Aerodynamics Advantage
The Chrysler engineers begin testing the avant gardé shape of the Airflow in Chrysler’s new wind tunnel. If this forward-thinking approach wasn’t bold enough, they hire Orville Wright (yes, of the Wright brothers) to consult on their aerodynamic experiments. They discover the typical two-box design of most cars at that time is aerodynamically insufficient. Sadly, the results improve when they drive the cube-shaped vehicles backward. The data they collect helps them build a lighter, stronger and faster automobile. Their innovative air flow research (common today) is evident in the construction of the elongated grille, split windshield and teardrop body shape.
The Streamline Shape of Things to Come
The Chrysler Airflow is one of the first cars to use a sleek, streamline design. The backward slanted grille cascades down off the front and the two-pane windshield splits into a “v”. It also tilts slightly back to direct air over the hood and across the roof. The Airflow is the first car to use curved sheet metal and integrated headlights for less drag. Even the wheels get covered by fender skirts, reducing resistance.
Radical New Body and Chassis
Based on aircraft construction techniques, the unique cage-like body gets built with steel supports over a wooden truss-bridge chassis. Passengers sit inside this unit instead of the typical wooden ladder frame. The Chrysler engineers move the inline 8-cylinder 323.5 cubic inch engine up over the front axle, providing better weight distribution. Longer, softer springs are installed to support it, giving the Airflow a superior ride compared to the stiff, jerky motion of other cars of the 1930s.
With as few as 300 two-door coupes built in 1935, Russell has a rare find on his hands. Despite a beautifully sculpted body and advanced engineering, sales for the Chrysler Airflow never materialize. Early production problems, delivery delays and rumors of safety issues weigh down the Airflow’s chances for success. Chrysler produces only 55,000 of these classic cars from 1934-1937.
At Least One Airflow Still Clocks 80 mph
For devoted owners, Airflows are undeserving of the bad rap history gives them. They know their collector car is responsible for many of the design and engineering advances of the last 80 years. The Flowhead Faithful are waving their flags high at the 55th Airflow Club of America Annual Meet in Chico, California June 19-24. If you are in the neighborhood, cruise in. Don’t be surprised if one of these classic cars pass you on the highway. Russell says, “My Airflow can easily keep up with traffic. I’ve had it up to 80 mph, no problem.” That is what Airflow lovers call classic aerodynamics.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Rare classic cars like this 1935 Chrysler Airflow C-1 are a rolling history lesson in automotive engineering. Before you head to your next car show, protect your investment by having the right kind of insurance coverage. Let Classic Auto Insurance customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot. Visit our website at www.classicins.com or call 888-901-1338 and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Classic Car Show Season is Here
Summer is here. So are classic car shows and cruises. Everyone loves attending these outdoor events to show off their collector automobiles and reunite with car community friends. If you are a veteran of these gatherings, you know the drill:
- prime shady parking spots go early
- be prepared for any kind of weather
- protect your paint
Hot, humid summer months spell trouble for paint. Damage can happen to your collector car’s exterior in many ways. Defend it from the little things that can spoil a classic car enthusiast’s fun weekend. Have you experienced an incident at a car show that damaged your vehicle’s paint? Share your story in the comments. We want to commiserate.
Sunscreen for Your Classic
Everyone knows UV rays harm a vehicle’s paint. Routine washing and waxing protects the exterior and keeps it ready for the next event. Think of wax as sunscreen for your classic car. However, the sun isn’t the only source of UV exposure. Do you know fluorescent lights also emit UV radiation? This common type of garage illumination is generally mounted far above an owner’s collection. Because it has a low UV index, sustained exposure is needed to cause noticeable damage to your paint. Storing a classic car on lifts puts it in closer proximity to fluorescent lighting. The car’s color should be fine. Fading may occur on the interior fabric and dash. Give yourself peace of mind, use a car cover or replace fluorescent lights with LED T8 bulbs (they release no UV or IR).
Unpaved Roads Mean Paint Chips
Summertime car shows are often held in large fields or parking lots. Be mindful of unpaved roads and surfaces at event sites. Driving too fast or too close to other participants can result in stones flying up and chipping your paint. If this occurs, take it to a professional sooner than later. Chips allow rust to work its way under the basecoat.
Birds and the Bees for Classic Car Owners
They say the best bug is a dead bug until it hits your hood. Bugs become highly acidic immediately following their demise. Remove them promptly. Bird droppings landing on your hood may be a sign of good luck, although it can burn through your paint. It often contains remnants of nuts, seeds and bits of gravel (which you really didn’t want to know) that can scratch the paint on impact or during cleaning.
The Tree Sap Cometh
You feel triumphant for parking in the shade of a tree until the first glob of sap hits your roof. Cleaning it off a car is a nightmare. Wipe sap off too soon, and it smears. Leave it on too long; it becomes rock hard. Give the sticky mess time to dry then use a solvent specifically created to remove sap. Apply a generous coat of wax to the area during the next cleaning.
Don’t Let It Rain on My Parade
Don’t let rain put a damper on your car show. Water spots also form on your vehicle from driving through damp grass. They contain traces of fertilizer and pesticides used to treat the event grounds. An enclosed trailer can protect your paint from pollutant-filled drops that leave water spots and etch your clear coat (it is also great protection during transport). No trailer? Consider purchasing a canopy to keep the rain, sun and dust off your classic.
Get Your Hands Off My…
How many times have you buffed your paint to a glass-like shine only to have a spectator lean on the door? It is an innocent gesture, but one a classic car owner knows can harm their car. Fingerprints transfer body oil to the car’s paint. These greasy smudges collect dust and dirt, which can unknowingly get rubbed into the topcoat. No matter how diligently you guard your vehicle during shows and other events, things happen. Take a deep breath and roll with it. You are surrounded by sympathetic comrades who understand your plight. Life is still good.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Keeping your collector car in tip-top shape is important to you. When something happens to it, you don’t want a runaround. When we say we understand, it is because we are collectors, too. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always ready to listen and assist you. Let Classic Auto Insurance customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Visit our website at www.classicins.com or call 888-901-1338 and get a quote on the spot. See how we can help safeguard your dream collection.