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Mopar Muscle Cars Get Our Motors Racing [INFOGRAPHIC]

mopar muscle cars
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We Love Our Muscle Cars

Americans love their Muscle Cars. Ever since the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 introduced the first high compression overhead valve V8 engine, car enthusiasts have clamored for more. Defined as a two door sports coupe with a large displacement engine, Muscle Cars are as varied as their owners.

Chrysler Enters the Muscle Car Wars

In 1964 the Pontiac GTO comes onto the scene and every car manufacturer rushes to produce their own version. Chrysler quickly adapts existing models like the Plymouth Valiant (Barracuda) and the Dodge Coronet (the early Charger) to enter the Muscle Car wars. Known as Mopar Muscle Cars, they are now some of the most collectible vehicles of that era.

Muscle Cars Are Unique

Today, the name Mopar is synonymous with the Chrysler company, although at first, “Mopar” refers only to the parts division. Muscle Cars come in a variety of different performance levels and engine sizes. Because buyers customize and repair their cars using Mopar parts, every car reflects the owner’s tastes.

Long Live the Hemi

mopar hemi

A variety of different powertrains are used in Muscle Cars but the 426 cubic inch 7.0L Hemi engine (nicknamed “the Elephant”) is the most desired. Introduced in 1964, it takes the racing world by storm when the top four finishers at the 1964 Daytona 500 are Hemi engine Mopar cars. Today, many top NHRA and AHRA drag cars still use aluminum versions of this engine.

Ready Made Race Cars

In 1967 Dodge modifies 80 Darts with 426 Hemi engines (at a price of $4,500), to compete and “win races”. These lightweight cars come ready made for the track, lacking back seats, radios or any other creature comfort. They win races for Chrysler, but are hardly street legal.

Hemi Engine Takes to the Streets

A “street” version of the 426 Hemi engine is made available 1966 as an option for many Chrysler production cars. Modifications have to be made to accommodate the big engine, adding to the overall cost. Despite its popularity, only 11,000 Hemi engines are sold from 1966-1971.

Crazy About Those Mopar Colors

Muscle Cars come in colorful paint choices like “Plum Crazy Purple” and “Lime Light”. Many models offer graphic racing stripes and hood scoops. One of the most recognizable Mopar Muscle Cars is the orange 1969 Dodge Charger (complete with “01” on the doors) from the Dukes of Hazzard television show.

Beep, Beep! Move Over for the Road Runner

In 1968, Chrysler creates the Plymouth Road Runner, a less expensive version of the GTX. They pay Warner Brothers $50,000 for the rights to use the Road Runner name and cartoon on the cars and in their marketing. Bright colors, racing stripes and that signature sound (Beep, Beep!) make this a favorite.

Restrictions Bring Muscle Car Era to Close

The Clean Air Act of 1970 spells the beginning of the end for the Muscle Car. By the early 1980’s Mopar Muscle Cars evolve into “sports appearance” packages for Chrysler passenger cars. High performance engines carry hefty fees, causing prices to soar and sales to fall.

Love for the Muscle Car Never Fades

mopar cars

Love for the American Muscle Car is alive and well. In 2014 a 1971 Hemi Cuda 4-speed convertible sells for $3.5 million at a Mecum Auction in Seattle. This beautiful car is one of two 4-speed convertibles produced in 1971, proving our fascination with these cars will never fade.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Planning to purchase your own Mopar Muscle Car? Make sure you protect it with the right insurance coverage. Let the friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance answer your questions and help you find the best policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 2/2/2017 4:01:25 PM with 0 comments

Revisit Detroit Autorama 2016 Presents Ridler Award Great 8


Detroit Autorama Leaves Hot Rod Lovers in Awe

“America’s greatest hot rod show,” the 64th Annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama, thrills enthusiastic crowds during the three-day event at the Cobo Center, and Classic Auto is among the awestruck who drooled over scores of fabulous hot rods and cool customs.


The 2016 Ridler Award Goes To…

Named for early Autorama promoter Don Ridler, the prestigious Ridler Award is presented to the car design that best displays creativity, engineering and quality workmanship. The 2016 winner, a 1939 Oldsmobile Model 60 Convertible nicknamed “Olds Cool”, exemplifies all of these qualities in spades.


Olds Model 60 is a Rare Beauty

Car owner Billy Thomas of Georgetown, Texas and the crew from Customs and Hot Rods of Andice display superb attention to detail and a mastery of sheet metal alterations in this build. Everything on the car is one-of-a-kind, just like the car itself. Thomas says this is the last Oldsmobile Model 60 known to exist. It is definitely a rare beauty.


Pirelli “Great 8” Ridler Award Finalists

Offering some stiff competition for the Ridler Award is the remaining seven Pirelli “Great 8” finalists. They display their own innovative designs and superior craftsmanship. The group consists of a 1937 Ford Deluxe Coupe; a 1938 Graham 97 “Shark”; a 1940 Willys Coupe “Full Throttle”; a 1941 Ford Pickup “Mirage”; a 1952 Mercedes-Benz 170S; a 1961 Chevrolet Impala “Double Bubble”; and a 1976 Ford XB Falcon “XBoss”.


1938 Graham 97 – New Take on Old Style

Seeing these amazing cars, you are so impressed by the talent that goes into their creation. The crew of the Graham 97 totally rework the rear end of the car to match the art deco lines of the nose. The results compliment the original style so well you can’t picture the car any other way.


1961 Chevy Impala – One Hot Family Car

The Impala “Double Bubble” station wagon combines two bubble top coupes together into a seamless marriage of styles. It is almost as if GM designed it. The low profile roofline and covered wheel wells make this one hot family car.


Chocolate Elegance

The owner of the 1952 Mercedes-Benz 170S built his car as an homage to his father who once owned one. The exterior looks like molten milk chocolate while the interior is wrapped in buttery leather. Every aspect of this car speaks to the elegance Mercedes is known for. You don’t know whether to drive it or break off a delectable piece to sample.


America’s Greatest Indoor Hot Rod Show

Detroit Autorama continues to prove it is one of the nation’s most important indoor hot rod shows. From stunning customs to faithfully preserved rat rods, the creativity and hard work that goes into these cars is inspiring. Many leave the Cobo Center and head straight back to their garages filled with ideas and ready to begin work on their own masterpieces. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Classic Auto’s Next Stop: Minnesota State Fairgrounds!

With an estimated 8,000 street rods on display, the Back to the 50’s Weekend, June 17-19 in Minneapolis, MN, is going to be a blast. If you plan to attend, stop by the Classic Auto Insurance booth at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and let our friendly staff help you find the right policy for your collector car or classic street 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: 6/30/2016 8:44:47 AM with 0 comments

Let Garage Envy Work for You


Is the Ultimate Car Cave Necessary?

Magazines and websites constantly highlight the spectacular garages of the rich and famous. Granted, it would be nice to have the ultimate car cave but would you really get any more work done on your cars if you have one? Let your garage envy work for you! Get inspired to create the garage you really need for your car collection.


Home to Your Prized Possessions

For car collectors the garage is likely a private escape from a hectic world. It is home to your prized possessions – your cars. Is your garage space living up to its potential? Is it just for storage or does it double as a workshop? Determine what you want to use it for and go from there.


Think Outside the Box

The phrase “location, location, location” applies to garages as well as real estate. A garage that’s attached to your home is convenient, but your expansion potential is probably limited. In parking starved New York, comedian Jerry Seinfeld converted an old factory into a multi-level state-of-the-art garage. Too expensive for you? Our point is – think outside the storage box.


Convert Unused Structures into Dream Garages

If you are planning to add to your collection but your existing garage will not suffice, then look around for creative ways to convert unused structures into the facility you need. You can also consider going in with other local collectors if you find a building that is more than you alone need.


Think Down

Now that you are thinking outside the garage, stop thinking one dimensionally. Can’t expand out, then go up. Many collectors use car lifts in their garages to expand storage capacity. Why not also add spaces below? Some ultimate garages have dug down to add hidden space for cars.


8 Steps to Redesign and Redefine Your Garage

Separate storage and repair space is a luxury many don’t have, so consider redesigning what you do. These features will help your garage reach its potential:

  1. Purge – Relocate anything that isn’t car related. Move the lawn mower elsewhere to free up space.

  2. Organize – Designate specific areas for repairs, detailing, and storage. Have a good workbench, tool storage, and internet access (for manuals). Use wall space and even ceiling space for storage.

  3. Heating/Cooling/Air Quality – Invest in insulation and proper heating and cooling. Make sure there is proper ventilation. Air quality is important when working around chemicals. Opt for a dust collection system.

  4. Power – You can never have enough electrical outlets. Wire for both 120 and 220V. Over loading existing plugs and running extension cords is a potential fire hazard.

  5. Lighting – Most garages have overhead florescent lights that cast shadows. Install track lighting over your work table and keep stand-alone work lamps available to help illuminate tight spaces.

  6. Flooring – Many garages have epoxy covered floors, which are easy to install and to clean. Rubber floor tiles are also a good choice because they make standing for long periods easier on the body.

  7. Security – Protecting your collector cars is always important. If you have an off-site garage, be sure to check it frequently. Invest in a good security system no matter where you keep your cars. Expensive tools should be stored away or locked down after use, making them harder to steal.

  8. Creature Comforts – This is a no-brainer. Decorating your garage will make it more appealing to visitors and a happier place for you to work. If space allows, add comfortable seating, a refrigerator, and a TV. You spend as much time in this space as you do in your home, so why shouldn’t it be a relaxing retreat?


It’s Your Space – Get Creative

Over-the-top garages do not make you a better collector. Our love of cars is the driving force behind why we collect. The garage is simply four walls that protect what we care about. What you make of your space is up to you. With a little creativity your garage can reach its true potential.


Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Have questions about the best way to protect your car collection? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you find the best insurance coverage for your automobiles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can also help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 3/31/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

BMW M6 Gran Coupe – A 4 Door Sedan with a Race Spirit


Test Drive a BMW M6 Gran Coupe

Not quite ready to give up the mind blistering speed of a sports car in lieu of 4-door practicality? No need to! Our suggestion? Test drive the luxurious BMW M6 Gran Coupe and you’ll swear you’re on the Nürburgring test track. Our friends at Elite Autos in Jonesboro, AR kindly let us take a look at one. Sweet!

(M1 –

BMW - 100 Years of the Ultimate Driving Machine

Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, BMW is pulling out all the stops for year long festivities. Leading the way is the BMW M Division, which is an integral part of the automaker’s continued success. This group is responsible for some of the company’s most iconic (and fastest) cars – the M-1, E30 M3, M4, and M5.

(M4 -

A Race Car Disguised as a Luxury Sedan

BMW’s M Division turns out race cars, fast race cars. Tasked with enhancing certain BMW models and elevating them to track-level performance means the M Division brings a great deal of racing knowledge to the design table. These cars have all the power and speed of a race car packaged in the stylish body of a sedan.



Like the M5 But Oh So Different

The M6 Gran Coupe is another prime example of the M Divison’s powerful prowess. From the platform to the suspension and its 4.4L V8 engine, the M6 has a lot in common with its predecessor, the M5, considered one of the most illustrious of the automotive world. This turbo charged sedan goes from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. Opt for the Competition Package and expect to get around 575 hp.


Aerodynamic Advantage

The M Division techies understand the aerodynamics required for blazing hot speed because they develop the cars in a wind tunnel test lab. The long sculpted hood is a testament to this, channeling air back and away from the car. The carbon fiber roof lowers the center of gravity, allowing it to hug tight curves better. The BMW website proudly states that the M6 is “the race car you can drive everyday”, and they mean it.


She’s a Head Turner

Stylish, sleek, and senusal, this Beemer oozes casual elegance, but don’t let her looks fool you. This car possesses the predatory spirit of a cat, waiting to pounce. Impressive handling and great acceleration make this one of BMW’s elite models - a wild thing that will definitely challenge your driving skills.


Luxury You Won’t Want to Leave

The interior of the M6 is also impressive. Oak trim accents the doors and the dash. A large satellite navigation screen sits front and center for easy viewing. Sink into the subtle body hugging leather seats (that are ventillated by the way) and grip the heated steering wheel. Face it, you may never want to step out of the car!



Driver Assist Keeps You Safe

Equipped with the latest in technology, the M6 comes with active blind spot detection along with side and top view cameras. The Driver Assist Package offers an active driver assist function to alert you of impending hazards ahead. Beautiful and smart!



Built for Thrills

BMW says the M6 is “built for white-knuckle thrills” and we can’t argue there. Speed, handling, and style, this car has it all. No need to settle for mere 4-door luxury car when you can have the sports car you yearn for and the sedan you need. Happy Anniversary, Bavarian Motor Works!

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Make sure your collector or classic car is protected with the right coverage. The friendly, knowledgeable staff at Classic Auto Insurance will help you find the appropriate policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 3/24/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

1969 Chevelle SS – From Restoration to Race Track


The Endless Pursuit of Perfection

Call it determination, obsession or even madness – what happens when we begin restoring a classic car drives us to reach for that next level of glory, no matter what. For Mishawaka resident Jack Stone, the “endless pursuit of perfection” on his 1969 Chevy Chevelle SS, has garnered him the 2016 Hoosier Award at the O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels Custom Auto Show.


TLC for Childhood Dream Car

As a teenager, Jack falls in love with a Chevelle SS owned by a friend’s father. In 1997, he is finally able to make it his. Jack says, “It was a great driving car” for tooling around town and taking his future wife, Kimber, out on dates. When it comes time for a little TLC, Jack doesn’t think twice.

One Thing Leads to Another

Jack owns First Choice Auto Body Shop in Elkhart, IN, so painting his classic muscle car isn’t a problem. One thing leads to another and soon (with prodding from friends) he is restoring a race car, fit to burn up the track at Chicagoland Speedway.


Showroom Quality Race Car

It’s not every day you see a showroom quality car created for the grueling conditions of the race track. One look at its amazing glossy black exterior, polished chrome trim or pristine interior and you’d swear it must be a joke. No one would race a car this beautifully restored … except Jack, who is completely serious.

Pretty & Built for Speed, Too

Don’t let the pretty face fool you, this car means business on the track. The 638 cubic inch Ultra Tech Racing big block engine rests on a 25.1-style full tube 4130 chrome moly chassis with a Bickel 4-link wishbone suspension and sway bar, courtesy of Performance Concepts of Mokena, IL. From the roll cage to the custom recessed firewall, this car also has the latest racing safety requirements (We told you he was serious!).


Retaining That Great Muscle Car Look

Meanwhile, Jack doesn’t just want to make a great looking race car, he wants to retain the overall character of this classic muscle car, the one he falls in love with all those years ago. Attention is paid to every detail, from the chrome bumpers to specially formed trim around the expanded wheel wells. Hundreds of man hours go into getting everything just right.

Hard Work & Sacrifice Pay Off for Indiana Native

Winning the 2016 Hoosier Award at WOW in Indianapolis is an honor that this Mishawaka resident humbly accepts. He knows that it took a lot of hard work from a dedicated group of craftsmen and a great deal of sacrifice by his family in order to win it.


“Just a Paint Job”

Everyone at this year’s show was either talking about or staring at this beautiful race car. What starts out as “just a paint job” soon pushes the envelope of what a race car could look like on and off the track. Bottom line: this ’69 Chevelle will be the best looking race car to blast down the track. Let’s hope we’re there to witness it.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

For Classic Auto, meeting so many fellow classic car lovers and seeing tons of incredible cars (like this 1969 Chevelle race car) is such a blast. If you didn’t have the opportunity to visit our booth at this year’s World of Wheels in Indianapolis, give us a call! Let our friendly experts help you find the perfect policy for your collector or classic car. With instant quotes, we can help you insure your vehicle for less. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 3/21/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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