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Tracking Down Your Old Car

Have you had the heartbreak of selling a beloved car and regretting it later? Maybe you finally give up on a tough restoration, give in to a high-dollar offer you couldn’t refuse or sell it during tough financial times. Whatever the reason, you’ll always keep an eye out for your old friend. As you cruise through traffic and parking lots, your eye will linger on cars that look a little bit like it. At every car show, there’s always the tiniest hope that you’ll spot it in the crowd. Where is it? Who’s behind the wheel? You shudder to think that favorite vehicle could be dismantled and sold for parts. The good news: You can find out. You can track down your old car several different ways.

By Knowing the Numbers

In a car search, the vehicle identification number (VIN) is your new best friend. Find the multi-digit VIN on your old ownership or insurance paperwork. If the car is produced in 1981 or after, the VIN will have 17 digits and can easily be searched in public databases like the Lost Car Registry or Check My Ride. If it’s pre-1981, you may need to call or email the motor company to track down the vehicle’s unique ID number assigned by the company’s individual system. Luckily most car manufacturers - at least those still in business - maintain meticulous vehicle production records. But there’s a downside here. VIN searches don’t always give good insight into a car’s chain of custody. You might see the original owner, your own info and not much else - especially if it sells overseas or as parts.

By Car Sleuthing

If you’re hitting dead ends with the VIN, it’s time to go deeper into detective mode and try other tactics. Don’t waste your time going to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) because the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) prohibits them from giving out car owners’ personal information. Instead, start contacting auto parts manufacturers, auto repair shops and car dealerships, all of which keep records about sales and repairs based on VIN numbers. They may be able to point you in the right direction. Your next stop should be car collectors’ clubs, which are full of people who enthusiastically scope out cars in their local area and at car shows. Maybe someone has spotted it recently. If all else fails, initiate a public records search, which may involve paying a service to troll through wills, divorce records, court settlements, bankruptcies and other public records. Keep hope alive. All it takes is one good lead.

By Consulting with Inspector Google

An intensive internet search may also reveal some surprising information. If it ever sells at auction, a simple Google search could provide clues you can use in your investigation: the new owner’s city, an auction house address, the fact that it has a new paint job or even an upcoming auction where it’s up for sale. Take mysterious clues straight to social media - Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and others - and plead your case to the world of car enthusiasts. Make a short post including the VIN, make, model, color, special features, the last known owner and location. Don’t forget to include your contact info and a heartfelt thanks to anyone who can help. Car collectors are a tight-knit community, and chances are they’ll have plenty of hot tips for tracking down your old pal.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Whether your classic car is an old friend or a new love, keep it fully protected with the right kind of car insurance. Let us 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. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 11/15/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

[Video] Custom 4-Door Bronco Unique Tribute to Ford Motor Company

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. “How many times have you ever seen a four-door Bronco?” Rick Drewry asks us just before talking with Eric from Maxlider Brothers Customs for Classic Auto. Not many, that’s certain. Yet this custom four-door creation wows everyone at WOW Indianapolis. “We build Broncos for customers all over the world,” Eric says, “and when Ford announced that they were going to come out with a 2020 Bronco, we wanted to tip our cap to them and say thank you.” Eric explains how they chop a Bronco in half, add two doors, give it a powerful new motor and coat it all in a fresh paint job from bumper to bumper. His company is known for these types of jaw-dropping inspirations that update classic Broncos. Thanks, indeed.

Instant Social Celebrity

“We’re blessed to have a huge social media following,” Eric says, as fans take immediate notice of this unique beast. “When images started to circulate … my phone started to ring a lot with people wanting to get their hands on one.” If you want one of these custom creations, you’d better act fast. There’s already a list of people who want the Maxlider-version-four-door Bronco of their own. Eric and his team are already envisioning taking their creation one step further. In fact, they want to push the design of the Bronco as far as possible, beyond any boundaries that have ever been explored before. Picture this: suicide doors, like the old Lincoln Continental.

Sneak Peek at Broncos to Come

Eric explains he and his crew want to show Ford - and all Bronco fans - what it looks like when the classic style of a vintage Bronco is paired with the power of a modern drivetrain. This creature is 100% unique in its custom design, based on the body of the classic Bronco. It’s meant to honor the possibilities of many new Broncos to come. Plus, rumor has it the new 2020 Bronco is going to have four doors. So, in a way, this customized Bronco is like getting a sneak peek at the new model. “We thought - let’s give an example of how cool this could be,” Eric says, “and the response has been overwhelming.”

Ingenuity Reigns at Maxlider Brothers Customs

Get familiar with Maxlider Brothers Customs by taking a look at their work online (here’s a link to the fabulous four-door Bronco) or hit them up on Facebook and Instagram under Maxlider Motors. Get ready to have your mind blown. These guys are Ford Bronco restoration specialists, putting a huge amount of time and expertise into groundbreaking new takes on the beloved Bronco. They also welcome other Bronco lovers to post photos of their own and join the shared experience of honoring an American classic.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Classic car enthusiasts of all ages know the importance of protecting their valuable investment with specialty insurance. Let us 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. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 11/13/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Classic Car Capitals of the World

What makes a city a collector car capital? Certain cities hold magic for car collectors. Ask any enthusiast to name their favorite car city, and they’ll have a quick answer - Detroit, Indianapolis, Monterey, Portland. Why do certain cities connect with our inner car lover so deeply? The many reasons usually boil down to a mix of history, climate, car culture and how it feels to drive through the city on a wide-open road. Collecting affects where we travel and where we live. For a convertible collector from L.A., there may be no love for Indianapolis. But a muscle car fan who attends the Indy 500 every year might not want to reside as far away as the west coast. Your favorite car city simply gets into your heart and won’t let go.

Top 10 North American Classic Car Capitals

Making a top 10 list of car capitals isn’t easy, and we’re sure you’ll have your own thoughts about it, too. Feel free to share them in the comments because we’d love to add to the list. Here’s a look at some of the best car cities in North America.
1- Indianapolis, Indiana. That’s right, we’re biased. Our home base is in Indy and we love the Circle City, a city of auto racing legends. It’s a Midwestern hub for car shows and car culture.

2- Monterey, California. The home of Monterey Car Week has to be near the top of the list. It’s the place car lovers go to see rare, exotic and concept cars year after year - plus it offers gorgeous California drives.

3- Chatham-Kent, Ontario. Known as the classic car capital of Canada, this bustling city hosts numerous car shows and festivals, including the popular Retrofest for vintage cars.

4- Scottsdale, Arizona. In the doldrums of January, Scottsdale heats things up with one of the biggest car shows in the nation. For car lovers, Scottsdale is the perfect mix of desert and driving.
5- Detroit, Michigan. You know this one has to be on the list, right? The Motor City is still the seat of the U.S. auto industry and for many car lovers there’s no place like it.

6- Los Angeles, California. Is your heart in L.A.? The city offers amazing drives along Laurel Canyon and Zuma Beach, not to mention one of the biggest car shows in the world.

7- Miami, Florida. Miami is a hot city for music and entertainment, and the car culture is thriving, too. It’s among the cities with the highest number of car shows per capita - in part due to the influence of low rider collectors.

8- Portland, Oregon. Portland is an old car town with a young car heart. It attracts a blend of collectors, from vintage fanatics to hipster niche enthusiasts.

9- Salt Lake City, Utah. Surprised to see this one on the list? It has an international car expo, spectacular driving, Instagram-worthy backdrops for car glamour shots and a complete lack of road congestion.

10- St. Louis, Missouri. Missouri’s capital is top-ranked for having the most car shops, car washes, car clubs and car shows per capita. People in St. Louis just love cars - all the classics and far beyond.

Before Road Tripping to the Capitals

Ready to plan a classic car cruise? All of the car capitals listed above should go on your list. Before you head out, make sure you protect your classic car.

Tune it up. Get a tune-up before you leave, especially if you’re headed into extremely dry, wet, dusty, hot or cold weather.

Keep an eye on cap speeds. Whether you take your own car or rent a classic, know your car’s maximum speed and the local speed limits. The last thing you need on a classic cruise is an engine problem or a speeding ticket.

Embrace the quirks. Enjoy each city’s individual traits that make it special. One of the best ways to do this is by connecting with local car clubs and collectors who can show you around.

Find outdoor destinations. Do a little research to find places where you’ll enjoy being in your classic car as much as possible: drive-in restaurants, drive-in movies, scenic overlooks, public beaches and sunset views. And of course, fabulous roads.

Get an insurance tune-up. Don’t forget to reconnect with your classic car insurance company before you hit the road. Make sure your insurance fully covers the trip and any place you’ll park during the adventure.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Classic car enthusiasts of all ages know the importance of protecting their valuable investment with specialty insurance. Let us 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. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 11/8/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Episode 10 – It’s All Coming Together

Here's What's Next on Project C10

Episode 10 – Rick Drewry, Drew Yagodnik and the rest of the Project C10 crew are prepping and painting parts before starting the assembly of the suspension. Each part is prepped individually. Meanwhile, the new motor is primed and new parts like the timing chain, fuel pump and others are getting installed. It’s all coming together.
Episode 10 – Video Transcript
Rick Drewry: Okay … what we're doing is prepping and getting ready to paint some of the parts, the suspension pieces, so we're sanding things down, getting it ready so we can paint each piece individually so that way it's nice, clean, fresh when it gets bolted onto the frame. As you can see our frame back here, we've got it all dialed in and ready to go, so once we get some of these painted we'll start assembly of the suspension.

Drew Yagodnik: Alright, so we got the motor last week, we got it primed, we got it color matched to the wheels that we're gonna use - the U.S. Mags, the gunmetal, and right now these guys have been working on putting some of the new parts. Where are we at right now and then where are we gonna go from here?
Andrew: We just got done putting in the new double chain. We're installing all the new tins, the oil pan, the timing chain. Derek's getting some of it prepped here. I put the fuel pump in and got the engine pretty much ready to sit down in the frame - before we start doing some of the top end stuff. And then from there you can go and start putting your exhaust on and everything before the body's on. It just makes it a lot easier and a lot cleaner, you're not scraping stuff as you're going together.
Drew: Cool. Alright we're almost there.

Drew: Alright, so we had a pretty big day here today. A lot of progress being made. You've been doing a lot of body work, painting. Where are we right now and what are the next steps going forward?
Rick: Well the frame's painted, so what we're doing is we got two things going on at once. We've got the suspension pieces, sanding those down and prepping those, painting those, and we will be assembling those on the front. So, we're gonna start building the rolling chassis, so we're gonna have a lot of things surrounding that, but at the same time I'm doing all the body work on the fenders, the doors, the hood and all that stuff to get it down to a final step so we're ready to paint. So hopefully by the time the chassis is done we'll be done with the body work and the paint, and then we can start final assembly where we're marrying the two together.
Drew: Great.

Drew: We're in the paint booth, body booth, whatever you wanna call it.
Rick: It's our makeshift paint room.
Drew: Yeah, there's a lot of work being done in here. I know you've made a lot of progress on a lot of the body panels, they're pretty much ready for primer, right?
Rick: Yeah, we're down to our final stages of just sanding. What we'll do, I'm gonna put one more high build prime coat on it, block it down, address any tiny little issues, things like that, and then we'll put a good sealer on it and it's ready for paint.

Rick: And we have our list over here, and our list basically we just got done doing the body work on the frame, we painted and primed the frame, or primed and painted the frame, stripped down the engine and painted the block and the heads, did the battery box. We notched the cab for the battery box. So, we got several things that we've done so far. So, right now we're in the process of prepping and painting suspension pieces. We got to assemble the long block and install the suspension on the frame. So, a list -in my opinion- is a good way to keep things going versus jumping all over the place. It kind of keeps your mind focused on where you need to be, and keeps you going in order, and things seem to get done quicker and faster when you do that.

Legacy of Classic Auto Insurance

Classic Automobile Insurance Agency is a family business built on a love of classic cars. We take every opportunity to give back to fellow classic and collector car enthusiasts by sponsoring events such as Carmel Artomobilia and Fuelicious, attending classic car events throughout the Midwest to document owners’ stories of their dream cars, partnering with like-minded companies and organizations to better serve our customers and bringing you unique learning opportunities like Project C10, powered by American Modern. Having owned a variety of collectibles ourselves, we understand your unique needs as the owner of a prized vehicle. Its age, rarity, value, unique features, limited use, availability of parts and services and popularity across generations require special protection. Whether you bought it at auction, drove it off the lot or restored it to perfection in your garage, we will build you a personal auto insurance program designed specifically for owners of collectible cars, and provide support when claim time comes. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 11/6/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Age-Old Debate About Restoration

Should classic cars be restored with 100% authenticity or are modifications okay? Ask any car collector and you’ll hear a strong opinion one way or the other. Some collectors feel the only respectable enthusiast path is to find original parts, stick to tradition and keep everything on the restored vehicle totally genuine. Others think there’s no harm in maintaining the spirit of a vehicle while making additions like new longer-lasting upholstery, safety features and appropriate substitutions for hard-to-find parts. Where do you fall in this timeless debate?

The Traditional Approach: Preserving History

For the traditionalists, owning a classic car is an honor that shouldn’t be tarnished by inauthentic restorations. Classic cars, for these collectors, are pieces of history that deserve to be preserved in their purest forms, frozen in time. Each choice that’s made should be an effort to bring a car back to its original condition, when it first rolled off the production line. In fact, the ultimate collecting experience for many traditionalists would be discovering a “barn find” locked away in near-pristine condition.

Making Modifications: Enjoyment and Safety

Fans of restomods are just as true to the spirit of collecting as any traditionalist. The main arguments in favor of making modifications are safety, the enjoyment of collecting and simply the reality of restoring vintage autos, antiques and collectibles. After all, not every part is still available. Custom-machining specialty parts can be extremely expensive and time-intensive. Critics might say they’re tinkering with a tradition, but these rebels shake off the criticism. They often invest just as much - if not more - in their collections and find ways to keep their cars authentic on the outside but safer and more comfortable on the inside.

Deciding Whether to Restore or Modify

If you’re on the fence about where you stand in the restore vs. modify debate, consider this. First, it’s important to save all the parts that come with the car when you purchase it, even if you’re going to make modifications. This means you can always bring it back to its original condition later - or at least give someone else the opportunity. Also, reflect on your deeper motivations involved in the purchase. Why did you buy the car? Is it going to be driven frequently? Will your children ride in it? You might want to add modern safety features, like seat belts. Whether your decide to restore one antique car or modify another classic truck, seek out collector car insurance that respects the true value of your investment. It’s the best way to honor your beloved classic.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Classic car enthusiasts of all ages know the importance of protecting their valuable investment with specialty insurance. Let us 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. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 11/1/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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