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Porsche – 50+ Years of Sports Car Awesomeness [INFOGRAPHIC]

What do a Volkswagen Beetle and a Porsche have in common? No, this isn’t the start of a collector car joke, rather a fact that few people realize. These two iconic cars were created by one legendary man, Ferdinand Porsche. Besides founding the company that created some of the world’s best sports cars, he designed and built history’s most recognized car design- the Volkswagen Beetle.

For over 50 years, Porsche has been synonymous with classic sports cars. We’ve put together a timeline of the company’s awesomeness for you - feel free to share.


My Name is Porsche

Ever wonder if you are pronouncing the name correctly? In German, the final “e” of words is not silent. Even in English, the name is pronounced “Porsch-uh” rather than “Porsh”. Here’s an audio clip to help you get it right.

From Tanks to Sports Cars – The Evolution of Porsche

Although Ferdinand Porsche starts his car company in 1931, he produces tanks and military transports for the German war effort, which lands him in jail for war crimes. Before his jail time, Ferdinand also designs a car for the German people at the request of Adolf Hitler. The Type 1 becomes known as the Volkswagen Beetle – which means “a people’s car” in German. After his incarceration his son, Ferry, succeeds him and soon sets about redefining the company.

Porsche’s First Concept Car

Ferry wants to manufacture sports cars but parts are hard to come by after the war. His first concept car is the Type 64, which repurposes Volkswagen parts. This model is never mass produced and only 52 still exist today.

Let’s Put the Engine in the Rear

Porsche takes what they learn from the Type 64 and the VW Beetle and in 1948, builds their first production sports car, the 356. Its innovative rear engine design would lay the groundwork for future models like the 911, still a top seller. The 911 débuts in 1964 and is considered by many to be one of the best sports cars ever. Porsche has stayed true to its original design though they briefly consider ending production in 1980. American CEO and 911 enthusiast Pete Schultz has other plans, which keeps the 911the company’s most successful model.

Cocktail Napkins are for Doodling

In 1953, while waiting to have lunch with an American importer, Ferry Porsche draws what becomes the company’s logo on a cocktail napkin. He chooses the coat of arms of the Free People’s State of Württemberg. The prancing horse is the symbol for the city of Stuttgart, where Porsche is based.

Racing = Porsche DNA

Porsche cars have won more races than any other race cars. Ever. Porsche has over 24,000 race wins to date. From the very beginning Porsche has vetted its cars on the track. The 550 Spyder and the 911 have competed and are winners. In 2015, a 919 Hybrid wins Porsche’s seventh 24 Hours of LeMans endurance race after completing 3,300 miles, 395 laps and using 500 gallons of fuel. It clocks a top speed of 211 mph.

Porsche Brand Expands Around the World

Today the Porsche brand is found on everything from designer watches and luggage to motorcycle engines and sports cars. It is clear that the name and reputation of this classic sports car company continues to stand strong around the world.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Porsches have long been a favorite among car collectors. Whether you own a 911 Carrera or a 356, you know that protecting it is a top priority. Let the friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right insurance policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 11/26/2015 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Remembering The Man Behind the Batmobile

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If you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and spent a lot of your time in front of the television, then you owe George Barris a debt of gratitude. You may not recognize his name but you definitely know his work. Sadly, the creator of such iconic Hollywood cars as the Batmobile and the Munster Koach passed away on November 5 at the age of 89.

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 The King of Kustoms

George is known as the “King of Kustoms”. He begins customizing cars at an early age alongside his brother Sam. Together they form Barris Custom Shop (later called Barris Kustom Industries), which becomes a mecca for young talented artists and car enthusiasts like Dean Jeffries and Kenny “Von Dutch” Howard.

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The “Hirohata Merc” – One of the Greatest Custom Cars Ever

The Barris boys catch the attention of Hollywood in 1952 after creating what is considered the greatest custom car of all time, the Hirohata Merc. With its chopped top, curved side windows and V-butted windshield, this car helps set the standard for future custom car designs. It is still inspiring generations of custom car designers.

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Super Hero Needs a Ride

In 1966 ABC Television needs a car for their new show, Batman. George is the perfect choice to build it. Using a handcrafted Lincoln Futura concept car that he buys for $1 years before, the Barris team goes about bringing the Batmobile to life.

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The Most Recognizable Batmobile in the World

From its bat-faced grill to its neon orange trim, this car goes on to be one of the most recognizable cars in the world. Children (and adults) everywhere want to ride along with Batman in his Batmobile.

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Batmobile Sells for $4.6 Million

The original Batmobile is built for around $15,000. In 2013, after years of displaying the Batmobile at shows, George auctions it off with Barrett-Jackson for a modest $4.6 million to an Arizona collector.

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Building Dream Cars

George goes on to create other famous television cars like the Munster Koach and the coffin dragster (nicknamed Drag-u-la) for The Munsters, and the hillbilly truck for The Beverly Hillbillies. If Hollywood could dream it up, George could bring the car to life.

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Custom Hot Rodding Goes Mainstream

George and his brother Sam bring custom hot rodding into the mainstream. Their visionary creations are all built back when modifications were done with a hacksaw, chisel and acetylene torch. There is no 3D printer to generate needed parts. It is all, as the term implies, custom work.

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From Model Kits to Lego Sets – Everyone Loves a Barris Custom Car

The Barris cars are so famous in the 70’s and 80’s that they are made into plastic toy models. These kits introduce an entire generation to custom hot rods. Today Lego, the plastic construction block toy company, is currently asking automotive fans to vote on whether the original Barris 1966 Batmobile should be immortalized with their blocks. Be sure to make your vote count!

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George Barris, You Will Be Missed

George Barris was a consummate promoter. Most of all, he was an innovator. His contributions to the automotive world (along with his brother Sam) help us visualize car designs in a totally unique way. Classic Auto extends our deepest sympathies to the Barris family, and heartfelt thanks to this creative man. We’re sure he is busy in heaven customizing an angel’s chariot as we speak.


Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Whether you own a customized hot rod or the Batmobile, protect your investment with the right insurance coverage. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 11/25/2015 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Keep Your Classic Car Looking Show Ready


Getting a top rate shine on your collector car takes a lot of time and effort. There’s got to be a better way to get a show-quality luster that last for months. Detailing sprays and protectant sealers are gaining in popularity as easy ways to lengthen the time between regular waxes while keeping that glossy finish.

Cleaning Products Have Evolved

Fifty years ago it may have been true that silicone could damage your paint but today’s car cleaning products have evolved. Everything from car paint to detailing sprays contain some form of water based silicone to help it perform better on a car’s surface. Even carnauba wax would be harder to apply and wouldn’t give us that high gloss shine without silicone.

You Be the Judge

Before using a detailing spray, evaluate the car’s surface. If your car has a light coating of dust that you can clean with a California duster then feel free to spray away. But if the dirt and contaminants have bonded with your clear coat (i.e., you left it sitting dirty for too long) then using the spray may rub dirt further into the surface leaving scratches or swirl marks. You be the judge on how dirty the car is and if a detailing spray is safe to use.

Quick Touch Ups Are a Breeze

Like most collector cars, your garage queen is probably protected under a cover. This helps to keep larger dirt particles off your car but it won’t filter out the dust and pollen that can coat the surface. A detailing spray is not meant to replace a good waxing only to extend it. It is intended for touch ups when your car has light dust, finger prints or contaminants on the finish. Detailing sprays lubricate the car’s surface while coating the dirt and dust to allow it to be wiped off safely – ideal for a quick touch up before hitting the road or for removing finger prints while at a show. (So stop glaring at the young man who just laid his hand on your hood! You have a detailing spray now.)

Protect Your Paint Longer

If you are wanting to defend your paint from the elements for longer than just wax, look for a quality polymer sealant. They can protect your car’s paint for up to six months. A regular waxing with just carnauba wax only lasts three to eight weeks.

Clean Ups Made Easier

Protective sealants are used to help shield against harsh conditions. They form a protective barrier that keeps dirt and debris from embedding in your clear coat. Clean ups are easier and it will bring out more depth and gloss to your paint.

Use a Little, Get a Lot

After giving your car a good wash, apply the sealant to small areas, working from the top of the car to the bottom. FYI, a little goes a long way. Apply with a sponge, remove the excess with a microfiber cloth and buff to a high shine. Sealants need time to “cure” once applied so consult product directions. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least an hour before taking your car out.

Live On the Edge – Use a Sealant Plus Carnauba Wax

Many enthusiasts still prefer carnauba wax in order to get that show ready shine. It really boils down to what type of shine you prefer and how often you can detail your car. Sealants give a hard, high gloss while carnauba adds a warm glow to your car’s paint. If you want the extended protection of a sealant but the richness of carnauba wax, then try both. After your protectant has cured, follow up with an application of carnauba wax. You’ll get the best of both worlds – lasting protection and a dazzling shine.

Brilliant Shine & Protection

Whether it is a quick touch up with a product like SONAX Brilliant Shine Detailing Spray or the long lasting protection of a sealant like SONAX Polymer Net Shield, choosing the right product for your car care needs is important. Classic Auto Insurance is proud to partner with SONAX to bring their fine products to the attention of our classic car community. Learn more about the SONAX quality line of car care products at

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

We understand your dedication to getting a show ready shine on your collector car. Our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance is dedicated to helping you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 11/23/2015 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

1971 Datsun 240Z – Redefining What a Sports Car Should Be

Many iconic cars of the 70’s and 80’s are beginning to finally find their way into classic collections. A perennial favorite is the Datsun 240Z. Our friends at Elite Autos in Jonesboro, AR are fortunate enough to find a mint condition Z Car that has been lovingly restored by a fellow collector and racing enthusiast, Loren St. Lawrence.

Datsun 240Z Challenges the Toyota 2000GT

The 240Z (or the Fairlady Z as it is known in Japan) is Nissan’s response to the Toyota 2000GT, which is featured in the 1967 James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice. With it, Toyota attempted to recreate the Jaguar E Type and plunged head first into the competitive sports car market. Unfortunately, the 2000GT was overpriced ($7,000) for the unproven Japanese car maker at the time. Only 351 units were made by the time production ended.

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240Z – Stylish and Very Affordable

Toyota’s failure to break into sports car elite was Nissan’s gain. Yutaka Katayama, President of Nissan Motor Corporation USA, realized that they needed a car that is stylish, efficient and affordable, above all. Under the Datsun name, the 240Z is introduced to American consumers for the astounding price of $3,500 (fully loaded) in 1970.

Time to Own Your Dream Car – The Datsun 240Z

Long dominated by European manufacturers, the world wide sports car market is ready for a fresh face. Many car enthusiasts dream of the day they could get behind the wheel of a MGB GT or a Jaguar but the price tags are too daunting. The 240Z opens the door for drivers to own their dream car.

240Z – No Plain Economy Car

The 240Z brakes the mold of the nondescript Japanese economy car and launches the company into the world of performance sports cars. Named after its 2.4L inline six engine, the 240Z has cutting edge features like disc brakes and a fully independent suspension.

Speed and Good Looks

While the 240Z has the exotic styling of a Jaguar or a Ferrari, Nissan does not scrimp on power. It could reach a top speed of 125 mph while getting 21 mpg. As American muscle cars are being reined in by Federal emissions regulations, the Z Car continues to rack up sales throughout the 1970’s, ushering in a new era of Japanese car dominance.

Z Cars Rule on the Track

To prove it is a true performance car, Nissan races their Z cars to an astounding number of titles, beating out Triumphs, BMWs and even Porsches. The 240Z wins the grueling East African Safari Rally in 1973 proving it is as tough as it is stylish. Fast forward to 2015, where the Datsun continues to compete: three 240Zs are entered in the rally along with several other 260Zs.

Paul Newman Loved His Datsun Race Cars

Datsun Z cars are a favorite among racers. Teams from Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) and Bob Sharp Racing (BSR) dominate racing all over the world during the 70’s and 80’s. Legendary actor and devoted Datsun enthusiast Paul Newman raced Datsun Z Cars in the early 70’s with BSR as well as with his own team, Newman Freeman Racing.

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Fun, Fast and Affordable – the Ultimate Sports Car

It’s good to see this beloved special sports car get the respect it deserves. Proud owners of Datsun 240Zs know the important role this car plays in redefining what a sports car should be. It is fun, fast and affordable. What more could you want in a sports car?

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Your Datsun 240Z is an important part of your collection, which is why you need to protect it. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 11/19/2015 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Tire Conditioners Do More Than Shine Your Wheels

Tires are one of the most overlooked parts on a car. You depend on them for safety on the road, they improve your car’s fuel economy plus the right tire can add the perfect touch to a classic car restoration. With all this riding on your tires, why wouldn’t you take care of them? 

Tires Aren’t Just Rubber Anymore

Tires are an engineering marvel that gives a car traction and stability. Today, they are made of a high performance composite of over 60 different materials. Tires contain synthetic rubber, natural rubber, fabric (cotton or Kevlar) and wire along with carbon black and chemicals called antiozonants, which protect the tire material from splitting and cracking.

Brake Dust Damage

Brake dust can eat into the coating on your wheels and pit the metal if you allow it to collect for too long. It consists of adhesive and carbon fibers emitted from the brake pads as well as tiny metal shavings from the rotors. Heat and friction created by the wheels combine to turn brake dust into a highly corrosive mixture that’s a challenge to keep clean.

The Ozone Can Damage My Tires?!

Yep, it’s called tire browning. When a tire is exposed to the ozone its antiozonants oxidize, creating a residue that turns tires brown. Also known as “blooming,” it can combine with brake dust to form a nasty coating on a tire’s surface. This will greatly reduce the life of your tires.

Soap, Water and a Little Muscle

Tire maintenance is essential. Checking the pressure regularly, rotating and balancing them and conditioning the rubber are all ways you can extend the life of your tires. The best way to avoid damage from brake dust and tire browning is to clean it off. Choose a cleaner that is ph balanced since acidic cleaners can worsen browning. Otherwise, regular soap, water and a stiff bristled brush (with a little muscle thrown in) should loosen up the built on dirt and debris.

Condition Your Tires

Treat your tires after they are cleaned. You are doing more than just giving them a dazzling shine, you are conditioning the rubber. Look for products that are free of petroleum distillates. While these components will give you a glossy shine, they will also build up on your tires and cause browning.

Which Type Conditioner to Use?

There are two types of protectants – water based and solvent based. Water based are usually a combination of natural oils and synthetic polymers containing UV blocking agents. These will wear off quicker but they won’t harm the tire with repeated use. Solvent based products contain silicone and leave a clear glossy film on the tire surface. Avoid the ones with petroleum distillates, which can cause drying and cracking as they build up on the tire surface.

Protect and Revive Your Tires

The purpose of a conditioner is to penetrate and revive the rubber elements of the tire. It will protect it from drying out and shield it from harsh road conditions. A gel conditioner adheres to the tire better and can be worked into the pores of the rubber. There is also less chance of it getting onto your paint the way a spray liquid can. A bottle of gel conditioner will provide more applications since you use less when applying with a sponge.

Get a Showroom Shine

Classic Auto Insurance is proud to partner with SONAX to bring their fine products to the attention of our classic car community. Using the right product to detail your tires will help protect them and give you the showroom finish you are looking for. Don’t let cleaning and conditioning your tires be an afterthought. The beauty and safety of your car is riding on it.  Learn more about the SONAX quality line of car care products at

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Taking care of your classic car from the wheels up is a work out but finding the right car insurance doesn’t have to be. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 11/17/2015 1:19:09 PM with 0 comments

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