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Street Rod with Class - 1952 Mercedes Benz 170S

2017 Detroit Autorama – February 24-26

The 65th Annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama is almost here! On February 24-26 the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI will welcome enthusiastic crowds of car lovers eager to see some amazing cars. We look back at one of the Ridler Award Great 8 Finalists, an elegant 1952 Mercedes Benz 170S street rod, that left us awestruck. AMIG’s Rick Drewry interviews Derrick with Samson Designs about this amazing ride. Watch our video and see if you agree that this street rod is definitely worthy of being named a Great 8 finalist. Share it with your fellow car lovers and get their opinions.

1952 Mercedes-Benz 170S – Staying True to Its Elegant Roots

Derrick was given free rein on the direction of this design. In true street rod fashion, he did his share of chopping and customizing but he stayed true to the elegance Mercedes is known for. His eye for detail can be seen from the sumptuous mocha leather interior to the two-toned undercarriage. This is one classy street rod.

Molten Chocolate Deliciousness

Choosing brown for the car might seem like an odd choice to some but not to Derrick and the owners. They chose the Mercedes factory color “Mystic Brown” for its overall richness and the way light plays off it. The flawless exterior paint job looks like molten chocolate and the superior detail work provided by SONAX gives this street rod the show quality look that got it named to the finals.

Attention to Detail is Obvious

Before you think that this Mercedes is just another pretty face, Derrick gave it a subtle two-toned LS3 engine with polished stainless steel headers that powers out 500hp. Much of the car is one-of-a-kind and built especially for the street rod. The attention to detail is obvious when you see the competition-quality work done under the hood and in the undercarriage.

“Honored to be Among the Great 8 Finalists”

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. Derrick is thrilled to be among this stellar 2016 class of street rods. “Just making the Great 8 makes you feel like a winner. It’s the biggest honor in our industry,” he says.

Video Rundown of Great 8 Finalists

To see a complete video rundown of the Ridler Award Great 8 finalists, check out our previous video for details on each car.

Join Classic Auto at 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. If you plan to attend the show this February, stop by the Classic Auto Insurance booth 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: 11/28/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Wishing for A 2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 – The Devil You Say!


2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0

As the holidays draw near, we feel obligated to begin work on our annual wish list (in case anyone asks!). While doing a little online Christmas shopping, we spot a beautiful 2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 on the webpage of our friends at Dream Makers Automotive in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Yep, this car is going to the top of the list!

The Diablo Replaces the Lamborghini Countach

Despite Lamborghini just releasing the new 2017 Huracán LP-580-2 Spyder convertible, we’ll stick with a classic Lambo. The Diablo comes on the scene in 1990 as the designated replacement for Lamborghini’s Countach and production lasts until 2001.

A Devilishly Fast Car

There are several variations of the Diablo during its 10-year production run. The designer’s ultimate goal is to create a sports car that would break the 200-mph barrier. Named after a legendary bull (not the devil), the Diablo set the track on fire with a top speed of 205 mph and finally gives Ferrucio Lamborghini his wish.

Throaty Roar of a Predator

The VT 6.0 is Lamborghini’s way of modernizing the aging model in 2000 while waiting for its pending replacement, the Murciélago. Only produced from 2000-2001, this four-wheel drive super car has a 6.0L V12 engine sitting right behind the driver’s seat. The predator-looking front grill gives the impression of a shark but this car doesn’t lurk silently in the deep. It attacks with blazing speed and a throaty roar you won’t soon forget.


Diablo VT 6.0 – One Impressive Ride

With a powerful engine, an aluminum alloy body and a steel/carbon fiber frame, the Diablo VT 6.0 is one impressive high performance vehicle. You can easily hit 90-100 mph without blinking and you’ll look good doing it. No wonder this Lamborghini is a favorite among celebrities and billionaires the world over. Can you blame us for thinking it needs to go on our Christmas list? Think of how quickly we can run to the grocery store.

Lamborghinis are Always a Classic Car Fan Favorite

High performance cars like the Diablo, with their beautiful Italian styling, are always a fan favorite at classic car shows. Just hearing the roar of the engine lures attendees like a siren song. Owning one of these incredible machines would be a thrill and a privilege. For now, it is only wishful thinking that a Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 will one day pull into our garage. Hope you are listening, Santa.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Caring for a high-performance car like a Lamborghini is no small task, which is why having the right insurance company backing you is key. Protect your car with a customizable policy from Classic Auto Insurance. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect coverage for the high-powered super car in your garage. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 11/24/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Rare 1972 Chevy C10 Cheyenne Highlander Has Us Loving Plaid

The Carmel Artomobilia – Great Place to See Rare Classic Cars

The Carmel Artomobilia is a great place to catch sight of rare and unusual classic cars like this 1972 Chevy C10 Cheyenne Highlander truck. AMIG’s Rick Drewry talks with Jim, the owner of this great looking pickup.

Love at First Sight

Jim’s C10 is a stunning example of why Americans fall in love with trucks. From the beautiful tartan blue inserts on the bucket seats to the stock 350 engine, this Chevy looks just like it does when it rolled off the factory line almost 45 years ago. “I was hooked on ’69 Camaros but when I saw it at the body shop, I had to have it,” he laughs.

Highlander Package Makes This a Rare Find

Chevy was about to introduce a totally different model truck in 1973 so they offered the ’72 class of C10s with a special Highlander package, which consisted of additional trim on the sides, plaid bucket seats and a factory installed snap-based tonneau cover over the bed. There aren’t too many of these unique pickups on the road, which is why getting an up-close look at Jim’s is such a treat.

100% Numbers Matching on This Beauty

Jim did most of the restoration himself, shying away from some of the larger tasks. “I’m not a painter but I can tinker a little bit. I left the painting and detail work to the professionals.” Finding parts for a Highlander package is challenging but Jim managed to stay true to the restoration. “It’s 100% numbers matching; exactly the way it would have come from the factory.”

Father and Son Bond Over Their C10 Trucks

The story behind this restoration is one of a father and son bonding over their love of trucks. Jim has rebuilt two C10 trucks; one all black and the other with the Highlander package. When they had finished the Highlander, the two drove both trucks in a Labor Day parade in North Salem, IN to show off their hard work. It was a proud moment for the family. Sadly, Jim’s dad passed away just two months later. “These trucks mean a lot to us. We’d never get rid of them. They are a member of our family.”

Hard Work Shows in Our Restorations

The classic car community is filled with stories like Jim’s. Families bond over the work that goes into restoring these great cars and their blood, sweat and tears shows in every detail. Events like the Carmel Artomobilia are a great way to come together and appreciate these fine examples of automotive history and to meet the people who help preserve them.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Year after year, Classic Auto Insurance has been intimately involved in the Carmel Artomobilia, sponsoring the two-day celebration of automotive art and design and the unending passion we have for our classic and collector cars. Let us help you customize the perfect insurance policy for your one-of-a-kind collector car or collection. Our friendly, expert staff will answer all your questions and help you find the right coverage for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream classics.
Posted: 11/17/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

The Do’s and Don’ts of Test Driving a Classic Car [Infographic]

(Click on image to view in its entirety)

Avoid a Classic Money Pit

Buying a classic car is not like buying a regular car. Paying attention to details will determine if you are investing in a classic renovation or falling into a money pit. We’ve put together a handy list of do’s and don’ts to help you focus as you assess your classic dream car during a test drive. Share it with other car enthusiasts to save them from buying a classic headache instead of a car.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

You have probably been scouring the classifieds and internet looking for your dream car. Don’t let this be the only research you do. Once you have decided on the kind of car you want, find out as much as you can about it. Start collecting information that will help you with your renovation. Know original design elements and key parts to pay attention to when you go for your test drive.

Get the Scoop from Other Owners

Even before you find the perfect car, start talking to owners. They can help steer you toward potential cars for sale and give you advice on what to look out for. Online forums are also a good resource for getting specific details on the type car you want.

Buddy System is Best

When you go for your test drive, stay focused. It is easy to get distracted by the excitement of the purchase. Take someone with you to help inspect the car. Both of you should use evaluation sheets to check off items after review. Compare your notes.

Drive Your Dream - Everywhere

Consider how you plan to use your car once you purchase it. If you intend to drive the car to shows, you won’t always be driving on neighborhood streets. Take it for a spin on different road types, if possible. You’ll want to know how it handles. If you want a daily driver and your potential dream car requires expensive custom tires, this type of car may not be the one for you.

Stay Cool Under Pressure

You don’t have to buy a car the first time you check it out. Feel the rush and stay cool. Get comfortable with the decision. Ask questions. If you have concerns about the restoration, return with a mechanic to advise you.

Find Out About Classic Car Insurance

Ask questions about the owner’s current insurance coverage, although it’s still important to do your own research beforehand. Call a qualified insurance agent that specializes in classic car policies and determine how insurance costs fit into your overall car budget.

Plan a Safe Ride Home

Decide in advance how you plan to transport a classic car home. Many cars will not be in drivable condition, so they will need to be towed. Scout local tow services where the car is located so you will be ready. If you don’t already have a garage or if you are not ready to begin the car’s restoration, consider what your storage options will be once the car arrives at its new home.

Buy with Confidence

Approach test driving your classic dream car with confidence by following the tips on our list. Armed with research and questions, you can determine if the purchase is a sound one. Let the only regret be that you can’t spend more time with your new classic car.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Whether a first-time classic car buyer or a longtime collector, you are going to have questions about the best coverage for your vehicle. Let Classic Auto Insurance create a customized policy to match your individual needs. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer all your questions and find the right policy for your vehicle. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 11/10/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

1954 Corvair – A Missing Classic Comes Back to Life


A 1954 Corvair Shines at Carmel Artomobilia

We’ve been reminiscing about the great cars we’ve seen recently at the Carmel Artomobilia. Being Corvette lovers, we were totally floored to see a replica of a 1954 Motorama Chevy Corvair gleaming in the sunlight. AMIG’s Rick Drewry talks with Mike, this beautiful car’s lucky owner and what it took to re-create this allusive sports car.

GM Destroys Corvair Prototypes

In 1954, Chevy introduces the Corvair, a concept car based on the 1953 Corvette, at the GM Motorama in New York City. This traveling exhibition featured current and potential models from the carmaker. Slumping Corvette sales would scuttle this version of the Corvair, which never makes it into production. GM orders all prototypes to be destroyed.

Few Clues Left to Help with Corvair Builds

No blueprints exist. No spare parts are available. Classic car buffs have had to satisfy themselves with building replicas, following photographs to get the look accurate. That’s exactly what Mike and his friend, Brett, do when they set out to build the ’54 Corvair. Three and half years later, the results are stunning. “It is the car of my dreams,” Mike says while keeping a watchful eye over the car. “It only has 3.4 miles on it!”

Aircraft Design Inspires Corvair Look

Mike’s car started out with a Corvette frame. The two rebuilt much of the body using plasma and water jets to cut the exterior pieces they needed. They stayed true to the original and captured the Corvair signature look with its fastback roof, wraparound windshield and an aircraft-inspired rear end. Mike did replace the engine with a 265 V8 and decided to re-do the one-color interior with a two-toned red and beige colorway, keeping the stitching and pattern the same as original.


1954 Corvair Wows at Amelia Island

Mike and Brett completed the car just in time for the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Organizers asked them to keep it under wraps until the unveiling because they knew it was going to create a lot of buzz. The Corvair took home the Corporate Award for being among the top 10 out of the 300 cars invited. It also garnered the Best New Coachwork Award.

Lifetime of Reward

Mike’s Corvair is the realization of a dream. It is the car he always said he wanted, and building it with his friend Brett took it to another level. “Working on the car yourself makes all the difference. The car means more to you.” As many gearheads will attest, restoration isn’t just a project, it’s a passion, one that brings a lifetime of reward.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Year after year, Classic Auto Insurance has been intimately involved in the Carmel Artomobilia, sponsoring the two-day celebration of automotive art and design and the unending passion we have for our classic and collector cars. Let us help you customize the perfect insurance policy for your one-of-a-kind collector car or collection. Our friendly, expert staff will answer all your questions and help you find the right coverage for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream classics.
Posted: 11/3/2016 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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