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The Cars to Watch for Collector Enthusiasts

You may have heard that the market for classic and collector cars is “grinding to a halt.” Nothing is further from the truth. While some enthusiasts see a softer market due to a sharp rise in low-end collecting, mixed enthusiasm from younger collectors and reduced interest in the world’s highest-end cars valued at $1 million or more, others are predicting a fresh surge in classic car interest that will keep the market strong throughout the next decade. What is driving the classic and collector car market right now? The ebb and flow is creating a hard-to-pin-down scenario that looks different, depending on the kind of cars you want to collect.

Rise of the Niche Car

New collectors are starting to make their mark at some of the world’s most exclusive auto shows, like Retromobile Week in Paris - where younger faces are easy to spot among a mostly middle-aged crowd. Many under-30 collectors are indeed interested in what is considered the “traditional classics.” However, the buzz right now is all about their growing interest in a new type collectible: the lower-end niche car. Even the definition of niche vehicle is changing. Once only manufactured by exotic car makers, niche vehicles now include image vehicles from mainstream automakers and the higher-volume production of specialist cars. For example, consider a sporty mid-market Mazda that a “serious” collector may overlook. Niche cars are definitely catching the eye of the younger enthusiast, who enjoys specializing in certain makes, engine types or custom packages.

Trans Am? Just Cool

Some collectors who came of age in the 80s have a deep appreciation for the Pontiac Trans Am. Celebrities young and old drive them, including cowboys John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, ultra-cool dude Steve McQueen and - more recently – funnymen Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler. The Trans Am is a slick ride with a hint of irony, a blend of true craftsmanship and Smokey and the Bandit style – with a nod to the late, great Burt Reynolds, icon of the age. Plus, they’re easy to collect. A classic Trans Am that cost $25,000 at launch could probably be bought for $35,000 today. Trans Ams are finding a new audience among car lovers as young as 15-years-old due to fresh interest in 70s and 80s-era TV shows and movies widely available on streaming media services. Most agree, though - the number one reason for collecting Trans Ams is they’re just cool.

Speaking Lamborghini

Nothing satisfies car enthusiasts like a luxury sports car, it seems. Lamborghinis are piquing the interest of some collectors for a reason that breaks the hearts of their current owners: Lamborghini values have dropped significantly in the past 10 years. As a result, a Lamborghini Murcielago purchased for $300,000 in 2008 is now worth about $225,000. This puts it within reach of some new and younger collectors who wouldn’t have considered it back in 2008. With a blend of Italian style and German engineering, many newer Lamborghinis also have a hot, heart-pounding look and drivability that seems to cut across age groups.

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: 9/27/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Bid with Confidence at Your First Classic Car Auction

Your next dream car could be up for grabs at an upcoming classic car auction. If you’re not familiar with how an auction works however, you may be a little intimidated to make a bid for the first time. The bidding action moves fast, and you could quickly lose out on a great car or make an expensive mistake. We’re here to help new auction-goers understand the process and bid with confidence. Have you bid before? How did it go? Share your experience in the comments.

Need to Know Basics for Auction Newcomers

Research the Auction. Learn everything you can about the auction in advance. Make sure it’s conducted by a reputable auction company. Review the auction rules online or give them a call to see if there’s anything special you need to know about bidding.

Identify 1 or 2 Target Cars. If you head to the auction without a clear plan in mind, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Decide on a limited range of makes, models and prices you’re willing to bid on - ideally just one or two cars. Learn everything you can about the cars you’re interested in, including their value, history and production numbers. Research how to decode VIN numbers and how to spot fakes. When you’re armed with information, you can make a solid bid and avoid getting taken for a ride.

Ask the Experts. Reach out to people who specialize in the cars you’re interested in - a mechanic, a car club owner, an experienced enthusiast or restorer. See what they think of the listing and ask for their sage advice about buying at auction. People who attend classic car auctions are usually full of great tips for newcomers.

Keep Budget Top of Mind. This might be the most important tip about going to an auto auction: Don’t bid more than you can afford. Ever. It’s easy to get swept up in the action, especially over the anticipation of owning your dream car. Experts say it’s best to establish a maximum and stick to it. Many collectors say the rule for first-timers is to buy the best example of anything you can afford - including fees and shipping.

Read Listings for Fun. The pros become avid readers of auction magazines and online listings, so act like a pro. Review the results of previous auctions and see the going prices for the cars you’re targeting. Get familiar with the lingo and understand common abbreviations - for both the cars and the auctions. Make sure you know terms like “reserve auction” and “absolute auction,” because it will affect how you should bid.

Bullet Points for Auction Day

  • Arrive early and scope it out. On the day of the auction, arrive early and take time to inspect the vehicle carefully. Bring a trusted friend or appraiser along, if you can. Get a good seat as close to the front as you can. Remember, other bidders are watching your body language and listening to what you say, so try not to give anything away - after all, they’re your competition.
  • Bid confidently. Be respectful but assertive when bidding. Make sure the auctioneer can see and hear you clearly each time you bid and raise your paddle high. Keep your phone silenced and don’t allow anything to distract you. Just a few moments’ distraction can cost you the car.
  • Be wary of bidding wars. Sometimes a bidding war will start, where two or three bidders quickly drive up the price of the car in intense back-and-forth bidding. Stay calm and don’t get caught up in something you can’t afford. If the prices go sky high, know when to stop, and save your money for another auction.
  • Pay, insure and ship/drive. Be prepared to pay in full at the close of the auction. Insure your new car immediately, especially before any movement or shipping takes place. A great specialty insurance agency that deals with classic or collector vehicles will cover your new purchase from the moment you buy it.

Meaningful Groundwork, Big Payoff

It’s a satisfying feeling to find a hidden gem at an auto auction. In fact, many new auction-goers develop such a fondness for the experience, they attend classic car auctions just for fun. Enjoy your first auction, and if you win - enjoy your new dream car!

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Classic Auto covers any new addition to a collection for 30 days to allow time to formally add the car to your policy. Collectors can increase this limit. 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. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 9/25/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Episode 7 – Fabricating C10 Parts from Scratch

Episode 7 – The Project C10 crew is prepping our truck chassis, breaking down the rear end. Since we can’t go out and buy a new ‘65 Chevy C-10 rear cross member, we’re fabricating one from scratch to accommodate a different fuel tank. And we discover our C10 has a 4-10 axle gear – like a hot rod!

Episode 7 - Video Transcript

Rick Drewry: Here's what's next on Project C10.
Michael: We’re removing this makeshift bracket for the fuel tank.
Rick: All right, so we're getting rid of the fuel cell and we got to eliminate the bracket to clean up the frame. And you're having a good old time cutting and grinding and everything else, right?
Michael: Oh yes.

Derek: Right now, we are breaking down the rear-end. We already popped the diff cover off, so we can pull these axles out, and switch over from a six-lug to a five-lug axle.
Rick: Excellent. Any surprises so far?
Derek: No, just breaking down the old drum brakes, bolts are a little tight. Got some years of use on them.
Project C10 team member: You want an air ratchet?
Derek: Yeah.

Rick: Here's the gears. Looks like we got- you think it's a 4-10?
Derek: Pretty sure it's a 4-10.
Rick: 4-10 gear. It's a hot rod.

Justin: When we got the truck, it's missing a rear cross member because of the after-market fuel cell that was installed in the vehicle. And since we're putting in a different fuel tank, we need that cross member again. Since you can't go out and buy a ‘65 C-10 rear cross member, we're just going to go ahead and make it. Got the poster board here, make a template first because I don't like wasting material. If I mess up on the poster board I can always redo that a lot easier than I can with the metal, so ...
Rick: All right. Well, have at it. Let’s see what we come up with.

Derek: We are doing away with the backing plate assembly, so we can make the disc brake conversion on the back. Pulled the axles out which, again, had the six-lug axles. Going to the new five-lug axle.
Rick: Excellent. Let’s see what it looks like. Up close, typical drum brakes. Wheel cylinder. Actually, the brake shoes are in pretty good shape.
Derek: Not too bad.

Justin: All right. Here's the cross member that we made up. We get the edges bent pretty much at a 90. They still got a little bit of love to go into them here to get them completely flat, straightened out. But we still got that nice roll there that kind of looks similar to the factory, along with our dimple dies that we talked about. Well, thankfully it actually fits in here. So, I mean that's a positive. Once we get some notches and some holes drilled for this thing to get it to go, it should turn out pretty good.

Rick: We got a pretty steep gear, which you're going to need it with the big tires, and we're going to have an overdrive transmission, so that is all going to work in sync. Good job, Derek. At least we know you know how to tear it apart. We're going to get a kit. It has all new bearings, seals and we'll have the rear-end pretty much rebuilt for us.

Rick: We've had a lot that we've been working on the truck. The big focus now is the exhaust system. I've got Justin and Paul, they've been working on the cross member. We have a cross member that was actually literally right in the way for how we wanted to run the exhaust. The exhaust we want to run up nice and tight next to the frame rail and didn't want to have to drop it below. We also didn't want to have to modify an exhaust with a bunch of bends in it to work around it. So instead, they basically made a C-channel within the cross member. Now it's still a good cross member, and the exhaust can flow right through. So, that was a big focus today. Next up is going to be mocking the exhaust itself. Then we also have a laundry list of things that we're going to be working on over here before we disassemble it for paint:
  • We've got some dash mods
  • We still have the bed to do
  • We've got tailgate latch because we're putting a different type of latch system in it
  • We're going to have to drill holes for the trim
  • Fit all the trim
  • Mock up the steering shaft, the steering
  • We got speaker mounts, battery mounts, interior, all of that
We're basically going to pre-assemble the truck, make sure everything fits, then take it all back apart and the blow it apart and get it ready for painting. It's a lot going on, but some really good stuff.

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: 9/18/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Cut Truck Metal Precisely Every Time

If you’ve ever cut metal on a classic truck, you’re familiar with that stressful moment right before you make the first slice. You take a deep breath and go for it, hoping it’ll turn out fine. It doesn’t have to be this way! The Project C10 team ensures a better cut every time by scribing the metal carefully before cutting. Scribing prevents warping, chipping, missed marks and other metal cutting issues.

Project C10 Tech Tip - Scribing Before Cutting

Scribing is basically just marking out the cut line with a shallow indentation - a scribed line - prior to making the full cut. Here’s how it works in practice. The first step is to NOT use a pencil or marker to lay out the initial line. Writing tools are too inaccurate and prone to smudging. Instead, use a metal scriber - a hand tool used in metalworking to mark precise lines. The scriber will make a perfectly-placed groove, which you can then use as a cutting guide. Then breathe easy when you make the cut. It will come out in precisely the right spot, every time. Have you ever used a scribe for machining truck metal? Share your favorite cutting tips in our comments.

How a Metal Scriber Works

A scriber is a rod with a tip that has been tempered to extreme hardness. As you move the scriber’s point over a metal surface, a tiny shallow groove forms. This groove becomes your cutting line. Depending on the angles and spaces you’re working with on a classic truck, you may also need a scriber block, which allows you to lay out lines at a set height from a base. A scriber block helps you scribe in a controlled fashion as you make multiple cuts along a large piece of metal. For a big project like a truck restoration, this is a huge help in terms of keeping every cut neat and precise.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Metalworking can be an intimidating part of a classic truck restoration. Every cut is a challenge. You don’t have to tackle it alone. The experts at Project C10 welcome metal scribing and cutting questions from classic truck restorers. As the old saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” By double-checking that you’re doing everything correctly in advance, you’ll avoid some of the major mistakes people make when working with truck metal.

Make Scribing Part of Your Restoration Routine

Auto metalworking experts always scribe before cutting because pencils and markers prevent them from making perfect cuts. The wide lines of writing tools don’t allow tight fits after the cut, due to the minute thickness variations of the marking. When you’re working on a classic truck or any other kind of restoration, this is a big deal. Imagine making cuts to a truck frame, only to discover later that all your cut variations added up to an overcut of half an inch. That tiny space could become a huge, expensive problem to fix. By cutting directly on a scribed line, bad cuts are minimized.

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, 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.
Posted: 9/13/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Ford Goes Further with Mustang Mystique

This year, the Ford Motor Company is celebrating a milestone in its history with the recent production of the 10 millionth Mustang. To honor this milestone, the automaker arranges a motorcade of Mustangs traveling from Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan to the Flat Rock production complex 30 minutes away. Upon entering Flat Rock, the ponies park in a formation that spells “10,000,000,” with two special cars for the commas: the first Mustang ever made and the 10 millionth Mustang that is making the automotive history of today.

“Working Man’s Thunderbird”

Henry Ford débuts the Mustang at the World’s Fair in 1964, dubbing it the “working man’s Thunderbird” for its mix of sleek style and relative affordability. More than 22,000 Mustangs are purchased immediately upon its release. Famous faces from movie hero James Bond to super-cool actor Steve McQueen help popularize the Mustang early on and secure its place in American automotive history - if not popular culture. By March of 1966, the one millionth Mustang is rolling off the production line. The current momentous occasion, 10 million Mustangs later, is proof that this muscle car is the best-selling sports coupe of the last 50 years.

Mustang Export Evolution

Ford recently introduced the 2018 Ford Mustang Bullitt, a special edition coupe for the upcoming 50th anniversary of Steve McQueen’s classic movie sure to be a living collectible. Despite the Mustang’s status as a symbol of Ford’s identity, some experts believe its future is under threat from new trade tariffs. China, which is a booming market for new and classic sports cars, is now subject to a 40 percent duty on vehicles imported from the U.S. To avoid Chinese tariffs, many American automakers may consider manufacturing some models in China. Even though the Mustang is currently the number one-selling sports car in China, close to 75 percent of Mustang sales remain in the U.S. Chances are, the Mustang will continue to be the American legend it is, if Ford has anything to say about it. And they do.

Heart and Soul of Ford

If anyone disputes the sentiment about the Mustang being the heart and soul of Ford – the numbers tell a story. It takes Ford two years to retrieve the first-ever Mustang - a “Wimbledon White” preproduction model convertible, serial number 5F08F100001, that is sold mistakenly to Canadian Stanley Tucker. Ford promises the one millionth Mustang to him as an exchange -another white convertible built just two years later in 1966. And when Ford is ready to build the company’s 300 millionth vehicle, which one do they choose? A special-edition Mustang GT convertible with a V-8 engine and commemorative markings for its 40th anniversary, which rolls off the assembly line in Michigan in 2003. Ford has sold over 400,000 Mustangs in 146 countries since 2015. Who would have imagined the Mustang, the heart and soul of Ford, would ride into the collective heart of the global car community – and be considered by so many as “the quintessential American car?”

Good News for Collectors

Usually, the allure of a classic vehicle is its rarity. Not so, with 10 million Mustangs out there. The muscle car’s working-class image, combined with the power of its V8 engine and its sexy styling available for a fraction of what a Ferrari, Porsche or even a Corvette costs, is what makes the Mustang so enduring. This past summer, six Mustangs that belonged to famous Ford collaborator Carroll Shelby are sold at auction. All exceed sale expectations, including the 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 continuation series convertible. It goes for more than $140,000 more than its original $60,000 estimate ($201,600). Yes, the most valuable have a Shelby connection, yet they say everyone knows someone who has loved their own Mustang.

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

With our customizable Mustang car insurance plans tailored to you and your pony car, there are no “one size fits all” policies at Classic Auto Insurance. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 9/11/2018 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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