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A Rocky Past for Bentley

History Of Bentley Motors From Your Luxury Car Insurance Experts

Walter Owen Bentley craved power and speed. A motorcycle racer on the Isle of Man and the Brooklands Circuit instilled in him the need for bigger and better racing machines, but he also understood the value of luxury.

Bentley focused his desires on automobiles after he and his brother purchased acquired the French company Doriot, Flandrin & Parant (DFP). It was from this company that Bentley learned the qualities needed to create his namesake, Bentley Motors.

In 1919, after a great deal of work and the discovery of using aluminum to make lighter, faster pistons, W.O. Bentley revved the first 3-liter engine that would power the great beginning of the Bentleys.
The Many Owners of Bentley

W.O. Bentley had some early struggles getting his brand off the ground, and though Bentley had its diehard fans, the financial struggles were too great in the early years. In 1925, Woolf Barnato one of the “Bentley Boys” became a financer for Bentley Motors, and as such, became the chairman of the company.

Woolf Barnato was a child of luxury. His father owned the diamond dynasty in South Africa, and Woolf inherited a large sum of money from him at the young age of 19. When he bought into Bentley, his ownership would be short lived. The stock market crash of 1929 took a toll on the success of the luxury car industry, and as a new and still relatively unestablished brand, Bentley suffered greatly.
In 1931, under the guise of the British Central Equitable Trust, Bentley was purchased from Barnato when the big was taken away from Napier and Son.  The British Central Equitable Trust later was found out to be Rolls-Royce and they were the primary owner of Bentley until they were bought out by the German VW group in 1998.

The Bentley at Le Mans
Bentleys began making instant history. In their first ever run at the 24-hour Le Mans, (also the first year for the historic race) the team driving the Bentley pulled in a very respectable fourth place.
The next year, Captain John F. Duff and Frank Clement took the Bentley 3-Liter Sport across the finishing line of the 24-hour Le Mans in first place. The Bentley struggled through the next few years of the race, but managed to take another title in 1927. In that same race, two other Bentleys finished in 15th and 17th.

When Woolf Barnato took over the racing team in 1928, he drove the car himself, in partnership with Bernard Rubin. The pair took first place with a Bentley 4 ½ Liter “Old Mother Gun”. The secondary Bentley team took 5th place that year. Barnato had a repeat success in 1929, with Bentleys finishing in the top four spots. In 1930, Barnato won yet again, this time driving a newer model Speed Six “Old Number One”.

After the victory in 1930, Bentley withdrew from the race for several decades. In fact, it wasn’t until after the turn of the century that Bentley re-entered to compete for the title. Bentley re-entered in 2001, but didn’t win a title until 2003 when the two Bentley teams came in first (Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Guy Smith) and second (Mark Blundell, David Brabham and Johnny Herbert).

2003 when Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Guy Smith came in first before Mark Blundell, David Brabham and Johnny Herbert who were driving the second Bentley at the race.

Recent Developments for Bentley
After the turn of the century, the future of the Bentley was uncertain, and many doubted Volkswagen’s commitment to maintain the luxurious history of the brand. Those who doubted were soon proven wrong when designs for the Bentley State Limousine were commissioned for use by the Queen during her Golden Jubilee.

The recent years have also seen the development of a mid-sized Bentley, and the development of the new racing giant, the 600bhp Bentley Speed 8, also known as the GT Coupe. This 600bhp Speed 8 is the car that brought a Le Mans victory back to Bentley after so many years of silence. The Speed 8 also finished third and fourth at the 12-hour Sebring in Florida.

In 2008, Bentley rose up to meet the global challenges of climate change and the search for renewable fuels by committing to slashing their CO2 emissions in half by 2012. Bentley began this journey by releasing the Continental Supersport, the fastest and most powerful Bentley ever, with the FlexFuel performance option.

What Bentley does next remains to be seen, but it is certain that luxury, power and speed will not be compromised on any level. Though Bentley’s history has been rocky and their ownership has never been steady, their fans are dedicated and the brand has been preserved.

Protect Your Bentley
Though the history of Bentley may have been questionable at times, owners of these luxury cars know how important it is to preserve the beauty and power of the Bentley, guaranteeing it will be around for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

If you are the proud owner of a classic Bentley, don’t leave it under-protected with insufficient insurance coverage. Call the luxury car insurance experts at Classic Auto today for a free, instant quote and find out how we can save you money, but also protect your car with the highest level of care and value. Call our classic car insurance representatives  at 888-901-1338.

About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 11/29/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Neiman Marcus Features 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante in This Year’s Christmas Book

The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante has been chosen as one of the eight fantasy gifts in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book this year. It has been fifteen years since an Aston Martin stole a place in this upscale retailer’s Christmas catalog. Perhaps the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as the centenary celebrations of Aston Martin, paved way for Vanquish Volante’s entry into this famous gift list.

The Aston Martin Neiman Marcus Vanquish Volante
A special edition of just ten cars has been created under the Neiman Marcus label. Specially handcrafted by the Aston Martin customization team ‘Q’, these convertibles are painted in the iconic Seychelles Blue of the DB6 Volante which was used for the wedding celebrations of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. Handbuilt in Gaydon, England, the special edition car displays a 100% carbon-fiber shell, the first ever in the history of Aston Martin. This accounts for the greater torsion and structural rigidity of the vehicle. A naturally aspirated 6.0 litre, V-12 engine is used to 565 horsepower.

Specifications of the Limited Edition

  • Atlantic Blue, multi-layered fabric convertible roof
  • Twenty spoke, diamond-turned alloy wheels with a finish of Liquid Silver
  • Magnum mesh
  • Wing badges of Sterling Silver and Flux Enamel
  • Black, soft semi-aniline leather seats with Aurora Blue contrast stitching
  • Aurora Blue binding on Obsidian Black carpet
  • Satin Chrome controls and instrument dials
  • Exclusive Neiman Marcus Q sill plaques

The Luxury Car with a Hefty Price Tag
The limited edition Aston Martin Vanquish Volante is being sold by Neiman Marcus for $344,500, which is $46,505 higher than the normal edition. The price does not include tax, registration fees, licensing, title and delivery charges. Purchase is limited to just one vehicle per customer at the sale that began on October 23, 2013, organized solely by participating Aston Martin dealers in the United States. Delivery of the cars will occur before February of 2014.

Neiman Marcus intends to donate $3000 from every sale towards The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which is a charity for the youth.

Last year’s Christmas Book featured car was the McLaren MP4 12C Spider, which sold all of its twelve copies within two days of the commencement of sale. It took just 92 seconds for selling the entire fifty copies of 2007 BMW M6 Convertibles, which was the Neiman Marcus holiday catalogue car in the year 2006!

Due to their rarity and sophistication, luxury cars such as Aston Martin Vanquish Volante require distinctive collector car insurance policies. Classic Auto Insurance offers unique luxury car insurance policies such as tiered mileage plans, roadside assistance, special discounts for multiple collector car owners, and many more options to choose from. Contact us today at 888-901-1338 for your free classic car insurance quote.

About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 11/27/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Winter Maintenance for Your Classic Car

Winter Maintenance Tips

Classic cars are timeless and priceless possessions that need proper care and maintenance. Here are some maintenance tips for your vintage car so that its value appreciates for the maximum return on your investment.

Why maintenance is required

  • High resale value: For most car collectors, vintage cars are an investment as the value of a vintage car appreciates with time. A well-maintained car speaks a thousand words about the original condition of the vehicle. A vintage car with original parts fetches a higher value than one with modern parts.

  • Peace of mind: A well-maintained car will not be as prone to breakdown and will also cost less to fuel.

  • Parts are rare: Sometimes parts of a vintage car are very difficult to find. That is why it is all the more important that such cars be maintained so that the need for a part replacement is minimized.

  • Winter is approaching: During the extreme cold of winter, vintage cars need extra care since they are not driven often. If classic cars are not cared for in the winter, they will no longer be fun to ride in the summer.

Tips for maintaining classic cars

  • Keep clean - A car needs good detailing before storage, including both the undercarriage and outside. Cleaning removes dirt, grime, salt and other things which lessen the shine of the paint and also reduce the life of the car. Usually classic car enthusiasts wash their cars after every drive. Bird droppings are very corrosive for the paint of the car.

  • Wax often - A car with its original paint is much desirable than re-sprayed paint. In order to maintain the original paint, a car needs to be polished weekly with a good wax. This will cut the connection between body of the car and outside moisture. The underseal should be given a fresh paint annually.

  • Protect from extremities - A classic car needs to be kept in a place that is neither too hot nor too cold, such as a climate-controlled garage. When keeping the car in a garage for a longer time, roll down the windows a bit to allow ventilation. Also, cover the car with a soft cotton cloth or car cover, being careful so that stones or other particles do not stick to the cloth and chaff the paint.

  • Engine maintenance - Engines of classic cars need special care and maintenance. If the car is not in use for a long time, it is advisable that the fuel be mixed with fuel stabilizer to keep the carburetor clean and ensure a smoother drive. Also, engine oil should be replaced after a long period of storage. After the oil is replaced, start the engine so that fresh oil circulates and makes a protective shield against corrosion.

  • Take a drive - A monthly drive  will keep the parts in running condition, and hence prevent the parts from corrosion.

  • Battery removal - If the car is not in use for a long period, remove the battery completely from the engine compartment. After removing the battery, the battery tray and the battery terminals should be cleaned and waxed with Vaseline. In order to ensure long life for the battery, make sure it is charged every 3-4 months.

  • Tire care - For winter storage, a car needs to be raised from tires and rested on car axles, which in turn should be placed on wooden blocks. The car should be stored with hand brakes and gears off. The pressure of the tires should also be reduced to about 25 psi during winter.

What other winter maintenance tips do you have for fellow classic car enthusiasts? Tweet us your tips to @ClassicAutoIns and you could be featured in a future blog post!

Remember to insure your vintage vehicle year round for the best protection. Contact us for more information on affordable classic car insurance policies for your collector car.

About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 11/25/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Rolls-Royce: A Rich History of Luxury

Rolls Royce History

The legendary history of Rolls-Royce began over a simple lunch in 1904. Charles Rolls was already the owner of one of the world’s first car dealerships, and when he heard about Henry Royce’s designs for a revolutionary new car, the deal was sealed.

The Rolls-Royce started out as only a 2-cylinder car, and has since released models with up to 6-cylinders, but more importantly, the Rolls-Royce ushered in a new era of car manufacturing and has produced cars that outlast other luxury brands, withstand intense driving challenges, and offer owners a new sense of what “luxury” really means.

The Creators
Charles Rolls was a Cambridge graduate who had studied mechanical engineering, and later discovered a passion for racing. Rolls funded this passion by buying and selling foreign cars. He met with Sir Henry Royce in May of 1904 in an effort to create an English brand that could compete with the foreign cars of that day.

Sir Henry Royce was an inventor and business owner whose company produced creations like the bayonet lamp socket, electrical motors and cranes, among many other things. Royce had a vision to build the best and most reliable engine the world had ever seen.
And thus, the partnership began.

The First Rolls-Royce
The Silver Ghost was the first Rolls-Royce to grace the world with its presence. This car hit the market in 1907 and was made with such quality craftsmanship and durability that it completed the famous drive between London and Glasgow 27 times, non-stop. This drive totaled 14,371 miles, and the Ghost handled it with a smooth, complication-free drive, dubbing it the “best car in the world”.

Sir Henry Royce and Charles Rolls had immediate success with the Silver Ghost, and to this day, it is remembered as one of the greatest cars of all time.

More Than a Car
In 1914, the world was entering into the First World War, and in an effort to respond to the needs of Britain, Sir Henry Royce designed the first Rolls-Royce aero engine, affectionately known as “The Eagle”.

The Eagle powered around half of all the planes used by allied forces in the war, and was also responsible for the first transatlantic flight and the first flight directly from England to Australia.

Since the first aero-engine was designed by Royce himself, the Rolls-Royce name has become not only the biggest name in luxury vehicle manufacturing, but also a large contributor to civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and energy manufacturing.

Rolls-Royce is the world’s second largest civil and defense aerospace engineering company, conducting business in the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, North America and the Far East.

Beyond The War
In the 1920’s, Rolls-Royce picked up where they left off before the war, and started car production in the United States with a brand new factory in Springfield, Mass. The newest Rolls to come off the line was a 20HP “baby” Rolls-Royce, produced in 1922.

The “baby” had huge success with the middle class and was manufactured with a straight six-cylinder and had 3,127cc’s and could reach 62mph.

Rolls-Royce continued the manufacturing of aerospace engines by designing the “R” engine, which won the 1929 Intercontinental Schneider Trophy for the seaplane contest. This engine set the air speed world record that year, was later transformed into the Merlin engine, which powered allied aircrafts through the Second World War.

The Phantom
The end of the 20’s saw the introduction of the Phantom I, a replacement for the last line of Silver Ghost’s made in 1927. The new Phantom was produced in both the UK and the Springfield factory. The Phantom I housed a pushrod driven overhead valve, a straight 6 engine, and 7.7 liter power underneath the hood.

A total of 3512 Phantom I’s were built, split between the UK and the US.

The 30’s saw the introduction of both the Phantom II and the Phantom III. The Phantom II housed the same engine as the Phantom I, but came with a 4-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptical springs and servo-assisted brakes. Manufactured from 1929-1936, the Phantom II was released with 3 optional designs: the standard, the Continental, and a special left-handed model (125 manufactured).

The Phantom was produced consecutively through 1991 and reached such fame and success that it was owned by the likes of John Lennon and Princess Elizabeth. Rolls-Royce took a break from this iconic car between 1991 and 2003, and officially, the Phantom was forever laid to rest in 1991.

However, under BMW ownership, the Phantom name was resurrected in 2003. The aluminum chassis and rear hinged doors are reminiscent of the Phantom VI. BMW is assembling all of these new Phantoms in the Goodwood facility (engines and bodies are separately made in Germany), and they have set a limit of 10,000 Phantoms for production over the next few years.

Protecting the Classics
If you own a Rolls-Royce, you understand luxury. You also understand how simple it would be to damage or destroy such valuable property. Classic Auto is in the business of preserving pieces of history like classic Silver Ghost and Phantom Rolls-Royce Cars. Vandalism, storm damage, and regular wear and tear can happen to cars owned by even the most fastidious car enthusiasts. Why run the risk of accumulating damage you cannot repair?

Classic Auto Insurance offers low rates and quality protecting to cover your luxury vehicles, and we customize plans to fit your exact needs, whether you own a fleet of racing vehicles, or a single classic car you affectionately call “baby”. We also offer roadside assistance and agreed valuation to help you get the most out of your luxury car insurance policy.

Call us today for more information, or access a free, instant classic car insurance quote online. When you’re on the road, we’re in the passenger seat with collector car insurance!

About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 11/22/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

Finding the Right Ferrari Insurance Policy

Specialty Insurance Policies For Ferrari Collector Cars

The Ferrari is the ultimate sports car and a dream vehicle for many collector car enthusiasts. Considered a status symbol, the brand “Ferrari” is synonymous with speed, power and opulence. Every Ferrari owner takes great pride in his car and is willing to spend any amount of money in order to maintain his vehicle in top condition.

What to consider when looking for Ferrari insurance

  • Mileage and Usage - While deciding on the insurance packages for Ferrari models, insurance agencies give primary importance to factors like mileage and usage expectations. This will help them find the insurance plan that suits the vehicle best.
  • History of the Owner’s Previous Vehicle(s) - Another important factor is whether the client previously owned a Ferrari or a similar vehicle. If so, the company will be interested in that vehicle’s insurance history.
  • Security Features - Vehicle security is also another deciding factor while searching for the perfect Ferrari insurance plan. Insurance companies check that you have a garage and security arrangements to know how secure your car is.
  • Driver Details - In addition to the above mentioned factors, the driver’s age, and his driving and accident history are also considered before the insurance company offers insurance coverage.
  • Annual Mileage Allowance - Some plans also specify tiered mileage plans.

Ferrari Insurance from Classic Auto

  • Specialized Insurance - It always makes sense to look at a specialized insurance plan for your special car.
  • Coverage for Different Ferrari Models - Be it your Ferrari F40, F50, 1968 365 California, F430 Coupe or any other, we have insurance packages covering all aspects of different Ferrari models.
  • Special Coverage for Older Models - Older models like those from the 338, 328 ranges, and Testarossa, get special coverage under Classic Car Insurance plans.

Contact us today for an instant Ferrari insurance quote!

About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

Posted: 11/20/2013 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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