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Classic Car Insurance: A Look at the Model T

Classic Car Insurance: A Look at the Model T

Classic Car Insurance: A Look at the Model T

Who doesn’t appreciate the Model T? Also known as the “Tin Lizzie,” this automobile changes the way that Americans lived, worked, and traveled.  According to History.com, he Model T was the first car to be affordable to a majority of Americans due to Henry Ford’s groundbreaking advancements in assembly-line automobile manufacturing.

The Ford Motor Company built the Model T from 1908 until 1927. The vehicle was conceived as affordable, yet practical, transportation for the common man. Henry Ford’s creation soon gained a reputation for being inexpensive, durable, versatile, and easy to maintain. Ford’s assembly-line production methods eventually allowed the price of the touring car version to be brought down from its original $850 in 1908 to less than $300 in 1925. Due to these extremely low prices, Model T could comprise of as much as 40% of all cars sold in the United States during the years they were in production.

All bodies of the Model T (there were several different kinds) were mounted on a uniform 100-inch-wheelbase chassis. The types of body styles included a five-seat touring car, a two-seat runabout, and a seven-seat town car. From 1913 to 1925, the Model T was mass-produced in only one color- black- despite it originally being available in a variety of colors.

Model Ts were used for many different purposes than just a convenience vehicle; they were used as snowmobiles, to power farm machinery, sausage grinders, and newspaper presses. The immediate appeal of this vehicle was based on its sturdiness, power, and value for the money.

At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to start a classic car collection. We’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage since 1967. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. For more information, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

Classic Cars: Are There Advantages to Manual Transmissions?

Classic Cars Are There Advantages to Manual Transmissions

Classic Cars: Are There Advantages to Manual Transmissions?

Many classic car enthusiasts will tell you there’s nothing quite like driving a stick shift, or manual transmission, vehicle. They call these cars “engaging”; forcing drivers to learn more about their vehicle and how it works. Of course, in the last decade and longer, manual transmissions have been pretty steadily replaced by automatic transmissions, which many of today’s drivers prefer as they are easier to drive. However, stick shifts haven’t completely gone out of style yet!

While there is not conclusive evidence that having a stick shift will automatically deter all car thieves, these thieves usually don’t have any practice handling manual transmissions. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely if you have a stick shift, it will get stolen. Carjackings have literally failed because the would-be thieves didn’t know how to shift gears. Theft deterrent is not the only advantage to manual transmissions though. As one article from Autosaur.com cites, the numerous benefits of stick shifts include the following:

Cheaper: Many people feel that cars with manual transmissions are cheaper to buy and repair. Of course, this may differ with classic cars, as many more factors go in to determine the value of classic cars than that of modern vehicles.

Safer. Not only does driving a stick shift require the driver to use both hands, leaving no room for distraction by texting or eating, accidents involving a vehicle accelerating uncontrollably simply cannot happen with a manual transmission. In a stick shift, a driver would simply have to step down on the clutch and coast to safety, should their car do that.

Better fuel efficiency. With stick shift, drivers have more control. So, if you know how to shift those gears, you can manage far better fuel efficiency than an automatic.

While you may not drive your classic car much, if at all, a manual transmission may benefit you if you do decide to drive it. No matter what type of transmission your classic has, At Condon Skelly, we’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage since 1967. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. For more information, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

Exploring Jay Leno’s Classic Car Collection

Exploring Jay Leno’s Classic Car Collection

Exploring Jay Leno’s Classic Car Collection

Most classic car collectors know that Jay Leno’s garage boasts a rather impressive collection of classics, antiques, and collector vehicles. Referred to as the “Big Dog Garage”, Jay Leno’s collection has it all, from classic cars to supercars, to restoration projects and road tests. Below are some of the most impressive vehicles in his collection, as cited by Business Insider’s transportation writer Travis Okulski.

1955 Buick Roadmaster

When he bought it in 1972, Leno only paid $350 for the 1955 Buick Roadmaster! He restored this car in 1973 and drove it everywhere. It was even the car he used on his first date with his wife. This wasn’t the car’s only “first”. This car was the beginning of Leno’s extensive automobile collection.

1986 Lamborghini Countach

Leno’s 1986 Countach was actually one of his daily cars, with almost 70,000 miles on it. The Lamborghini Countach features a Lambroghini trademark first with its’ scissor doors; hinged at the front with horizontal hinges, so they lift up and tilt forward. It’s unique look made it one of the most popular cars there was between the 1970’s to the 1990’s.

1937 Fiat Tiopolino

While the top speed of a 1937 Fiat Tiopolino was only 53 mph and contained a small five gallon fuel tank, this vehicle was able to get almost 40 miles to the gallon. At the time of its production, the Topolino was one of the smallest cars in the world, and this vehicle is one of the oldest in Leno’s collection.

This is just a tiny sample of the classic cars living in Leno’s Big Dog Garage. His collection has been admired by many, and serves as an inspiration to both beginner car collectors and seasoned enthusiasts. At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to start a classic car collection. We’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage since 1967. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. For more information, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

Where Can You Find the Best Classic Car Shows?

Where Can You Find the Best Classic Car Shows

Where Can You Find the Best Classic Car Shows?

As the weather warms up nationwide, classic car enthusiasts are beginning to attend or participate in classic car shows. There are many types of car shows out there, from those that focus on showcasing vehicles, to others that involve trading and selling parts. No matter where you live, there is bound to be a great classic car show around your area this summer. Many sites, including AutoTraderClassics.com, list a vast amount of car shows; below are some of the best in the U.S.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

This annual car show is a charitable event, held in Pebble Beach, California on the third week of August. The event is split into various sections; a fundraiser, auction, and social event. Considered the most prestigious event of its kind, attendees must be invited to the show.

Wells Motor Company Car Show

Held in Avon Park, Florida, the Wells Motor Company car show is an opportunity for classic car enthusiasts to get a glimpse of more than 150 classic cars in various makes and models. Wells Motor Company is the only Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge dealer in the area, and this car show is free for attendees and registered vehicles.

Cars and Coffee

This informal classic car show originated in Irvine, California, and has turned into a staple activity for Southern California classic car enthusiasts. It occurs every Saturday, year round. Cars and Coffee is currently expanding into many metropolitan areas throughout the country.

Charlotte Auto Fair

This event is held in the Spring as well as the Fall, with the next one occurring September 20-23. Taking place on the 1.5 mile stretch of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, it is one of the largest classic and customer car gatherings on the east coast.

The classic car shows mentioned above are just a few of the great events throughout the country. No matter what type of classic car you own, or if you are thinking of purchasing a classic or collector vehicle, Condon Skelly has the insurance policy you need to financially protect your investment. We can insure a wide variety of vehicles, from original antiques to brand new exotic sports cars, as long as the vehicle is a true collectible. Please contact us today to learn more.

The Rising Value of Japanese Classic Cars

The Rising Value of Japanese Classic Cars

The Rising Value of Japanese Classic Cars

The last decade has seen the introduction of many notable classic and antique cars. Some of the most iconic antique cars just celebrated their 50th anniversary this year, including the Pontiac GTO, 1964 ½ Mustang, and the ’64 Studebaker Excalibur. While all of these cars have their place in the hearts of classic car enthusiasts, there is a group that is becoming immensely popular in very recent years. That is, Japanese classic cars.

According to an article by reporter Charles Fleming of the LA Times, back in 2006 vintage car collector  Terry Yamaguchi paid $5,000 for a bright orange 1973 Datsun 240Z, to sell it a couple years later for only a little more than she paid for it to begin with. What’s it worth now? A surprising $20,000!

This significant price hike is not limited to the 240Zs either, according to Fleming. He reports that the value of Japanese classic cars has skyrocketed in recent years, noting that a 70’s Toyota Celica could cost up to $20,000 and a well-maintained Datsun 510 has the potential to go for as much as $25,000!

Ironically, the growing popularity in Japanese collector cars is due in part to the fact that they’re cheaper than American or European classics. Mike Malamut, a retired car dealer who’s been collecting for 35 years, calls collecting Japanese classics a “way to enter the collector hobby for relatively little money”.

This idea of collecting Japanese classics is still foreign to many, however many classic car events on the West Coast are now centered around Japanese “nostalgic” cars. A few Japanese classics that stick out to collectors in particular are Mazda’s rotary-powered pickup trucks, 80s Mistubishis, and old Skylines.

Whether your Classic Car is American, Japanese, or European, we can insure it at Condon Skelly. Since 1967, we have been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage. We are a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. Please contact us today for more information.

Classic Car Insurance: 50 Years of Classics

Classic Car Insurance 50 Years of Classics

Classic Car Insurance: 50 Years of Classics

This year is momentous for many classic car enthusiasts. Why is that? A number of classic vehicles are celebrating their 50th anniversary, and most of these classics were quite loved. In fact, 1964 introduced two of American’s most-loved muscle cars- the Pontiac GTO and the Mustang. Another notable classic car celebrating 50 years is the Excalibur. These classic cars are considered by many to be icons worth spotlighting.

Pontiac GTO

We highlighted the ’64 Pontiac GTO in a previous post, pointing out how this was considered a car with “attitude”. The vehicle had a bigger V8 than previous cars, hood scoops, dual exhausts, a Hurst shifter, racy trim, and a name inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO. 1964 was the first year the Pontiac GTO was introduced, and first-year orders came to about six times the number Pontiac management expected!

1964 ½ Mustang

The Ford Mustang was brought out five months before the normal start of the 1965 production year, introduced on April 17, 1964 at the New York’s World Fair. Due to its early introduction, it was dubbed as the “1964 ½” model. The Ford Mustang has been credit for inspiring the designs of coupes such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri, which were imported to the U.S.

Excalibur

In 1964, Studebaker consultant and renowned industrial designer Brooks Stevens sketched out a concept car on a restaurant place mat. He had been asked to design a “show car” for the 1964 New York Auto Show, and Studebaker wanted a “show stopper” for their exhibit, according to sources from conceptcarz.com. The prototype was built in just eight weeks, and although Studebaker initially decided to phase out production, over 3,500 Excalibur vehicles have been shipped to dealers and distributors around the world since 1964.

No matter what type of Antique or Classic Car you own, we can insure it at Condon Skelly. Since 1967, we have been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage. We are a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. Please contact us today for more information.

Rockin’ 50s – Classics Become Antiques

The 2010s mark the passing of cars manufactured in the 1950s from classics to antiques. Though for many of us, those lines and curves will continue to define out notion of “classic”, they are in fact now pushing 60 years old. Cars of this era are aging quite gracefully, however, and continue to increase in popularity and value. Here are some of the beauties we’ve come across lately:

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Condon Skelly creates and compiles a variety of videos at collector car shows, classic car races, and other automotive events of interest. We love classic cars just as much as we love collector car insurance. To see a broad array of videos, including a recent video on the Indy 500, visit our YouTube channel today.