Collector Auto Insurance: A History of Buick

Collector Auto Insurance A History of Buick

Collector Auto Insurance: A History of Buick

Founded in 1903 as the Buick Motor Division, of the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company, Buick proudly claims its repute as the oldest American auto-brand still active in the industry. The automakers struggled through their first year of production and recovered from near-bankruptcy in 1904 to become the most productive automaker of 1908, manufacturing more vehicles that year than both Ford and Cadillac combined which were Buick’s closest competitors. Originally, Buicks were designed and built to simulate the feeling and comfort of being in a modern American living room, which earned them the nickname the “moving couch of America”. Known for their large spacious interiors and opulent body styling, Buick’s became incredibly popular with the wealthy, especially with British royalty. After the war, Buick expanded its facilities and production rapidly increased as did sales.

In 1908, the original Buick Motor Company became the first cornerstone of the General Motors Company (GM). Buick’s former general manager William Durant and Buick auto-racer Louis Cheverolet founded GM. Durant had lead Buick to become the largest car maker in America at the time and from these efforts he began buying up other American automakers to form the megacorporation General Motors. Durant had a dream for GM that would allow each division to target one class of buyer and focus their efforts on appealing to that demographic instead of competing amongst each other. Buicks was and still remains the second of the top tier of Gm vehicle brands, second only to Cadillac. To Durant, the deal Buick customer would be comfortably well off, and searching for a more refined and less ostentations vehicle than the Cadillac line up.

Buick was always on the cutting edge of vehicle design and style. The first Buick made for sale was the 1904 Model B, only 37 of these Buicks were made that yea however none of the originals survived. The automakers would go on the use the Model B as a the basis for subsequent models through the 1909 Model F, and historians and experts suggests that the original 1904 engine was optimally engineered even to modern standards. Production picked up thorough the 1920’s, increasing to over 260,000 vehicles being crafted and distributed to countries around the world in 1926 alone. In 1939 Buick pioneered the use of turn signals in their vehicles, which did not appear on as a feature in other American auto brands until nearly a decade later. In1939, all Buick models became equipped with automatic spark advance and had a mounted shift lever affixed to the steering column.

During World War I Buick built Liberty aircraft engines and Red Cross ambulances. When called upon again in World War II, the auto maker turned to building aircraft engines, Hellcat tank destroyers and other military goods. Buick was awarded more than 30 separate military contracts and Buick-built goods could be found at virtually every fighting front.

The Roadmaster models became one of the pillars of Buick success, due largely to new engineering and styling innovation. They remain some of the most cherished collectable Buick models in auctions today. Buick’s famous vertical-pillar “toothy” grille was first introduced in 1942, and increased in size and prominence during the post-war era becoming a signature stylistic element of many new Buick models.  “Hardtop convertible” styling was introduced on the 1949 Roadmaster Riviera. Buick’s famous “portholes” came along that same year. The Roadmaster was so successful that it was reprised in the 1990’s.

At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting collecting exotic, classic and sports cars can be. That’s why we specialize in offering complete collector auto insurance solutions. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. Our team is as passionate about protecting your vehicles as you are about collecting them. We can help you secure affordable, industry-leading classic car insurance coverage to protect your classic, antique, or collectable vehicles. For more information, contact our collector auto insurance specialists today at (866) 291-5694.

Collector Car Insurance: History of Aston Martin

Collector Car Insurance The Rise of Aston Martin

Collector Car Insurance: History of Aston Martin

Founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford as “Bamford and Martin LTD”, Aston Martin  has become one of the most successful British luxury and sports car brands in the world. The name “Aston Martin” originated in 1914 after Martin’s success in the Aston Hill Climb race which gave the automakers early recognition. The two produced their first motor vehicle in 1915, however their efforts were put on hold due to the outbreak of World War I at which time each of the founders enlisted in separate divisions of the British military.

After the war, the automakers struggled through the financial turmoil of the 1920’s while endeavoring to produce racing models. In 1922, Bamford & Martin produced two vehicles for the French Grand Prix, one of which went on to set world speed and endurance records at the world’s second professional motorsports track Brooklands. Bill Renwick and Augustus Bertelli took the helm in 1926, at which time the Aston Martin brand started to gain a foothold producing what has come to be known as the “Bertelli cars”.

New investors and new management continued to produced racing and consumer vehicles on a small scale under the Aston Martin name. At the 1933 Le Mans race Aston Martin vehicles placed first within their class leading to a large upswing in notoriety and prestige. However in 1936, Aston Martin decided to concentrate on road cars, producing an estimated 700 vehicles before the onset of World War II. During WWII production on motor vehicles halted and the company’s focus shifted to aircraft components for the military.

In 1947 the Aston Martin brand was acquired by English entrepreneur David Brown who revved up vehicle production and acquired auto manufacturers Lagonda, famous for their 2.6 liter engine designed by W. O. Bentley. Brown introduced the DB series in the 1950’s and 1960’s to huge racing success and public acclaim. In 1963 one of the most critically acclaimed and publically noted vehicles of all time went into production, the DB5. Better known as the “James Bond” car, the Aston Martin DB5 not took the automakers from noted race car producers to pop culture icons, forever changing the prestige and public perception of the brand. The DB5 lead to tremendous success for the brand and remains one of the most prized models to date.

Reprising their role as the “James Bond” car in the 1990s and 2000’s, Aston Martin became synonymous with speed, style and being on the forefront of “cool”. Despite changing ownership, the Aston Martin brand continued to produce many iconic high-powered and luxury vehicles over the last few decades and remains a world renowned producer of exotics and sports cars.

At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting collecting exotic, classic and sports cars can be. That’s why we specialize in offering complete collector car insurance.  Our team is as passionate about protecting your vehicles as you are about collecting them. We’ve been helping our customers protect their collector cars 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, contact our antique car insurance specialists today at (866) 291-5694.

Antique Car Insurance: History of the Stutz Motor Company

Antique Car Insurance History of the Stutz Motor Company

Antique Car Insurance: History of the Stutz Motor Company

In the history of American motor vehicles there have been hundreds of designers and manufacturers, but few had the ability to eternally distinguish themselves from the crowd. While some early American auto makers were focused on making vehicles widely accessible to consumer, others set out to distinguish themselves as luxurious and extravagant symbols of wealth and leisure. The Stutz Motor Company was one such brand, and the Stutz Bearcat was their claim to fame.

Throughout its lifetime, Stutz Motor Company was known as an American producer of fast cars and vehicles for the rich and famous. The Bearcat has been called the “first American sports car” by some enthusiasts because the early models were essentially a road-friendly version of their racer. Stutz has also been credited with the development of “the under-slung chassis”, which greatly enhanced the safety and cornering of motor vehicles. The technology is still being used today.

Originally produced between 1912 and 1925, the Stutz Bearcat roared through the early part of the twentieth century with enough speed and flash to embody the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. The Bearcat became nearly synonymous with extravagance and luxury at the time. In 1914 it was priced at $2000, which two to three times as much as the average American “basic” car. The Bearcat rose in popularity due largely to its luxurious and fast reputation at much more affordable prices than some of the imported European sports cars of the era.

In 1912, Stutz Bearcats won 25 of the 30 auto races in which they were entered, increasing their prestige and appeal among motor enthusiasts of the time. In 1915 a stock Bearcat was driven by Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker to achieve the record coast-to-coast drive time of eleven days, seven hours, and fifteen minutes.  This drive was the inspiration for the Cannonball Run race and subsequent film adaptation of the events.

Stutz Motor Company struggled through the great depression and wartime era which lead to vehicle production ending in 1935. The America’s luxury auto makers produced some 35,000 during their twenty-four year run. While the brand was later revived as the Strutz Motor Car of America in 1968, it never again regained its early prominence.

No matter what type of vintage, classic, antique or collector car you own, getting the right insurance to protect your prized vehicles is vital. At Condon Skelly, we know are as passionate about protecting your vehicles as you are about collecting them. 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, contact our antique car insurance specialists today at (866) 291-5694.

Vintage Motorcycle Insurance: History of Harley-Davidson

Vintage Motorcycle Insurance History of Harley-Davidson

Vintage Motorcycle Insurance: History of Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Motor Company is one of the oldest and most renowned American motorcycle manufacturers in the world. The brand has notoriety among collectors and motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy the craftsmanship, majesty and power of these bikes. Over the years, Harley-Davidson has become a household name and symbol of American ingenuity and spirit.

Ever wonder how the legend got its start? It all started in 1903 in a 10×15 foot wooden shed, where founders William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson built their first motorcycle to sell to the public. While production was small and sales were slow at first, business began to improve in 1908 when their Endurance performance model gain notoriety at the 7th Annual Federation of American Motorcyclists Endurance and Reliability Contest. Ridden by Walter Davidson, brother of company founder William, the Harley-Davidson scored a perfect 1,000 points when ranked by the contest, and later set the fuel economy record at 188.234 miles per gallon. Word quickly spread about the durability and strength of Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle and demand rapidly increased.

Harley-Davidson also has an extensive military history which began when they were asked by the U.S. military to supply motorcycles for an expedition a few years prior to World War I. During the First World War, Harley provided about 15,000 machines to the military forces during. By 1920, Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, with dealers in over 67 countries. By this time the small 10×15 shed had long been discarded in exchange for a full production operation which had cranked out nearly 30 thousand machines. Harley-Davidson struggled to survive during the Great Depression but was able to diversify their services enough to get by. During this time Harley manufactured industrial powerplants based on their motorcycle engines, and three-wheeled delivery vehicles called Servi-Cars, which could remain in production into the 1970’s.

Through the years, Harley continued supplying the American military and police forces with motorcycle vehicles. The WLA line was the most common military-specific model designed and produced by Harley Davidson during World War II and again for the Korean War. The XA model was originally commissioned for the U.S. military to compete with the foreign motorcycles being produced at the time, however the model was eclipsed by the emerging Jeep four-wheeled military vehicle and was never set into full production. There were only 1,000 Harley XA models ever produced, making them rare and prized treasures for collectors.

Over the years, Harley has dabbled in the production of small, two-stroke engine models, however they found their niche and prominence by producing both racing bikes and commercial durable and powerful motorcycles with great capacity for customization.

At Condon Skelly we love classic or vintage motorcycles as much as you do and are passionate about keeping them safe. We specialize in insuring classic, antique and vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles, because we understand their true value to their owners. We invite you to contact us today for more information or give us a call at (866) 291-5694.