Vintage Auto Insurance: Diesel, a Love-Hate Story

Vintage Auto Insurance: Diesel, a Love-Hate Story

For decades auto makers and consumers have had a love-hate relationship with diesel engines. A true product of necessity, diesel vehicles have had a long history as commercial and industrial vehicles due to their durability and endurance. However it wasn’t until the late 1970’s when diesel engines became more of a consumer choice. While their rise and fall in the consumer market was rapid, auto markets have recently seen a growing surge of collector interest is these hard to find “modern classics”.

The first diesel automobile engines are accredited to the Mercedes-Benz 260 D available to consumers in 1936. Nearly 2,000 were produced through 1940 after which time consumer production halted to focus on military manufacturing. After World War II, the production of diesel engined vehicles was resumed with the Mercedes-Benz 170D n 1949. While they were very economical, consumers were largely unimpressed with the lack of speed, horsepower and performance diesel engines offered, as such many early diesel models fell to the wayside. Few of these models remain functional and intact as many fell victim to deterioration over the years, making diesel consumer Mercedes models rare and valuable collectibles. Mercedes eventually shifted their production of diesel vehicles to the commercial market, were many models were created for taxi, delivery vans and other work uses.

In 1967, the world’s first compact, high-speed diesel car was introduced as the Peugeot 204BD, however diesel engines did not fully gain popularity among consumers until the first fuel crisis that followed the Arab oil embargo of 1973. In a time when fuel prices were skyrocketing and shortages were abundant, diesel vehicles offered an affordable and spacious alternative to the compact gasoline models of the time and the clunky gas burning sedans that had nearly single digit fuel milage. While many diesel model sold well at the time, they were quickly replaced when the fuel crisis ended as consumer preferences changed.

Interest in diesel vehicles has seen a slight resurgence in recent years as consumers look for alternative to traditional gasoline as prices continue to rise. Many older diesel vehicles have been repurposed into bio-diesel compatible eco-friendly daily drivers. Other auto enthusiasts have begun to recognize the diesel cars of the past as collectables worth preserving and seeking out.

Whether you are into diesel classics or high powered gasoline performance machines, we can help protect your antique, vintage, classic and exotic rides with the vintage auto insurance you need. At Condon Skelly we write policies specifically designed for the classic, vintage and specialty vehicles. We strive to keep the insurance classic car owners need affordable so that you can spend more time on the road. Our policies cost about 60% less than standard auto insurance companies, and they’re designed specifically for unique needs of classic and collector cars. While many vintage auto insurance policies restrict usage to 6 months, we make sure you get the most enjoyment out of your vehicle by removing mileage caps. To learn more about us and our specialty vehicle insurance programs, contact us today at (855) 735-2844.

Exotic Car Insurance: History of Hummer

Exotic Car Insurance: History of Hummer

Exotic Car Insurance History of Hummer

Since their first arrival on the consumer auto market in 1991, Hummer brand vehicles have seen accolades, a loyal following and even controversy over the brand’s release of the civilian version of the military Humvee. Originally manufactured by American Motors General, the Humvee vehicles were “High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles” (Humvee) which began to surface for military use during the 1980s. In 1979, the United States Army awarded American Motors General a contract to design and product these vehicles which could follow the tracks and ruts of full size army trucks. Among the four competitors for the contract, AM General designed an entirely new vehicle to meet the Army’s requirements which was met with much enthusiasm from official’s. The first prototype was released less than a year later and by 1982 AM General began producing the original version of the vehicle to the U.S. Army.  These vehicles gained a lot of acclaim from Americans after their involvement in the Gulf War operations which lead to civilian interest and enthusiasm for the vehicle.

This lead to the original civilian version of the Humvee, which was released in 1992 to surprising success and instant acclaim, however the quantity of release was small and the vehicles were pricy even at the time.  Under the brand Hummer, AM General produced a consumer friendly version of the Hummer calling it the H1. The H1 sported an auto gloss finish, and passenger car enhancements such as air conditioning, sound insulation, upgraded upholstery, stereo systems, wood trim, and convenience packages. The civilian model began in part because of the persistence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who saw an Army convoy while filming a movie and became infatuated with the vehicles.

The original release was essentially a street compliant version of the M998 Humvee boasting the performance capabilities and style. Following the wide success of the H1, General Motors acquired the brand in 1998 and began marketing three Humvee inspired vehicles under the Hummer brand: the original Hummer H1, the H2 and H3 models which emerged to make a more user friendly, fuel efficient and street appropriate vehicle for consumers based on the GM platform.

The most desirable and sought after Hummer model for collectors and enthusiasts is the H1 Alpha which was discontinued from production in 2006. The H2 and H3 were designed specifically to be commercial vehicles and were therefore produced in larger quantities with more accessibility when it came to distribution. However, the H1was more rough and closely resembled its Humvee vehicle origin.

Despite public support and interest, the economic downturn created complications for the Hummer brand by 2008. While the brand was retained by GM after their bankruptcy the final fate of the auto brand has yet to be decided as no new Hummer models have emerged since 2009.

At Condon Skelly, we understand the importance of protecting your collectible, antique, classic, muscle custom and exotic cars is. That’s why we specialize in offering complete exotic car insurance. 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 specialty auto insurance coverage to protect your classic, antique, or exotic vehicles. For more information, contact our exotic auto insurance specialists today at (866) 291-5694.

Collector Auto Insurance: A Brief Maserati Timeline

Collector Auto Insurance:  A Brief Maserati Timeline

 Collector Auto Insurance:  A Brief Maserati Timeline

This December 1st marks Maserati’s centennial birthday. Founded in 1914 in Bologna, the Italian automaker has become one of the leading names in luxury, speed and style around the world over the last century. Humble roots and amassing achievements both on the road and the race track have helped fashion the company’s character, personality and prestige among collectors, enthusiasts and other industry members.

While you may know Maserati for their powerful engines and sleek styling, there is much more to the auto maker’s rich history than you might realize. Here are a few interesting facts about Maserati to celebrate their 100 years of accomplishments.

– The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved in automotive manufacturing, production and racing as adolescents in the beginning of the 20th century. The bothers worked for various Italian transportation manufactures including Fiat S.p.A and Diatto. Led by Alfieri, the brothers began working as a joint-stock company under the family name.

– The logo was designed in 1920 by fifth son Mario Maserati who was an artist and the only Maserati brother not involved with engine production. The trident was chosen at the suggestion of a family friend due to its connection with Bolognia, and connotation of Neptune’s virtues of strength and vigor. Mario incorporated the colors red and blue from the flag of Bologna into the design, which remain symbolic of the brand to this day.

– For the first 12 years the brothers specialized primarily in engine building. It wasn’t until 1926 when that the Tipo 26 became the first vehicles to sport the Maserati name. After that early success the brothers began producing race cars with 4, 6, and 8 cylinder engines. They took engine performance a step further by creating a model with two twin 8 cylinder engines mounted side by side, to create a powerful 16 cylinder performance racer which would shatter speed records and help win the Maserati brothers racing prestige.

– In 1929 Maserati set the world speed record for reaching finish line speeds of 246.069 km/h, their record would remain unbroken until 1937.

– In 1939 Maserati became the first and only Italian automaker to win the Indianapolis 500, and even more impressively they were able to repeat their win the following year.

– During World War II Maserati endeavored unsuccessfully to construct a V16 towncar for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen could build one for Adolf Hitler. Throughout the war they became one of the largest producers of spark plugs, batteries and other automotive components for the military.

– In 1957 Maserati retired themselves from race car production to focus on road cars commercial luxury auto production. They did however continue to produce racers for privateers on a case by case basis.

– Maserati passed through a number of corporate hands over the next few decades until Fiat acquired the brand in 1993. Fiat reinvested in the Maserati brand and line at which time the brand saw a resurgence of enthusiasm and public appeal. In 1997 Fiat sold 50 percent of the Maserati to long-time German rival Ferrari. In 2007 Maserati made a profit for the first time in 17 years.

At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting collecting classic, exotic, muscle and sports cars can be. That’s why we specialize in offering complete collector auto insurance. 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 specialty car insurance coverage to protect your classic, antique, or exotic vehicles. For more information, contact our collector auto insurance specialists today at (866) 291-5694.

Exotic Auto Insurance: Defining “Exotic” in Auto Terms

Exotic Auto Insurance Defining Exotic in Auto Terms

Exotic Auto Insurance: Defining “Exotic” in Auto Terms

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, by definition the term “exotic” means “very different, strange, or unusual”. Often applied to the physical appearance of an object or individual, the term “exotic” has also adopted the connotation of intrigue, mystique and complexity. When applied as a term used to both describe and classify vehicles, auto experts and enthusiasts have a few distinct criteria an auto must meet to be truly classified as an exotic vehicle in auction or appraisal.

If a vehicle classifies as “exotic” it will likely meet some of the following criteria:

Rarity- A fundamental tenant of an exotic vehicle classification is that they are difficult to come by. Limited production models, for example, are often some of the most prized and sought after vehicles and often fetch millions of dollars at auctions and private sales. Original batch vehicles, or models which were originally built to be made in limited quantities but became widely popular that the public demanded more, are also highly popular among collectors and enthusiasts. Exotic vehicle producers do not intended to sell to the general population, but rather appeal to a very specific buyer market. Their prestige and appeal are often generated as a result of their rarity and unattainability to all but a select few.

Customization- Exotic vehicles are often hand assembled, or created through non-standard manufacturing processes. These vehicles often rely heavily on personalization and customization and are typically built exactly to the specifications of either the owner or the designer. They also tend to incorporate new technologies, materials, and other non-traditional components into the function and design of the vehicle. Exotic vehicle will often have a story of creation which typically includes personal history of individuals or design teams. Most exotic vehicles will have “pedigree” papers or original documentation of all owners, dates of purchase and sale, maintenance records and other documentation.

PerformanceA key feature in many exotic vehicles are the extensive design elements geared towards enhancing the driver’s experience. Many exotic vehicles have competed in race or competitive environment, while others were designed for high-performance speed and driving pleasure. As opposed to other classes, the emphasis for exotic vehicles is most often speed and handling capabilities, along with style.

Look- Aesthetics are fundamental tenet of exotic vehicles design and classification. By nature, exotic vehicles tend to have strange and unusual appearances from concept to design. Many include unusual functions such as non-standard door designs or aerodynamic body designs, or enhanced motor designs, fuel systems and other features. However, exotic “look” is an ever evolving concept, what may be considered “exotic” in one generation of vehicles may become the norm later on.

At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting collecting exotic, classic and sports cars can be. That’s why we specialize in offering complete exotic auto insurance. 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 collector car insurance coverage to protect your classic, antique, or exotic vehicles. For more information, contact our exotic 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.