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.