We dont’ always go to the “big” shows – just this last weekend we went out to a small local Mexican restaraunt and checked out their Sunday show.
We dont’ always go to the “big” shows – just this last weekend we went out to a small local Mexican restaraunt and checked out their Sunday show.
This was one of our first local prize wins – our DIVCO Lightning walked away with the 1st place in the “Special Interest” category. We met some great people and had a great time at the show.
As you well know, we recently took a trip out to Del Mar California to visit the GoodGuys Del Mar Nationals. It was a great weekend, a great show, and we will be back next year. This was our first “prizewinning” show, as we took home the “dare to be different” award for our DIVCO Lightning.
As some of you who actually read this blog (and follow our adventures) know, we recently made a road trip to California in our 1955 DIVCO Lightning to participate in the 13th Annual Del Mar Nationals Good-Guys show. To be honest, I thought that taking our products into California and talking to folks about the way they insure their classics would be the same as it is in Texas; classic car insurance is classic car insurance, right? The folks driving the cars are the same as everywhere else, and so it should be easy, right? Wrong.
1. People in California drive their classic automobiles. On our first day in town, we decided to have some lunch near the beach while we got the road grime cleaned off of the DIVCO Lightning. After we negotiated a price to get our hot rod milk truck washed, we strolled down by the beach, and I counted not less than 4 cars from the 1950′s and 60′s with surfboard carriers strapped to their roofs. There was a 1957 Chevrolet Bel air, a “Ratrod” woody, a 1960′s MG coupe, and of course, a VW bus. Driving your classic car is not a problem, but in order to make sure your car is properly covered, talk to an agent. Lots of classic auto specific policies forbid using your car for anything other than parades or car shows. I could tell already that California classic owners were a different breed, and I hadn’t even talked to any yet.
2. Everything is expensive in California. I also learned this on the beach – at a lunch joint. Why is this important when it comes to writing classic car insurance in California? Because Californians don’t believe that ANYTHING worthwhile can be as cheap as classic auto insurance is, and they certainly think that if it’s as cheap as it is, they don’t want anything to do with it. In this case, living in California has skewed their opinions in the wrong way. Classic car insurance (in California or anywhere) is cheap and worthwhile. Some inexpensive things have value, and classic car insurance is one of them.
3. People love “woodies” in California. Which is great, and a long part of their beachgoing tradition. I also learned woodies are expensive. I had guessed as much, but had no idea that an “average” woody can go for upwards of $100,000. I was also surprised at the number of folks with six figure rarities that just kept liability coverage, “because I don’t really drive it that much”. I’ll say it again; if you have a classic or collector car, getting full coverage through a specialty program is generally cheaper than just having liability coverage through your regular carrier. That $100,000 woody wagon? It’d cost under $600 a year to insure it for the true value, and come out of an accident with enough money to build a new one.
4. Roadside assistance is very worthwhile coverage, every time. On our way back home, we ran over a bag that contained something sharp enough to put a 2.5″ cut in the white part of our whitewall tire. When I discussed our policies with California folks, they just about all dismissed “Roadside assistance” as something they didn’t want to pay for on their classic auto policy, because “I have it through AAA” or some other reason. I guess that’s fine, but all of our classic policies have flatbed towing guaranteed, and not every roadside program does. I was impressed with the response time as well; we picked up our flat in Yuma, AZ at 6:30 in the morning and were on the back of the tow truck within 20 minutes of calling our classic car insurance company. The best part? Roadside assistance is a built in coverage, so you aren’t paying any extra for it.
I learned a lot more than these four things on our California road trip, but those are for another blog post. Our DIVCO Lightning won an award, and was very well recieved by the folks at the show, and we met lots of really nice people who were looking to do business with the best classic car insurance agency in California. Luckily, we were there.
If you are like most of us, much of your shopping is done in a totally impulse fashion; I was thinking about buying a car to replace my old Jeep, and I ended up with a Porsche. That’s pretty standard for me, but there are some times you should consider using a little more forethought than I. One of those times is when you are buying a house. Obviously you know what you are looking for, and your price range, but most people do not consider their homeowner’s insurance when considering making an offer on a house. I’m not saying that the cost of home insurance should be the only factor in your home buying decision, but there are some factors that you should consider before writing your number on a scrap of paper and passing it over to the realtor brokering the sale.
1. What is the home built of? Generally, you have two choices here; wood or brick. Obviously, due to fire risk, wood is the more expensive of the two types to insure. Part of the reason is because wood is a greater fire hazard, but also because wood houses tend to be older. Mix together one house that is more inclined to burn and an old fuse panel, and you are looking at a big risk for the company writing that homeowner’s insurance. This is not a hard and fast rule, but you can bet that insurance on a home with wooden siding will be more than a comparable brick home.
2. How old is the home? New homes are built differently than older homes. Sure, some people say that newer homes are made of cheaper materials like press-board shelves, but overall, they are better constructed than older homes. A new home will be built to far different codes that make it safer, less likely to catch on fire, and generally much more secure. All of those are things that make a claim less likely to happen. Insurance companies would prefer to never have claims, so a new house will cost less to rebuild than an older house. Part of the reason for that is that the older house will have to be brought up to code, and that costs much more money than simply rebuilding and repainting. I’m not telling you to stay away from older houses (except mine – keep off my lawn!) but I am telling you to be sure and talk to your home insurance agent about insurance pricing before you make the decision.
3. What kind of roof does the house have? Here in Dallas, one of the biggest risk that homeowners face is hail. In 2012, we had billions of dollars worth of hail damage that insurance companies had to pay out on. Be sure to ask about what kind of roof is on the house, and whether it is hail resistant or not, and what kind of shingles it has. Some houses have a metal roof, which is great if it is hail resistant (not all metal roofs are). Ask if the house has a hail resistant rating, and if so, make sure you get a copy of the certificate. If someone tells you it’s hail resistant, that’s great - but the insurance company is going to want some proof before you get the discount. Be sure and ask the same question about any house you look at. There are many types of hail resistant roof styles that look like regular asphalt shingles. Most of all – if someone says “yes”, get the proof for a serious discount on your home policy.
4. Is the house in a flood plane? Here at The Phoenix we work with lots of people buying homes; generally they don’t find out that they need flood insurance until the mortgage company tells them it is required. If a house requires flood insurance, it can double the annual insurance cost, which is quite a shock to most people. Truly, this is probably the best advice in this article: ASK IF THE HOUSE IS IN A FLOOD ZONE BEFORE YOU MAKE AN OFFER. If it’s in a flood zone, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make an offer, but it certainly means that your insurance cost will be higher. There isn’t any way around it, and there are no “deals” on flood insurance.
5. What kind of crime rate is there? Lots of people check the crime stats in an area when looking at houses, but they look at the number of sex offenders (mostly because that’s easy to find) and don’t look at property crime. While I’d not recommend buying a house that has registered sex offenders on four sides, I’d look a little more closely at the number of burglaries and vandalism reports in the area. If your new house is in an area where houses get broken into a lot, the insurance company is going to know that, and you will pay accordingly. Take a closer look at ALL types of crime in an area, and consider how it can affect your rates.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of the items you need to consider when buying a house, it is a pretty good list of things that most people don’t think about, and are usually not told by anyone else involved int he transaction. Remember, the Seller wants to sell, both Realtors want you to buy, but The Phoenix Insurance just wants to educate you, and make sure you are properly protected, and are not pay too much for your homeowner’s insurance.
Spring is coming! For some of you that may still be a few months away, but here at the World Headquarters it’s a nice sunny day. As a result, I’m dusting off the Phoenixmobile and getting it ready to pull it out of the Phoenixcave. I didn’t totally winterize my car, so I don’t have a lot to do to prepare, but there are some things that I do have to do to assure that everything is ok before I get on the street. Since my job is to educate you guys, I have my mortarboard on, and am ready to give you some tips to pull your classic our of storage for spring. Pay attention in the back row there!
1. Do a thourough visual inspection. Even though you haven’t turned a wheel since November, your car has still been subject to “the environment”, which means that hoses and belts can crack over the winter. Check your wipers to ensure they are still good, and check all of your tires as well. They can crack over the winter, especially if you let them deflate. Check your tire pressure while you are down there. Take a good look at the wiring as well; some animals like to eat the insulation, and when a car sits for a while, that’s when it happens. This is also a good time to clean and check your battery – and put it on the charger before you get too far along.
2. Check all of your fluids – then change them. I realize that this is the second time in just a few months that I have talked about your fluids, but they are an important part of the car running well. Brake fluid tends to pick up moisture, so check it with a test strip. Check your antifreeze as well. Check everything, and then go ahead and change what needs changing, including your oil if you didn’t change it before you put the car away. What the heck – change the oil anyway.
3. Check that all of your lights are working. This one might require a partner, so grab your neighbor who secretly is envious of your cool weekend car anyway, and have him help you check that all of your lights are working. Headlights, turn signals, brake lights, etc. This will accomplish two things; you will be 100% sure you have working lights, and he will be even more jealous that you have a cool car, because you made him stand and look at it for the ten minutes the check took. Win/Win.
4. Open the garage up and start it. Now you have checked everything and feel good about where you are, go ahead and start it up. Open the garage door first so you don’t die of carbon monoxide inhalation, but go ahead and fire it up. Some people like to put a little Marvel Mystery Oil in the plug holes for lubrication, but that’s up to you. Don’t rev the engine, just let it idle. This is a great time to do a second check for leaking fluids under the car, and make sure you are still all sealed up. If everything looks and sounds good, go ahead and back it out of the garage.
5. Now wash it! Even cars that have been sitting get dirty – clan that bad boy. Look for any new dents, then yell at your kids for leaning their damn bikes up against your car. Enlist the help of a neighbor again to hose down the outside of the car while you sit inside and check for leaks from sunroof seals, roof seals, or window seals. Just like hoses, they can dry up during periods of storage. Thoroughly dry your car, and since it’s still nice outside, go ahead and put a coat of wax on. Waxing a car twice a year will protect your finish and really make your car a head turner.
6. Check that your insurance is up to par. Just about any agent can be appointed to write insurance, but you don’t want to deal wtih just any agency – you want to deal with an expert. Classic car policies are special, and require the agent to have a certain level of knowledge in order to be written correctly. If you don’t have a specialty policy for your Classic Car, why not look into it now? You will be surprised at how inexpensive the right kind of coverage can be.
7. Go for a spin. Now that everything is inspected, changed, polished and checked, go ahead and go for a drive. Don’t spool it up to a hundred right away, instead, go for a nice leisurely drive, listening for noises that are out of place and things that don’t feel right. Assuming that you put the car away correctly, bringing it back to life shouldn’t take long at all, and you are now ready to enjoy your classic auto again.
Obviously, you know your car better than I do, and you may have your own system that you use to bring it out of storage. Attention to detail is key when dealing with cars that have been in storage for a while, so whether you follow my tips or some system of your own, take the time to pull your classic car out of dry dock the right way, to ensure many more years of head turning fun.
The first Saturday of every month is a great occasion to wake up early and head to Cars and Coffee. If you are an exotic, classic, or even modern classic auto fan, you have got to come. Every month the show is different, and every month it’s lots of good fun. You can see everything from the latest Ferrari or Lotus to a beautifully original VW Thing. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning.
In April, we made our way out to the “Real Texas Festival” in Mesquite, TX. We were actually there to check out the “Cowboys and Chrome” car show portion of the festival. There were a nice assortment of cars to ogle – modern classics and some mild customs as well. The real sotry was outside the show, where there was an incrediblke display of antique fire trucks, wagons, and pumps – including my favorite, an REO Speedwagon. After seening it, “I can’t fight this feeling anymore. I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for.”
On Saturday April 19th, we headed out to a small invitation only car show called “Wings and Wheels”. Held at the Addison Airport, show had plenty of variety on display, and had something to pelase almost every automotive palate. Some of our favotites were the 1929 LaSalle Roadster and the Ferrari from the Dark Side.
Classic cars are one of the most compelling and thrilling investments available. They combine a historical legacy with a particularly pleasant utility—the capacity to be driven. With the huge lineup of models from the past that are ready to be acquired by willing buyers, you are sure to find the right model for your desires and ambitions. We understand your interest and wanted to give you some important information regarding classic cars.
Generally more than twenty-five years in age, classic cars are out-of-production vehicles that are usually in good collector condition. Though a number of particularly successful vintage cars exist through to this day, a great deal of these cars are completely out of production, including their modernized brethren. Convertibles and small cars underwent a wave of popularity in the second half of the twentieth century and are highly collectible. Additionally, larger vehicles, SUVs, and trucks are also popular collector investments.
You must initially take into account how you will be financing your classic car. As with any investment, you can receive financing if approved. If you have additional cash on hand, classic cars make excellent cash investments because they do not depreciate over time in the way that regular cars do. Remember that rough economic waters can hinder the sale at auction of these classic cars and trucks.
In order to preserve your investment’s value, we highly recommend purchasing classic car insurance. This special form of car insurance is more detailed than regular insurance programs. It protects against price inflation and usually provides special parts support and extended roadside assistance. Additionally, these companies are aware of the implicit value of your investment and that your objective is value preservation of the vehicle.
Car storage is another important topic for classic cars. In order to properly preserve the value of your car, you need to ensure that the original wheels, interior, and body are largely intact throughout the life of the car. Snowy environments and salty roads can eat away at the interior and exterior—not to mention overall value—of your car. Hot climates require special attention to oil levels and radiator function, parts that are often problematic in classic cars.
However, once you see to these important aspects of owning a car, you should also consider purchasing more vehicles to add to your collection. Antique and luxury cars have their perks, though the former is generally no drivable over long distances and the latter is particularly expensive. We hope you enjoy your new investments and wish you the best with your new collection.