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Car Insurance Articles

How to Put More Muscle in Collectible Car Insurance Policies

(ARA) - Baby boomers are notorious for spending big bucks on things that remind them of their childhood. Old Spiderman comic books, memorabilia from television shows like The Brady Bunch and All in the Family, and muscle cars -- with their small bodies and big engines -- are among the more popular collectibles.

It’s easy to understand why television and movie memorabilia are so popular. Most of the shows still air in re-runs today, and there’s a lot of hype right now about Columbia Pictures’ Spiderman 2, which is set for release next summer. But what draws people to the gas-guzzling muscle cars?

“It’s all about nostalgia,” says Jill Bookman of American Collectors Insurance (ACI), recognized by the old car hobby and insurance industry as the country’s premiere provider of collector vehicle insurance. “Chevelles, GTOs, Camaros and Super Bees were heavily marketed to young buyers in the 1960s and 1970s. People who drove them back then have money now, and want to keep memories of their younger days alive,” she says.

When he was a kid, Jim Anderson, 56, of Cloquet, Minn., drove a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle. “I got it right after I graduated from high school, and sold it four or five years later because I needed a more economical car, but I always regretted it,” says Anderson. Fast forward 37 years. Anderson now owns three Chevelles, one in working order, the other two in various states of restoration.

Anderson’s uncle, Art Martin, 69, also of Cloquet, shares his passion for classic cars. Martin has a 1961 Belair, 1961 Biscayne, 1963 Corvette Stingray and a 1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette.

“I bought these cars because they remind me of the cars I had when I was between 18 and 24 years old,” says Martin. “The 1961 Biscayne is actually a clone of the car I had to sell when I built my house.” Martin says he got the 1963 Corvette Stingray from someone in a similar situation.

Neither Martin nor Anderson drive their collectible cars much. Anderson says they tend to sit in the garage between tune-ups and test drives. “After spending thousands of dollars on a car that will just sit in a garage most of the time, the last thing you want to do is pay a fortune to insure it,” says Anderson.

Instead of insuring their collectible cars with their regular policy carriers, both he and his uncle took out special collector’s policies on their cars. “It makes financial sense. This way, insurance only costs us about $100 per car for the entire year,” says Anderson.

Specialty insurance companies like American Collectors Insurance are able to offer such low rates on collectible cars because they present low risk factors. “They are kept in garages, tend to be well taken care of, and are driven very few miles,” says Bookman. In addition to low premiums, policies offered by ACI are written for an agreed amount, rather than for actual cash value. “Meaning a 1964 Mustang won’t face four decades of depreciation in the event of a loss. We recognize that the blood and sweat a collector puts into restoring the vehicle means something,” says Bookman.

If you graduated in the…
1950s -- these were the years of chrome, fins and powerful engines, along with a bunch of gadgetry. Cars got longer, lower, wider and heavier during this decade. Popular factory and dealer-installed options included air conditioners with air coming out through clear plastic tubes on the rear package shelf, station-seeking radios, under-dash record players, power windows, front seats and radio antennas. The Chevy Bel Air and Ford Thunderbird were among the most popular models.
1960s -- Detroit answered its customers’ cries for performance at “blue collar” prices during this era. Cars with small bodies and big engines were extremely popular. Chevrolet offered Chevelles, Novas, Camaros and Corvettes. Ford offered several models of Fairlanes, Galaxies and Mustangs.
1970s -- The rising tide of Japanese and European imports heavily impacted Detroit and American car manufacturing. In many ways, the most interesting U.S. models in the late 1970s were throwbacks to an earlier era. Chevrolet's 1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette came with a Stingray-like fastback, while Ford's Mustang King Cobra was a throwback to the muscle car days, sporting stripes, a cool snake decal and a 122 horsepower engine. The Ford Pinto, Pontiac Firebird and Buick Skylark were also popular during this decade.
For more information on insuring your collectible car with American Collectors, or to get an instant quote, call (800) 360-2277 or got to

Courtesy of ARA Content

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