Classic Car Spotlight: The Lincoln Continental

Classic Car Spotlight: The Lincoln Continental

Classic Car Spotlight: The Lincoln Continental

It’s believed by many that the very first Lincoln Continental, developed as Edsel Ford’s one-off personal vehicle in 1939, was planned to be put into production if successful. Ford commissioned a custom design in 1938 from the chief stylist, Eugene T. “Bob” Gregorie, ready for Edsel’s March 1939 vacation. The design, allegedly sketched out in an hour by Gregorie working from the Lincoln Zephyer blueprints and making changes, was an elegant convertible with a long hood covering the Lincoln V12 and long front fenders, and a short truck with what became the Continental series’ trademark, the externally-mounted covered spare tire.

Lincoln Continentals of the 50’s were known for their price. In fact, Continental for ’56 was one of the most expensive cars in the world. With a price tag of $10,000, it rivaled Rolls-Royce. Despite this high costs though, Ford Motor Company actually lost money on each one sold. This vehicle was an image builder for the company, as well as test beds for new ideas and concepts. However, between the stories of dealers turning potential buyers away because they were not deemed to be the right kind of people to own Continental, and its sticker price found affordable by only the world’s wealthiest, the Continental became a bit of a myth in this decade.

Another distinguishing feature of the Lincoln Continental, at least in the 60’s, were what’s known as “suicide doors”, or rather rear-swinging doors. There is no definitive answer as to why they are called this, however many people speculate that they got this name due to the fact that if the latch was opened while driving, the door would get ripped open by the air flow. In an era of no seatbelts, one can only imagine what would happen to the vehicle’s passengers.

Although Lincoln Continentals surged on through the 90’s, Lincoln announced the end of the model production after 2002, after a few slow-selling years. The cancellation of the Continental was due largely to the continued shift in the consumer marketplace away from large front-wheel drive luxury cars.

Whether you own a classic Lincoln Continental or any other type of classic or antique car, it’s important to protect it financially with the right type of Classic Car Insurance Coverage. At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to start a classic car collection. 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, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

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Packard: The History of an American Luxury Classic

Packard: The History of an American Luxury Classic

Packard: The History of an American Luxury Classic

The story of the Packard automobile starts in the early 1900s, founded by James Ward Packard, his brother William Doud Packard and their partner, George Lewis Weiss in the city of Warren, Ohio. 400 Packard automobiles were built at their Packard factory from 1899 to 1903. Being a mechanical engineer, James Ward Packard believed that they could build a better horseless carriage than the Winton cars owned by Weiss, an important Winton stockholder.

From its beginning, Packard-build vehicles were perceived as highly competitive among high-priced luxury American automobiles. The company was often referred to as being one of the “Three P’s” of American motordom royalty, along with Pierce-Arrow of Buffalo, New York and Peerless of Cleveland, Ohio.

For most of its existence, Packard was guided by its President and General Manager James Alvan Macauley, who also served as President of the National Automobile Manufacturers Association.  Macauley made Packard the number one designer and producer of luxury automobiles in America, and was inducted into the Automobile Hall of Fame.

The Packard legacy stayed strong through the 30s and 40s, but by the end of World War II, even though they were in excellent financial condition, several management mistakes became visible. Postwar Packards sold well, but they had become virtually alike in styling by this time, and management had decided to direct the company more to volume middle-class models, thus concentrating on selling lower priced cars.

Management also tried to enter the taxi cab and fleet car market. These actions eventually diluted Packard’s image as a luxury brand, and they lost many buyers. Sales continued to dwindle until June 25th, 1956 when the last Packard rolled off the production line at Packard’s plant in Detroit, Michigan.

Whether you own a classic Packard or any other type of classic or antique car, it’s important to protect it financially with the right type of Classic Car Insurance Coverage. At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to start a classic car collection. 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, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

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Collector Car Insurance: The Appeal of the ’55-’57 Chevy Nomad

Collector Car Insurance: The Appeal of the ’55-’57 Chevy NomadCollector Car Insurance: The Appeal of the ’55-’57 Chevy Nomad

While you may not think of a station wagon when talking about classic and collector vehicles, many classic car enthusiasts consider the Chevy Nomads of the mid-50’s to be some of the most iconic cars of their time. Experts from ConsumerGuide Automotive have called the Chevrolet Nomad the “prettiest wagon ever built and a car with immense, longtime appeal simply because it’s a classic Chevy.”

The creators of this collector car were Chevrolet studio head Clare MacKichan and stylist Carl Renner. MacKichan’s group had suggested at “sport wagon” as one addition to Chevy’s all-new 1955 line. MacKichan stated, “The Corvette theme was a popular one.”  Based on the Corvette model, Renner had come up with a sketch for a station wagon roof that caught the eye of General Motor’s Harley Earl, and Earl asked that it be incorporated into a station wagon version as one of three Corvette idea cars for the 1954 Motorama.

The end result was the Corvette Nomad. This prototype featured a fiberglass bodywork on a 1953 Chevrolet wagon chassis. Renner’s roof design complimented the lower body lines of Chevy’s recently announced sports car. Originally unveiled in January 1954, the car was such a hit that Chevy quickly ordered MacKichan to adapt its roofline to Chevrolet’s forthcoming 155 passenger-car styling.

The unique styling of what became known as the Chevy Nomad continued through 1956 and 57. Chevy’s were given a more conventional full-width grille, pleasing customers who didn’t like the Ferrari-inspired ’55 front end. General Motors discontinued the original Nomad Sport Wagon at the end of the 1957 model year due to low sales and the introduction of a new body for 1958, but the Chevy Nomad is still considered to be a milestone vehicle.

Whether you own a classic Chevy or any other type of classic or antique car, it’s important to protect it financially with the right type of Classic Car Insurance Coverage. At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to start a classic car collection. 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, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

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Collector Motorcycle Insurance: A Look at the BSA Brand

Collector Vehicle Insurance: A Look at the BSA BrandCollector Motorcycle Insurance: A Look at the BSA Brand

One of the most iconic British motorcycle brands in the world, BSA was originally formed in 1861 by a group of gun makers to supply weapons to the British government during the Crimean War. In fact, BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) is the more commonly known name for the company, which is the British Birmingham Small Arms Co.

As the Crimean War declined, the company began branching out into making bicycles, and by 1903 produced its first experimental motorcycle, along with automobiles. BSA motorcycles were initially sold as affordable bikes, with reasonable performance for the average user. The BSA brand stressed the reliability of their machines, the availability of spares, and dealer support.

BSA motorcycles were a mix of sidevalve and OHV engines offering different performance for different roles. For example, if the bike was purposed to haul a side car, it may have a more powerful engine than one without this addition.

BSA bikes were intended for commuting above all else, when they first came out, and were often compared to Norton motorcycles. Post-war, a few riders began entering races such as the TT races with their BSA’s. They started off making a slow appearance into these races, but by 1952 BSA was in the majority.

By 1956, the makeup was 53 BSA bikes to every 1 Norton and 1 Velocette! Due to their successful introduction into racing and in order to improve U.S. sales, BSA began entering here in the U.S., starting by entering a team of riders into the 200 mile Daytona Beach race with a mixture of single cylinder Gold Stars and twin cylinder Shooting Stars assembled by Roland Pike.

Motocross became such a success for the BSA factory with Jeff Smith riding a B40 that they were able to capture the 1964 and 1965 FIM 500 cc Motocross World Championships. This would be the last year the title would be won by a four-stroke machine until the mid-1990’s.

The BSA brand was most definitely one of the most iconic brands there were. Even today, BSA’s continue to be viewed as both competitive vintage racers and, along with other British brands such as Triumph, staples of the modern café racer culture.

No matter what type of classic or vintage motorcycle you own, we can insure it at Condon Skelly. Your vehicle will fall into the antique category if it is completely original and at least 25 years old. We insure many different types of antique cars, trucks, and motorcycles so we’ll be able to craft the perfect policy for your vehicle. Please contact us at (866) 291-5694 for more information today!

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Antique Vehicle Insurance: The History of the Velocette Motorcycle

Antique Vehicle Insurance: The History of the Velocette Motorcycle

Antique Vehicle Insurance: The History of the Velocette Motorcycle

Founded by John Taylor and William Gue in 1905, Velocette is a motorcycle company in Birmingham, England. There were actually several motorcycle manufacturers in the area of Birmingham at this time. Velocettes was a small firm, selling far fewer hand-build motorcycles than the much larger BSA brand. However as small as the brand was, it was a great technical innovator. Many of its patented designs are even common on motorcycles today, including features such as the positive-stop foot shift and swinging arm rear suspension with hydraulic dampers.

The first motorcycle built by the brand, in 1906, was called the Veloce. The 2 hp Veloce was built as a one-off, and in 1907 John Taylor’s sons Percy and Eugene Goodman established New Veloce Motors to produce a car. The car never entered production, however the new company offered general engineering services and other non-motorcycle products. A year later, Veloce Ltd. began working on a new motorcycle, with an engine designed in-house.

Six years later the company released the first two stroke motorcycle, nicknamed Velocette, a name which was kept and used for the next series of bikes, including the K series, officially introduced in 1925. The K series of Velocettes have been used as platforms for the KSS, KTS, KTP, and KNN roadsters, motorcycles which were in production until 1948.

In the following years, Velocette Motorcycles launched multiple new models and redesigned older models to become more advanced and equipped with new technologies. Although the Velocette Brand has a rich history, the late 1960’s were the last years of production. Veloce Ltd. Closed in February 1971.

No matter what type of classic or vintage motorcycle you own, we can insure it at Condon Skelly. Your vehicle will fall into the antique category if it is completely original and at least 25 years old. We insure many different types of antique cars, trucks, and motorcycles so we’ll be able to craft the perfect policy for your vehicle. Please contact us today for more information. (866) 291-5694

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Classic Car Insurance: 50 Years of Classics

Classic Car Insurance 50 Years of Classics

Classic Car Insurance: 50 Years of Classics

This year is momentous for many classic car enthusiasts. Why is that? A number of classic vehicles are celebrating their 50th anniversary, and most of these classics were quite loved. In fact, 1964 introduced two of American’s most-loved muscle cars- the Pontiac GTO and the Mustang. Another notable classic car celebrating 50 years is the Excalibur. These classic cars are considered by many to be icons worth spotlighting.

Pontiac GTO

We highlighted the ’64 Pontiac GTO in a previous post, pointing out how this was considered a car with “attitude”. The vehicle had a bigger V8 than previous cars, hood scoops, dual exhausts, a Hurst shifter, racy trim, and a name inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO. 1964 was the first year the Pontiac GTO was introduced, and first-year orders came to about six times the number Pontiac management expected!

1964 ½ Mustang

The Ford Mustang was brought out five months before the normal start of the 1965 production year, introduced on April 17, 1964 at the New York’s World Fair. Due to its early introduction, it was dubbed as the “1964 ½” model. The Ford Mustang has been credit for inspiring the designs of coupes such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri, which were imported to the U.S.

Excalibur

In 1964, Studebaker consultant and renowned industrial designer Brooks Stevens sketched out a concept car on a restaurant place mat. He had been asked to design a “show car” for the 1964 New York Auto Show, and Studebaker wanted a “show stopper” for their exhibit, according to sources from conceptcarz.com. The prototype was built in just eight weeks, and although Studebaker initially decided to phase out production, over 3,500 Excalibur vehicles have been shipped to dealers and distributors around the world since 1964.

No matter what type of Antique or Classic Car you own, we can insure it at Condon Skelly. Since 1967, we have been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage. We are a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. Please contact us today for more information.

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What to Consider When Making a Classic Car Investment

What to Consider When Making a Classic Car Investment

What to Consider When Making a Classic Car Investment

In November 2013, we discussed a couple reasons why classic cars make a good investment. Financial advisors today are looking at classic cars for investor’s profiles, and many classic cars are rising in value. However, although classic cars can definitely be a good investment, it’s imperative to consider your purchase and make sure that investing in any particular classic car will be a good fit for you.

Classic cars carry the potential for a huge profit if you plan on refurbishing (correctly) it and selling it. They also have a “cool” factor which is the appeal for many collectors. But before you make a classic car investment, there are many things to consider.

Ryan Guina, classic car owners and publisher of Cash Money Life, states that you should never buy a classic car on a whim. “It’s important to familiarize yourself with the market before buying so you know you’re getting a reasonable deal,” he says.

In addition to being mindful about your classic car investment, you should think about whether you will need or want to drive this vehicle on a regular basis. It’s not typically recommended that a classic car be an everyday vehicle, for wear and tear purposes as well as classic car insurance purposes. While you may not want to purchase a classic car you aren’t going to do anything with, you also don’t want to devalue the car or need to pay high auto insurance premiums.

One more factor to consider when making a classic car investment is maintenance costs. If you are only driving the vehicle minimally, you may not ever need extensive repairs. However should something happen, it’s important to realize that classic cars can be expensive to fix since parts are not always readily available.

At Condon Skelly, we understand the appeal of and desire for classic cars. We are able to insure a wide variety of collector vehicles, from original antiques to brand new exotic sports cars, as long as the vehicle is a true collectible. For more information, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.

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