Do Classic Cars Need Insurance?

Do Classic Cars Need Insurance? And how do you get it?

Yes. Yes, they do. Especially if you’ve poured a fortune into a restoration, you’ll want to be sure to get special insurance for your classic car. If you ask the Airkooled Kustoms guys, “Do classic cars need insurance?” you’ll get a definitive answer – and advice on where you can get coverage for your ride.

It’s not super expensive, but it will certainly give you a bit more peace of mind whether you drive your classic car or just tuck it into a trailer to take out during show season.

Did you know that one of the reasons Airkooled Kustoms takes SO MANY pictures during our restoration projects is for the insurance? Both because we can’t exactly wrap the shop in bubble wrap (and boy would it be a nightmare trying to replace the vehicles under our care without insurance) – but also because when our clients go to get their early Volkswagens and Porsches insured, the photos help.

Part of the process of getting your classic insured involves proving what’s been done in the restoration process… and nothing beats photographic evidence. Check out what’s on the floor at the shop – and you’ll notice that on each build’s page, you can click through to see hundreds – even thousands – of pictures documenting all we’re doing.

How to Buy Classic Car Insurance

Collector Car Insurance and Classic Car Insurance

If you are fortunate enough to own a classic car – or any collectible automobile – then you want to ensure that your luck does not run out because of having inadequate insurance coverage. Call it covering your butt – or covering your “asset” – but by all means, call one of the major providers such as American Collectors, Haggerty, or Parish Heacock insurance companies and let them put you in the driver’s seat in terms of professional protection of your cherished automotive investment.

How to Kick the Tires on Classic Car Insurance

The whole idea of insurance is that it needs to do what you expect of it in an emergency, when the rubber really hits the road. And classic car insurance is as different from conventional auto insurance as, well, a classic car is from your run of the mill generic vehicle.

When you buy a classic car insurance policy, you are essentially purchasing protection for those times when – God forbid and knock on wood it doesn’t happen – disaster strikes in the form of a fire, a collision, or an act of theft or vandalism. Just as we now have modern airbags to save us in the event of a crash, we also have collector’s car insurance, to protect us with adequate moneybags when calamity throws a wrench in the works.

The time you invest in choosing the right classic car insurance coverage is well worth the value and peace of mind that a quality collector’s insurance policy delivers for owners of classic motor cars.

The Nuts and Bolts of Classic Car Insurance Coverage

Collector car insurance is not the same as the insurance you buy for normal coverage of your daily transportation. Collector car insurance, or classic car insurance, is made especially for the needs of the car collector. And while ordinary insurance does offer some protection, no matter what you drive, it can leave you high and dry in the event of a loss that it not effectively covered by the terms of the insurance contract.

For example, you may have a garage-kept Cadillac Sedan DeVille with swooping fins your grandparents bought for $7,000 brand new back in the 1960s. But dealers have offered you three times that much, and you saw another one sell at an auto show for $35,000. If you don’t have special collector car insurance or classic car insurance, and the car is totaled, you will be lucky to get $7,000 for it. With depreciation calculated in, the insurance statisticians may decide that it is worth only half that much, or less, and you could wind up with two or three grand in exchange for your dream machine.

Stipulations or requirements normally encountered while shopping for collector car insurance or classic car insurance:

  • A decent driving record.
  • At least 10 years driving experience
  • No teen drivers on the policy or drivers with poor driving records
  • Secure and out of the weather garage
  • Proof that you have another car for daily transportation
  • Collector vehicle insurance is sometimes limited by the age of your car, and if your car is too young it may not qualify for a particular policy.
  • Limited mileage. You probably don’t want to drive your creampuff car all the time, and your insurance company doesn’t want you to either. Mileage limits have increased recently, though, so if you can live with 250 miles a month you’re probably okay.

Coverage with collector car insurance or classic car insurance: Three kinds of value are important to understand when buying your policy. 1) Actual cash value: This is what you usually get with ordinary insurance, and is based on replacement cost minus depreciation.

2) Stated value:

The insurance company pays up to the stated value of the car, but may not guarantee the full stated value. And deductibles of up to $1,000 usually apply.

3) Agreed value:

In most jurisdictions, those who provide collector car insurance or classic car insurance are allowed to insure for a value that you and your insurer agree upon. And for most autos, there is no deductible. If your $100,000 vintage Rolls get trashed, you get a check for 100 grand, plain and simple – which is exactly why collectors use special classic car insurance coverage.

Do a periodic review of your coverage limits, because classic car prices are rising. What you insured your cherry classic for ten years ago may be a fraction of what it’s worth today. And if you are restoring a vehicle, ask your agent to give you appropriate insurance. There is no need to pay extra based on mileage statistics, if your car is up on blocks with no engine inside it. And as the car’s value increases thanks to your hard work of restoring it, you should raise the coverage to keep up with the added value of the restoration.

Keep all your receipts and paperwork – for everything from parts and labor to expenses incurred to take it to a classic car show – so that you can document the total investment your collector’s car represents. And take photos and keep them updated, for the same reason. And Last But Not Least: Special Savings Opportunities

As long as you meet the criteria in terms of how you use and take care of the car, you can usually buy a policy.

Traditional insurers will either refuse coverage, offer only a replacement value based on the nuts and bolts (minus heavy depreciation) of the car, or will charge you a prohibitive amount for the premium. But many collectors find that special collector’s coverage saves them money – as much as half – while insuring them for higher limits, sometime three or four times what a traditional company gave them.

Yes, it’s possible to get collector’s insurance coverage for full market value for your car, and save up to 50 percent off of the premium you’d pay with ordinary insurance. That makes classic car insurance a must-have for any serious car buff.

  • At least 15 years old
  • Garage-kept
  • Driven on a limited, pleasure-only basis (up to 5,000 annual miles – available in most states)

You may also qualify by:

  • Having at least 10 years driving experience
  • Having a good driving record
  • Having at least one “regular” vehicle for every licensed driver in the household You may request a policy application either directly from American Collectors Insurance or through your local insurance agent (rates are the same either way).
  • Parish Heacock Classic Car Insurance P.O. Box 24807 Lakeland, FL 33802-4807 Email: info@parishheacock.com Toll free: (800) 678-5173 Qualifications (subject to change or regional laws so check with the company for specific up-to-date information).
  • Each household member of driving age must have at least 10 years driving experience or be excluded.
  • Each household member must have a regular use vehicle less than 15 years old that is insured with liability limits equal to or higher than the limits being applied for on the collectible vehicle.
  • All licensed members of household and any other drivers of the vehicle must be listed on the application.
  • Maximum of two accidents or violations in the household, maximum of one per licensed household member in past 3 years. No major violations permitted in past 5 years.
  • A Driver Health Questionnaire must be completed for all drivers over 70 years old.
  • Auto must be stored in a locked permanent garage facility when not driven.
  • Auto may not be used for commuting to or from work or school, used for business purposes or as a substitute for another auto.
  • Autos not covered while on a racetrack or when being used for: racing, speed, driver’s education, or timed events.
  • Must display pride of ownership: well maintained, in restored or well-preserved condition.
  • Vehicles under restoration must be stored at residence or a restoration shop, with a target date for completion. Agreed value coverage is not available on cars under restoration. Eligibility subject to company review.
  • Replica Vehicles and Pro Street vehicles are subject to company review.
  • Trucks and Jeeps must be over 25 years old, and not be used for towing, hauling, off-road or utility use.
  • Generally do not require appraisals, but may ask for one if vehicle value is difficult to determine.

via How to Buy Classic Car Insurance | INSURANCE

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Classic Cars You Should Buy Now – If You’ve Got Millions to Spend

Classic Cars You Should Buy Now – If You’ve Got Millions to Spend

Classic Cars You Should Buy Now Because Their Price Is Only Going UP…

Classic Cars You Should Buy Now

If you happen to have an extra million or so laying around doing nothing, here’s a sweet selection of classic cars you should buy now. If you click through to the slideshow, keep your eyes peeled for #8, the 1952 Ghia… oops, Ferrari.

With these prices in mind, a full resto from Airkooled Kustoms seems like a bargain!

10 most expensive classic cars sold in Monaco

Ferrari 288 GTO 039BonhamsThis Ferrari 288 GTO sold for $2.06 million in Monaco.RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams saw impressive results at classic-car auctions held concurrent to the prestigious Historic Grand Prix of Monaco last weekend.

The event, which takes place two weeks before the actual Formula One race is run on the infamous circuit, is a parade of beautiful sheet metal.

The sights and sounds are hard to find anywhere else. The circuit is one of the most loved and feared in the world for its collection of tight turns in the narrow, unforgiving streets of Monaco.

Some of the races are journeys into the golden ages of motor sport.

At the auctions, results were somewhat varied. Some big headliners — like a very rare Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder — failed to sell, while other cars soared.

For example, a 1995 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota set a record for the model when the hammer dropped at 672,000 euros (about $760,000), while a 2004 Aston Martin DB AR1 sold for a record 336,000 euros (about $380,000).

Here are the 10 highest prices seen at RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams in Monaco this past weekend:

View As: One Page Slides

via 10 most expensive classic cars Monaco

 

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Who Buys Classic Cars?

Who Buys Classic Cars?

Who Buys Classic Cars?

Who Buys Classic Cars

Yeah, we’re kind of making “that” face looking at Ford’s ad here, too. Wink and Jim might blow gaskets if they had extended conversations with a stereotypical hipster.

The ad doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, when you think about some core elements of classic car ownership.

If you’re rolling as is, say a resurrected vehicle that’s not been restored, you’ve got to have some mad mechanical skills. That cardigan wouldn’t last a minute as you slide underneath your ride to fix whatever’s currently dripping. The hat? toast.

Maybe it’s different with Fords, but the volks who buy classic Dubs are typically legitimately cool… or kool if they came to Airkooled Kustoms. Our clients are usually family people, often veterans, entrepreneurs, or engineers who’ve gained an appreciation for the brutal elegance of a classic VW’s design. 

If you’re looking at buying a classic car, you’re going to need some combination of skills, money, or both to get it and keep it running. Add what’s involved in a full restoration to the mix, and this funky little hipster with the cracked iPhone from the ad would probably spit his double foam decaf hazelnut macchiato through his nose.

Ford Tell Us What And Who Owns A Restomod.

Restomod_Hipster

‘Restomod Mustangs: The Hipsters of Cars are Vintage on the Outside but All-New on the Inside.’

From this article, Ford outline what is a restomod Mustang and highlights the type of guy who probably would buy a vehicle like this one.

I am not sure if the ‘hipster’ character is tongue in cheek or serious, but the association to me feels more like a fashion thing, rather than a true car enthusiast. For me, the rest of what represents a vehicle which goes to a true car enthusiast who knows exactly why a car has been treated this way and what goes into it. A true car fan. The ‘hipster’ character just doesn’t seem to fit that bill.

Like any vintage vehicle, no matter if it has had a complete makeover, still requires ongoing maintenance and care, so does this still fulfil the ‘hipster’ stereotype?

Maybe, maybe not, but the point here is that the article does thoroughly outline what is a restomod, I just wish they would have left out the hipster guy.

 

via Ford Tell Us What And Who Owns A Restomod. – Muscle Car

 

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How Much to Build a Custom Car?

How Much to Build a Custom Car?

How Much to Build a Custom Car? Brace Yourself.

How Much to Build a Custom Car

We get this question of how much to build a custom car all the time. At shows, in restaurants (we don’t blend too well), in conversations with strangers… everyone wants to know. Morbid curiosity? Goal-setting purposes? Going to shake down their sofas to see whether they’ve got it covered? Dream board material?

It costs a lot. 

If you think about it, you’re getting a brand new car (whether you start from a classic car core or just build from scratch) – that’s built to your specifications. All the options are yours for the choosing. Feel squished in a stock version of your dream car? We can work with that. Craving colors that never rolled off the factory line? Pffft! Piece of cake.

Add to the build price any upgrades – go fast goodies, safety features, bling, leather interior. Then think about the labor that goes into a custom car – hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours. 

Who’d drop that kind of cash on a custom car? Well, maybe this is the car they’ve always dreamed of driving. Maybe it’s an heirloom or heritage car, passed down from the generation before. Maybe it’s a heck of a way to woo a lady (do you know the 1971 VW Super Bumble Bee’s backstory?). The reasons are as individual as the clients.

Check out this Vette story – pretty incredible journey for this car.

 

1962 Corvette Sells at Barrett-Jackson for $169,400

It isn’t always not being able to raise enough money that stops a person from buying a collectible Corvette, and that holds true especially if the series under consideration is a C1. Joe Boyd liked C1 Corvettes but, unfortunately, he was too big to fit into one. For Joe, buying a 1953-’62 Corvette was completely out of the question until Vintage Fabrication, a shop that had built four or five custom cars in the past for Joe, told him they could custom build a C1 to fit his size.

The search was on and it wasn’t long before Joe ran across an incomplete 1962 Corvette basket case that was a perfect candidate to build restomod style. The last-year C1 was loaded onto a flatbed car hauler and transported to Vintage Fabrication’s 10,000-square-foot shop in Independence, Missouri.

1962 Chevy Corvette Front View 2/52
1962 Chevy Corvette Front View Headlights 3/52
1962 Chevy Corvette Quarter Panel Jpg 4/52

Starting from the frame up, Boyd’s 1962 Corvette was destined to become a subtly radical stunner. The 1962 chassis, with its 1954 Chevy passenger car DNA, was scrapped and an SRIII Motorsports Stage Two tubular chassis was put into place. As understated as the 1962 body became by customizing with shaved door handles, filled cowl vent and frenched headlights the undercarriage details went in the direction of mirrors on the floor show car. At the front end of the birdcage-configured tubular chassis there’s a C4 IFS frontend with power rack-and-pinion steering and fully polished aluminum upper and lower control arms, spindles and brake calipers. Using Z51-spec brakes increased the front rotor diameter from 12 to 13 inches and meant directional internal cooling fins were included.

For rear suspension the fully polished show car treatment was repeated on all aluminum parts. In place of the original equipment front and rear C4 transverse fiberglass monoleaf springs there’s a QA1 coilover shock absorber at each corner. Front and rear antisway bars control body roll. Airy 18-inch front and 20-inch rear Rocket Booster chrome five-spoke mags feed air to assist with brake cooling. For front tires there’s a pair of 225/40ZR18 Nexen N3000s and on the rear two 245/40 ZR20 Nexen N3000s.

The interior space is where Vintage Fabrication’s Bobby and Bruce Schumacher redesigned the 1962 Corvette to accept Boyd’s plus-sized stature. Adding extra arm length was accomplished by shaping the dashpanel to follow the curvature of the passenger-side grab bar cove. The custom curved dashpanel is packed with Classic Instruments All American Nickel Series gauges. In place of a stock sized, flat three-spoke Corvette steering wheel there’s a dished American Retro shrunken 1955 Chevy 15-inch steering wheel painted body color. A smaller steering wheel hoop helps to quicken the steering ratio and makes room for expanded diameter stomachs.

1962 Chevy Corvette Interior 5/52
1962 Chevy Corvette Gauges 6/52
1962 Chevy Corvette Shifter 7/52

Creating custom interiors is one of Vintage Fabrications specialties. They find most people choose the exterior color of their car first and then try to find an interior color to complement the exterior. Bobby Schumacher advises it’s easier to pick out the upholstery color and then pick or custom mix an exterior color to go with the upholstery. Schumacher and Boyd agreed Papyrus hued Ultraleather upholstery would fit the bill nicely by adding a rich warmness with the supple feel of synthetic glove leather.

Starting with the 1953 Corvette, due to spatial constraints, it was one of the first cars equipped with a hybrid transistor-vacuum tube radio. Lack of space for radio placement is still a problem when comes to upgrading a C1 Corvette sound system. To eliminate mounting concerns the Schumacher crew installed Custom Auto Sound’s Secretaudio system backed up with four midrange, two tweeters, and a hidden subwoofer. The interior design carried into the trunk with Papyrus Ultraleather covering custom-molded side panels and deep plush carpeting on the trunk floor.

Every phase of constructing Joe Boyd’s Corvette was handled in house with the exception of custom painting the car. For paint, the ’62 was sent to Carrender Collision in Buckner, Missouri, where Aron Carrender shot it in a custom mixed Axalta pearlescent version of Fawn Beige. For the two-stage clear topcoat Aron sprayed Axalta 7779 clear and then color-sanded and rubbed it to a mirror-like finish.

1962 Chevy Corvette Engine Bay 8/52
1962 Chevy Corvette Engine Bay 9/52
1962 Chevy Corvette Wheel 10/52

Having extra horsepower under a Corvette hood has been a Chevrolet tradition ever since the factory ditched the Stovebolt 6 in 1955 and went with V-8 power. For a healthy amount of horsepower Vintage Fabrications dropped in a 2006 LS2 6.0-liter engine with a Magnuson supercharger. To give the LS2 that old-time 327 Corvette look, seven-fin valve covers were adapted. An educated guess would place the blown LS2 at around 525 horsepower. The transmission is TREMEC TKO 600 six-speed.

At the 2 1/2-year point in the build Joe Boyd learned he had terminal cancer. Joe passed away on the day his ’62 Corvette crossed the block and the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. The street rodder style Vette changed hands to a real estate developer named Steve Clark from Wichita, Kansas. Steve took the ’62 to Devlin Rod & Customs in Wichita to add a few more bits of chrome and adjust the suspension to his liking. The photos seen in this article were taken at the tag end of Steve’s 4 1/2-year curatorship of the car. Steve sold the ’62 Corvette at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 2016 auction for $169,400.

1962 Chevy Corvette Side View 11/52
1962 Chevy Corvette Rear Side View 12/52

via 1962 Corvette Sells at Barrett-Jackson for $169,400

 

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How Old Are Classic Cars?

How Old Are Classic Cars?

How Old Are Classic Cars? We were just having this conversation a couple of days ago.

How Old Are Classic Cars

We typically think of antiques as being at least 50 years old. That old dresser, that side table, that rocking chair – antiques handed down from grandparents. In some cases, handed down to them by their grandparents – or bought at an estate sale back in the days when they were young and broke.

But what about cars? The first gas-powered car dates back to 1886 with Karl Benz; and the first mass-produced car was… an Oldsmobile Curved Dash in 1901 (not the Model-T as many folks would guess). So, the 50-year rule could still hold pretty well for “antique” cars.

But what about “classic cars” – is there a difference? After all, it doesn’t seem right that a ride like the 1959 VW Beetle Ragtop Miss Mabel should be thrown unceremoniously into a heap with Henry Ford’s early roadsters.

It seems that a classic car attains classic status around its 20th birthday. Of course, not all 20-year old cars are really fit to become classics… there’s got to be some element of desirability, sentimentality, or coolness factor to  push a car over the line from being just old to being a classic.

Here’s a neat glimpse at one of the newest classics. (BTW, did you know we’ve got a Camaro at the shop here? It’s Jim’s first car, and it’s patiently waiting for a sweet restoration. The story as I heard it is that Jim and his dad, nicknamed Buck, were driving on South Parkway in Huntsville when they saw this sweet ride sitting in a Park and Pay lot. The checked it out, then Jim stayed with it to fend off other buyers with his “happy face” while his dad went to get the cash and pay the seller. As a bit of a tribute, this Camaro’s been dubbed “Little Buck”. )

Enjoy.

Bloomberg: Camaro IROC-Z already a classic car investment – and Michigan is a place to look

DETROIT, MI – Well-preserved Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Zs have been gaining value and fetching more money at auctions in the last five years, and if you’re interested in investing in one, Michigan could be a good place to start.

That’s according to Bloomberg, which says Michigan and New York are the places with the highest volume of vintage Camaros, citing classic car insurance firm Hagerty.

A casual search of local listings shows three IROC-Zs for sale on Autotrader ranging from $9,500-$20,000, and at least one is for sale on Craigslist in the Detroit area: A 1987 Camaro IROC-Z with just 15,466 miles is listed for $19,995 in Shelby Township.

Named in honor of the International Race of Champions, the performance version of the third-generation Camaro Z28 was built from 1985 to 1990.

More from Bloomberg: The Iroc Z is your best investment for a classic Camaro

via Bloomberg: Camaro IROC-Z already a classic car investment – and Michigan is a place to look

 

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How to Value Classic Cars

How to Value Classic Cars

How to Value Classic Cars: Sometimes They’re Perfectly Priceless

How to Value Classic Cars

When it comes to the question of how to value classic cars, we’ve got some thoughts. At Airkooled Kustoms, many of the classic car restorations we do are what we call heirloom or heritage cars. These are the vehicles of our forebears, our ancestors, the ones who passed onto us a love of vintage steel. We watched grandfathers drive, we washed grandfather’s cars… 

Well, maybe we’ll just show you. (P. Patina here – that’s my brother and grandfather’s car… this gets me in the feelers.)

So, on that question of how to value classic cars – there’s the financial value, of course… and there’s the sentimental value, the enjoyment value, the 1000-watt smile value. Turns out, we’re not the only ones. Check out this incredible story of a man who found his dad’s classic car from the 1930’s – an extraordinarily RARE classic, in fact.

Nostalgic son, 68, tracks down classic car his father owned in the 1930s that was left rusting in a shed for a half a century

A son has tracked down the exact classic car his father owned more than 80 years ago after discovering pictures of it in an old photo album.

Robert Bluck, 68, travelled hundreds of miles for one last drive in the 1934 Sunbeam Dawn, which is one of only eight left in the world.

The retired librarian was researching his family tree when he found old photographs of his late father Bernard and grandfather Albert with the car.

The album, which was called ‘Sunbeam in the Dawn’, included snaps of them standing next to the vehicle with Scottish mountain Stac Pollaidh in the background.

Nostalgia: Robert Bluck, 68, travelled hundreds of miles for one last drive in the 1934 Sunbeam Dawn, one of only eight left in the world

Nostalgia: Robert Bluck, 68, travelled hundreds of miles for one last drive in the 1934 Sunbeam Dawn, one of only eight left in the world

Heritage: The retired librarian was researching his family tree when he found old photographs of his late father Bernard and grandfather (pictured) Albert with the car in the 1930s

Heritage: The retired librarian was researching his family tree when he found old photographs of his late father Bernard and grandfather (pictured) Albert with the car in the 1930s

Father Bernard pictured in the car

Bygone era: The album, which was called ‘Sunbeam in the Dawn’, included snaps of father Bernard (pictured, alone, left, and in the car, right) them standing next to the vehicle with Scottish mountain Stac Pollaidh in the background

Survivor: Robert found out that the  car was an exceptionally rare 1934 Sunbeam Dawn, which was actually on show in the West Midlands after Googling the registration number 'WF 6882'

Survivor: Robert found out that the car was an exceptionally rare 1934 Sunbeam Dawn, which was actually on show in the West Midlands after Googling the registration number ‘WF 6882’

Robert found out the green and black car was an exceptionally rare 1934 Sunbeam Dawn after Googling the registration number ‘WF 6882’.

While researching it, he realised that the exact same car was being kept on display at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands.

It was donated to the museum after it was found by a mechanic rusting in a shed in the Midlands.

Robert has now travelled over 220 miles from his home in Hexham, Northumberland, to recreate the experience of driving it enjoyed by his father and grandfather.

The author, who lives with his wife Caroline, 64, said: ‘It is wonderful for me to see the car. It’s absolutely fantastic. I was born in 1947 so I don’t remember him having it

‘But as soon as I put my head inside I could smell the same smells as the Rover my dad had when I was young. It is lovely for me to see my dad’s first car because he was quite keen on cars.

Highland holiday: There were pictures of them posing with the car on a trip with the Scottish mountain Stac Pollaidh in the background
Family history: There were also pictures of Robert's grandfather, Albert, with the Sunbeam

Highland holiday: There were pictures of them posing with the car on a trip with the Scottish mountain Stac Pollaidh in the background. There were also pictures of Robert’s grandfather, Albert, with the Sunbeam

Pristine: The 1934 Sunbeam Dawn in near perfect condition was on display at the Black Country Living Museum, and Robert has now travelled there to give it a drive, recreating the experience of his forefathers

Pristine: The 1934 Sunbeam Dawn in near perfect condition was on display at the Black Country Living Museum, and Robert has now travelled there to give it a drive, recreating the experience of his forefathers

‘It is very posh inside with wooden panels. It’s a top of the range car which surprised me.

‘It brings back memories of my father and family memories too.

Robert’s father Bernard paid £425 for the car in 1935 after he was left inheritance money following the death of his mother Emma.

Bernard, who was in his 20s and lived in Hull, then took his father Albert on a tour of the Scottish highlands in the car.

He sold the car in 1939 when World War Two broke out and joined the army – seeing action in North Africa and Sicily with the artillery platoon.

Bernard, who returned to his job as a bank manager after the war ended, died at the age of 61 in 1970.

Robert added: ‘I had the pictures in my father’s photo album forever but looked at them again when I was doing research into our family history for a book I’m writing.

‘The first picture I saw was my grandfather stood beside the car from 1935.

‘I worked out that the Dawn in the caption was the name of the car so went onto Google and got on the Sunbeam website.

‘Then I saw some colour photos of the car at the museum and realised it was the exact same number plate and the same car.

Registered: Mr Bluck realised what the car was after googling the registration he saw in the photos, and that is when he found out it had been restored after spending half a century in a shed

Registered: Mr Bluck realised what the car was after googling the registration he saw in the photos, and that is when he found out it had been restored after spending half a century in a shed

Record: This is the incredible photo album that Robert found, showing his father and his grandfather with the classic car, which was of such good quality it was often compared to a Rolls Royce at the time

Record: This is the incredible photo album that Robert found, showing his father and his grandfather with the classic car, which was of such good quality it was often compared to a Rolls Royce at the time

Hard at work: Robert's father Bernard paid £425 for the car in 1935 after he was left inheritance money following the death of his mother Emma when he was in his twenties and lived in Hull

Hard at work: Robert’s father Bernard paid £425 for the car in 1935 after he was left inheritance money following the death of his mother Emma when he was in his twenties and lived in Hull

‘I was totally shocked when I found out my father’s old car was being preserved at a museum.

‘It is a miracle that the car is still around over 80 years later so to be able to come and see it in action is incredible.’

The car was found in a poor state gathering dust in a garage in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, by Jim Pease in 2002.

Mr Pease, a mechanic specialising in vintage cars, bought the car for £3,500 and spent a year restoring it to its former glory before donating it to the Black Country Living Museum.

The car has a top speed of around 70mph with its 1600CC petrol engine but normally travels at around 3mph in third gear.

Mr Pease, 63, said: ‘It had been gathering dust in a garage of a private house. The gentleman who owned it was about 90 and it hadn’t been used for over 20 years.

‘The man who I fetched it for wanted to sell it so I bought it off him in 2002 and spent about 12 months on and off restoring it.

‘I had to do different things like realigning the brakes and it had blown a gasket and the radiator was blocked solid.

Restoration: Jim, a mechanic specialising in vintage cars, bought the car for £3,500  in 2002 and spent a year restoring it to its former glory before donating it to the Black Country Living Museum.

Restoration: Jim, a mechanic specialising in vintage cars, bought the car for £3,500  in 2002 and spent a year restoring it to its former glory before donating it to the Black Country Living Museum.

Leather seats: The Sunbeams were built just four miles from the Black Country Living Museum, were one of the most popular vehicles in Britain in their heyday. It has a top speed of around 70mph with its 1600CC petrol engine but normally travels at around 3mph in third gear

Leather seats: The Sunbeams were built just four miles from the Black Country Living Museum, were one of the most popular vehicles in Britain in their heyday. It has a top speed of around 70mph with its 1600CC petrol engine but normally travels at around 3mph in third gear

Today: Mr Bluck took the car out for a final drive at the Black Country Living Museum (pictured, next to a picture of his grandfather, Albert)

Today: Mr Bluck took the car out for a final drive at the Black Country Living Museum (pictured, next to a picture of his grandfather, Albert)

‘But all of the interior is the original from 1934 and hasn’t been altered at all.

‘I probably spent another £4,000 on it but it must be worth around £25,000 now.

‘It’s the last Sunbeam model ever built and the only one to be named. There was only around 500 made and only about eight that have survived till now.

‘It still runs perfectly and we use it for corporate events at the museum and as a prop in filming.

‘We have a driving day for the public so it is out once a month going around the site for

four or five hours.’

The Sunbeam cars were built just four miles from the Black Country Living Museum, were one of the most popular vehicles in Britain in their heyday.

Their quality was compared to Rolls-Royce and the company broke many land speed records in its day.

 

via Nostalgic son, 68, tracks down classic car his father owned in the 1930s that was left rusting in a shed for a half a century

 

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