Classic Car Insurance: Tips to Buying the Best Policy

When you have a classic car, it’s important to have the right insurance policy on it. Often, standard car insurance is not going to cut it. After all, most companies base their claims on the actual cash value of the car, which factors in depreciation.A few tips will help you to get a better policy. 

Be Aware of the Real Value of Your Car 

Your car is calculated differently because it’s a historical or classic car. If you were to have a company provide the value based on depreciation, it might only be worth $1,000. However, you know that if it were to sell in an auction tomorrow, it could be worth $50,000 or even more. With a historical car, you must be cautious as to how the value is calculated. A professional appraisal is highly recommended.You want to make sure you get the best value for your car. In the event it is in an accident, you want your policy to provide a full replacement so you’re not out thousands of dollars because of not having the right value associated with your car. 

Know the Miles You Drive Every Year 

How many miles do you drive your classic car every year? In most instances, it’s probably less than 10,000 miles per year. You might only drive it to car shows or special events as a way of showing it off. Maybe you take it out on a Sunday from time to time. However, it’s not your everyday car.Knowing the mileage will make it easier to get an affordable policy. 

Add More Coverage 

There will be plenty of coverage options available. It’s a good idea to add more than you think you might need. It will cover you against all the “what if” scenarios. Should something happen, you will know with confidence that your policy will take care of it all. 

Work with an Agent 

Often, it’s easier to work with an independent agent who understands classic cars. You can rely on their expertise to talk to you about the different insurance companies as well as the coverage options. An agent can get quotes on your behalf and help you to get different discounts that you might qualify for. Your classic car is likely one of your most prized possessions. It only makes sense to have a great policy on it.

Classic cars find their way back to Springfield for Cruise Night at Stearns Square

The Duryea Motor Wagon Company, the first American firm to build gasoline automobiles, had its beginnings in Springfield back in 1895. Now classic and antique cars are making their way back to Springfield for Cruise Night, occurring every Monday this summer. Monday, June 22, was the first night of Springfield’s Cruise Night; offering not only classic and antique cars, but also great music and delicious food.

The inaugural Cruise Night at Stearns Square in downtown Springfield had 14 classic car enthusiasts registering their vehicles. The antique cars lined the two parallel streets next to Stearns Square. No classic Duryea’s were showcased, however, a variety of other classic cars showed up, including the first car to register – the infamous “Mad Max,” a replica of the car used in two of the “Mad Max” films.

“I was thrilled that downtown could play host to Cruise Night,” said Chris Russell, executive director of the Springfield Business Improvement District. “With all the history of the automobile in Springfield we thought it only made sense to have a car show. If you love the classic automobiles as much as I do please join us next Monday night. And if you have a classic car of your own … don’t forget to register, too!”

While checking out amazing antique cars, attendees listened to classic music from the ’50s and ’60s and enjoyed food from two terrific downtown restaurants, Adolfo’s and Theodore’s.

Cruise Night at Stearns Square features classic and antique cars which are 20 years or older. If you would like to register a car you can do so beginning at 5pm. Registration is on Worthington Street across from Stearns Square. Registration fees are currently being waived! At the end of each night, there will be trophies awarded.

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Make sure you have proper insurance on your vehicle before attending any gathering of this type. Bump and scratches can and often do happen. Contact us today for a free quote at


Bill could launch new American classic car industry

There could be more classic cars hitting the road soon. Cars that look like classics, that is.

The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, introduced this month in the House of Representatives, would allow small companies to produce and sell ready-to-drive replicas of classic cars without subjecting them to the prohibitively expensive safety and emissions tests the major automakers’ vehicles must undergo.

Hobbyists build hundreds of Shelby Cobra, Ford “Deuce Coupes” and other vintage clones each year. State-by-state laws today allow the sale of component “kits” which must be assembled by the buyer or a third-party shop. Under the new rules, registered companies would be allowed to produce and sell up to 500 finished cars in the U.S. each year that would carry a federally issued Vehicle Identification Number.

The bill, H.R. 2675, co-sponsored by Reps. Mark Mullin (R-Okla.) and Gene Green (D-Texas), is supported by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), which represents the kit car and aftermarket parts industry. It would require these cars to use modern engines that have already been certified by their suppliers to meet current emissions standards, but it would exempt them from the most stringent federal safety regulations.

Perhaps most importantly, the cars will have to be exact visual replicas of vehicles that are at least 25 years old, and their original manufacturers must license the designs. Stuart Gosswein, SEMA’s senior director of federal government affairs, said previous attempts to create this type of low volume classification were stymied in part by opposition from some major automakers. Allowing only classic, and not unique, designs should make it more palatable for the industry to accept, he said.

A spokesman for The Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers said the group was reviewing the legislation and had no comment at this time.

“The current law does not take into account the unique challenges that small auto manufacturers face when it comes to recreating historic cars,” Mullin said in a press release accompanying the bill’s introduction. “We can’t expect these companies to be able to comply with a law that was established in the 1960s for automakers that mass-produce millions of vehicles every year. We need to encourage growth in our manufacturing market, not create unnecessary barriers.”

Gosswein predicts the impact on the auto industry will be small, eventually accounting for only about 1,500 cars a year, but even that number could create hundreds or thousands of jobs nationwide.

Lance Stander, whose company, Superperformance, sells Shelby Cobra, Ford GT40 and Chevrolet Corvette replicas without drive trains, expects his business will expand within a year from 20 to 100 people if the bill passes, and that it will make it easier to export its California-assembled products. He said a business like his would have to invest over $100 million under the current regulations to become a fully-fledged manufacturer, even at the low volumes being targeted. He said he’s excited by the prospect of potentially dozens of companies building new cars, likening it to the pre-World War II automotive industry before it consolidated into the Big Three.

David Smith, owner of Massachusetts-based Factory Five Racing, the largest manufacturer of kits, said he will continue to focus on that end of the business, but he added that the law would open up new avenues of innovation by allowing small companies to develop cutting-edge automotive technologies by using these replica platforms.

Smith, who sells several products that feature modern, original designs, said he thinks the restriction to classics is unfortunate, but he added that they attract people to car shows and other events, so the more of them out there, the better.

H.R. 2675 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where it awaits further action. To qualify, companies would have to sell fewer than 5,000 cars worldwide each year.

Vintage Clone Vehicle  insurance is a specialty form of  insurance coverage to protect a self assembled vehicle. Often called kit cars have similar needs, the pieces come packaged together and you can assemble them at your own convenience. Collectors/specialists in this field invest a great deal of money and time in both these types of vehicles. Insuring this sort of investment is unique. The task of purchasing specially parts from vintage, collector and classic automobiles is truly rewarding at the end of each project. Be sure to understand the insurance needs for these vehicles, before purchasing anything. Understanding the appraisal process will also go a long way into making your you are making a sound investment. Feel free to call our office with any questions you may have so that we can put you in touch with some of our reputable sources –


Tips to Avoid Classic Car Restoration Headaches

We’ve all heard the stories. “I bought this great new restored car and took it in for a minor improvement and it ended up costing me thousands.” Or, “this car looked great in the pictures but turned out to be nothing like what was suggested.” Well, Classic Restoration Enterprises President, Melvin Benzaquen has become many enthusiasts’ first call for restoration services or to assess a possible new purchase. Having been there, he offers the following tips mixed with examples from his real-life experiences to help keep the classic enthusiast aware and on the right track.

Check body panels to ensure dents have been fixed properly — magnets don’t necesssarily work

“One project we worked on was a 1967 Pontiac GTO,” says Benzaquen. “Once we stripped the body down to the bare metal, we found the quarter panels filled with literally pounds of body filler. The right quarter had been brazed together (not welded) in two separate sections. This is an example of one of the most common horrors we find; people just filling dents, instead of working the metal to the original shape and then using the filler as it was originally intended for.” But be aware, magnets aren’t foolproof.

“Another great project we had was on a 1970 Plymouth Superbird,” Benzaquen continues. “Purchased by the customer as a restored vehicle, the seller provided three photos of the restoration: One photo in the weeds, one photo in primer and one photo painted. The customer had the car for about six months when he noticed the paint was bubbling in several areas. At this point, he called us to look at the car. Upon arrival, we could see the body was absolutely straight and we could not see any evidence of anything wrong.”

“We thought that the prep job was not done properly and the paint would need to be stripped and repainted,” says Benzaquen. “When we stripped the body down to bare metal, we were absolutely horrified. The quarter panels had been rusted and filled with body filler. The body filler had metal shavings mixed in it, so magnets would stick when the buyer checked it. The roof had been filled in the same manner to cover an extensive amount of hail damage. The trunk lid and hood were in the same condition. The trunk floor had been completely rusted out and they had placed cardboard in the holes and then fiberglassed over it. They actually took the time to make all the unique grooves and lines in the floorpan to make it look original. We had to remove the hood skin and fabricate a new skin and weld it back on the hood frame since there was so much hail damage. The hood would not stay open when we originally looked at the car. Our thought was that the hood hinges were weak. It turned out the hood would not stay open from the extreme amount of body filler in the hood skin. When we installed the new skin, the hood stayed open as it was supposed to. The nose cone was made out of aluminum and had been the victim of several impacts throughout its life. They filled the dents with an aluminum-based filler. By the time we finished the car, the customer had spent $50,000 restoring it. This was after he had purchased it for $40,000. Definitely not what the customer had originally planned on.”

So, Benzaquen advises, when looking at photos, look for images that show the car sanded down to be bare metal. Sellers, when having a vehicle restored, take plenty of photos or have the shop doing the restoration take photos of every stage of the restoration process. The more photos, the better backup and support they provide to your claims.

Confirm the car being purchased is indeed as it says it is

“Purchased for $30,000 in 2004 as a “body-on restored” car from a dealer, this 1970 Corvette Convertible quickly became a nightmare for the customer,” says Benzaquen. “The chassis had literally 1/4-inch of rust throughout. The rear trailing arms (they hold the rear suspension in) were rusted so badly, the rust was breaking the welds and causing them to literally split apart. The transmission was worn out, the engine had varying degrees of compression, the rear axle third member was worn out, the windshield frame was rotted so bad it leaked. When we removed the windshield moldings, we found the entire windshield had been caulked with bathroom caulk in a poor attempt to stop the leaks.” “The braking system was a mess.” Benzaquen continues. “One caliper was spewing fluid onto the rotor every time the pedal was pushed. This was basically lubricating the rotor when trying to stop. The rear brake calipers did not work at all. The right front caliper was a rebuilt unit and was the only one stopping the car. The main brake line from the master cylinder was put together to what amounted to ice maker fittings. It’s very dangerous to have a low-pressure fitting holding a high-pressure line together. The heater box had such a large rats nest in it, almost consuming the entire box. The dash and console wiring had been eaten in many areas by the rats. The carpeting was laid over the bare floor without any insulation. The exhaust system was rotted and they painted it to make it look nice. The headlamps and wipers didn’t work. This car was an absolute nightmare. It did have a pretty red paint job, a new interior, and a new convertible top. They had also sprayed the engine orange but sprayed it over the grease and all over the engine compartment.” Keep in mind that classic beauty is more than skin deep. A good restoration goes beyond pretty paint and clean fabrics, but deep down underneath what is easily seen.

Road signs are for the road, not for your floor boards

“$12,000 and a trip from Ohio later, this 1969 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible, literally left parts in every state on the trip home,” tells Benzaquen. “We found the whole front unibody clip had been tack welded instead of fully welded. The electrical system was shorted and caused the alternator to fail. The floors were riveted together with road signs (stop, yield, and RR Xing were the ones we found) and then a very healthy dose of filler was utilized to cover up the butchery. We had to remove the entire front end, engine, and suspension in order to properly repair the front unibody section and weld it to the body shell. The floors were removed and new pans were put in. The engine required rebuilding and the suspension required replacement of the bushings.” Benzaquin continues: “Many purchases are made without having the car examined by an expert. The common answer I receive when I ask them why, is that they thought it looked good in the pictures. We’ve always been told ‘a picture tells a thousand stories.’ Well, I say ‘a picture can also tell a thousand lies.’ ” An expert opinion can lend credence where photos may mislead.

Have the car inspected by an expert and check references for that expert

“The seller represented this 1973 Pontiac Trans Am as a numbers-matching car,” states Benzaquen. “The seller had no problem with the buyer having the car looked at. The inspector arrived and confirmed the car as numbers matching. The deal was cemented and $14,500 traded hands. This car needed to be restored but was a driver. We get the car in and within minutes, we could tell the numbers were not right. The motor had grind marks where the block code was supposed to be along with the engine sequence number. (This pad is located just below the right side cylinder head on the block.) The VIN and a new block code were stamped in this place. (The VIN does not go there.) It goes on a pad next to the lower pulley. We looked at that pad and there was a healthy build-up of grease. We knew it had never been looked at. The engine turned out to be a Bonneville 400 instead of a Trans Am 455. The buyer had no recourse, so he decided to dispose of the car, as numbers-matching was of utmost importance to him. So, this was a good example of a buyer that tried to do the right thing by having the car inspected, and still got shafted. It is almost unthinkable that the seller lucked out by having someone who knew less then he did come and look at the car. We can’t stress enough how important it is to not just use a name out of the phone book when choosing your inspector.”

It’s important to look around, check references, and get recommendations from previous clients to ensure you are getting just the expert you need.

Bottom line, no matter how prepared you are there is always the chance something can go wrong. It’s just Murphy’s Law. However by following these simple tips and remembering these horror stories, Benzaquen hopes you will be table to avoid unnecesssary headache or hassle.

Located near New York City, Classic Restoration Enterprises Inc. specializes in total restorations, modifications, and suspension or drivetrain upgrades for a wide range of vehicles.

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Wheelie was nothing to do with accident

Question: I have an insurance claim going through following a bike accident in the summer. My bike was damaged with repairs costing $1100 and I got away with cuts and bruises.

The accident happened when a car pulled out across me while I was filtering at a low speed and with no junctions ahead for some distance.

My opponent’s insurer is stating that because two witnesses are saying I pulled a wheelie one mile before where the accident happened, I was riding dangerously and I am to blame for the accident.

Although I admit pulling a wheelie I don’t think it had anything to do with the accident!

Chris Edwards

Answer: I agree with you. You admit pulling a wheelie which is actually an example of dangerous driving as far as the police are concerned, so you are fortunate that the police did not see it.

However, that wheelie was one mile before the accident scene and had no bearing on the accident circumstances.

You need to argue that the two events were completely separate and that the cause of this accident was the car driver’s negligence in failing to spot your correctly proceeding vehicle.

It would be helpful if you had witnesses confirming the sensible speed at which you were filtering and a detailed plan of the road layout to show that there were no junctions in the vicinity.

I am confident that a court would not find that the wheelie had anything to do with the accident.

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Learning to spray paint your classic car, truck or hot rod like the paint shops doesn’t need to take years to master.

In this short space, it is impossible to go into detail at any length, so the following is a brief guideline to ensure quality workmanship and minimal negative comebacks. Of course, guidelines must be established.

Setting the Expectations:

Good training is reflected in quality work, as bad training is reflected in bad work, and prohibitive costs result due to comebacks.

Contaminates that float around can ruin a paint job, and that applies to the surface, and the shop as well. To do this make sure, there is adequate filtration, and that it is frequently cleaned to the point of being almost sterile. Minute dust particles and hair are the worst offenders, making technicians walking dust magnets if the filtration system is inadequate.

Every day, and before each job, the shop must be thoroughly cleaned, top to bottom, as much as possible. Keep the spray booth clean always, and thoroughly wash it weekly. Check filter regularly and replace when necessary, as it affects health.

Before starting a job, make sure there is nothing like lamps mirrors, etc. around because they can cause cracking in the topcoat and the clear coat.

Before doing any surface prep, thoroughly wash the surface, all you need is plain old soap and water, because it removes all water- soluble material that can cause damage later. The vehicle must be scuffed with detergent and hot water to remove wax and sealants.

Prepping the Paint Surface:

You might want to try some fine waterproof sandpaper to scrub the surface. Some people like to
use the scuff pads, those gray nylon types. Removing the painted area that has become damaged
requires some grinding. Ideally, you will need sandpaper that is 80 grit and an orbital sander.

You will need to concentrate your grinding along the paint area that is damaged. In order to be
successful you will have to see at least a quarter of an inch of color coat as well as clear coat
and of course the undercoat as well. So the next step will be to featheredge the etching filler.
This can be done right over the body filler or even on the bare metal. The purpose here is to
provide protection both in adhesion and corrosion.

Once you have reached this stage then the next will be for the surface primer. It’s easy to see though that by setting and following guidelines and expectations that everyone knows what their job is and what they are responsible for. If there is a problem and a repair comeback shows up it becomes easier to determine where the breakdown occurred. This way you can go back to the drawing board so to speak and correct the problems where they are happening.

Checkout this 4 minute video on how to spray paint a hot rod:

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Among car owners, the 1967 Pontiac GTO holds a special place. There are many reasons for this stature. It was fondly known as the “Goat” and set the standard in performance cars for the era. Because of its emphasis on powerful performance, the auto held a highly regarded position in various road tests routinely performed by rating organizations such as Car Life, Hot Rod Magazine and Motor Trend Magazine. The GTO could reach 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. During one test, the vehicle made a 14.2 second quarter mile. The ’67 Pontiac is the last of the first generation GTOs.

Although some owners and collectors appreciate the looks, in fact, the car is large and heavy, making it a surprising entry into the performance field. The 1967 was available in three body styles: the hardtop, the convertible and the coupe. The convertible model with Ram Air is the rarest version, with a run of only 56 of these. This makes them particularly collectible at the time and even today.

The First Generation

The popularity of the first generation GTO reached a high point with the 1967 model. Other auto makers produced competitors which tried to emulate the features, but were not as successful. 1967 was the golden age of so-called “muscle cars”. This was the year that Mustang launched its muscle cars and the Shelby “Cobra” were competitors with well-recognized names. The GTO is still considered one of the most attractive of the muscles. There were older competitors as well. Oldsmobile’s Cutlass 4-4-2 offered a real challenge with its features and innovations.

In many ways, the vehicle was not that different from the 1966 version. Some of the changes in appearance are because the looks of the 66 were spectacular and the designers hoped to keep the positive aspects. Specifically, from the side profile, the GTO looks repeated 1966. The rear taillight panels were lightly revised. The grill insert replaced plastic with chrome wire mesh elements.

The interior of a 67 made no changes in leg and head room. There was a new steering wheel look and some minor changes in the seat patterns which were made. Otherwise, the inside had few differences from the model of 1967 models. One other change caused interest. This year was the first time that the Tri-Power option on the engine was no longer available. The ban on multiple carburetors was the underlying reason for this change. Instead, the 4-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor system was added to the winning features.

There were some safety features and regulatory elements added, such as the padded instrument panel, energy-absorbing steering wheel, 4-way emergency flashers and non-protruding control knobs. California-based vehicles included emission controls. The 67 offered an option for disc brakes, as well.

Best Seller To The End

The GTO was a best seller throughout its life, largely because it remained affordable. The price of other muscle cars made them unaffordable for enthusiasts. This car offered power, style and performance with a reasonable price tag.

The 1967 Pontiac GTO offers design, power, and price for car enthusiasts. For those who remember the thrill of a muscle car, it is now a desirable collector’s item. A few can be found at auction sites and private party sales.

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Car restoration showroom slated for former Allentown slaughterhouse

A long-vacant former Allentown slaughterhouse soon could be getting a much-needed face lift.

ACR Development has proposed a classic car restoration facility for the Klein Building, a property at the foot of the Hamilton Street Bridge adjacent to the America on Wheels museum.

The proposal, approved unanimously Tuesday by the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority, calls for a $2 million renovation that would transform the 12,000-square foot Klein Building into a showplace for automotive restoration.

Building renovations, which would be done in phases, would include a first-floor showroom and 12 apartments on the upper floors. An addition would be built in the back to allow for more space to work on cars.

Developers plan to keep the entire historic facade intact, as well as the original architectural concept.

The work at Front and Hamilton streets would be a collaboration between America on Wheels and RB Collection, a Trexlertown business run by brothers Al and Alex Ruozzi. RB Collection restores and services classic, vintage and exotic cars.

“We are excited to take our 23 years of knowledge and passion for classic cars and generate a thematic approach to Allentown’s waterfront redevelopment that will become the ‘Automobile Corner of America’ right here in the Valley,” Alex Ruozzi said in a news release.

Scott Unger, the development authority’s executive director, said the proposal fits perfectly with the Lehigh Riverfront Master Plan, an overview completed in early 2013 that made recommendations for how to revitalize the city’s waterfront. The gritty land along the Lehigh River was once largely industrial and is considered valuable, but it has been difficult for the city to redevelop.

“It’s hard to contemplate a use that would be more in spirit and in step with the waterfront master plan than what they’re suggesting,” Unger said of the proposal.

The Klein Building was last operated by A&B Meats and has been owned by ACIDA since 1996. It was one of several properties given to the authority as a gift from local philanthropist Ray Holland. The authority sank $3 million into cleaning up the site, including its underground tank of lard. Originally, twine was manufactured in the building.

Despite ACIDA’s lengthy ownership, a concerted effort was not made until now to find a buyer for the highly visible building, Unger said.

The property is not in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, Allentown’s one-of-a-kind designation that allows developers to tap state and local taxes. But it is close to several proposed waterfront developments, including a $325 million residential, office and commercial complex slated for the former Lehigh Structural Steel property, and a brew pub proposed for the former Neuweiler Brewery.

ACR Development was the only bidder.

ACIDA member Michael Miller reviewed the financial projections presented by the developers, and recommended the project to the board.

“One of the things we’ve talked about is diversification,” he said. “We’ve seen lots of offices, restaurants. This was something different. It’s a very complimentary addition to what’s going on.”

According to their proposal, developers hope to complete construction of an addition to the property this year. A second phase could be complete by 2017.

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Classic Car, Highway Patrol, Las Vegas, Police Error

Darcy’s line of up cycled fashion will be featured at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles this summer, in an exhibit titled “Recycled, Up Cycled, Re-Purposed Clothing, a Slow Fashion Movement”. To prepare for the publicity of this event, Darcy organized a fashion shoot that would feature her clothing line. While the majority of the shots were planned for a nearby open space reserve, Darcy included her family owned Jaguar Sedan in the photo line up.

This 1963 Jaguar Mark II Sedan (MKII) was purchased new by Darcy’s grandfather. It has been in the same family for 52 years, passing through three generations. In addition, it may be the only MKII to have lived its entire life in two California garages! Darcy and her husband Michael are the current owners of the vehicle.

This particular model was introduced in October 1959, and continued in production until 1967. It was the replacement model for the 2.4 and 3.4 liter saloon, also known as the Mark I Sedan (MKI).

For most of this car’s life, it lived in the detached garage next to Darcy’s grandparent’s 4 story Italian Renaissance home in Napa, California. The car was even precious to them as they took it out only on Sunday’s to attend church or social luncheon activities. When her grandparents passed, the estate was passed on to Darcy’s uncle, who lived in San Francisco. He maintained the Napa estate, occasionally taking the sedan out for a for a drive to town, until his death in 2005. At this time the car had been driven approximately 114 thousand miles in 42 years.

After Darcy’ uncle passed, she and her husband inherited the vehicle and started its restoration in May, 2005. Delong’s Automotive in Campbell was chosen for the initial work, which included rebuilding the transmission, replacing the power steering with rack and pinion style, complete brake job, new exhaust system, conversion to alternator, and rebuilt cooling system.

The next phase included the interior and exterior work. In December of 2006, the wood was removed and taken to Madera Wood Concepts in Goleta, California, where it was re-veneered and stained. In April 2007, the car was entrusted to Images Auto Body, in Campbell, where it was painted English Cream and the interior was finished. Craig’s upholstery, also in Campbell, did the upholstery work. Additional details included new stainless steel wheels and white walled tires. Restoration work was completed on October 5, 2007.

Today the car lives in Michael and Darcy’s detached garage, under a car covering, doubly protected. Michael powers the vehicle up once a week to keep the battery charged, and has entered it in one car show since its restoration, the Stanford Concourse, where it won best in class. It occasionally comes out of the garage to impress the neighbors, but for the most part, this beautiful vehicle remains hidden from the public.

Darcy was particularly thrilled to have an outfit for her model that complimented the Jaguar perfectly, not to mention her model Krysta. “We added the hat and gloves to give the audience the impression that she was the car’s personal chauffeur.” Indeed, the car comes to life (again) as a luxury vehicle through the lens of Darcy’s photographer, Katherine Romano, and illustrates to the world that restoration is a beautiful art on all fronts.

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Highway Patrol Error Results In Hellish Roadside Experience For Classic Car Owner

A string of errors on the part of troopers with the Nevada Highway Patrol resulted in a humiliating and frightening experience last year for a couple from Washington cruising down the highway in their classic 1962 Chevy Impala.

Now, the couple, Robin and Beverly Bruins, have filed suit against the troopers and the Nevada Highway Patrol.

Trouble started for the Bruins when they were pulled over by a trooper after he initiated a “routine records check” on the car. When the check did not return a match, the trooper pulled the couple over, Las Vegas’ KLAS reported.

When the trooper ran the registration number which the couple gave him, he didn’t include a “plus” sign. The vehicle showed up as an expired registration for a 2011 Harley Davidson, as a dismissal of charges document explains.

That mistake was compounded when the trooper relayed the Impala’s VIN to a dispatcher who then mis-keyed one of the digits.

When the entry bounced back as a stolen vehicle from California, troopers then proceeded to badger Robin, forcing him to take off his shirt and kneel on the ground before ultimately arresting him.

Dash camera footage recorded the entire dramatic scene.

“Driver! Remove your keys from the ignition and put them on the roof now!” a trooper commands.

Robin complied and says he made a joke to his wife but then turned around to find himself staring at drawn guns.

“And I turned and looked back and saw three gun barrels pointed at me. And, obviously it hit me. Whoa! What’s going on here. To this day I have never experienced anything like looking down the barrel of guns like that,” he told KLAS.

Robin was ordered out of the vehicle. And standing between the police cruisers and his car, he was ordered to take off his shirt.

“Go ahead, lift your shirt up,” the officer commanded. When Robin began taking off the shirt from his waist, the officer barked, “With the top of your collar!”

“And it wasn’t until I had taken my shirt off and told to get on my knees and handcuffed and I said, ‘What’s going on? Do you think this car is stolen or something?’ And he said, ‘exactly right. And their car is going back to its rightful owner,’” Robin told KLAS.

After Robin was taken into custody, the troopers zeroed in on Beverly who was still in the passenger side of the vehicle. They commanded her to get out, but she was on crutches and struggled doing so.

As she went to reach for the crutches, a trooper is heard yelling, “Keep — we said keep your hands in the air and walk backward towards us!”

She was then handcuffed as troopers checked her background.

After Beverly’s record came back clean, the troopers un-cuffed her and asked her if she wanted to say goodbye to her husband. She asked why she would need to say goodbye, and the trooper said “well, he’s going to jail.”

“So I went over to see Rob and he’s in the back seat with no shirt on on, hands behind his back and tears are running down his face,” Beverly told KLAS.

The Bruins contend that Robin never should have been arrested, and that troopers were almost certain he was not driving a stolen car when they detained him.

Evidence of that was also captured on the dashcam recording.

“I tend to believe him,” a trooper is heard saying. “I mean I’m gonna run him before I make a determination… the guy comes back with possession… or a history of something like that. If he’s lying to me, that’s a different story. But, as of right now, I mean, he seems to be legit.”

Nevertheless, Robin was shuffled off the Clark County Detention Center, where he spent most of the night in a cell with dozens of other inmates.

Robin also told KLAS that while he was in jail, he asked workers there, “Well I’m past the time for my medications, can I take those now?” he said.

“No, you can’t have anything you brought with you,” Robin says he was told.

“I just think they should have used, that they should have used a character judgment. We live our lives so that we don’t get into situations like this,” Beverly told KLAS.

“To be treated like the both of us were, I mean, at gunpoint and then handcuffed and then humiliated by making you take your shirt off and get on your knees on the side of the freeway. I mean, why should that have to happen to anybody?”

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