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 –



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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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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Cobra Barn Find Could be Next Million Dollar Shelby

A little dust, a little dirt – eh, it isn’t so bad, especially when it’s covering an object as holy as this. In 1974, a trade between friends brought this incredible 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 into the hands of Vermont resident Sy Allen. He soon placed the car delicately on stands and locked it up in his barn, where it has slept – out of sight – for 40 years.
Now, the Cobra is out of its cage and it’s going up for sale at Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale Auction, expected to bring a whole chunk of change. We could be looking at the world’s next million dollar Shelby.

And though we’ve all heard the Shelby story, it’s a tale worth retelling. With a desire to put his name on his own world-beating sports car, Carroll Shelby searched high and low for a potential donor – a sports car in which he could shoehorn a big, powerful, and reliable American V8. Given the strong racing performance of the little AC Ace, Shelby made the call, and thanks to a new compact Ford V8, Shelby had his sports car. He called it the ‘Cobra’, and we haven’t stopped talking about it since.

This particular 289 Cobra, numbered CSX 2436, is a later production example, and as such retains a whole host of upgrades that came with the breed’s evolution, including rack-and-pinion steering, a Ford alternator, dual-reservoir master cylinder, and Stewart-Warner gauges. The 289 shipped to Shelby in Los Angeles on May 26, 1964, then to Greenwich, Connecticut’s Town & Country Motors a few months later. Total cost with options included: $5,812.

CSX 2436 sold on December 9 and exchange hands a few times over the next decade, before ending up at the home of Sy Allen in 1974…now painted black instead of its original Rouge Iris coat. It’s a true time capsule on wheels, and is said to be in running condition. We’ll let you just daydream about that for a little while…

Click Here to Read the Original Article on BoldRide

Photo Credit: Mike Maez

Burt Reynolds’ Bandit 1977 Pontiac Trans Am sells for $480,000

Thirty-five years ago, no Hollywood star had the box-office power of Burt Reynolds — and there’s still a little of that magic left, based on an auction of Reynolds’ personal items this weekend that included a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am in “Smokey and the Bandit” style, which sold for a stunning $480,000.

The Trans Am was one of several hundred items Reynolds sold through the Julien’s Auction house at a sale in Las Vegas last weekend, from his awards and art collection to props from several of his movies. None drew quite the bidding that the Trans Am did — a car that was detailed as a promotional vehicle for the movie, then given to Reynolds after the movie wrapped. (It’s a different Trans Am than the one up for sale by the Wellborn collection in Florida.)

As classic cars go, there was precious little information available about this car, aside from that Reynolds had held onto it since the Bandit days. Photos released by Julien’s shows a Trans Am in need of some restoration, although the new owner will be wise to simply make sure the Screaming Chicken logo and “1977 Pontiac Trans Am Owned By Burt Reynolds” gold door tag are preserved rather than replaced.

Julien’s had expected the car to sell for $80,000.

That was a trend throughout the auction; many of Reynolds’ personal effects sold for far above their estimates, from trophies and artwork to movie memorabilia. A jacket left over from “Stroker Ace” expected to fetch $600 went for $9,375; his football helmet from “The Longest Yard” went for $20,000, and the canoe built for “Deliverance” sold at $17,500. That’s one movie vehicle we’d rather let someone else pilot.

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A showroom dud in the 1980s, this intriguing Mustang has a small but loyal following today

All you SVO Mustang owners can now gloat that Ford was ahead of its time with that unique version of the pony car. Thirty years ago, Ford’s better idea was to make a special Mustang that was more road racer than drag racer, more Euro GT than main street tire burner.

The 1984-1986 SVO Mustang that “buff book” Car & Driver and Road & Track magazines liked so much unfortunately did not find the same reception in the showroom. Ford sold just 9,844 SVO Mustangs over three model years.

It was a brave step to put a turbo/intercooled 4-cylinder engine under the Mustang’s hood, especially when the model line’s main attraction was the V-8-powered GT that sold for much less.

Today, the SVO Mustang is a kind of cult classic. It’s also a bit of a history lesson, because that Ford is offering a turbocharged 4-cylinder in the 2015 Mustang, a 310-horsepower model called the EcoBoost.

But 30 years ago… what were they thinking? Ford was thinking that it was high time to broaden the Mustang’s appeal, that’s what. Its Fox-platform mechanicals were already underpinning the Lincoln Mk. VII, so why not tweak a Mustang to take on import sports cars?

Developed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations, the 1984 SVO Mustang was powered by a 2.3-liter turbo four with fuel injection and an intercooler. It was rated at 175 horsepower, which seemed tame in comparison to the 210 hp from the 302 cu. in. 4-barrel V-8 that came in the Mustang GT. In a drag race, it was no contest – the GT could run the quarter-mile in just under 15 seconds without power-shifting. The SVO was more than a second behind.

But the number that really hurt the SVO was its price – nearly $16,000 when the faster GT started at about 10 grand. Lots of love from Car & Driver and Road & Track magazines helped stoke initial interest in the newfangled Mustang. Both magazines had driven SVO prototypes in the 24-Hour Longest Day at Nelson Ledges race, a kind of development exercise for Ford. And both compared the SVO production model favorably to sports cars like the Porsche 944 and Nissan 280 ZX.

But the road race cred did not make the SVO a latter-day Boss 302.

The rest of the SVO package was top-notch, however. Ford borrowed four-wheel disc brakes and suspension bits from the Lincoln Mark VII parts bin and gave the SVO a Quadra-Shock rear suspension to tame axle hop. (The V-8 models got Quadra Shock starting in 1985.)

The SVO looked “foreign” compared to the Mustang GT. Its functional hood scoop was off-center, and its trunk lid carried a bi-plane spoiler. Alloy wheels had smooth, flush surfaces rather than more traditional spokes. Inside, the SVO also showed a European influence in its form-fitting bucket seats with lumbar support. One of the most interesting bits was a turbo boost-control switch on the dash. You could dial it back to run on regular gas.

Late in the second season, Ford introduced an upgraded SVO that became known as the “1985.5.” Turbo boost was hiked slightly to 15 psi, up from 14 psi, and there were other improvements. Horsepower jumped to 205, matching the V-8, and its 248 lb.-ft. torque ratting was just a bit lower than the V-8’s.

Just 439 of those mid-year models were made. The enhancements carried into the 1986 model year, though the engine was rated at 200 hp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. The zero-to-60 fell to seven seconds flat – competitive with imported sports models. But it was still a no-sale to muscle car buyers, and sports car drivers weren’t exactly falling over themselves to buy an expensive Mustang.

Today, you don’t buy an SVO Mustang to drag race, but you’re pretty much assured a lot of attention at car shows, along with a fun ride.

As for the 2015 Mustang, maybe the time for a turbo-4 has finally come. On the other hand, if budget allows, get the 435-horsepower V-8.

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London emissions rules could ban classic cars from city center

Did you know a London emissions rules could ban classic cars from city center?

The United Kingdom is a land of tradition, and that includes traditional classic cars.

There are 800,000 of them in the country — largely well-loved by owners and the public, and they are big business. Firms and events dealing in historic cars generate about $7.5 billion a year and employ 30,000 people nationwide.

Now there are fears these cars will be blocked from the roads of the UK’s capital city, London.

It’s all about a proposed ban on all but zero or ultra-low emission cars and vehicles. London’s Mayor Boris Johnson wants to put it in place by 2020 in order to bring down pollution levels in the city.

Mayor Johnson says, “vehicles will not be allowed in, or new ones will not be allowed in, unless they have, or confirm to very, very, very stringent environmental standards.”

The new restrictions would apply to many older cars, but especially classics built well before environmental controls were even dreamed of.

Vintage Car Dealer David Clark says, “customers come to London from all over the world to see classic cars, they won’t be able to drive them. Won’t be able to do anything.”

Car buffs say they’re willing to work with the Mayor on the new restrictions, as long as they don’t take all the air out of their historic cars’ tires.

According to Ben Cussons of the Royal Automobile Club, “it is going to be a question of finding balance, about usage, whether it is a full-time exemption, or whether, for example, older vehicles will pay an enhanced charge to enter the [London ultra low emissions] zone.”

In fact, Mayor Johnson’s office tells Fox News it thinks some sort of exemptions can be put in place to keep the classics on the road, but a deal still needs to be struck to clear the air — in more ways than one.

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