All posts by Rick Drewry

Rick Drewry is the senior claims specialist, Collector Vehicle & Motorcycle, at American Modern Insurance Group. He has been passionate about collector cars since he was a kid. He has owned and restored collector cars for 30 years.

The Build – Assembling a 396 Big Block – Part 2

In the previous episode, you watched the team start the big block Chevy assembly process. Paul Naber, Collector Car Claims Adjuster at American Modern Insurance Group, explains that they have cut down the metal fuel line to the proper length so that it will run from the mechanical fuel pump to the carburetor. Watch as the team is one step closer to getting the 396 big block fired up and running:

Rick Drewry, Sr. Collector Car Claims Specialist at American Modern, proceeds to put the crank pulley on, where a single belt will connect the alternator single groove crank pulley  to the alternator. Next in line is the valve covers that were voted on by  our Facebook followers on our Collector Car Facebook page.

Baldwin Motion Style valve covers

Paul proceeds to add an engine break-in additive to the oil. When you start your engine for the first time after it is rebuilt, the break-in additive will help prevent excessive wear to all of the engine internals.

The next phase of assembling for our 396 big block Chevy is installing the thermostat,  and thermostat housing. This thermostat housing  comes with an o-ring on the bottom for sealing instead of a gasket.

The engine is set to top dead center, the distributor is then dropped in with the rotor button pointing to the number one cylinder. Once the engine fires up, you can adjust the timing to get it exactly where you want it. Moving the big block over to the break-in stand, the flywheel is installed so that  the starter can engage with the flywheel to turn the engine  over.

Be sure to keep up with all of the updates on The Build, as the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS continues to make big steps to become the car she is today. Stay tuned with Ami G. by joining our mailing list and Liking us on Facebook. You can also find a full list of The Build episodes by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

 

Did SEMA glimpse into the future of classic cars?

I recently attended the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association. I define SEMA as the equivalent to the hot rodder’s paradise. The SEMA show fills the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as several other surrounding areas. According to SEMA, the show attracts over 60,000 buyers and over 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries.

Every SEMA Show exhibits new parts and tools on the market in the auto industry, and spells out what the collector vehicle and custom car market will become. In my opinion, this year has shown great trends in the hobby. The resto-mod and pro-touring segment of the collector car market has grown substantially over the past decade because of the intersection of new technology with old cars. Companies are creating better shop equipment to help both restorers and builders create award-winning show pieces at a new level of perfection.

There were two obvious trends that I noticed at this years’ SEMA show.

1 – Square-bodied C10 custom trucks.  Pro-touring, custom, and even stock C10 trucks from the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s are picking up a lot of steam.  There is a demand for these trucks, both in stock trim and multiple modified stages.  As demand grows for these C10 trucks, so will the value.

C10 Custom Trucks at SEMA

2 – Hot rodding is alive and well with new cars.  From the Ford Mustang GT500, to the Chevy Camaro ZL1, the Dodge Charger & Challenger Hellcat, car manufacturers are taking performance to a whole new level.   This is happening because of demand.  A consumer is looking for both reliability and style, along with an extreme amount of horsepower. The muscle car craze of the 60’s era exploded because of these same interests. The aftermarket industry has embraced these cars and manufacture just about anything you could want to make these new cars faster, lighter, and better looking.

Camaro-Mustang-Challenger at SEMA

You can learn a lot by attending a show like SEMA.  This year I learned that the collector car hobby is alive and well. The future continues to look bright with all of the new cars coming to the market!


The Build – Assembling A 396 Big Block Chevy

Have you been wanting to see the final assembly of a Chevy big block engine before it goes into a car?  You’re in luck. At American Modern, we have a 1965 Malibu SS 396 big block Chevy in its final stages of assembly. Watch it now:

Senior Collector Car Claims Specialist of American Modern Insurance Group, and host of  The Build, Rick Drewry, will install and seal the intake plugs to prevent leakage. With the gaskets in place, the team will be installing the water pump, oil filter mount and  oil filter onto the engine block of the ’65 Chevelle.

Rick points out that before you are going to put the fuel pump onto the block, you should make sure that the fuel pump push rod is up and out of the way, so you can avoid any problems with installation. Using a low mount alternator bracket, the alternator is mounted on the left hand side of the engine block.  Once your street avenger carburetor is placed, you can begin to line up your fuel lines. The high-torque mini starter is bolted up and ready to crank over the newly crafted, freshly restored Chevy big block engine.

396 big block Chevy engine

If you’ve been staying up to date with The Build, you probably know, the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS, named Ami G., has made huge strides to become the restomod she is today. Join our mailing list so you can stay current with all of her updates. Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Like us on Facebook to get the complete list of episodes of The Build.

Rick’s Collector Car Tips – Collector Car Auctions

 

I work a number of collector car auctions. I was recently at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Las Vegas. Going to a car auction is a learning opportunity for me. I always start by walking through and looking the cars over.


On stock cars, I look for three characteristics:

— Condition

— Originality

— Documentation

Chevy Corvette


On modified cars, I look for five characteristics:

—  Condition

— Quality of workmanship with the body and paint

— Customization done

— Drive train

— Curb appeal

'65 Chevy Malibu SS


If a collector car sold for lower than what you thought it should, there’s a good reason why. Sometimes you’ll encounter a bidding duel on the auction floor between two people that absolutely must have the car, which will build up the cost above average, but that is only on occasion. Every once in a while a car will sell for lower than you would have estimated because the bidder that may have wanted that particular car was not at the auction that day to make a bid.

For example, there’s a Ford collector vehicle for auction, and every person in the audience is a Chevy fan, besides you. So, hypothetically, they will not be bidding on the Ford. It takes two people to up the bid price, so if you are the only Ford fan, you’re going to be able to acquire that car for less than you anticipated because no one else will be battling you for the collector car.

Watching the auctions on television can be entertaining, but nothing compares to actually being at the auction, looking at all the beautiful cars up close and watching them cross the block. If you have never been to a collector car auction, it is time to put that on your bucket list!


Rick’s Collector Car Tips – 6 Tips to Winterize your Classic Vehicle

Here are six great suggestions for preparing and adapting your classic vehicle for storage during the cold, winter months:


Fuel — Fill up your gas tank and mix fuel stabilizer in with the gas. Run or drive the car with the fuel stabilizer until it is up to temperature. This way the stabilized fuel has been distributed throughout your entire fuel system.


American Modern classic vehicle tire pictureTires — Check your tire pressure. Treat the tires on both the outside and the inside of your classic vehicle to prevent the tires from drying out. Jack up the car and put it on jack stands to avoid flat spots on the tires.


Paint — Protect your car from small scratches by applying a good coat of wax before you cover it up.


American Modern classic vehicle interior pictureInterior — Detail the interior so you start off the next season with a clean car. Treat the leather, vinyl, and dash.


Battery — Use a battery tender. Even if it holds a charge through the winter, if you do not use a battery tender, it will shorten the life of your battery significantly.


American Modern collector vehicle garage pictureGarage Area — Moisture is your enemy. Make sure the car is stored in a dry environment. A dehumidifier in the garage helps. Also, the heat from a light bulb or the air movement of a very small fan under the car will help reduce the moisture build up under the cover. Always use a breathable car cover to allow moisture to escape.


Rick’s Collector Car Tips – Starting The Collector Car Hobby

How Do I Get Into The Collector Car Hobby?

Rick Drewry, Senior Claims Specialist at American Modern Insurance Group, has been approached many times at car shows with the specific question: “How do I start the collector car hobby?” Rick states that anyone can get into the collector vehicle hobby, it’s just a matter of keeping these three tips in mind when beginning the collector car shopping process:

• Buy a car that starts up and drives. Do not buy a project car the first time around. You’ll spend too much time and money attempting to get the car to show quality that you will never truly enjoy the car. A drivable classic car can participate in car shows and cruise-ins. Car guys will ask you what your plans and expectations are as well, so it’s a great conversation starter.

American Modern collector car insurance

• Go for the lower trim/performance option. Don’t hold out on a Pontiac GTO, go get a Tempest or a LeMans instead. A simple engine swap makes these virtually the same collector vehicle. The same rule applies with a Chevy Camaro over a Z28 or Plymouth Duster. Get the slant-six instead of a 340 engine.

American Modern collector car insurance

• Consider less mainstream collector cars. Camaro, Chevelle, and Mustang are the popular models, but the station wagons from the 50’s – 70’s make for great classic cars. From the Oldsmobile Delta 88s, to the Ford LTD and Chrysler 300, these can make for sweet rides. Entry-level cars like the Vega, Corvair, Pinto and Maverick are also recommended. Make sure to do your homework before making that car purchase, and ask for help if necessary. Once you obtain your first collector car, you’ll wonder why you waited this long to buy one! Have Fun!

The Build – Patching the Quarter Panel of a 65 Malibu

As you continue to take notes from us on how to properly restore a wrecked classic vehicle, more specifically a ‘65 Chevy Malibu SS, we will take you step-by-step into the process of patching the quarter panel. This thorough process has been recorded, along with many other videos, on American Modern’s show, “The Build”, seen here:

Rick Drewry, senior claims specialist for American Modern Insurance Group and host of ‘The Build’ , has already obtained patch panels for the rear quarter panel, and is now marking and tracing the patch panel in order to figure out how much they actually need. As they cut away the metal, they find that spray foam was used in a previous repair to fill in the bondo. This is an improvisation that is not recommended when restoring your collector car.

Rick and his team use some tools to cut out pieces to spot weld and replace with the patch panel. As they cut away, they find some rust on the outer wheel well that they’ll need to use the patch panel to replace. When your metal is rusted, you are not able to weld on top of it, so using a patch panel is an absolute must. They will use an attachment point for their patch panel after cutting off the unwanted rust. Less is more in this case.

The 1965 Chevy Malibu SS continues to show improvements from its original, wrecked state. You need to make it one of your top priorities to continue to follow up on all of our progress, and see what else is restored on ‘The Build’! You can find a full list of ‘The Build’ episodes on our YouTube Channel.

Rick’s Collector Car Tips – What is the best way to maintain your collector car?

If you’re looking for some great maintenance tips for your classic vehicle, look no further. Proper maintenance of your collector vehicle is extremely important, and you need to be sure to keep these insightful tips in mind before you decide to take your collector car out for a joy ride. Rick Drewry, senior claims specialist at American Modern, has a passion for collector vehicles and has been working on them for 30 years, since he was a child in his dad’s shop. He shares some tips with you on preventative maintenance in this video:

You may not know this, but most of the things you tend to forget are extremely minor, but could could cause an amazing amount of damage.

The highlights include a 30 cent distributor hose that can fly off the distributor and spray fuel all over your engine bay, causing an extremely damaging fire. Make sure your wiring is tucked away nicely, not resting on the exhaust manifold or header, as the heat under the hood will cause them to become brittle after time. Replace the wires and you will cut down on losses on your classic car in the future.

collector car maintenance

American Modern also hosts a series on a complete restomod of a 1965 Chevy Malibu SS on YouTube, titled ‘The Build’. Make sure you check out all of the episodes to learn about some of the proper ways to restore a wrecked classic vehicle.

The Build – Patch Panel Repair on ’65 Malibu SS

Have you ever seen a smashed classic car in the junk yard and thought to yourself: “That Chevy’s got potential, I wonder what I could do to bring that beauty back to its prime?” We also know that it’s difficult to part ways with your classic ride, so the associates here at American Modern have decided to document the collector car restomod process with a 1965 Chevy Malibu SS. We’ve started a weekly online show – The Build – with a Chevy that took a detour into a brick wall. The series takes you step-by-step into the complete resto-mod project of this American classic.
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