What to do with my collector car when a winter storm hits?

There are a handful of things to consider when it comes to a winter storm and/or winter storage of your collector vehicle:


Roof Collapse

roof rake for winter stormsWe get numerous claims from heavy snow collapsing the roof of a garage and damaging a collector car. Know the capabilities of your roof. If at all possible, remove excessive snow off the roof of your garage after a winter storm. You can use an extended broom or shovel.

Here’s some information that explains how much snow is too much for your roof to handle.


Animal Infestation

Winter is the time when small animals are looking for places to hide and nest. Having rat or mouse poison or traps positioned in your garage will help. For larger animals (raccoons, squirrels, etc), make sure you address any areas around the garage that would give access to these animals.


Frozen Antifreeze

antifreeze for your collector carPoor quality antifreeze can freeze and crack engine blocks, cylinder heads, radiators, etc. Check your antifreeze to make sure it is strong enough to withstand temperatures dipping down into the single digits or lower. Replace the antifreeze if needed.


Dampness and Condensation

If your garage is not heated, you can easily have a dampness issue. Anything metal will heat up and cool down. Usually in winter, when a car warms up from being very cold, it will build up condensation which will in return cause corrosion. Having a small fan set on low in the corner of the garage will keep the air from settling and will help mitigate corrosion caused by condensation. An incandescent shop light under the engine of a car can help too.


Whether you are on the east coast for the “Snowmaggedon” winter storm  or somewhere else, here are some great tips to keep you safe while battling  winter driving.

Would you go to Cuba to look for a collector car?

Open trading between Cuba and the United States has never been much of an interest to collector car enthusiasts, until now. The recent possibility of open trade between the two countries has become a treasure hunting opportunity for all classic vehicle fans.

Currently, the majority of the old classics in Cuba have been cheaply pieced together to be used as taxis, and barely kept running with old diesel engines, but there are still a couple diamonds in the rough to be found.

Frankenstein Collector Car

You will find a lot of cars in Cuba that are defined as “Frankenstein Cars.” Because of the very limited resources for parts, Cubans did whatever was necessary to keep the cars running. It is not unusual to find a car like a 1955 Chevy with a diesel engine under the hood because that was the only engine available. You can also find:

interiors may be handmade,
suspension and steering parts are welded together,
paint jobs applied with a paint roller

These “Frankenstein Cars” may be collectible themselves. Some people may find it intriguing to own a car with that type of history. Only time will tell.

Frankenstein Classic Car

Also, there’s the possibility that a vintage car could be tucked away in a shed, covered by a couple tarps or blankets. It’s not just about the car either, it’s also about the treasure hunt. A barn find is defined as a classic car or motorcycle that has been discovered, often in derelict condition.

The term originates from the tendency that the classic has been located in an outbuilding or barn where they have been stowed away for years on end. Discovering a barn find that has a substantial value will always be a crowning achievement for a car guy!

You never know, that one barn find you want could be in Cuba.

The Build – Starting the 396 Big Block

Our team of collector car experts at American Modern have the final pieces in place on the 396 Big block Chevy engine, and are ready to turn the ignition and let those headers roar.

The team starts out by installing their new Hooker Headers onto the 396 big block. The plug wires are organized from longest to shortest to diagnose which wire goes to which spark plug. With the wire looms, you can easily organize and route the plug wires so that they are flush with the engine. The tach, oil pressure gauge, temperature gauge, and ignition are all wired up on the test stand. When you fire up an engine for the first time, you need to make sure it is done correctly to help with the break-in process. To do this, you need to run the engine for 20 minutes at 2,000 RPMs. Idling is not good for the camshaft on the initial start-up on a fresh engine.

396 big block engine

Now that the 396 big block engine has fired up, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make it a priority to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector vehicle on our Facebook page too!

Cavalcade of Customs collector car show wrap up

The inaugural collector car show for Ami G. went off without a hitch this past weekend. The classic car show – Cavalcade of Customs, downtown Cincinnati – provided a great avenue for the 1965 Chevy Malibu to jump start her touring career. With countless hot rods, muscle cars and customs, Ami G. felt right at home.

Cavalcade of Customs collector car show

Of course, the people are what make these events so special. We met a lot of new faces as well as some familiar ones at our American Modern booth. Most people could not believe it was the same classic car. They were impressed that 100% of the repairs and restoration were done by American Modern employees, with the exception of the machine work on the engine.

American Modern collector car show

Multiple times, visitors to the booth asked if American Modern specializes in the business of restoring cars as well as selling insurance. I will take that as a compliment! One attendee, while looking over Ami G, said: “American Modern obviously knows what they are doing and truly cares about these old, classic cars and the hobby”.

Ami G. attracted a large assortment of new collector car enthusiasts and admirers at the Cavalcade of Customs, especially after hearing her story and seeing what she looked like 2 years ago. The associates at American Modern Insurance Group provided her with this new-found life. Everyone that had a hand in bringing her back should be very proud of themselves for restoring her into a beautiful restomod classic car.

collector-car-before-and-after

Ami G. is looking forward to her next car show. Stay tuned for more details!

Ami G. ignites the new year at Cavalcade of Customs

Are you ready to start the new year off with a bang and admire Ami G. in-person, in her hometown? Well get ready! She’ll be strutting her stuff at the Cavalcade of Customs car show in the downtown Cincinnati Duke Energy Center, Friday, January 9th – 11th.

Ami G at Cavalcade of Customs 2015

We’ll be running a contest on our Facebook page! All you have to do enter is:

1. Take a photo of Ami G. at the Cavalcade of Customs
2. Upload it to our Facebook page with the hashtag #TheBuild
3. We’ll be picking 10 winners at random on Monday, January 12th

Winners will get a fabulous American Modern bumper cover!

This is the classic car’s first stop on her car show tour. Be sure to buy tickets for the Cavalcade of Customs now and visit Ami G. at her American Modern Insurance Group booth.

See official rules for contest terms and conditions.