7 great tips to planning your epic classic car road trip

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With spring upon us, many classic car owners are preparing their cars for the road following winter storage. The chill of winter is fading away and many drivers start planning road trips. And for the recent classic car owners, weather like this is one reason you decided to become the owner of the car of your dreams. But whether you’re a veteran to the ownership game or a newbie, preparing your car for road trips is a good idea and helps make the experience that much better. Why worry about the reliability of your car while on the road? Or worse yet, trying to figure out how to repair a broken car when you should be enjoying the drive.

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Your classic car is just not going to be as reliable as a modern day Ford, Chevy or BMW. Classic cars are decades old using technology developed before you were born. And if the car you choose to drive isn’t restored, you’re not benefitting from any of today’s restoration techniques or hardware.

But that’s part of the charm of driving a classic. There is a little uncertainty mixed in with the fun of owning anything classic, whether it be a pre-war vintage or a 60s era muscle car.

With that in mind, let’s consider a few things to look out for as you plan a spring or summer trip.

First step: A tune-up

It wouldn’t hurt to start your preparations by doing a simple tune-up. Change the oil and filter, then check the spark plugs. If the plugs were changed recently or prior to the car being stored for the winter, checking gaps should be sufficient. Obviously, any suspicious carbon or oil deposits on the plugs means a problem needs to be taken care of before hitting the road. Easy things to check are clogged air filters or a problem with the fuel system. Oil on the plug is a little more serious so checking for oil leaking past valve guides or piston rings is a good bet.

Sometimes the destination can be as great as the drive.

Sometimes the destination can be as great as the drive.

Look for worn rubber

Next, take a look at all of the gaskets, seals and belts. Anything looking worn or cracked needs to be replaced. You don’t need a worst case scenario where you’re replacing a broken belt on the side of the road or in a hotel parking lot.

Check the tires and the spare

Take a look at your tires next. Always try to keep tires at the correct air pressure to minimize wear. If a car was stored through the winter months, check the tires for flat spots which can happen when a car sits in the same place for an extended period of time. Replace any tires that look worn or cracked. And last but not least, make sure you check the air pressure of the spare tire. A flat spare does nothing for you when you need it.

Make sure you can stop

The most important thing your car needs to do is stop. Yes, even more important than getting it moving. And for obvious reasons.

So let’s make some quick checks. First, make sure the fluid level in the master cylinder is at the correct level. Then check under the car and at each wheel for leaking brake fluid. New classic or vintage car owners may not know when brake pads were changed or brake lines replaced. This is time well spent to avoid any stopping problems during your travels.

Keep it running cool

Keeping your car’s engine running cool is crucial, especially if your road trip includes any summer desert driving. Hot days will quickly test a car’s cooling system. If you feel it’s necessary, you can flush the cooling system, replacing it with fresh fluid. Also check the radiator fins for debris and the radiator cap for a tight fit.

The road test

One final note while you prepare your car for the road. If you have time, take it on a long road test, driving both city streets and highway roads. The idea here is to get the car in as many road conditions as possible prior to your trip. This way you have the opportunity to see how the car operates with everything at the proper temperature. The test drive may present you with unseen gremlins that can be corrected prior to your trip.

Pick a route worthy of your classic car.

Pick a route worthy of your classic car.

The road you take makes a difference

A route that includes hills and the potential for unfavorable weather can make a road trip more difficult in a classic car. An underpowered vintage car will struggle with elevation changes, not to mention keeping up with modern day traffic on interstate highways.

Although, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider historically significant roadways as part of your trip. Route 66 sounds like a cliché but why not add it to your list of highways to try?

Roads like this can be found if you look.

Roads like this can be found if you look.

Others to consider are the Pacific Coast Highway in California, the Tail of the Dragon, which begins on the Tennessee/ North Carolina state line, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which passes through both Virginia and North Carolina.

Give yourself some leeway when heading for your next destination. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time and enjoying the drive, especially in a classic.

1957 Porsche 356 Speedster

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What other car can this be but a Porsche? Every classic car enthusiast recognizes the origins of the Porsche brand and this car speaks volumes.The 356 actually began production in Gmünd, Austria where 50 cars were built. The factory was then relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany, where production continued until it ceased in April, 1965.

The cars produced in Gmünd were made from handcrafted aluminum. Once production moved to Germany, steel was used. The early aluminum-bodied cars are commonly referred to as "prototypes."

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An interesting snippet in the history of Porsche is who manufactured the steel bodies. Porsche contracted with Reutter to build the bodies, eventually buying the company in 1963. Reutter kept making seats for Porsche, changing their name to Recaro.

What  some enthusiasts may not know is that Porsche kept the 356 in production for two years after its replacement, the 911, was introduced in 1963. Since the 356 proved to be such a resounding success among both sports car and racing enthusiasts, we can only guess it was probably difficult for Porsche to bring a great thing to an end. But they did and a classic collectable was born.

A Classic is Born Ferry Porsche knew what made the 356 special and treasured by Porsche fans. He spoke about it in the September, 1972, issue of Panorama, the PCA magazine.

“….I had always driven very speedy cars. I had an Alfa Romeo, also a BMW and others. ….By the end of the war I had a Volkswagen Cabriolet with a supercharged engine and that was the basic idea. I saw that if you had enough power in a small car it is nicer to drive than if you have a big car which is also overpowered. And it is more fun. On this basic idea we started the first Porsche prototype. To make the car lighter, to have an engine with more horsepower…that was the first two seater that we built in Carinthia (Gmünd)”.

Porsche 356 Production History There are three distinct model lines during production of the 356, known simply as the 356 A, 356 B and 356 C.

The 356 A began life in 1955, with the internal designation of "Type 1." A second version of the 356 A was introduced in early 1957 and was known as the "Type 2." The "Carrera" or four-cam engine became an option with the 356 A following its sole use in the spyder race cars.

Porsche 356 A OverviewProduction 1955–1959Engine

  • 1.3 L Type 506 B4 (1300)
  • 1.3 L Type 506/2 B4 (1300 S)
  • 1.5 L Type 547/1 B4 (Carrera 1500 GS/GT, 1955–1957)
  • 1.5 L Type 692/0 B4 (Carrera 1500 GT, 1958)
  • 1.5 L Type 692/1 B4 (Carrera 1500 GT, 1958)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/1 B4 (1600)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/2 B4 (1600 S)
  • 1.6 L Type 692/2 B4 (Carrera 1600 GS)

Transmission: Four-speed manual

Late 1959 saw the birth of the 356 B with notable styling changes and is known as the T5. In mid-1962 the 356 B became the T6 and is known for its twin grills on the engine lid, an external fuel cap on the right front fender and larger rear window.

Porsche 356 B OverviewProduction 1960–1963Engine

  • 1.6 L Type 616/1 B4 (1600)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/2 B4 (1600 S, 1960–1962)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/7 B4 (1600 Super 90)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/12 B4 (1600 S, 1962–1963)
  • 1.6 L Type 692/3 B4 (1600 Carrera GS GT, 1960)
  • 1.6 L Type 692/3A B4 (1600 Carrera GS GT, 1961)
  • 2.0 L Type 587/1 B4 (Carrera 2 GS)

Transmission: Four-speed manual

The 356 C was introduced in 1964 with the largest performance improvement being disc brakes at all four wheels. Porsche also offered a more powerful 95 hp SC engine. Even though the 911 was on sale, the 356 C was still in demand and sold in North America until 1965. Interestingly enough, the last ten 356s were produced for the Dutch police force in 1966 as 1965 models.

Porsche 356 C OverviewProduction 1964–1965Engine

  • 1.6 L Type 616/15 B4 (1600 C)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/16 B4 (1600 SC)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/26 B4 (1600 SC, police car)
  • 2.0 L Type 587/1 B4 (Carrera 2)
  • 2.0 L Type 587/2 B4 (Carrera 2)

Transmission: Four-speed manual

If you are a Porsche enthusiast and in the Minneapolis area, take advantage of what Vinty has to offer by checking out the 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster tribute car pictured above. Spring is here, isn't it?

Renting out your classic car

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Here at Vinty, we receive many questions from owners of classic cars - how does Vinty work? How can we get our car on the platform? How much money can I hope to make?This post will try to explain all of that - to give you, the classic car owner the information you need to get started with Vinty.

What is Vinty? Vinty is a marketplace that brings together classic car owners with people who want to rent classic cars.

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Why would someone want to rent my vintage car? There are a variety of reasons why people would be interested:

  • For life events such as weddings, coming of age birthday parties, graduations, etc.
  • To drive down memory lane.
  • To use the car as a prop at corporate, arts and entertainment events.
  • To take a tour in style.
  • For advertising, film, music, or other media production.
  • For photo shoots.
  • … and many other reasons that we learn about all the time.

For all these reasons, Vinty delivers a simple solution that our customers love.

Who can advertise cars on Vinty? We have taken a hybrid approach where we work with both professional rental companies as well as individual owners of classic cars.

Why you should I rent out your classic car with us. Whether you own a business renting (classic) cars or a private collector/owner, we would love to list your cars on Vinty!

On average, we generated $3,000 of rental revenue for our partners within the last six months. This income is not guaranteed, but it is relevant enough for you to try!

You stay in control. If you are a private owner, we offer the choice of two rental types: photo shoots and chauffeured rentals. You will remain in control, and no one else will drive your vehicle. This is, in our opinion, the best solution for individual owners.

How to proceed? To list your classic car on Vinty, we need a few things:

  • 5/10 high-quality pictures of your vehicle: this is vital, take every angle, every detail and go to a location with a beautiful background. We also advise you to go within an hour of sunrise or sunset for the best light.
  • Pricing: what price do you have in mind? Check out what we have on Vinty to give you an idea. Alternatively, we can put a mention "Contact us" on the listing and decide when we get a lead.
  • Your location: where is the car located and which area do you want to cover.
  • Rental type: for individuals, we have the choice between photo shoots and chauffeured rentals (or both), which one would you prefer?
  • Owner's agreement: we will send our standard agreement that we eventually need you to complete before the first rental.

What are you waiting for? Easy enough it seems, right? If you are interested or if you have any questions, please send us an email at [email protected], and we will get you started!

Wrapping Up Arizona Auction Week, 2017

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The latest Arizona auction week came to a close with what can probably be called subdued excitement. As always, the cars were thrilling, some of the prices staggering, and classic car enthusiasts were left begging for more. Over the seven day period, 3,486 cars crossed the block with nearly $260 million trading hands. When compared to 2016, there were more cars available and consequently, more sold, to the tune of $9 million more. Big numbers but that’s where excitement can be tempered a little. There was about a 12 percent increase this year in the number of cars available. The average sale price actually fell about 11 percent compared to 2016.

1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast

1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast

The rarified air was crossed by Bonhams with its sale of a 1963 Jaguar E-type lightweight for $7.37 million. RM Sotheby’s followed it up with the sale of a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster for over $6.5 million. Doing its best to not be outdone, Gooding & Co hammered a $3.3 million sale price for a 1935 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix car, pictured above. All very rare and beautiful cars.

1973 Ford Bronco

1973 Ford Bronco

One segment that proved strong is with vehicles in the low $100,000 range where most buyers reside. Trucks, such as Dodge Power Wagons and Ford Broncos, were particularly popular with nearly all going to new owners. And to get even more specific, early 1970s muscle cars such as Chargers and Challengers on up to 1980 icons like the Corvette, Mustang and Firebird, all saw higher prices than what was expected.

And the cars selling in that sub-$100K range at least seems somewhat affordable to enthusiasts. These are the classic cars we love. We either know the cars from our childhood or teenage years and would love to own one now. With that in mind, classic car fans should plan at least one trip to Scottsdale. Even if not to buy, at least take in the excitement of Arizona auction week.

All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Mike Maez and Jensen Sutta.

Vinty provides cars, ushers and coordination for a fabulous photo-shoot in Downtown Los Angeles

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Last week, Vinty assisted the Black Lemon event agency in organizing a multi-location photo-shoot for famed French luxury fashion house, Yves Saint Laurent. Black Lemon contacted us with their idea and asked if we could help. They needed cars and drivers that looked the part. We were able to do more - we coordinated with each venue to ensure parking and setting for the shoot, and identified the best routes to each location and helped to ensure that the event ran smoothly. All in all, it was a lot of fun but also hard work to make sure everything goes according to plan!

We knew starting this business that we would raise interest from brands and companies wanting to promote their product with classic cars, so it was an exciting achievement to work on this project.

We gathered our crew of drivers and cars in Marina Del Rey at 7:30 AM and convoyed to Downtown LA (aka DTLA). The plan was to pick up our guests - photographers and team from Yves Saint Laurent, along with their models - social influencers who had flown in from all around the world - from the Ace Hotel at 8:30 AM, after which we were going to several locations in DTLA for the shoot.

Our drivers were fired up. Riding in these classics is always very exciting, and ten of them cruising the streets together makes for quite a scene! From the thrill of the V8 engines of the Impala and the Mustangs to the feeling of cruising in the Cadillac Eldorado and DeVille.

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After picking them up, we split into two groups - one group was driven to the Art Share L.A gallery.

In the meantime, the other group of guests proceeded to the Order DTLA Tattoo Parlour, where they got tattooed and hung out in the artists' studio.

Lunch was held at The Row, and we then switched the groups in the afternoon. The activities finished around 4:30 PM.

With the rain starting early in LA, the driver of the one car missing wipers had to improvise a bit but hey, this what happens with 50+ years old vehicles in "sunny" California!

Overall, the day felt like a dream. Our guests were thrilled to be able to take great pictures and experience Downtown LA in legendary vintage cars. People passing by approached us to share their own stories about the cars. Being able to bring wonderful memories to each and everyone that encountered our classic autos was the cherry on the cake.

We look forward to helping with other corporate events soon, don't hesitate to contact us if you need to rent classic cars!

The Birth of the Pony Car: The Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang defines what a classic car is for many enthusiasts. It can be a serene boulevard cruiser or a ground shaking muscle car. And the passion for keeping the Mustang charm alive has initiated a rebirth of classic Mustang styling in recent model years. Just compare the 1965 fastback to today’s sixth-generation Mustang. The similarities are obvious. It seems any car with a strong cult following has a unique story worth telling. And the Ford Mustang is no exception.

The Mustang began as concepts, namely the 1962 Ford Mustang I and 1963 Ford Mustang II. The Mustang I was the most interesting of the two. It was an open cockpit two-seater with, believe it or not, a mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine. The Mustang I concept bared little resemblance to the final production car, but it was it was a fascinating design study from an American car company. Ultimately, the two concepts were used to test the public’s acceptance of a new Ford coupe.

The production car was introduced to the public in April of 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. Interestingly enough, the Ford factory was already making the car, as the automaker’s assembly line had ramped up the previous month.

Sales of the Mustang actually began five months prior to the normal start of the 1965 production year. Thus, among Mustang aficionados, the first cars are commonly referred to as 1964½ models. But to Ford, the Mustang was advertised, VIN coded and titled as 1965 models.

The Mustang hit the ground running, opening to rave reviews around the country, which included 2,600 publicity articles in newspapers. A convertible even appeared in the James Bond film, “Goldfinger,” in September of 1964.

The initial plan for the Mustang was for it to be strictly a two-seater. But after realizing how well the Thunderbird did following its change to a 2+2, the Mustang design changed as well to include front bucket seats and a rear bench seat. The additional Fastback model was introduced in August of 1965.

As one of the most requested cars on Vinty, the mystique of the Ford Mustang is just as strong as ever. There are several to choose from including this beautiful 1965 Fastback to the car pictured above, a 1966 convertible.

Your wedding made perfect with a Rolls Royce Bentley

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More often than not, wedding planning does not include the car to transport bride and groom from the ceremony to the reception.An unforgettable day is in need of a romantic, memorable drive in a classic car. Thus, Vinty has made available a 1950 Rolls Royce Bentley, as well as other classic wedding cars, for just such a purpose.

This particular Bentley is also known as the Silver Dawn and with only 760 cars produced between 1949 and 1955, it is, of course, considered quite rare. When the car was introduced, the Silver Dawn was meant to be an export-only model, with the majority of cars manufactured as left hand drive models.

The Silver Dawn was a mildly restyled Mark VI with the only difference being the R-R logo, a different bonnet and a square radiator. The Bentley Mark VI was later replaced by the Bentley R which was characterized by a larger boot. Consequently, the Silver Dawn evolved as it was now based off the Bentley R. But Bentley didn’t think it required a name change thus among enthusiasts and owners, it became known as either the “small boot” or “big boot” Silver Dawn.

A classic such as a Bentley makes a great statement as this vintage motor car was seemingly built with a wedding day in mind. Any bride and groom can take a breather from the day’s events with a relaxing drive on the way to their reception.

Vinty’s 1950 Rolls Royce will definitely provide an amazing ride but includes additional luxury appointments such as air conditioning, a well-dressed chauffeur, a red carpet upon arrival and complimentary champagne or cider for toasting.

Vinty’s brand is all about connecting you and your passions with the best classic cars available. How better to do that than on your wedding day?

This Bentley is available for your wedding in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. Contact Vinty today and make a classic car part of your wedding plans.

Unrestored 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster secures high auction price

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The romance of the barn find tugs at the hearts of every car enthusiast. If we only had an uncle who drove a classic Bugatti or Maserati on the weekends, only to park it 40 years ago and never touch it again. Then, upon his death, your name appears in his will, bestowing the priceless classic in your name. Again, if only...A very personal relationship Well, this is a similar story. This 1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster was purchased by John Casper in 1957 and driven about 1,700 miles a year until 1975.

The invoice shows a purchase date of May 31, 1957, from Shakespeare Motors in Hoopeston, Illinois. And in case you’re wondering, John was the first and only owner of this Porsche.

John enjoyed his Porsche and was regularly seen driving the car. Although never driven on a track or raced, the car is adorned with Road American stickers as John attended numerous Porsche Club of America events.

Parked but not forgotten Unfortunately, after driving and enjoying the car for 18 years, John was unable to drive it anymore and it was put into storage.

John was a true Porsche enthusiast. He cared for the car as evidenced by the availability of the original service booklet and service stickers on the door jamb. In addition, John only drove the Porsche during the summer months, away from the wet Chicago winter’s and helped keep it rust free.

John passed away about five years ago. A lifelong family friend acquired the Porsche from the estate in 2016. The new owner, when reviewing the car’s documentation, found the original title which everyone had feared was lost.

Rarity is increasingly hard to find The incredible condition of this car and its rarity is becoming increasingly difficult to find. This “barn find” Porsche 356A sold at Auction America’s Hilton Head event for $665,500, well over the expected selling price. The new owner is fortunate. As enthusiasts, we can only hope the car is restored to its original condition.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Auctions America