American Collectors Insurance

February 2013 | Issue #14

What’s in a name?
Stingray & The Lincoln Motor Company monikers resurrected.

We are proud to feature guest writer Jeff Glucker, Executive Editor of influential automotive blog on the much anticipated reveal of the next generation Corvette and new Lincoln nameplate. Whether or not the new cars become classics like their namesakes remains to be seen, but these (re)launches certainly dominated the automotive press recently.

Detroit, Michigan It’s dark outside and the ground is wet from rain. A non-descript warehouse on the outskirts of downtown sits like a gloomy fortress hiding in the shadows of night. It’s the evening before the start of the press preview of the 2013 North American International Auto Show, but there’s already some automotive action stirring inside that warehouse.

The crowd is packed in tight, because there’s a new star in attendance. Lights up, cover pulled back, and those attending go wild. It’s the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, and it has finally arrived.

The C7 takes center stage amongst the previous generations of Corvettes. Did you know the most popular Corvette model year we insure is the 1978?

Nearly everything about the car is new… with one major exception. Chevrolet is rolling out a very iconic name for the all-new 2014 Corvette. Like the 1963 Corvette before it, the new Corvette sports the “Stingray” badge. That’s right, the Stingray name is back, and it’s being applied to the standard, base model Corvettes.

Chevrolet brought the very first Corvette to life back in 1953. That car is referred to as C1, as it’s the first generation Corvette. Now in 2013, we’re staring at the C7, and it’s a bit of wild child. General Motors needed to push the edge in terms of exterior styling, and the automaker has done just that. There are extreme lines everywhere you look, but it’s still clearly a Corvette… and that’s exactly as it should be. Vents, creases, and bold works of sculpture define the outside of the newest Corvette. We’ve come a long way from 1953. Heck, we’ve come a long way from the 2013 Corvette.

Innovations abound not just under the hood, but in the cabin space as well. Traditionally considered a weak link of any Corvette made in the past 30 years, the interior is now on par with the rest of the car. It’s a truly driver-focused cockpit that wraps around the person in charge. Optional sport seats provide an extra level of support and comfort, and should be one of the most common options ticked off on the order form.

On the outside, Chevrolet employed a few 21st-century tricks to the skin of the new Corvette. Carbon fiber plays a major role on the C7, as both the removable roof panel and hood utilize the material. Elsewhere there is a significant use of lightweight composite material, and even the base model’s frame is made from aluminum. All of this helps keep weight down, and lets the new 450-hp LT1 motor push the car to a 0-60 mile per hour run that lasts less than four seconds.

If the Stingray is the base model, can you imagine what the rest of the family is going to be like?

An old name for a new Lincoln?

Lincoln is refreshed but never lost steam with many classic car fans.

Chevrolet has some company in the “what’s old is new again” game. In weeks leading up to the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, another classic American marque was busy dusting off an old name. I’m thinking of course, of Lincoln — or more accurately, The Lincoln Motor Company. According to their newest commercial, FoMoCo’s repurposing of the Lincoln brand’s original four-word name from 1917 is about “moving forward, by looking back….”

It’s an interesting marketing move, especially for a brand that seems to have lost much of the luster of the 1950s Continental Mark II coupes and the “suicide door” Continental hardtops and convertibles of the 1960s. Though the revamped MKZ sedan certainly looks promising, only time will tell if digging up a name from the past means a brighter future for Lincoln.

Think the new Stingray or MKZ are future classics? Or perhaps even instant classics? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.


Feel free to send your comments, questions or ideas for future articles to  To make changes or updates to your policy, click here to log in to manage your policy or create an account.


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My Cool Ride of the Year – 2012 Winner

Every week, American Collectors selects one policyholder’s vehicle submission as our “Cool Ride of the Week” from the countless entries. Then, at the start of the year, we have a people’s choice battle royale between the winners of the preceding 52 weeks.

As the polls closed on our “2012 Coolest Ride of the Year” contest, it looked like one car had built up an insurmountable lead from the start and this proved to be true. Indeed, the 1968 custom Corvette convertible owned by Alan and Veda Chambers of Newark, DE maintained its edge over the competition down the homestretch and is our big winner for 2012.

Even if you think you know C3 Corvettes, this car offers surprises at every turn. For example, the L88 hood may be original, but what lies beneath it is decidedly not — a GM 454 HO motor that’s been blue printed by ACA Performance to put down a dyno-verified 550 lb tq at the rear wheels.

The paint job might be the biggest clue that this is not your average C3. A stunning pearlescent “Storm Blue” (actually a Mazda color), the multi-stage paint was applied over the car’s body after a week’s worth of sanding.

You might also notice that the car lacks the signature “pop up” headlights that marked the C2 through C5 generation cars. While the car was configured this way when the Chambers acquired the car in 2002, Alan has upgraded the “through the grille” quad headlight set up to ultra-bright HID bulbs. A set of LED taillights in OEM-look housings completes the better-than-period-correct lighting package.

Soon after acquiring the car he joined the forum to obtain more info on Corvettes. Twelve years later he now owns the forum and is able to help other C3 owners all over the world.

Except for the engine and paintwork, Alan has done all the work on the car himself, including installation of a completely new wiring harness, air conditioning, all-new interior, modern suspension and a TKO-600 5sp transmission. It may seem hard to believe, but, this fiberglass sensation was his first Corvette ever; though he’s since added two more C3s: a modified 1973 that’s had a frame-off restoration and a rare ’77 that’s as close to original as they come.

Alan reports that the blue ’68 is the one he takes out most often, sometimes trailering it to a scenic destination and then exploring roads with his wife and other Corvette-owning friends. The Chambers have been American Collectors Insurance customers for as long as they have owned the car and insure all their Vettes with the company.

Congratulations Alan and Veda on your win! May you enjoy many happy miles together.

Click here to view more photos of our Coolest Ride of 2012 winner.


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