Category Archives: Blog

Iconic Cars That Were the Real Stars of The (TV) Show

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Category : Blog

There have been a great many really great cars that have practically become a member of the cast of TV shows over the years. Some however, really have attained icon status and can truly be considered the most famous cars in TV history. These excellent automobiles would be our choice for the best of the famous cars from TV shows. How many do you remember? What other star vehicles would you add to the list?

KITT

 

1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from ‘Knight Rider’

Most people did not even know what kind of car KITT was, and to be honest, they really didn’t care, ‘he’ was just cool. KITT could could vault over any obstacle, speed safely through a veritable sea of bullets and capture the bad guys. But his best quality perhaps was his ability to deflate Michael Knight’s sometimes over blown ego with just a single sarcastic remark.

1986 Ferrari Testarossa from ‘Miami Vice’

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‘Miami Vice’ was responsible for more than a few not so great looks – the loafer with no socks thing, designer stubble, pastel suits worn with t shirts – but the Ferrari that Sonny Crockett sped around in is a timeless classic.

The Testarossa was actually the second iconic car that Don Johnson got to pose prettily in. In the first season, Crockett drove a ’72 Ferrari Daytona Spyder, an even cooler car some might say. Unfortunately that baby got blown up by a rocket launcher and the then practically brand new car was drafted in to replace it. And the sight of Crockett cruising along in its pristine whiteness is an image burned into the memories of millions as one of the most memorable symbols of the ‘me’ decade.

1975 Ford Gran Torino from ‘Starsky and Hutch’

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This car became such a large part of what is still one of the best ‘buddy cop’ shows ever made that it is actually pretty hard to picture either David Soul or Paul Michael Glaser without their speedy FoMoCo coming to mind as well.

The car actually helped boost sales of the car in general, and Ford even managed to sell out of the 1,000 special editions they produced that were clones of TV car in a matter of months.

1983 GMC G15 Van from ‘The A-Team’

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Who would ever have imagined that a GMC cargo van would become one of the best known vehicles in TV history, let alone one of the coolest? Would four real life mercenaries/crime fighters actually drive around in a windowless black van with a very noticeable red spoiler? Probably not, but realism was never exactly a part of the ‘A Team’ was it? We still know a few people who have their own version of an A team van on the road (and we pass no judgments).

1983 Ferrari 308 GTS from ‘Magnum P.I.’

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OK, so yes, Tom Selleck was cool, witty and handsome in a rather hairy 80s way, but Magnum wasn’t the star of the show, his bosses car was.

Thanks in large part to the red beauty’s appearance in the show, Ferrari sold more than 12,000 copies of the 308 GTS, making it one of the most popular models the Italian carmaker has ever produced. Fortunately the 308 still look classy and stylish today, which is more than can be said for the floral Hawaiian camp shirts that also enjoyed a huge in spike in sales at the height of Magnum’s popularity.

1969 Dodge Charger from ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’

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It would be impossible to make a list like this one and not put the General Lee right at the very top. According to John Schneider (Bo) though, there were a lot of versions of the bright orange hoopty, as, by his conservative estimate, more than three hundred such cars were wrecked by the stunt crew over the course of the show’s original six year run.


Your Credit And Auto Insurance Score – Is It Costing You A Fortune And You Didn’t Even Know?

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The business of credit scoring can be a rather confusing one for consumers to navigate and understand. Most people are aware of the fact though that their credit score can affect their ability to get loans of all kinds – everything from a small personal loan or a credit card to a larger loan like a car loan or a mortgage. What they may not realize though is that these days when it comes to car insurance credit scores are very important as well.

Why Do Car Insurance Companies Care About Credit Scores?

Over the last several years car insurance companies have been giving an increased amount of weight to a person’s credit score in order to come up with a premium level for their car insurance. This comes as a surprise to many people. Surely they should care about a good driving record and a safe car, not whether or not a drivers pays their credit card bill on time very month? And what possible link could there be between the chance that their home will damaged and their credit score? And how do they come up with this auto insurance score for you?

Insurance companies do still care about all of that of course but their new reliance on credit scoring comes down to insurance companies love of statistics. According to the insurance companies there is research that suggests that a person who is very good with their finances – it has a good credit score – is more likely to be more responsible in other areas of their life including more careful when they are out on the road behind the wheel of a car.

Insurance Scores Explained

To determine how to price their policies the insurance companies now use what is referred to as an insurance credit score. Actually most use two insurance scores for each consumer – one for car insurance and one for home insurance. Most of it is calculated according to the information on your credit report in the case of home insurance and in the case of auto insurance your driving record and the information on your credit report are both taken into account. These scores are then added to what is called a CLUE report. These reports are then the ones used by insurance companies to calculate insurance premiums and they also contain information about employment history and past residence information and even your grades in high school or college!

Getting Your CLUE Report

If you will be buying a new car insurance policy soon you may want to know just what is on your CLUE report and just what your insurance credit score is, in the same way as you would want to know what your current credit score is before you apply for a mortgage.

It is possible to gain access to a copy of your CLUE reports free of charge. You can request copies of both the auto and the home report by going to personalreports.lexisnexis.com. The problem is, all you will see on these reports are claims histories. You are not shown your insurance credit score or any information about how your credit score is affecting your insurance score. What that actually is is something that only the insurance company knows unless they take an adverse action action you (deny you coverage or increase premiums) because of it in which case federal law states that it must be provided to you.

Insurance Scores and Controversy

The fact that insurance companies use an auto insurance score related to people’s credit to help them set premium rates has been a matter of great controversy. Not everyone who has a poor credit score is a poor financial manager. A personal crisis like a job loss or illness can have a serious impact, albeit a temporary one, on a person’s finances and their ability to pay all their bills on time. Therefore many people, including a number of politicians, feel that the use of credit scores to help calculate insurance scores unfairly targets lower income individuals.

Some states have actually banned insurance companies that operate in their state from using credit scoring at all when calculating insurance premiums. Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts and Maryland all ban the use of credit scoring for most types of insurance policy and California bans its use for automobile insurance. Other states put limits on how much weight an insurance company is supposed to be allowed to put on insurance scores.

Consumers all over the country do have the right to complain about unfair treatment and inaccurate entries on their CLUE reports and have their claims investigated. Many people begin by speaking with the insurance companies themselves but that does not always get them very far. At this point the best course of action is for the consumer to contact their state insurance investigator’s office and ask them to begin an inquiry.

Improving Your Insurance Credit Score

Making an effort to improve your credit score should have a positive impact on your insurance credit score as well. You should also order the free CLUE reports that the law says you are entitled to once a year and go through them carefully to look for mistakes. In the case of an auto CLUE report for instance there is often a section that is headed ‘Possible Claims’ that are based only on a search of last name and address. So if yours is a common last name you may end up having a claim listed that was actually made by someone else once living at the same address and be paying top dollar for your car insurance because of this mistake!


Gearing Up For The Glitziest Race Of All – The 2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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NASCAR is great, but if you truly enjoy seeing state of the art cars compete at beyond breakneck speed then Formula 1 is the sport for you. And the Monaco Grand Prix is perhaps the grandest and most celebrated of the season’s Formula One races. The biggest stars come out to watch the proceedings, proceedings that span the whole weekend and a walk around the city can bring you into contact with some of the most beautiful super-cars in the world, just parked, waiting for heir owners to return. For one weekend a year, Monaco becomes a motoring mecca, and this year – the race is scheduled for May 26th-29th, 2016 – is no different.

The Challenge for the Drivers

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The Monaco Grand Prix course itself is the shortest, slowest circuit in the annual Formula One Series, but that does not mean that it is without its unique challenges. The first is the course route itself, winding as it does through the narrow confines of the city streets, with the cars running most of the time just inches away from the guardrail. Drivers literally have to be inch perfect to stay on track and in the race and there is zero room for error.

A driver must make over 130 significant and timely steering moves on each of the 78 laps of the race, and over the duration they will have to change gear more than 4,000 times. The asphalt surface is smooth, perhaps the smoothest terrain to tackle all season, but it is not without it surprising bumps. British driver Jensen Button, who won the race in 2009, calls it the ‘greatest challenge’ of the Formula One calendar and there are no doubt plenty of others who agree with him.

The Challenge for the Spectators

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The Monaco Grand Prix does present something of a challenge for the spectators present as well. Monaco is a tiny place – 2sq km – and the usually rather densely populated town is simply packed on race weekend, so roadside viewing is only for those willing to navigate tightly packed crowds for a half glimpse st the cars as they zoom around the rack.

As race veterans will tell you, the best way to see the Monaco Grand Prix action is from the water. This means that the yacht charter business kicks into high gear and some former F1 drivers have even got in on the action, using their knowledge of the race and its course to provide the best charters that can promise excellent views of all the action as well as a great time on board a very nice yacht. All of this comes at a price though, as the average rate for a four day trip – as watching the qualifiers is as important as seeing the race itself – is around €50,000 to €70,000.

Car Spotting

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Most of the best hotel rooms available in the city on race weekend are taken by the wealthiest racegoers as well as by the drivers and their entourage as well. That means that a stroll around the streets will bring you into contact with some of the most expensive and beautiful cars in the world. And the traffic jams you will see are unlike any other, as Bugatti Veyrons line up behind a plethora of different Porsches, who are vying for position with the highest end BMWs and Audis. For the ‘everyday onlooker’ it is certainly one heck of a photo op if nothing else….


Bad Parking Pictured: This is How Russians React if You Park Like an A**hole

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Floridians are not always known as the best, or most patient drivers. Usually we blame the tourists though. Scratched car paint (which is why paint protection like Invisbra is a must), bumped fenders, massive traffic jams and pretty nasty roads, we have to deal with it all in South Florida right? And then there’s bad parking.

You hate the selfish idiots who park in stupid places. We hate ’em too. But apparently the Russians really hate them, as it seems they really have made punishing bad – or just downright selfish -parking into something of a (slightly evil) art. Call a tow truck? Point out the violation to a passing parking warden? Leave a nasty note? Nope, none of that is apparently enough for some angry Russian motorists, as the pictures below demonstrate very clearly.

From dousing cars with paint, to blocking them in in very inventive ways to actually moving them out of the way to a more convenient place (but less convenient for the offender) these angry Russian motorists certainly got their own back. Would you ever go this far?

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Paint Protection and Rim Repair. The Best Job In the World?

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Maybe one of the best things about what we do at Classic Touch of South Florida is the number of amazing cars we are privileged to be entrusted with in order to provide both paint protection and rim repair, rim straightening and wheel repair.   Just take a look at some of the beauties we have had in the shop recently.


World’s Most Impressive Police (Super)Cars

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Police cars are no usually the most exciting cars in the world. Or are they? U.S police cars may be pretty dull, if solid, vehicles, but elsewhere in the world the cops get to rock some rather splendid rides.  Here are some of the most impressive police cars in service with police departments from all over the world:

Dubai 

Everything in Dubai is BIG and EXPENSIVE. The world’s tallest hotel is there, as is the world’s largest mall and the world’s most expensive car dealership. Therefore the fact that the police have some very nice cars is really not a surprise. And to be honest, it all makes sense. If the speeder you want to ticket is in a Ferrari or an Aston (both very commonly seen on streets of Dubai along with every other supercar you can name) , pulling up in a clapped out Ford to do so would be rather laughable. 

Therefore the Dubai force make great use of customized cars, specifically, customized Lamborghini Aventadors, resprayed to reflect the department’s official colors and modified to accommodate the odd bad guy or two. 

Russia 



Most people probably imagine that the Russian police man the streets in beat up old Ladas, many because that it how it tends to be as depicted in most Western spy films. That however is not the case, or at least in the Russian cities. There the Porsche Cayenne is standard police issue and actually apparently makes a rather efficient, if overly luxurious, emergency vehicle.

UK



British police departments are divided regionally and some of them boast some very impressive supercars. The Jaguar XFs are in  service in the South of England even have souped up V8 engines that output a respectable 300-horsepower. The West Midlands police get around in Lotus Evoras that were donated to them by the company. And even the standard urban British police car is something of a stunner, a BMW 330d Saloon Interceptor tuned up and tweaked by BMW of England so that the cars are more efficient in high speed pursuits. 

Germany 


The autobahns of Germany are the fastest public highways in the world. In essence the real speed limit on many sections could be aptly described as ’10 kph faster than your car can go’. Therefore whatever police car is supposed to oversee traffic safety is going to have to be pretty speedy themselves. 

Fortunately for the German police they are – these guys get to ride around in customized Porsche 911s. The only question we have about these posh police cars though is if an offender needs a ride to the station and they are more than about three feet tall just where are you going to put them? 


What Does Your Car’s Paint Color Say About You?

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If you know a thing or two about colors you may know who Leatrice Eiseman is. If you don’t, the lady is the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and considered to be one of the foremost experts in the world on the subject. Every January everyone from fashion designers to car manufacturers pays attention to what she happens to feel are the ‘hot’ colors for the coming year. And she has had a thing or two to say about car paint color in general as well. 

According to Ms. Eiseman, people, when shopping for a new ride, are drawn to car colors that reflect their personality. The following, she says, is how car colors and car owners usually match up: 

Silver: Elegant, cool, loves futuristic things. 
White: Fastidious
Red: Sexy, speedy, high-energy and dynamic
Light to Mid-Blue: Cool, calm, faithful, quiet
Dark Blue: Credible, confident, dependable
Taupe/Light Brown: Timeless, basic and simple tastes
Black: Empowered, not easily manipulated, loves elegance, appreciates classics
Neutral Gray: Sober, corporate, practical, pragmatic
Dark Green: Traditional, trustworthy, well-balanced
Bright Yellow-Green: Trendy, whimsical, lively
Yellow Gold: Intelligent, warm, comfort food lover. 
Sunshine Yellow: Sunny disposition, joyful, young at heart
Deep Brown: Down-to-earth, no-nonsense
Orange: Fun loving, talkative, fickle and trendy
Deep Purple: Creative, individualistic, original

So how well does your car’s color reflect who you really are? Whatever it is though any car’s paint finish, if not properly protected, will fade over time, so that sleek, sexy red may eventually become a lot less appealing. Classic Touch of South Florida’s Invisibra Paint Protection system can help prevent car paint from fading, cracking, peeling and from the everyday hazards a car faces every day on the roads, preventing a sexy, speedy, high-energy and dynamic ride from becoming a washed out, sad old mess. 




Are Your Headlights Aging Badly? Headlight Protection is the Answer

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As we age most of us find that our vision is not quite what it used to be. The same actually also holds true of a car’s headlights. 

The vast majority of the cars and trucks manufactured over the last two decades leave the assembly line with a plastic cover over the headlamp fixture. In the old days it used to actually be made of glass, but most vehicle makers have made a wholesale switch to plastic, citing safety (broken glass at the scene of an accident is more dangerous than plastic) and cost issues. 

There is nothing really wrong with this, except for the fact that over the years unprotected plastic headlight covers tend to become cloudy, however much you clean them. This is because of the lens coating that was applied when the car was made. Initially it is there to help protect the headlights from scratching but as it ages it also oxidizes, resulting in a permanently cloudy appearance that reduces the effectiveness of the headlamps themselves. Which is a real safety hazard. 

Minor headlight fogging is not that hard to fix, as the vast majority of common car polishes will remove most the oxidation, with a bit of effort and a little elbow grease. It is only a temporary fix though and eventually the oxidation will eat through the plastic itself, leaving you with an expensive bill for headlight replacement on your hands. 

There is a way to prevent all of this though, active headlight protection. A part of Classic Touch of South Florida’s Invisibra system is headlight protection using XPEL’s Ultimate Paint Protection Film. Precision cut film, matched perfectly to your car’s headlights, is applied that then provides protection from oxidation, fogging and scratching for eight years and or even longer, guaranteed. 

Learn more about Invisibra and our XPEL Ultimate Paint Protection headlight protection system. 


Everyday Hazards You May Not Realize are Killing Your Car Paint

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Everyone knows that keeping the paint on your vehicle in the best possible shape is important to its appearance and its potential resale value, but it also is the only barrier between the sheet metal and the elements, so damaged car paint can also damage the car in general. 

Some things can obviously easily damage car paint – gravel roads, parking lot dings, an angry ex with a key – but some of the thing that regularly damage car paint are less than obvious. 

Tree Sap – Do you ever park your vehicle under a tree, or several trees? If so then it is at risk for damage from tree sap. Wiping it off usually does not work very well either as it tends to just smear and get rubbed even deeper into the porous paint where it will slowly eat away at it. 

Bugs – Florida has bugs, lots of bugs and many of them meet their end by crashing into a car. The nasty mess that is left behind after a bug/vehicle collision is more than just ugly though. Bug guts, for want of a better description, are acidic, so will begin eating into your paint right away. 

Sprinklers – Do your lawn sprinklers reach as far the driveway where you park your car, even if the spray is very light? If so you are damaging your car’s paint this way as well. How could plain water cause car paint damage? Because standard household water is chock full of minerals, many of which are not at all paint friendly. 

Jokers – Have you ever let your car get dirty enough that some joker has written ‘Wash me’ in the dirt? Or your kids have figured out that the dirty surface makes a great drawing board? Such things seem easy enough to wipe off, but dirt acts a lot like sandpaper when it’s dragged across car paint, which can make the marks last long after the dirt is gone.

Regular waxing can help protect your car paint from these – and all of the other – hazards that it faces every day, but that is a temporary, time consuming and ultimately expensive solution. Car paint protection in the form of Invisbra obviously involves a higher initial investment than a can of wax, but it lasts an awful lot longer and provides far more comprehensive protection. You can even still wax your car occasionally if you like, but whether you chose to or not Invisibra is there at all times, defending your car’s paint for years. Guaranteed. 

Learn more about Classic Touch of South Florida’s Invisibra car paint protection system. 


1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T Spyder Becomes the World’s Most Valuable Ferrari

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The world’s highest priced Ferrari has just been auctioned off for a cool $27.5 million, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T Spyder. 

The car is one of ten that were produced and, believe it or not, really is a one owner from new vehicle, even though Steve McQueen once tried to buy it off that owner, Eddie Smith Sr, a Ferrari collector and businessman from North Carolina, as he had crashed and totaled his own. 

Smith however preferred to hold on to it and apparently continued to drive it regularly up until his passing six years ago. His son, Eddie Smith Jr, decided to sell though, and donate the proceeds of the sale to charity. The winning bidder was Tommy Hillfiger exec Lawrence Stroll who now owns the second most expensive car ever sold at auction, behind only Fangio’s $29.6 million 1954 Mercedes W196 racer. So what do you think, did he get his money’s worth?