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Cruising classic cars

I have a soft spot for classic cars. It's probably partially a result of my father and partially a result of growing up in the Midwest, where celebrating automobiles seems to be a way of life. I don't know—there's just something about seeing a well-maintained vintage ride rolling down the road that makes me smile.

I know I'm not the only person that feels that way, as there are plenty of classic car shows all around the country. If you've ever been to one of the bigger events, you might have seen J.C. Taylor there. J.C. Taylor processes and handles the underwriting for Foremost's Collectible Auto program. So when the residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan had their big 28th Street Metro Cruise, I not only had the opportunity to take pictures of some lovely rides, I was able to chat with Dave Pettine and Neil Roberts, underwriters for J.C. Taylor who came from the metro-Philadelphia area to work the show. Here's what they had to say:

Why is it important for you to come out to these shows?

Dave: As underwriters, it's important for us to get in front of hobbyists and potential customers, to put a face to our clients and to answer any technical questions people may have about policies.

Neil: And it's really important for us as a company to get the word out about our insurance and to support the hobby.

How big is the hobby?

Dave: It's much bigger than you'd expect. I didn't realize how big it was until I joined J.C. Taylor. A lot of people across this country love classic cars.

Neil: And you can't forget about the sub-genres inside the hobby—hot-rod, pre-war antiques, muscle cars, imports—you name it. The sheer number of niches can make the hobby seem and feel even bigger.

Do you encounter a lot of your customers at the shows you attend?

Dave: We will talk with a few at every show. And hopefully our conversations will entice a few others to contact us about a quote.

How many shows do you go to a year?

Neil: Each underwriter will attend about seven to ten. We do have a couple employees outside of the underwriting department that are assigned to more, but we personally travel to seven to ten.

Dave: Our last show was the Back to the Fifties weekend in Minneapolis. That was in June and featured over 11,000 street and hot rods.

How does the 28th Street Metro Cruise compare to the other shows you go to?

Dave: This is very different from the shows I attend. It's the only cruise. (Other employees attend the other cruises.) And this is a cruise set along one of the busiest stretches of road in this area. You not only see the cars in motion, but they're alongside the commuters and regular traffic going down the road. It's actually nice to see the cars in motion. Most of the shows I attend, the cars are all parked at a fairground or convention center.

Neil: This is a great community and family event as well. A lot of the shows we attend we'll interact only with hobbyists, but here, we see a lot of kids, a lot of people who don't own classic cars and a lot of dogs. Really, probably the most dogs of any car show.

Check out some of the sights below:

Here is a video from prior event:

Your safety is important to us. Stay safe out there as your cruising to your next show.

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