What is the History of Grundy Insurance? By Jim Grundy
The automobile has been around for a little over 100 years now, and the industry has produced over 3,000 models of rolling art that capture the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide. From early “Brass Era” cars, to the great Classics, to the latest supercars, the pleasures and values of these wonderful machines are diverse. The owners must calculate the pleasures, but the Grundy family has an understanding of the values of these special cars and how to protect them that is almost genetic.
In 1906, recognizing the automobile’s potential, my great grandfather Colonel Samuel Baily purchased the Pullman Carriage Works/Motor Company and began manufacturing very expensive and powerful touring cars in York, Pennsylvania. They were very successful, and Pullman began racing cars to prove their reliability and speed. The Colonel's son, Samuel E. Baily, competed but broke his back in a crash, ending his racing career. However, Sam continued in automotive manufacturing in the 1930's, which produced metal scrap which he regularly delivered and sold in Philadelphia. It was on one of those trips to the scrap yards that Sam salvaged his first vintage car and started a lifelong hobby.
Wealthy people were donating their out-of-style cars to be recycled for the war effort. Sam saw a 1909 Pierce Arrow about to be destroyed and traded his load of scrap for the car, which he painstakingly restored to its original condition. (I own this car today, which is recognized as the first vehicle ever to be restored for historic preservation.) Other enthusiasts saw Sam’s car and persuaded him to restore or locate cars for them. As the hobby and its members’ collections grew, they began showing their cars and eventually created the Antique Automobile Club of America in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
After the war Sam’s daughter Patty, my Mom, met and married my Dad, Jim Grundy, Sr., who had started a small insurance agency with money from the G.I. bill. Dad naturally wanted to insure his father-in-law's manufacturing business, but Sam told him he could have his business only if he could insure his collection of rarely driven antique cars at low rates. Dad succeeded, inventing Agreed Value Coverage In 1947. These first antique car policies featured agreed value coverage, one liability charge for an entire collection of cars, and low rates -- all of which are key components of today’s collector car insurance industry.
Dad didn’t envision the hobby growing to its current size and scope, but today there are nearly 20 million antique, classic, muscle cars and street rods on the road. Grundy now insures hundreds of thousands of individual collector vehicles as well as many important automobile collections. As a testimony to our expertise, Grundy has insured the last seven years’ U.S. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winners – the top cars in the world.
Located just north of Philadelphia, the James A. Grundy Agency, Inc., The Olde Original, was established in 1947. Today, collectors and their brokers consider Grundy to be the preeminent agency for serving the serious collector.
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