The James A. Grundy Agency is "The Olde Original" of Car Insurance
In 1906, Colonel Samuel Baily purchased the Pullman Carriage Works/Motor Company envisioning that the emerging automobile industry offered tremendous opportunities and the potential for profits. He hired several great automotive engineers of the time, and the company began turning out a line of very expensive and powerful touring cars in York, Pennsylvania. In York, which was rapidly becoming overwhelmed by the Pullman factories, people believed the town would evolve into what Detroit has become today.
Colonel Baily rarely drove in one of his cars and always relied on a horse-drawn carriage as a safer mode of transportation. He sold the company, in 1913, realizing a significant profit. The new owners tried to produce a more pedestrian line of vehicles to compete with Ford "Model T," and this ultimately led to the company's decline and bankruptcy.
During the Baily years, they raced cars regularly to prove their reliability and speed. This enamored the Colonel's son, Samuel E. Baily, and he began racing cars and eventually motorcycles. During one of his motorcycle races he crashed and broke his back, which ended his racing career. Following in his father's footsteps, Sam began an automotive enterprise by building truck bodies in the 1930's and was a pioneer of insulated and refrigerated trucks. One of the primary byproducts of his business was scrap sheet metal. Sam regularly delivered the scrap metal to the Philadelphia scrap yards, where he sold it for pocket money.
It was on one of those trips to the scrap yards that Sam's hobby and love of vintage cars began. The war effort had begun, and supportive wealthy people were donating their out-of-style cars for scrap. Brass Era vehicles were being broken down and recycled into military equipment.
Sam saw a 1909 Pierce Arrow, not dissimilar to the Pullman in style, about to go in to the crusher and traded his load of scrap for the car. Back at the truck plant, Sam and his men painstakingly restored the Pierce to its original condition. The car is owned by Jim Grundy, today, and is recognized as the first vehicle ever to be restored for historic preservation.
Other enthusiasts saw what Sam had done and persuaded him to restore or locate cars for them. At the time the hobby was only for the wealthy who had money to waste fixing up the "old junk." Among Sam's early compatriots was Henry Austin Clark (who built the Long Island Automotive Museum) and Briggs Cunningham, who was famous for the racing cars of the 1950's which bear his name.
As the hobby and its members grew, they began showing their cars in a special class at the Devon Horse Show in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the "horse people" were annoyed by the noise of the cars, and the "car guys" moved their meet to Hershey, Pennsylvania-- the site of the AACA Fall Meet which, today, is the biggest antique car show and swap meet in the country.
After the war, Sam's daughter, Patty, met and married Jim Grundy, Sr. who had started a small insurance agency with the money he earned from the government under the G.I. bill.
Jim naturally wanted to insure his father-in-law's truck business, but it wasn't as easy as just asking. Sam told him he could have the truck company insurance business when he could also give him a policy that would insure the investment he was putting into his collection of antique cars and charge him low rates because he used them sparingly.
Jim succeeded; and in 1947, the first antique policy was written.
coverage, a single liability charge for a entire collection of cars, and low rates -- all of which are the key components that the collector car insurance industry offers collectors today.
Jim insured Sam and his friends but rarely advertised his policy, thinking the hobby would never be big enough to cover the cost of advertising. To Jim Sr.'s surprise, today there are nearly 20 million antique, classic, muscle cars and street rods on the road. Under the guidance of Jim Grundy Jr., the current company President, Grundy Insurance has continued to grow and service the insurance needs of today's collectors.
Today, we insure more than ever!
Most recently, Grundy Insurance has expanded and offers more insurance than ever before. Today, Grundy uses the Agreed Value endorsement that James Grundy, Sr. created in the 1940's to cover all motorized vehicles, boats, special collections, homes and more. Please explore our website to learn more.