James-Wahl Motors

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  1. James-Wahl Motors

    70's Chrysler Daily Driver?

    Well, it happened today. I did NOT get the call. Probably a good thing
  2. James-Wahl Motors

    70's Chrysler Daily Driver?

    I had a '78 Newport with a 360 as daily driver for a couple years. It had over 100K on it, but was well maintained and I had no problems to speak of, even with the Lean Burn. It was a comfortable car and ran smooth. Even did a couple cross country trips, and towed with it once or twice. I always thought the New Yorkers of that era looked nice. I haven't had to source parts for one for a while, but I don't see why one wouldn't be a viable and affordable driver. On a somewhat related note, my parents had a rent-a-car franchise in the mid/late '70s stocked with Plymouths. I remember them saying the Volares were a lot of trouble but the Furys were good. There is probably a really clean low-mile 78ish Newport still lurking in a garage at the end of my block. The owners retired to Europe and the building has been vacant. Wondering if I'm going to get that call someday...
  3. James-Wahl Motors

    383 with a 727 torqueflite trans.

    Neat car. Looks good to me - except the pop-riveted (and painted over) VIN tag is a little fishy. I can't see what that car could be hiding, though, and it's not uncommon for those to fall off. I've had a couple 383s, and I'll agree with all the positive comments. I think they might even be the "sweet spot" compared to other B/RB engines I've had. As far as adding the "modern compressor ... down low on the passenger side" a friend in Florida did that on a '64 Dodge pickup with a 440. He said it's a smaller compressor and adequate for the pickup cab but he thinks it wouldn't cool a whole car enough. Also you have to remove the fuel pump and go electric.
  4. James-Wahl Motors

    Winter Driving Stories

    Well, I hope you don't find my story too negative. I find the moral is a stock 40+ year old car can be used pretty much like a modern car in most cases. Just as they were for millions of miles when they were new. As long as you are smart enough to check the points once in a while! Happy Holidays!
  5. James-Wahl Motors

    Winter Driving Stories

    In the early 2000s I had a 1961 Chrysler New Yorker that I had bought as a parts car, but I got it running so I good we used it as an extra driver for several years. I drove it from Chicago to the New York Auto Show for work once, then I set out to do it again the following year. I did not check the weather (this is late March or maybe early April) and after a couple hours of sunshine I drove into a big snowstorm. So, I'm cruising down the Ohio Toll Road in 4 to 6 inches of snow, regular all-season tires, defroster blasting, wipers wiping, thinking this car is doing just fine. I wasn't happy about the salt bath but this car wasn't much to look at and already had rust. Then it quit running! The tow truck guy said I was the only tow that day that wasn't out of a ditch. I had him drop me in a truck stop parking lot. I went inside and bought some gloves. It was snowing sideways so hard the distributor cap filled with snow while I was checking the points. Short wrap up: it ended being the points, I got it going after standing in the snow for a while (had spares). Stayed with some friends a half hour away and finished trip the next day and got back with no more problems. Storm was clear by morning but lots of semis still in the ditches. Another sort of winter story. In '98 or '99 on that first 50-degree day in February after rain had washed the salt off the roads, I took my 300-G out with my now-wife for a ride on a Chicago expressway a few miles to warm it up and put it back away. I have Antique Vehicle registration and a state trooper pulled me over and said "WHERE'S THE CAR SHOW AT?" I told him what I was honestly doing and said "it's part of the maintenance." He let me go but didn't seem too happy with me.
  6. James-Wahl Motors

    1958 Chrysler 300

    This really is a find, as this VIN is not on the the last published 300 Club roster. The club shows 195 of the 618 two-door hardtops produced are accounted for, with 17 of those junked. (191 convertibles were built, too.) Lettercars did not get bucket seats until 1960, and no Park in the trans until 1963. Norm Thatcher ran 156.387 mph for class win at Bonneville in one of these in 1958, albeit with a modified engine. That car survives. Herbert Magee ran a stock 300-D with a manual trans 141.066 on Daytona Beach. Brewster Shaw set the Class 7 Standing Mile record with the same car at 87.485 mph. That car survives, too.
  7. James-Wahl Motors

    Anyone Wreck a New Car Shortly After Purchasing It ?

    Yes! I did not mean anything against motorcycles, just that the topic was wandering off "shortly after purchasing." I have two antique motorcycles!
  8. James-Wahl Motors

    Does anyone here own a celebrity vehicle?

    I am into Chrysler 300 lettercars. There are at least a few still around that were owned by celebrities. I had a '61 300-G that was sold new at Harger-Haldeman, which was the premier Chrysler dealership in Los Angeles. It has a documented factory black leather interior whereas the standard color was beige-only. I found two matchbooks under the seats from T.T.G. Inc. Sunset-Highland Studios in Hollywood. This was a somewhat obscure but pretty heavy-duty rock and roll recording outfit. Doors, Hendrix, Velvet Underground, Linda Rondstadt, etc. Tried but never could dig anything specific up; sold it to a high-end collector last year who is now finishing up the resto.
  9. James-Wahl Motors

    Anyone Wreck a New Car Shortly After Purchasing It ?

    You all have wandered off topic, sorta. I'll bring this back to antique automobiles. I didn't buy it or wreck it, but i was in the car. This was mid-late 80s in Florida, my friend had talked to a guy with a runner '65 Barracuda, 273 automatic, rust-free car from Nevada. Some year or so later, the guy called him and sold him the car cheap. He bought it on a Friday, on Saturday he and his girlfriend and I piled into the car to go show a friend on the other side of town. We were crossing over an Interstate and a guy in a Camaro came off the highway and blew the light: we ended up t-boning him. Both cars were toast; I think I still have a light scar on my scalp. The upside was my buddy bought a nice old-lady's '64 Valiant 2-door with a blown slant-6 and transplanted the 273 and running gear into it and made a sweet car out of it.
  10. I was about to publish a club member's research on how to interpret numbers on the data plate/fender tag of a particular year/model in our club newsletter. This is information not readily available from factory publications, but rather compiled by looking at a number of cars' data plates and extrapolating what numbers on the plate represent by cross-checking options on the cars with existing lists of option codes, etc. Other people have likely done the same thing, but there is no "one-stop" source for it. Now I am getting pushback from the "old guard" of the club, who fear this information could be used to create counterfeit cars. On the one hand, this has happened (though not necessarily with this particular year/model) and the club has been involved as an authority in some cases. I don't know how helpful having this would be to a counterfeiter since the factory build records are available from a couple sources, so if a car showed up with options or colors that didn't match the build record that can be checked. I guess you build a car from just a VIN tag and then get a "correct" data tag for it, though you can tell an original from the readily available repros. To be fair, the club will release this type of information to individual club members in order to authenticate a particular vehicle. So, how does your club handle this sort of information? Thanks
  11. James-Wahl Motors

    1939 Cadillac V-16 coupe image needed

    The club helped me out, thanks.
  12. James-Wahl Motors

    bringing a car to US from Canada

    I brought an antique American made car in from Ontario about 20 years ago. Had to fill out a couple forms at the border. There was no fee. I heard that imported cars are treated differently. After I applied for the title in a normal fashion, the state sent all the papers back and said to resubmit with the customs importation documents. Received a title after that.
  13. James-Wahl Motors

    Question about 1934 Airman Club Sedan

    Thanks for that information and for the lead on that story.
  14. James-Wahl Motors

    Question about 1934 Airman Club Sedan

    Who is credited with the design of the 1934 Airman 6-cylinder Club Sedan? I read Ray Dietrich did some designs for them, but he would have been at Chrysler by then. Also saw an article that said Ralph Roberts/LeBaron did the 12-cylinder Airman. It seems kind of hard to find comprehensive info on these cars! Even the Standard Catalog of American Cars has less detail on Franklins than other makes. Thanks!
  15. James-Wahl Motors

    1939 Cadillac V-16 coupe image needed

    Thanks, the 61 coupe is close but not quite. Here's a photo of the actual car. It's a Series 39-90. I'm making a show sign for it.