Matt Harwood

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Everything posted by Matt Harwood

  1. Matt Harwood

    Chrome powder coating vs real chrome

    Ugh. This again? WTF guys? Is there suddenly a shortage of reading comprehension or what? Are you too busy grinding axes to read carefully? The question was "Does chrome powdercoating look like chrome?" The answer is no, it does not. That's it. That's all I said. Jack showed us his hot rod with black powdercoated bumpers (a car I pointed out that I liked) and then apparently took offense to the fact that I said it wasn't the same thing as someone wanting cheap alternatives to chrome on a restored car and that such a solution wasn't appropriate for the AACA and wasn't what the OP was asking about. Correct is still correct. I have this piece of crap 1935 Lincoln with a bum motor--should I throw a big block Chevy in it because a new Lincoln V12 is going to cost $30,000, then get all pissy when they won't let me show it at AACA events? After all, it's all I can afford. Better to have some bastardized car filling a space than not, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. Now others are saying that I'm being elitist because I pointed out that silver powdercoating (or silver spray paint) doesn't look like chrome. It doesn't. I didn't decide that. I don't care how poor you are, crappy results are crappy results. It has nothing to do with your social status or how good a person you are, but if you think spray painting instead of chrome will go unnoticed, you're mistaken. It will look like crap. Nobody will say so because most people are polite, but don't mistake that for approval or that you've pulled one over on us or that one is just as good as the other. I don't care how much money you do or don't have. I don't care how old you are. I don't care about your car even a little bit. Go ahead and paint it with bright orange latex house paint. I don't farking care. Do whatever you want, do whatever you can afford, it matters not a bit to me. Spend as little or as much as you like. Do it any way you want. I don't care and I bet nobody else does, either. It's just a stupid car. It doesn't matter even a little bit in the grand scheme of things. But don't come in here asking "If I paint my car with latex house paint, will it look as good as a professional two-stage urethane paint job?" It won't. Tough luck. If you can't afford the professional, do whatever works for you. Have fun. That's what really matters. Don't start whining and crying because I pointed out that no, the latex house paint won't look as good as doing it properly and don't accuse me of being elitist or a snob just because I pointed out that rationalizing the decision as an economic necessity still doesn't make it the right decision. Crappy work will always look like crappy work. If you're OK with crappy work, I'm certainly not going to argue with you. It's not my car. Do whatever you want. I see crappy cars everywhere I go. It's a bulk of the hobby. It's fine with me. One last time for the simpletons: chrome powdercoat will not look like chrome. If it's all you can afford and you're OK with the look, go for it. If not, don't. I. Don't. Care. Know what? Screw you guys. I'm done. Do what you want. Stop sending me all these PMs asking for free advice and information. I'm busy. Figure it out yourselves. /End transmission
  2. Matt Harwood


    Am I on Candid Camera?
  3. Matt Harwood

    Chrome powder coating vs real chrome

    I think Jack's car looks awesome. But that car isn't the AACA. It's HAMB. And since the original poster that started this thread was asking about a 1926 Dodge coupe that he's restoring to stock specs, telling him to powdercoat everything satin black isn't relevant. The black looks cool, but silver powder instead of chrome on an otherwise stock/restored old car looks weird. Rationalize it any way you want, turn it into a class warfare thing by saying chrome is too expensive, but when the question is "Will chrome powdercoating look as good as real chrome for less money?" the answer is no.
  4. Matt Harwood

    How do you deal with an unresponsive seller?

    Leave his bid there. The next guy has to beat him. Now that you know, you can always refuse to sell to him or cancel his bids later. But right now, what you want is eyeballs on your car and bidders trying to beat that guy. Let his bid stand until it's clear that he's affecting the odds of your car selling. Then cancel and ban and report. This early in the game, having a bidder will help, not hurt, your chances of a sale.
  5. Matt Harwood

    Chrome powder coating vs real chrome

    Discussions like this always seem like rationalizing the cheap route, even though everyone knows it's wrong. "It's almost as good." "They're making a lot of progress making it look better." "I can always remove it later if I don't like it." "It's more durable than real chrome anyway." Those are rationalizations intended to make it easier to make the wrong decision. If it was just as good as chrome, people would just do it instead of asking for opinions about why it might turn out OK. It doesn't look like chrome. Yes, it's pretty good for the money, but it's not the same and it shows. Nobody will be fooled, least of all the people whose opinions you care about--fellow car enthusiasts. Look at it this way: everyone has worked on their old cars and found really hacky work that some know-nothing has done in the past. Not only was it badly done, but it took a lot of effort just to get back to 0 so it could be fixed properly. Anyone would think that hack mechanic was an idiot. There are probably choice words uttered in his honor before the real work begins. THAT is what chrome powdercoating is doing, but instead of bad wiring or a cobbled-up carburetor, it's cosmetic. Someone in the future will curse the guy who did it for being a cheapskate and a fool. As I think I said before (this thread is now more than two years old), I'd rather look at deteriorated chrome than fake chrome that's smooth. One says, "I just haven't gotten to it yet," while the other says, "I'm too cheap to do it right and I don't care." Once choice is right, one is wrong. You know it, we know it. How you choose to proceed is an individual choice. NOTE: I keep saying "you" in this post, but I mean the general "you" not anyone in particular, including the OP. No offense is implied or intended.
  6. Matt Harwood

    1929 Packard Coupe is it worth anything ?

    Stored for many years in dry storage, I don't think I can make an LOL! big enough to truly capture the incredulous laughter that is coming out of me right now.
  7. Matt Harwood


    I don't think he was trying to be insulting. If you type something into the computer incorrectly, you will not get the right answer. Looking for "Dextron" will cause you to not find what you're looking for. Looking for "Dexron" will give you lots of results, including exactly what you're looking for. He wasn't belittling you, he was pointing out that precision in language matters, especially when it comes to brand names and computers. The computer doesn't know what you really meant, all it can go by is what you typed. Being specific matters. I needed the little brass part that clips to the wire inside a taillight bulb socket. Not the pigtail, not the spring or the disc, not the socket, but the little brass contact that is crimped to the wire. What's it called? I didn't know so I spent about two hours looking all over until I finally discovered they were called "button contact terminals." All other searches came up with nothing. Or the little metal clip that holds the accelerator linkage on a Ford Thunderbird. I know I'd seen them for sale online, but what are they called so I can find them? I can't just type "metal clip thingy" and hope it shows up. Specificity matters. Don't be so quick to take offense, he was pointing out an error that a lot of people make. Using the right term would have completely solved your problem before you even asked. Now you know. Problem solved.
  8. Matt Harwood

    1990 Nissan 300ZX for sale

    Always thought these were great-looking cars. And she bought the 2-seater with a manual gearbox--nice! Do you have a price in mind?
  9. Gorgeous car, fully restored, lots of options, nice extras. $37,900. More details in this link in the Buick Buy/Sell forum:
  10. Matt Harwood

    1965 Buick Wildcat Custom Convertible *SOLD*

    SOLD! Thank you!
  11. Matt Harwood

    Classic and Exotic Services

    Pebble Beach is less than two weeks away. I would wager it is consuming every second of his time right now. He probably hasn't slept in weeks. There's no way he's answering E-mails this time of year.
  12. Matt Harwood


    AKA The Great War. It wasn't all that great, however.
  13. Matt Harwood

    Possibly the greatest car sale story of all time

    "I have to check with my wife" = "I don't have the cojones to buy this car, I think she has them in her purse"
  14. Matt Harwood


    Trying to redefine the commonly understood term "pre-war" is like that guy a few months ago who wanted to redefine NOS so nobody got confused and thought that GM was still stamping out new 1941 Buick front fenders. Is this really a question that needs answering or a term that needs clarification? Everyone in the old car hobby pretty much accepts that the term "pre-war" means cars built prior to the cessation of civilian production when the United States entered World War II. Most automakers stopped production for the public in February 1942. Cars built prior to that are "pre-war" cars. Cars built after the war ended are called "post war" (most regard 1946 as the first "post-war" production year). Yes, yes, I know, they built a handful of cars for the military, but we're not really talking about those. I'm sorry it ignores the technicalities of history and is a very America-centric term, but it's been in use, well, since 1945. Technically, you use your thighs, legs, and feet to walk (specifically, the leg is only the portion of your lower extremities between the knee and ankle), but most folks just say "legs" and everyone knows what they mean. Why make it difficult?
  15. Matt Harwood

    1931 Buick Model 50 sedan on Hemmings

    Buying an old car is NEVER a good idea. If you're trying to turn this into a rational decision that you can somehow make as a practical consideration, forget it. Nobody needs an old car. It's a completely irrational, unreasonable thing. HOWEVER, if that Buick speaks to you, if you find yourself sitting awake at night thinking about it, if you have a vision for what it can be and what you will do for it, THOSE are the right reasons to own an old car. What does your gut say? You should listen to it. Don't be afraid, just listen. So many people try to figure out a way for this hobby to make sense. It doesn't. Not even a little bit. This is about fun and dreams and even some history. And the good news is that with old cars, you can always turn them back into about the same-sized pile of cash when you're done. If that Buick turns out not to be right for you, you'll be able to sell it for about what you paid and get out. It's not like that money is gone forever, you still have an asset that has value. It's not like joining a country club or something where the money is just vaporized and all you have to show for it is a hangover and a sunburn. The success I've had in life and the cars I've had that I've enjoyed most have happened because I trusted my instincts and decided to just go for it as a gut reaction. The ones that I agonize over, try to analyze rationally, compare values and what I think I can do in the future--well, those always crumble in my hands. Trust your instincts. This is irrational but not stupid.
  16. Matt Harwood

    thoughts on seat belts

    My wife and I have had the seat belt discussion several times, as we have two young sons who have been touring with us since they were 1 and 4. Our 1929 Cadillac was our primary tour car for many years and we thought about seat belts, but there are several problems with a car of that vintage. Fortunately, they won't have any affect on value or judging or anything like that, but making belts safe and effective is easier said than done. As Mark says, there's only a wood frame for structure, and screws or bolts into the wood just aren't going to hold anything in an accident where the forces are just astronomical. We considered bolting them to the frame somehow, but you have to realize that there are only 8 or 10 bolts holding the body to the frame. If you're in an accident and they give way, and you're belted into the body while the belts are attached to the frame... well, I'll let you imagine what happens. If we get hit in that 1929 Cadillac, it's going to blow into a zillion pieces and there's not much we can do about it. As a result, we decided that installing seat belts in a car of that vintage was a placebo at best and perhaps dangerous if things went wrong and the kids were trapped inside a car that could also catch fire pretty easily. Our policy is to drive cautiously and pay attention and hope for the best. I know it isn't a guarantee of anything, but the belts posed more problems than they solved (although they might have been nice to keep the younger one in his seat--he liked to walk around in the back of the Cadillac when he was little). Drive defensively, don't do anything foolish, expect others to be stupid around you, plan for the light ahead of you to turn red, look for your escape routes, and always pay attention. Those are your best tools for staying safe.
  17. Matt Harwood

    1939 buick temperature

    Very safe. Don't sweat it. Sometimes gauges aren't very accurate, but if that's all its reading and the car isn't acting up or blowing steam, you're in good shape.
  18. Matt Harwood

    1939 Buick Torque Ball Needed

    Our mutual friend Doug Seybold recommended to me that when I replaced my torque ball in my Century that I polish it before installing it. Get it to shine like a mirror (since I took it apart again for restoration, I'll probably send it out and have it hard chrome plated). That will seal it up better than the rough machined surface that most of them have from the factory. Just a tip!
  19. Matt Harwood

    Is this car worth something.

    You have made my point for me. Buying a nice car like you did and adding some money to make it better is both cheaper and gives better results than bringing that particular Special back from the dead. Do it for love, but sometimes even love isn't enough.
  20. Matt Harwood

    Is this car worth something.

    While doing it for love rather than money or profit is usually my argument, there's just no way restoring this car makes any sense at any level at all. These cars are plentiful and inexpensive in finished condition--if you're looking to lose money, you could buy a nice one and make it perfect and still spend less than it would cost to make this one merely decent. No matter if you're doing it for love or money, there's no way this car computes. It's a shame, but it's reality.
  21. Matt Harwood

    Possibly the greatest car sale story of all time

    My father had a friend who was a Buick guy. Had three or four old Buicks that would come to shows on a regular basis, including a '40 Super sport coupe like my father's 41, so they went everywhere together. Very nice guy, he had a son about my age and we would play together when going to shows and tours. All that good stuff. The he started showing up with different Buicks. Like a different one at every show. He passed away just a few years ago and it turns out that he had a commercial warehouse that he'd bought in the '80s and it was filled with old Buicks, maybe 80 or 90 of them, all in pretty good shape. He had been collecting them for years! There were also the three well-known ones that he kept at home. His wife never knew about the others. Never even suspected. I don't know the resolution, but I presume she also owned the building and all the cars upon his passing, so perhaps it was a windfall for her, albeit one that was likely a pain in the butt to resolve. Personally, I found it a bit amusing. Isn't that always the dream? Finding a warehouse full of interesting cars? Bam! There is is.
  22. Matt Harwood

    Questions with cash and bank checks

    I have nothing to add to what Bob said. All his advice is spot-on. Wire transfers are still safest for you. Cash brings headaches unless you're one of those guys who stuffs it under his mattress to hide it from the tax man, but you roll the dice that some of it might be counterfeit (very rare and unlikely that ALL of what you receive is counterfeit--my banker estimates less than .1% [one tenth of one percent] of $100 bills are bogus, so the risk is quite small). If you can both go to his bank and have them issue you a cashier's check from his account, it's good and you're clear. Be smart and if in doubt, call your bank and ask for options. That's their job. The only thing you absolutely, positively should not do is accept a check of any kind that he hands you in the driveway. Those are ALWAYS bogus.
  23. Matt Harwood

    1971 Dodge Challenger Indy Pace Car

    There are a lot of interesting things about this 1971 Dodge Challenger pace car that are good to know. This one is probably the nicest one in the universe. 1971 was the first time the manufacturer didn't have anything to do with the construction of the official Indy 500 pace car (gas prices and insurance companies were making automakers skittish about motorsports). And it was the very last time they let an amateur drive the official pace car at the Indianapolis 500. Have a look: Don't worry, nobody died or was even seriously wounded. That was Eldon Palmer at the wheel, owner of Palmer Dodge and the driving force behind the dealer-constructed 1971 Dodge Challenger pace cars. A bunch of Indianapolis-area dealers kicked in and bought matching Hemi Orange Challengers with white interiors, dressed them up with appropriate pace car decals, and made 50 replicas to sell through their dealerships to enthusiastic fans. This is probably the nicest of all 50 Challenger pace cars built, with a recent restoration by the Finer Detail, a noted Mopar restoration house, it's simply spectacular. The car has had just two owners, with the original purchasers keeping the car until 2012 or so. The Palmer Dodge decal is still on the bumper. It's exceptionally straight and clean, the sheetmetal is 100% original, and it is surely far better than new at this point. The chrome glitters and the pace car lettering was exactingly duplicated by Phoenix Graffix and is also better than new (I spoke to one of the guys responsible for the original decals and he said it was nothing more than colored tape with some cellophane glued over it). The white interior was fully restored and it's worth noting that this car is spruced up with features like factory A/C (still ice cold and still using R12), a power top, and a modern AM/FM stereo radio that looks quite a bit like the original. Everything inside is new and the car is so tight and quiet that I find it hard to believe that it's a 1970s Mopar convertible. I mean, not a squeak or rattle anywhere. Nice! All but three of the pace cars carried a 318 cubic inch V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor (the cars used at the track got 383s), and that's what's in this car today. It's the car's original, numbers-matching engine and it was fully rebuilt at the time of restoration. It starts easily, idles smoothly, and pulls the orange convertible around with enthusiasm. No, it's not terrifyingly fast, but you can see what happened when they let an amateur loose with too much horsepower. Trust me, you'll love the way this one drives even if it doesn't go sideways with horsepower. The engine bay is correctly detailed with corporate blue engine paint and proper fittings and hardware used throughout. There are a few signs of use (the restoration was finished in 2010) but it remains in excellent condition and could be brought back up to top condition with a weekend's worth of work. The TorqueFlite shifts nicely and it has easy-cruising 3.23 gears out back. You'll also note the chassis is extremely clean and it actually rides quite nicely on those BFG radials. There are no price guides for these cars and the only one I can find that has changed hands at auction brought more than we're asking here. The restoration is exceptionally good and the car is a lot of fun to drive, although you need to be ready to talk about it every time you stop. Fortunately, there's a very interesting story behind it and the reality is that it's a great car, decals or no decals. Asking price is $69,900, which is surely still less than the cost of restoration. Mopar fans, this is a great footnote in history. Thanks for looking!
  24. Matt Harwood

    Motometer Red Line

    It may be like that forever. The Moto-Meter on my father's 1925 Buick fell over one winter on the workbench and looked exactly like that afterwards. He put it back on the car and even with engine heat and a lot of driving, it never flowed back to the bottom. Years of trying but it never changed. The element might be replaceable, but I think it's unlikely that you'll be able to get it to flow back to the bottom ever again. Sorry.
  25. *SOLD* 54,622 original miles. Loaded with every option except moonroof. Everything works: ice cold A/C (with new compressor), windows, locks, seats, antenna, headlights, even the clock and CB radio! Handsome color combination (Williamsburg Editions were the only ones that got the two-tone paint) with beautiful burgundy leather interior. Light comfort marks on the driver's seat, other seats almost completely untouched. No cracked plastic or vinyl on doors or dash. Fully finished trunk with original spare and jack. 400 cubic inch V8 was the only choice, but it's reasonably smooth and torquey and runs great. Quick starts, smooth idle, very quiet with no smoke. A little grimy underneath but exactly zero rust--this car is so clean, I believe it's still running its original exhaust system. Brakes recently serviced, suspension quiet and unbelievably smooth, newer whitewall radials with simple hubcaps. A great choice for HPOF judging or just cruising because there's just nothing else like a '70s American luxury car. We had guys fighting over the last one we had, and this one is probably nicer. Likely the most sheetmetal you can buy for only $15,900. Egad, this is a BIG car!