Matt Harwood

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Everything posted by Matt Harwood

  1. 1941 Limited Limousine

    I'm making real progress in the exhaust department. I've been working with Sanderson Headers for the last few weeks and they're going to make me a set of headers for my Buick. Actually, they're going to send me a set of headers for a small block Chevy, which have similar port spacing as the Buick, which I believe I can modify to fit. They make a very tight-fitting header that's only 2.75 inches deep from flange to the widest point, so those two center tubes should tuck behind the intake manifold pretty neatly. The headers that they are sending me will not have a flange and will only be tack-welded together, so I can cut them apart, massage them to fit the Buick using the aftermarket Buick flanges I bought a few weeks ago. I'll tack weld everything in place the way I want it, send them back to Sanderson, and they will finish weld them and give them a satin black ceramic coating. When they come back, I should have some beautiful professional headers expressly designed for a 320 cubic inch Buick straight-8. And presumably, Sanderson will have a template to build them for others in the future. Pay attention, boys. This will be my starting point for the Buick headers: the Sanderson CC1T block-hugger headers for small-block Chevy I'll have to do a mock-up and while having the new flanges is helpful, it doesn't really give me accurate port spacing or real measurements that I can use. I played around with the flanges and an intake manifold on the bench for a while, but ultimately decided that I'd have to do it on the engine with everything rigidly bolted in place. However, I don't really want to take the Limited apart and render it immobile while I figure all this out. Fortunately, I happen to have a spare Buick 320 sitting in storage. So last night I retrieved it. Spare engine for mock-up Right now, it's sitting on a cart, but I have a heavy-duty engine stand that can handle its mass. However, this engine is fully rebuilt and balanced, including the flywheel and clutch assembly, which is sealed inside the bellhousing. It's not like modern cars; the Buick's bellhousing is bolted to the block behind the flywheel, so you can't remove one without removing the other. I don't think I want to do that after spending all that money to have it rebuilt. There are four transmission mounting holes on the back, but I'm not convinced that the cast iron bellhousing is strong enough to support the weight of a 3-foot-long, 769-pound straight-8 hanging off of it. When I had the engine on this stand last time, there was no flywheel or bellhousing, so I could bolt it right to the block. Not enough strength to hang the engine on the engine stand My current plan is to build some kind of support bracket system for the front of the engine and attach it to the engine stand. There are two engine mounts on the front of the engine that are built to handle the weight and my engine stand has outriggers that should be just about long enough to land right under the mounts. I'll fab up something so the engine can sit straight on the stand without putting all the weight on the bellhousing and then I can do my mockup for the exhaust. When I'm done, I'll have this beautiful engine on a stand, so maybe I'll install the manifolds, carburetors, and air cleaner, maybe the generator and water pump, and pose it in my office until it's ready to go back into the Century. Better there than sitting in a storage shed in the middle of nowhere, right? Oh, and while I was picking up the engine, I grabbed these since they were just laying around: Yes, those are exactly what you're thinking they are and they're not broken. Trying not to be tempted... I'll have the headers shortly and we'll start trimming and fitting. I'm excited that this is going to work!
  2. 1941 Limited Limousine

    I guess this is as good a place as any to post updates to the Limited. I bought it four years ago to sell, but when it arrived, it was in poor condition with a lot of needs. It was BADLY misrepresented by the seller. So I shoved it in the corner and forgot about it for about a year. Then I started chipping away at a few projects and tweaking things and discovered that underneath the neglect there was one hell of a great-running car. The paint is just OK, but the interior is gorgeous and the thing runs like a freight train. I rebuilt the carbs, replaced the cracked exhaust manifolds (with another set that cracked), and did a lot of tuning to get it just right. My goal is to make it a bulletproof high-speed tour car that will go anywhere in any weather. With radial tires, new shocks, and a fresh alignment, it's just a joy to drive now. Planned upgrades include either yet another set of manifolds or (more likely) having a set of tubular exhaust headers made to cure the exhaust leak permanently. The other advantage to headers would be getting the exhaust decoupled from the intake (they are bolted together) and removing a LOT of heat from the carburetors. That's really appealing to me, even though this car has exactly zero heat or vapor lock issues. I also have a pair of 2-barrel Rochester carbs that I am considering installing with a fixed linkage so they're both working at all times rather than the stock progressive setup. There are some who say the car will idle better, get better fuel economy, and make more power with that upgrade. I don't care about show-quality or 100% authenticity (although I don't want to go too far astray, either), but I do want this thing to be reliable and comfortable. It runs so well now with the Strombergs, however, that I'm loathe to take it apart. Last summer it chased down a '41 Packard 160 convertible coupe with overdrive without apparent effort, and that guy was VERY surprised (well, not surprised--dismayed, actually). He's used to being able to walk away from just about any pre-war car and frequently boasts about his car's performance. The fact that the limo weighs about 600 pounds more than his convertible was not lost on him. This big guy is impressive as hell. I am starting to suspect that the engine is not entirely stock. Anyway, some of you may remember that the big guy was sidelined last spring when I took the rear differential cover off to change the oil, had an issue with correct cover orientation, and ended up doing it twice. But while I was in there, I was advised to take some things apart like the main bearing caps "just to see how they look." Sadly, I dropped one and broke it, so the car has been out of commission all summer, much to my dismay. I've found a machine shop willing to make me a new set and they should be done this coming week, so hopefully it will go back together and not blow up when I put some power through it. I'm also over my anger at being goaded into doing something I knew I didn't have to do. I lost a summer with my car because of it, but what the hell? It's only time and money, right? In the meantime, I've been doing some upgrades in preparation for having it back on the road, perhaps for the fall colors tour after Hershey. First there was the LED brake and tail light upgrade: When I finished the LED brake light upgrade, I noted that it took quite a bit of muscle to get the brake lights to come on. It was possibly the switch, but most pressure switches are go/no-go and not directly related to the amount of pressure, so I figured the master cylinder was going bad. The pedal was rock hard and the car stopped OK, but the brake lights taking that much pushing was a tip-off. So I ordered a new master cylinder from Bob's and it showed up a few days later This afternoon, my son, Riley (age 9) and I installed it. It took me, my wife, and both boys to push that Limited across the shop and every bit of muscle we could spare to get it up the ramps and onto the lift, but once it was up there, it was all good. I taught Riley how brakes work, how to pull the master, and why we use flare wrenches on hydraulic fittings. It came out without a fight and the new one went in just as easily. I grabbed son #2, Cody (age 11), and had him push the pedal while we bled the brakes underneath. Result? MUCH improved pedal feel and brake lights that come on with a light touch instead of a heavy stomp. No leaks, no issues, no problems. It's a bit of a pain to bleed brakes on these cars simply because the reservoir on the master is so small so you have to keep refilling it after every push, but not a big deal. All buttoned up and ready to go. A few months ago, I bought a correct battery hold-down bracket with heat shield for my Century but since the Limited doesn't have one and just uses a hokey homemade hold down the previous owner invented, I decided to use it there instead. A quick coat of black paint and a trip to the hardware store to get some J-bolts, and it will be ready to install tomorrow. The engine bay on the Limited isn't show-quality, but it's not bad, either, and this should be a nice upgrade that will tidy things up and hopefully eliminate a CLUNK up front when I hit big bumps. I'll post some photos of the battery when I go back to the shop tomorrow and finish the job.
  3. Beware of hi-jacked Buicks-for-Sale ads

    Someone just started this up again, this time out of LA. Same '57 Chevy. Asking a whole bunch of questions but obviously a guy who doesn't know anything at all about old cars. All the wrong questions. Two or three phone conversations later, he asks me to send him photos of the VIN a copy of the title so he can get financed. I sent him the VIN and title from my '41 Buick. Let's see if he notices. That Chevy up there, unless it's from me, is bogus.
  4. So my tow vehicle, a 2009 Chevy Suburban 2500, threw a check engine light a few days ago. I put the code scanner on it and got P0442 which is an EVAP system leak. My first guess was the gas cap but it's fine and the code came back after I re-seated it. So we took it to the dealer. He called this afternoon with a big scare and dance about how the tech saw raw fuel blowing out of the EVAP system and the truck could explode at any minute and I was lucky we didn't all die. He wants $775 to replace the fuel pump assembly, which, apparently will cure the problem. First, I don't trust them one bit after that bit. I don't think the EVAP system is tied directly to the fuel pump, and if there's a leak, it's probably not in the tank, right? Two, my wife just filled the tank yesterday. Do ya think that's where the fuel is coming from? Three, Really? THAT's the song and dance you're going to give me? A small EVAP system leak and you want to charge me $775 plus $125 in "diagnostic" fees? So here I am wondering what I should do. I don't know enough about these trucks to know if this is a thing. The Google reveals that it's a common code and is usually caused by a bad gas cap or a pinhole leak somewhere in the EVAP system, maybe a failed check valve. They're describing raw fuel being sucked up by the system and spit out all over the place on top of the gas tank. I see no fuel under the truck and smell no fuel around or in it while driving it. My gut says this is BS and they're trying to scare me into a big repair bill. On the other hand, if they're right, my wife and kids ride in this vehicle, so maybe the scare tactic is working. I want to tell them to shove it, but what if I'm wrong and they're right? Anyone have any experience or thoughts? I hate to go to a Chevy truck message board where I'm not a member and be a lame "one and done" poster, but I'm not quite sure what to do. Not too keen on laying out a grand for a maybe, you know? I need the truck for Hershey and I suppose I could get a second opinion, but again, do I want to start this process all over again? What a pain in the ass. Thanks for your thoughts!
  5. Lead - 1933 Buick Series 90 on Ebay

    I'm so sad to hear he passed. I saw the car and recognized it immediately, but I didn't know he had passed. I just figured that since he had two, it was time for one to go. Condolences to friends and family.
  6. Future of the antique car hobby

    Todd makes a good point--a lot of these "upgrades" are happening because mechanics don't know how to fix old cars, so their first step to fix them is to install an engine they know how to fix. It's backed-up by a whole generation of guys who buy into the idea that old cars are neither reliable nor easy to fix and that you need to be some kind of exotic specialist to keep a carburetor tuned and points adjusted. Yes, it's harder than plugging in a scan tool and having the computer tell you what to replace, but it ain't rocket surgery. Blacksmiths used to make these cars run, after all. I hear that same kind of feedback once in a while when I sell an old car--an inexperienced buyer calls to say that the car "won't run." I ask him what it's doing and when he says, "I turned the key and it didn't start," or "It came off the trailer and won't run right," I know he doesn't understand that an old car won't behave like his new Lexus. Turn the key and it idles perfectly--that's a new car thing and it's becoming an expectation for all cars now. Even old guys seem to have forgotten that even as recently as the 1980s, cars didn't start instantly in 10-degree weather and they didn't idle perfectly when they were cold. But that's the expectation and it is what is driving a lot of this urge to "upgrade" the cars. They don't understand and aren't willing to take the time to learn that old cars are different, not inferior. That said, I have twice won $5 at a cruise night by betting guys that my 1929 Cadillac would start faster than their new fuel-injected Corvettes. I know that if it has been driven in the past 12 hours, my Cadillac will start in half a turn, every time. BRR-VROOOM! I also know that a new Corvette needs two full revolutions of the engine so the computer can read the reluctor wheel on the crank to determine which injectors and plugs to fire and another revolution to activate the injectors and fire the engine. Suckers. Yes, I spent a shiatload of time tweaking, tuning, fussing over that Cadillac, but now that it's set up, it has stayed that way and has never once let me down in more than 10,000 miles of driving. Not. Once. One other point that someone else made that I repeat frequently: the reason your daily driver is reliable is because you drive it daily. Expecting a car that you drive twice a year to act properly is just plain unreasonable.
  7. Pierce Arrow

    I'm bitterly unhappy about the burgundy one I had last year. I was talking to the seller about keeping it myself--he was a friend and we were working out a way for me to put such a valuable car in my collection. I would have liquidated everything else, but I felt it would have been worth it and he was willing to wait for payment in full. I'd been admiring the car for 15 years. Then a buyer showed up willing to pay full asking price, and I didn't feel it would be ethical to not take the money for my client. So I sold the car. Months later, it was with another dealer with a giant price tag. I don't know if the buyer didn't want it after all or the dealer bought it and lied to me about the buyer, but it slipped out of my hands and is now out of reach forever. I'm none too pleased about any of that. When I saw that Mecum link in the preview pane, I feared for the worst and thought it was "my" car heading for the dumping ground that is Mecum. Sometimes doing the right thing will get you screwed in the end.
  8. Future of the antique car hobby

    Yes, there are plenty of what I call (without meaning any offense) "garden variety" Full Classic resto-mods, mostly sedans and low-cost Full Classics. Plenty of 4-doors from orphan brands and Classics which, if restored to stock, might be $35,000 cars at best. What I'm talking about instead are the rods like the one this guy intends to build out of the Super 8 Packard convertible sedan or the Cadillac I mentioned on eBay. Those are cars with cubic dollars poured into them and which, ironically, are still probably worth less than they would be restored. And they are NOT popular. There isn't a market for those cars. And it has been my experience that the guys building these cars don't want them because they want them, they just like the thrill of the build. I am optimistic that this will act as a throttle on the process of cutting up finished Full Classics. On the other hand, it also seems that the guy in Trimacar's conversation is enjoying the idea of sticking his thumb in our collective eyes most of all, and he might just be doing it for that reason alone. It wouldn't be unique to him. Our whole country is currently operating on the "piss off the other guy no matter the cost to me" attitude. Yes, there are plenty of Packard 726 sedans and Studebaker Presidents and Cadillac 60 Special rods. But I see few of these high-end rods out in the open, I see none of them actually trading hands, and I suspect that every single one is a money-loser for its builder, probably a big one. The guys who can afford such a thing will either try to build it themselves or will prefer a restored car with a proven track record of value to protect their investment. So many people assume that rich car guys are foolish. It's almost [almost] always a mistake.
  9. Future of the antique car hobby

    I still think he will be unhappy with the value of that Packard with an LS1 in it. Yes, some cars can be "improved" and become more valuable, but serious Full Classics haven't reached that point and I honestly don't think they will. In fact, I think he's making a big mistake as 1935-1939 Packard convertible sedans are RED HOT right now. Most S8s are bringing 6-figures without too much difficulty and the 12s are a quarter-million pretty regularly. Turning that into some kind of resto-mod home-built turd will hurt the car's value and he can't possibly pour enough cash into it to make that not happen. Check out the mid-30s Cadillac convertible sedan on eBay right now with like a $450,000 asking price. You'll literally LOL. In my business, I go to a lot of different events, from AACA and CCCA to Goodguys and NHRA. And with the exception of the CLC national meet last summer, I have yet to see more than one of these expensive Full Classic rods actually show up at an event and it's usually zero. There are guys building them thinking that there are buyers out there hungering for such a thing and who believe that they can make a ton of money off of that sucker, but the truth seems to be that the guys with money either want a scratch-built Foose-type creation or a correctly restored Full Classic. These bastardizations don't seem to have a target market--they're an answer to a question nobody is asking.
  10. What Color for a 25 -55

    I owned this 24-48 coupe for about two months a few years ago: Would that be close to the right Cobalt Blue? I don't have any way to see or touch the car anymore, but it seemed to be about the right color to my eye. The grille shell was painted blue to match the body, but it was a shade or two darker than the rest. In this photo the hood color seems a bit off as well, but in person it wasn't noticeable at all.
  11. Hudson Museum Closing Controversy

    Museums are money-losers in most cases. Very hard to maintain cars and facilities, pay employees, and do all the other things you need to do on a handful of admissions a day (if that). A lot of big collectors are turning their collections into museums for tax purposes, but that doesn't really solve the problem when they die. Eventually the stuff has to be liquidated just to pay the bills. You're not saving anything for anyone, you're just pushing the headache down the road for someone else to deal with. Sell your stuff while you're alive. Don't force someone else to take on your dream. They won't do it as well as you would and they might even resent it. Instead of a great gift, it becomes a massive burden, no matter how benevolent you think it may be. Preserving Hudsons is a great idea, but the next question is: preserving for whom? Those cars would all have been better off going to private owners two decades ago rather than sitting and unwinding in a place where they're not wanted. Let it all go. It's just stuff. Don't drown your kids in it and don't force the public to keep it afloat after you're gone.
  12. What Color for a 25 -55

    Most automotive paint stores have a hand-held scanner or spectrometer that they can use to match any color. They just hold it up against the sample and it decides how best to match it. Very trick and costs nothing if you're buying paint from them. You should try to find an area on the car that hasn't been exposed to sunlight, so maybe a door jamb or perhaps somewhere under the hood. Polish and clean that area really well so they can get a true reading. But it should not be difficult nor expensive to get something that is exactly right for the car. I had a '41 Cadillac in Antoinette Blue that needed just its fender skirt repainted. It was all original paint, so fading and age were factors. They scanned it, found a Nissan color that was pretty close, tweaked it a bit to account for the fading and age, and the repainted skirt was indistinguishable from the rest of the car. Very impressive. If you have concerns before your shop starts spraying paint, have them do a few spray-outs and look at at them in the sun to be sure it's what you want. They can tweak it a couple of degrees either way to get it right to where you want it and they shouldn't object to doing a few test shots. A FEW. Don't ask them to spray every blue they can find until you find one you like. My father had a '25 Standard Six touring that was one of the fixed roof cars (Model 45? Or 25? I don't recall which is which) on which someone had installed a folding top. His was dark green (Brewster Green?) with black fenders, red pinstripes, and varnished wood wheel spokes, which I always found quite handsome although I have to admit that I hated the car--almost every bad experience I had as a child with my father was because of that cursed car. It never worked right. Handsome, but a lousy car. Never mind, that's not relevant here. Sorry. I think your car looks great and I hope you enjoy it. You should be able to find a paint supplier who can match your current color exactly.
  13. Beware of hi-jacked Buicks-for-Sale ads

    Just as a follow-up to all this, someone just tried to take a deposit on that '57 Chevy of mine up there. The only reason I found out is because the guy sending the deposit lost the phone number of the guy he was talking to and called me instead after finding the car online. When I claimed I didn't know what he was talking about, he got very angry and said he was about to send $1000 to hold the car and what the hell was I doing doubling the price on him (he agreed to pay the scammer $35,000, my asking price is $79,900). Oh, and he wanted to know where I was and where the car was because the car he was buying was in Missouri but I'm in Ohio. When I told him the car was sitting in my lobby not 30 feet away from my desk and then I sent him a photo of it sitting in my lobby, he was pretty unhappy. So if you're contacted by a guy named Ken Williams with an Indian accent, it's totally bogus. Unfortunately, he's armed with a full array of my photos and videos and even a redacted copy of the title on this car because he posed as a buyer a few weeks ago. There's a Ken Williams Auto Sales online somewhere that seems to be a legitimate business, and for some reason this guy is pretending to be them, but he isn't (have you ever met a guy named Ken Williams who sounds Indian?). Anyway, the fellow who called didn't get hurt, but he was about to and would have if he hadn't lost the scammer's contact info and called me instead. Remember that if a deal seems too good to be true (a frame-off restored Bel Air convertible for $35,000) it probably is. Don't let your excitement get the better of you. Be careful out there!
  14. Help my neighbor ID this car

    Amazing, as always, Keiser. I tip my hat to you, sir! Can we please get a "Stump Keiser" challenge going? There has to be some blurry, long-distance photo taken at night of a one-of-a-kind car built in Uzbekistan that he can't instantly identify.
  15. Carter glass bowl filter

    If it's just one of those accessory fuel filters with the glass bowl, you can still buy those new at NAPA. They have multiple sizes, one should fit. These were not unique to any one year, make, or model, they were universal fit. There are also dozens available at any time on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1311.R3.TR4.TRC1.A0.H0.Xcarter+fuel+filter+.TRS0&_nkw=carter+glass+fuel+filter&_sacat=0
  16. Still need a 15x6 1942-1950 wheel rim

    I'm sure the minute differences are frustrating, especially since you can't really tell until you try to fit it together. Do you think these would work? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Buick-1949-Vintage-Stock-Steel-Wheel-5-on-5-Bolt-Pattern-With-Clips/162714938582?hash=item25e290ecd6:g:oN4AAOSwJZ1Z5Sx3&vxp=mtr Looks like he has three of them and is selling them individually. They look like they have clips. Maybe a bit expensive, but if they're the only alternative maybe it'll work? There's also one with slots, no clips, but I'm guessing that's what you already have. I think I saw one labeled as a 16-incher on there somewhere, too. That might be worth looking at in case he has it mis-labeled. Good luck!
  17. Send me details when you have them, Joe. My wife is from Toronto and we have been wanting to do a Canada tour for some time.
  18. Incidentally, the CCCA just decided to shoot itself in the wallet by offering a digital publications only membership for under $30. Most members are magazine members. I have a hunch this move will have the opposite effect on finances and membership participation at events.
  19. 1934 Chrysler Airflow coupes

    Can you please post or send photos of the 37? I've been looking for one for some time.
  20. I'm here as an officer of my region, so we're attending the meetings. I knew the costs (and registered my displeasure with the "one cost for everything" policy) but we figured it would be good to expose the kids to a different part of the country. I spent the $1200 for us to attend all of the events on one day because the day ended with a river boat dinner cruise but it turns out it never sails, just sits at the dock for a song and dance show. Whatever. Last night was the awards banquet and after 2 hours of sitting alone (because nobody will sit with the kids) they finally started bringing food. After 3 hours and we were finishing salads, the kids were totally done--no way they were making it through another hour of dinner and two hours of awards ceremony. So we left and fed them Wendy's. Another $800. I'm here to work for my club, I have no illusions that this was supposed to be a vacation. But if I were a rich retired guy without kids, it would be. And that's a problem that the club(s) don't see because most members live in that bubble.
  21. Installing Seat Belts in my Zephyr?

    If you're just holding the belts in with a large washer behind the sheetmetal floor, you may as well not bother. Do a search on this site regarding seatbelts and you'll find both pros and cons. Doing it right is difficult. Doing it wrong does nothing or, worse, adds a false sense of security and could expose you to liability if something catastrophic happens.
  22. 1927 packard

    That car's a joke. It's been sitting around for years. Just a 6-cylinder, appears to be indifferently restored, missing a rather expensive top frame and canvas, four wire wheels and a disc wheel spare (you'll be looking for four of one or one of another, and neither choice is cheap or easy), interior is vinyl and incorrect, and, well, shall I go on? Not much description--does it even run? If it's really a 4-speed, it has the wrong transmission in it, and if they can't even determine how many gears are in the transmission, can you trust anything else they say about it? A late-model dealer who doesn't know Packards lucked into one, saw the name "Packard" on it, and decided it was a valuable car because he thinks Packard buyers are suckers (I think he started out at $110,000). It is not a particularly valuable car in any condition. It might a good project car that has decent paint and hopefully doesn't need expensive mechanical work. Buying it anywhere close to their asking price and you will be upside down before the check clears. For $50,000, there are a lot of more desirable Packards out there that don't need another big pile of money spent on them to still be worth less than you paid. Does this help?
  23. Pre-war cars are still quite affordable, it's just that nobody wants most of them. I bet you can get a 1920s Studebaker or Nash 4-door sedan for pocket change (not $30 but not taking out a second mortgage expensive, either). There are plenty of cheap old cars around, but (please don't take this the wrong way, owners) they're cars nobody wants. Big collectors aren't hoarding 1927 Oldsmobiles and 1923 Paiges. Good cars are valuable and collectable. The rest aren't. A Honus Wagner baseball card is fabulously valuable. An A-Rod card, not so much. If you want to collect baseball cards, there are plenty of A-Rod cards to buy if you're willing to accept the fact that nobody will want it when you're done with it and it is not an "investment" but rather a way to buy some fun, much like a vacation. I bet nobody is buying A-Rod baseball cards and a lot of the guys in that hobby are wondering why not. I also think it's a mistake to look at the past and wonder why the present doesn't conform. EVERYTHING is more expensive, not just the cars. Every once in a while you hear about some guy who said, "I remember when you could buy a V12 Packard for $2000." I bet if you asked him, he could have bought a new house that year for $6000. Keep it in perspective. However, it is very clear that disposable income is dropping precipitously--how many of you had two parents who worked because they HAD to and still had an old car in the garage? Until you're making your money through investments and your tax rate is 15% because it's all cap gains, you'll have a hard time catching up, no matter how hard you work and how many hours you put in. Right now, I'm at the CCCA Annual Meeting in Branson, MO. I brought my family. And it was a mistake. There are no child-friendly events, each day's package of events is bundled into one price--bus, admissions, food, etc. It's $250-300 per day per person. I guess that's a moderate price for a tour bus, lunch, and a few tourist destinations. Except there's just no way I'm spending $1000/day to take my family to a car collection that specifically says, "Sorry, children under age 15 are not permitted." Rich people without kids don't even notice, but everyone else is standing on the sidelines saying, "WTF?" But since they make up 99.9% of the club, well, that's how it's going to work. We just had a meeting this morning where all these rich folks scratched their heads and wondered how to get young people to join the CCCA. I had plenty to say, but held my tongue--they don't really want to hear it. They'll all be dead before the club finally expires for good and they know it. Let's just party like it's the end of the world, right? My kids don't care about not being able to take part in most of this stuff, but part of that is because the cars are commonplace to them--I bring something different home every night. But if they didn't have any exposure at all, they would care even less--cars have little bearing on their lives. We force them to like cars, but they don't love them like I did. What if my father forced me to love football or hockey instead of cars? I don't like football, but I would have done it to be with him, then walked away the moment he wasn't paying attention. You can't force young people to love old cars. There are more things competing for their attention today than ever before and the machinery is far less relevant to their daily lives. That tenuous connection to the past is bundled up with emotion, history, memories, and family/friends. A kid isn't going to just start liking cars and searching out something ancient on his own without exposure and an emotional connection. And quite honestly, I don't know how a club or other enthusiasts can manufacture that. My only hope is that many of the cars get cheap enough and plentiful enough that young people start adopting them as artifacts and curiosities the way hipsters in New York City are adopting farming. This is too many words. I'm sorry. I'm having a crummy day sitting in a hotel room because I can't afford to go to the events my car club has booked for the day.
  24. Website skimming eBay ads/pics

    Maybe some polonium?
  25. 1941 Limited Limousine

    This header thing has been eating me alive for a week now and I've been scouring the internet for more information. I could probably build a set at least as nice as that crappy Jeep header I found, but if there's something already made that I can modify, that might work better in the long run. So I did some shopping and bought the header shown below, or at least I tried to. Unfortunately, the vendor (Summit Racing) shows that very photo but shipped me a cast iron manifold instead. Then I bought another one from a second vendor that showed the tubular manifold and again got the cast iron piece. Apparently the manufacturer who made the tubular header has upgraded their part to the cast iron unit without changing the part number. It seems that I won't be able to get one unless I can track it down elsewhere or used. And I'll need two. Dang. This: Is now this: While I had the cast iron manifold, however, I did some measuring. It looks roughly like the distance between the outer edges of the ports is 16-5/8 inches. Close enough to know if I can work with it if I can find a tubular unit (actually, two of them). The Buick dual carb manifolds are a bit under 16 inches from port edge to port edge (more or less). I'm not bothering with port spacing yet, just overall sizing to see if it'll fit with the stock intake manifold. I'm going to retrieve my Century's motor from storage and use it to mock up the whole setup and get the port spacing right; at this point, I'm just checking to see how hard I should search for replacement headers or if I should just bite the bullet and start fabricating my own. Anyway, it looks like the Jeep header would be a bit wider, but cutting the tubes down to size, refitting the port flange, and tweaking the angles should be easier than starting from scratch. Still a possibility. Then as I was walking back to my office, I glanced at this little hot rod we have sitting here with no hood sides. Lookee there, will you? And look how tightly it fits to the block--those two middle ports need to be tight to clear the carburetor boxes on the intake. A quick measurement and I am happy to note that it's a bit closer to the Buick's size. Even better, the collector is aimed straight down, which I can work with on the Buick's exhaust far more easily than the Jeep, which is angled backwards and would require the rear header to have its collector cut off and swapped. Shorty-style headers should stay mostly out of sight under the intake manifold, especially if I paint them black. I'm going to get my spare engine here to use as a mock-up, then do some careful measuring and order up some more parts. With the wide variety of Chevy small block headers out there, I bet I can find something that will work with a little modification. There are some Chevy small blocks that have round ports, so finding a set of round port headers with 1.5-inch primary tubes that hug the block might be easier than starting from scratch. I'm gonna figure this out. It won't be stock, but maybe nobody will notice and it won't leak anymore. Let's see what happens.