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About John_Mereness

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  1. John_Mereness

    How to leak check aluminum head?

    Relatives had a 37 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe - they bought NOS aluminum heads and 15 years later with they were throwing those away (plus a couple other problems), but a friend talked about his father having problems with his Zephyr heads within the first 5 years of ownership. The same relatives fought the battle on their 1935 Packard Twelve Convertible and eventually went to cast iron. And I bought their 1932 Rolls Royce Phantom I (that replacement head was 20K from Frank Cooke in 1997 or so and another 22K to deal with all the problem caused to the rest of the engine as a result (radiator, water pump, ... and installation). And, then their has been all our Auburns and a few other peoples too. The flip side of the coin is there are a few Auburns running around with original heads. My point though is: the aluminum head is really neat, but give serious thought to the cast iron one on and just having a good time with your car. I personally like a course sand blast on aluminum heads - looks sweet.
  2. John_Mereness

    Auburn Speedster, Bohman & Schwartz?

    If you would post out on the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club website there are some very knowledgeable people, including one who has many of the factory records for Bohman & Schwartz.
  3. I had one of these from Mike in my hand yesterday via friend passing though on way home from Hershey - they need drilling of course and handi-work, but a very serviceable part !
  4. John_Mereness

    Flanklin Questions

    I had a Franklin and a Stutz Model M box within a few feet of each other - I did not really pay attention at time, but at first glance they appeared same, other than the Stutz case had some "added features" for a hillholder (which I am not sure is on all Stutz M's or just some). My advice is twofold - if you replace all the bearings, a couple are super hard to get and do not be afraid to write a big check (a couple years ago I sold my extra NOS bearing set for some steep money plus shipping to Australia) and never put it in or out of that granny lock out gear unless the car is 100% at a standstill (use to be someone would blow one up every year or two at a Franklin meet) - I modified the gate so my lockout gear was not accessible. My car had I want to way 11,000 or so miles on it from new at time I sold it (Dad and I did 6K of that) and next owner put about 17K more on it (right or wrong to lock out the gear - best I can say is it survived quite a bit of usage without issue).
  5. John_Mereness

    Removing the end caps from a steering link

    Most likely is brazed - if not super handy, you may need to find a friend with solid machine tool skills.
  6. John_Mereness

    Help identify grandfathers Auburn

    Curt is most likely correct about whitewalls - I question if many (if any) an Auburn came off the assembly line with whitewalls (unless Auburn had an ordering procedure that allowed such - not sure I recall whitewalls in the accessory brochures for Auburn - I could be wrong though). My guess is a "special display" or given the number of cars in picture one of their more key dealerships. Obviously, Fuller Auburn Cord on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills had a slightly different clientele than say a dealership in Chicago or .... On the flip side of the coin, my guess is most every dealership had access to whitewalls - and at a discount price arranged through the factory. My grandfather drove an Auburn (31 or 32 Coupe) - it was a big deal for a farm boy who went to college (w/a Masters and Doctorate too) and lucked into one of the better jobs in the United States. When he met my grandmother though (also via a tie to the Auburn), it was fine until they got married - then he was asked to ditch the Auburn and there was a "more respectable car" in his future (ie. Auburns were owned by people who were flashy and ... - wrong element). He gave the car to one of his brothers and ....
  7. John_Mereness

    Pre War Cars - how fast is fast?

    Ah, the joy of pulling off from a stop light or stop sign and impressing everyone - that is what most pre-WWII were all about. And, where were you going to go as there was not much in a road system even through the 50's. The 1941 Cadillac 60 Special with automatic and high speed axle (which you get with the automatic) had a favorite speed of 76mph - whole car smoothed up and felt right at home there. I never did it for a long time, but seemed a much happier car at 76 than 55. I bought the car in 1979 (at age 14) with 14K miles on it and drove it to 2015 - countless AACA and CCCA tours (it had 97.5K then and considerable drivetrain work along the way). The 41 Buick Super though could run circles around it. The 36 75 Series Town Cabriolet was a dog (not a fast dog, but a slow dog) - just too heavy. The 31 Cadillac V-8's were ok but 50-55mph, The RR-PI was impressively torque-y and everyone told me it would do plenty more than 50mph it seemed conformable at - if I was willing to continuously open my wallet (ie a car best kept at 50mph). And, the two 25/30 cars were about same (less power, but less car too). The 1930 Franklin 147 with 4 speed and factory high speed axle would go 60mph. The 1931 Auburn was ok - it would do 55mph and the 1929 Auburn 8-90's were 45-50mph. The Packards were nice, but you can hate me for saying the engineering was in such as the 4-48, the first and second generation Twin Six, Twelve, V-8, and torsion bar suspension. And, .... But, the Auburn 851/852 cars always come back around full circle as being fabulous road cars. I am told the only thing more fine pre -1953, is a Cord 810/812 - dad asks three questions when someone asks about one though: Are you an Engineer ? If No, then are you handy ? And then if No, do you have a lot of disposable Income ? Final reply is if not one of the three it will not be the car you want it to be for you.
  8. John_Mereness

    Straightening wire wheels?

    General speaking, most 1930' cars I have ever bought have two wobbly wheels in the sidemounts or as rear spare - seems to be a theme/thing. We just figure out which 2 on the car are the best and they go up front. And, if any one is particularly bad start searching. But, to more exactly answer the question - you can fix some damage to rims (minor curb damage and ...), but you really cannot fix anything wobbly in a welded spoke wire wheel (and the Dayton Wire Wheel folks are friends and this is a question they are asked nearly every once a week and have tried unsuccessfully to design equipment and ... - it is that common of a problem). Curt has helped me repeatedly with the issue regarding the Auburn 851/852's. As a sidenote, I have seen some pretty wobbly tires - right out of the wrapper. I am now running DiamondBacks on the 851 (a Toyo tire w/whitewall applied - and by the way the car gets compliment after compliment on its looks and the 800 miles this summer have been "dreamy") and the car being done for show has Goodyears - the one with all the concentric rings on the whitewalls (a nice tire and have put them on several cars now).
  9. John_Mereness

    Help identify grandfathers Auburn

    The Phaeton in the photo has Firestone tires on it - same tread pattern as the sedan in lower picture on left.
  10. John_Mereness

    Help identify grandfathers Auburn

    This would have been a fun visit to a car dealership
  11. John_Mereness

    Help identify grandfathers Auburn

    Curt is correct, unless an off-brand whitewall such as a "Dayton", "Fisk", "Conshohocken", or ... you never see any photos of a perhaps pre -1938 car with Firestones, Generals, or ... whitewalls that were not whitewalls on both sides of the tire. In the above photo, the sedan on the left appears to have Firestone tires, and the Boattail on the right appears to have BF Goodrich tires. I am wondering if there was some sort of dividing line in 1932 regarding drop center wheels (and do not think I have ever seen a V-12 with lock-ring type w/ the bulk of V-12's I think are 32) - perhaps a chrome plated wheel thing as to drop centers or .... too. Correct though in I see more 32's with lock ring type wheels than drop center type. When a friend and I did a 1931 Phaeton it was lock ring type for sure - we had to replace most wheels due to wear hubs and a couple had excess wear around spokes too - an Australian car that ran, but frightening what kind of wear and back year repairs had been done to it over its life (when all said and done we probably replaced 95% of the mechanical parts on the car - turned out to be a good car rest of way though and once restored was fairly decent runner all be it took a couple more owners who were not afraid to chip paint to dial it in the way it needed to be . I think this year was first time in eons I have not seen it at ACD Festival. It is Silver and Black).
  12. John_Mereness


    Condenser seem to be quite the problem these days - I always travel with a couple (because you cannot count on one out of the box always working like it should).. If at a good auto part store you can always ask for a condenser for a 1952 Chevy (a 6V car that seems to be something commonly indexed). Also, if at a NAPA store I generally ask for one for a 1941 Cadillac (what I am running in the Auburn 851).
  13. John_Mereness

    Help identify grandfathers Auburn

    It has lock ring type wire wheels and that makes it a 31 or possibly early 32. If it had drop center wire wheels it would be easy to identify it as 32. Sidenote, may be just the way the light is hitting car, but it looks to have stainless trim on the hood louvers (which was typically just a V-12 thing, but this is not a V-12). Also sports an accessory trunk, but does not sport a flying man radiator ornament.
  14. John_Mereness

    Full Classic As Of August 2017 now Restored

    We had perhaps the nicest original 1941 Super Sedan (in Royal Maroon too) on the globe - actually a much nicer car to drive than our 1941 Cadillac 60 Special Fleetwood - other than Fleetwood knew how to build one great seat matched to having a more solid think to doors when closing. I highly recommend BUICKS !
  15. For Sale: 1955 Buick Roadmaster Bumpers - I have a rear and a lower front bumper that were restored in the 80's - marginal chrome and now many years old, but always nice bumpers. Still partially in chrome shop wrappers. Sorry, did not take pictures. They are in 45242 Zip Code - Cincinnati, OH. I am not sure what to ask for them, but I am thinking like $200.00 each. I can drop off at your choice of shipping places or grab them on way to and from Hershey.