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Everything posted by 1912Staver

  1. Blackhawk are in the upper crust of jacks. Any I have seen have that distinctive ridged top cylinder casting. I always consider them worth rebuilding. The hydraulics contractor that we used extensively on the ship I worked on said his shop could cost effectively repair any of the old decent quality North American jacks and other shop hydraulics, press rams etc. He said the repairs might run as much as a new offshore unit in a worst case scenario, but could then be expected to last at least 25 years in normal home shop use vs the decade if you are lucky many experience with the offshore, el -cheapo units. Like others have said , more of a usable vintage tool than a true collectable. Greg in Canada
  2. I have been a big fan of Aston's for as long as I can remember. Most likely the early Bond movies made me aware of them as a boy, but there were a few of the regular DB series cars in my area. So as a teenager seeing them in normal use put them more on my radar than the movies exposure did. One of the movie cars was on display for many years at a local restaurant, I found it interesting but when it eventually sold I don't think it was for a really big price. Too soon I guess. In the mid 1970's the down at the heals one's weren't even that expensive when they would pop up for sale every now and then. Never had enough money set aside at the time so no luck in securing one. Then the prices seemed to attach themselves to a very tall elevator. Well out of reach for even a disaster of a starting point these days. 3.3 million pounds for a replica seems insane ! Greg in Canada
  3. With all the economic uncertainty these days it really is anyone's guess. As a number of people who regularly deal in the hobby car market have observed , several segments of the old car market were already in trouble to one degree or another pre - covid. The virus have just made things that much worse. Old cars still seem to be selling ; but from what I can see , only if the price is what would have been considered a definite bargain over the last several years. Price it to sell and it probably will. Otherwise potential buyers seem to be holding very tightly to their wallets. Greg in Canada
  4. I would imagine all but the most obscure periodicals exist in multiple sets and in a number of locations. Some very niche specific industry publications are probably a different story, but any of the general automotive "trade " publications seem to have survived in decent numbers. Magazines like " Horseless Age " turn up quite regularly on ebay, even very early issues. And I would suspect a number of the long established library's have a complete or very nearly complete , bound run. I was a member of the Horseless Carriage Foundation for a few years , decent resource but after searching my car in most of the on line , digitised material I found it was not enough use to me to continue membership beyond the initial couple of years. I suspect they also have quite a bit of additional material that is not yet available through an on line search. Greg in Canada
  5. Personally I would stay with a solid axle TR frame. The TR 4 I.R.S. / TR 6 rear set up isn't really a step forward except producing a softer ride. Trailing arm rear ends { with diagonal rear arm pivots } like the TR set up produce a fair bit of rear axle " steer " when on and off the gas in a corner. You get used to it eventually, but less than optimal handling. TVR used the same basic mechanical parts { diff , 1/2 shafts } with their own geometry, hub carriers , control arms to much better effect. TR diff's are on the weak side, any of the more powerful TVR engine options substituted a Salisbury { Jag style } diff for the Triumph unit found in the smaller engine, base model cars. By staying with a TR4 frame you can always swap in something like a Mustang 2 or Capri rear end that can live with the aluminum V8 torque. People do put V8's in TR 6's but it usually does not take long to figure out where the weak links in the chain are. A TR6 and a TR 250 as well as 3 TVR's in my past. The TVR's win hands down in my mind as far as chassis engineering is concerned. TR 6 based components but used much more correctly. Greg in Canada
  6. Triumph developed the GT 6 from the Spitfire. Which was developed from the largely unloved { North America at least } Herald / Vitesse. Both the Spitfire and GT 6 were simple , somewhat lovable cars let down by pretty inadequate mechanicals, build quality and general Engineering execution. But the general concept had a lot of merit. Datsun took the concept; worked out the many shortcomings of Triumph's attempt, and came up with a true winner. The 240Z ! The "Z" had a few shortcomings of its own, mostly related to body rust and low durability vinyl in the interior. But otherwise a true milestone car. The only thing Datsun missed was offering both a GT version { the 240 Z as we all know it}, and a roadster version along the lines of Triumph's Spitfire. Some have been built by enthusiasts but Datsun missed a big sales opportunity in my opinion. Other than being a cheap and moderately cheerful , entry level sports car. The Triumph versions don't have a lot to recommend them for. Greg in Canada
  7. Spitfire frames don't work well with aftermarket body's . They are too integrated with the Spitfire and GT 6 body shell to be adapted to something else unless you use most of the Spitfire body shell as well. Also apart from the excellent front suspension parts and steering rack, as used on countless Lotus models and purpose built racing cars { all the way up to Formula 1 } of the 1960's and 70's , Spitfires are fairly underwhelming mechanically. TR 3 and 4 frames are a better starting point, particularly the TR 4 with rack and pinion steering. TR 3 's use a conventional steering box . Greg Spitfire TR4, { non I.R.S.}, TR 3 is quite similar
  8. I definitely applaud the efforts of the AACA ! Digitisation, indexing and access are key and it looks like the AACA is leading the way. Great to hear the McLaughlin material will soon be accessible. Even here in Western Canada I almost never run into any McLaughlin material older than about 1935. My interest is generally 1925 and older and apart from a few photocopy's I don't think I have seen more than 4 or 5 original pieces of 1925 or older McLaughlin lit. in the flesh and that's over the last 35 years that I have been looking. I get the feeling that a serious obstacle in the donation and the preserving of large collections is the shipping. I would imagine that the vast majority of donations consist largely of material the library already has. So the library staff must sort through hundreds or thousands of items to find the few not already within the library. It must be a monumental task over time. The surplus items can of course be resold to defray the shipping and staff time cost but still a very effort intensive process. No one needs 25 or 30, 1951 Buick sales brochures but I suspect the library has had at least that number pass through its hands over the years. A online data base of what the library already has might some day help guide would be donations and prevent the unnecessary task of dealing with duplicate material. Unless of course revenue from surplus sales is actually paying proposition. Greg
  9. In many climates they aged quickly. Rust and general deterioration. Ripped seats and tops. By the time they were several years old they were very cheap on the used car market. A fiberglass body seemed like a quick and practical solution, but a minimized by the marketing dept. ton of work. More than a few beater sports cars in my youth. Greg in Canada
  10. Definitely it is not enough just to amass a collection of material. Almost all of us have done that from the scale of a few brochures and a shop manual all the way up to a Harrah or Walter Miller sized collection. The big problem is to index and make available to the public that collective mass of material. A truly vast undertaking. The next decade is crucial for all the non mainstream material as much of it will change hands over that time. And every time it transfers the likelihood it will be lost forever increases. Greg in Canada
  11. That's a great deal, is should sell in a blink. You are way too far away to be interested. Always been partial to them, the original designer/ builder was from my area. Greg in Canada
  12. When contemplating modifications of this sort I always begin with what part of the existing vehicle is unsuited to modern use. Rarely is the frame itself the problem but people see a frame swap as the quick and easy road to what they want. But it is a ton of work ! Nothing will be in the right palace with regards to the old frame. If you can afford a properly built replacement frame using newer susp. , braking , and steering components like those sold by Morrison and others then perhaps you will get what you are looking for. But otherwise , in my opinion you should adapt sub components to your existing frame and body with as little modification to the body as possible. And do it one step at a time. One year put in something like a Ford 9 ", and get the car driving and use it. the next year adapt the front suspension and brake master. Get it running and drive it. Finally adapt a decent rack and pinion, and drive it. As others have mentioned a complete frame swap is a major undertaking and often does not see the road again. Greg in Canada
  13. The big factor is the cost of keeping the European luxo - barge running. Maintenance and repair on any older luxury make is pricy, Benz, top of the line BMW etc . costs can be jaw dropping for anyone { 99% of the public } who can't do things themselves. So once the cars hit an age where they are off warranty and needing attention it does not take long before they plummet in value. The original owner could afford the initial cost and upkeep, but as the car ages it falls into far less affluent hands, with little if any chance the costs will be a business related write- off as it was probably when it was new. Greg
  14. You only felt vulnerable when next to a big rig ? I guess you had never seen a Europa after a collision, or at least the chunks of fiberglass that remain after a collision. Not much worse than a Sprite , Midget, Fiat 850 or similar but at least those ones kind of stay in one piece. After a while the driving position feel very natural, just be very aware of using your mirrors. The driving position is very close to most "real " racing cars, as opposed to modified production cars. But like the styling it takes some getting used to. The factory race version , Lotus 47, is a serious money car these days. And well deserved, just wish one was even remotely within my reach. Greg
  15. That sounds like a great deal ! If you were not so far away I would be interested. Someone is going to be very happy. Simple cars with a ton of charm and great parts availability. Greg
  16. For many years I could have nominated my Renault powered Lotus Europa. An acquired taste visually with every mechanical shortcoming and fragility in the known automotive world. When running they are a joy to drive, the big qualifier being" when running ". Many aftermarket improvements available these days , Toyota 4AGE and Ford Zetec engine kits , Spyder and Banks much improved chassis / suspension upgrades. And some people even have the patience and persistence to get satisfactory results out of the stock mechanicals, or the still Renault " Gordini " crossflow engine. { same short block as stock but a superior head , intake , exhaust layout}. Just not the performance / handling of the upgraded cars. But still quite perky given the flyweight build of the car. But these days prices and popularity are steadily moving upward. Really nice ones can go for substantial sums. Greg in Canada
  17. Looks wise they are rather bland. But a joy to drive , particular the later 5 speeds. A very under rated car these days. The 907 engine is a landmark design. My car quota is full and then some but I could definitely make room for Jensen Healey . Greg in Canada
  18. They both look very similar to my eye, just that one actually functions / drives extremely well, one just sort of OK. Same basic building blocks but very different results.
  19. For only a little more than a decent 356 replica {intermeccanica etc} you can have something like a Beck 550. Then the engine is in the right place and the car is far more useably functional. I like mid engine cars very much, I don't like rear engine cars at all. If your are going to drive a sports car in a non - sporting manner I guess it doesn't matter. If you are going to drive it like a sportscar ; and you are a less than extremely good driver { 99 .5 % of us } , the mid engine layout comes out on top any day. Greg in Canada
  20. 1969 / 70 was the era I was old enough { almost a teenager } to really take notice of NASCAR . The cars and the racing / drivers were at a zenith. The teams were definitely professional but still at a relatively down to earth level. No multi million $ budgets. And although very specially prepared cars still quite a bit of connection to the production line starting points. Enough HP with the Boss 9's and Hemis that speeds were amazing on the superspeedways. Still a couple of road course races each year to keep things interesting. Enough driver safety to start to shrink the " Russian roulette " factor.
  21. There are at least two different perspectives that can be looked at in terms of the Pricing / Market equation. The first is a person relatively new to the hobby. The prices are what they are, the supply vs demand factor. The newly interested individual knows his budget ; takes a look at what is available at that price point , and either makes a choice or possibly even looks into a different pastime. For those of us decades into the hobby it tends to be a far more complex situation. Many forces at work including both internal and external. In the end it does boil down to supply and demand but for many a far more complex equation. Unless you have been involved with old cars for 30 - 50 years you probably have no idea of the range of factors involved. Just like in gambling ; the longer you do or try to do something , the more likely that the cards are going to fall against you. Health, both yours and your immediate family, prosperity, natural disasters, floods , fires, hurricanes , tornado's , market trends, inflation vs earnings, technical change in the workplace, globalization, dare I say pandemics. All can put forces in play that can derail the most well meaning of plans. The newly minted old car hobbyist just has the preceding few years influencing his experience. Going for the long haul introduces a vast gamut of variables , some will work out as positives, but many will definitely erode a hobbyists base line. There is a stunning spectrum of moving parts in a 25 - 35 year slice of our lives. Greg in Canada
  22. When I was young, a local Dentist had a 1969 Camaro COPO . As I learned later, at the time none of my friends or I even knew what a COPO was. We just knew it was rather out of the ordinary. A very non descript car , medium green non - metallic paint, dog dish hubcaps , and a exhaust burble that spoke volumes. Neither the Dentist or his wife who usually drove it were ever known to use any of its performance potential, why they bought it is a mystery. They could have been happy with a 250 and a powerglide from what I saw of their driving habits. In 1974 the older brother of a girl I knew in my grade 10 class bought it from the dentist and used it in a much more expected manner. He was a few years older than us so about 18 at the time. Not a total squirrel but not one to shy away from a challenge either. By about 1978 the car had passed into the hands of a person I was decades later working with for a number of years. One day we were reminiscing about the cars of our youth and he mentioned the Camaro. He said it was simply the fastest street car he had driven. At the time he was in the fishing industry when depending on the season the paycheques could be quite spectacular. Life evolved for him, fishing saw a big downturn, then the usual wife, son , mortgage and the COPO moved on. He ended up the same as me, a marine engineer . We both cherished the memories of that car, me since it was new in 1969, him since he first saw it in 1978. Wonder where it is today ? Greg in Canada
  23. Ed, I hope your reality spreads geographically over the next 5 years or so. Up here close to the North Western wilderness prices are still at 3 or 4 years behind what you are seeing today. Little inventory on the market apart from run of the mill cars , mostly rods but some vanilla vintage cars as well. But prices are still like it is 2015. I doubt that many are selling but who knows. And many that do sell probably sound a lot better in U.S. dollars, at least until a couple of months ago that market seemed active. Carl is almost next door to my area so he is probably seeing much the same in terms of selection and price. We pay lots for almost everything over here, old cars are just the tip of the iceberg. Greg in British Columbia
  24. I think you will find inequity has increased substantially over that time period. I agree with your premise that "society as a whole is more affluent than ever" however that affluence in my point of view, is increasingly concentrated in higher net worth households. And there is a large body of research that support my notion of rising inequity as well as yours of overall affluence growth .The middle class; regardless of wise spending or not, is from what I can see definitely seeing purchasing power shrink. I am not commenting about the exceptional within the hobby ; cars or people, simply the ordinary. And relative situations over time. Most of the spending items you list above are increasingly rare these days in middle class budgets, despite rising standards of education and the growth of two income family's over the decades. There are a significant minority of households that have done very well indeed, and a even larger number who are either stagnant or slowly loosing ground. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/01/09/trends-in-income-and-wealth-inequality/ Or if you need some lockdown reading perhaps Thomas Piketty's " Capital in the Twenty- First Century " or his more recent " Capital and Ideology ". Greg
  25. There is one other factor at work here, the loss of buying power a slice of the old car hobby households has experienced over the last 40 years. Before the early 1980's a good percentage of old car hobby participants could afford to be involved with a large portion of the overall market. Average and slightly better , middle class households could conceivably afford the lower 3/4 or so of the old car price spectrum. Even $10,000.00 bought a very respectable old car in those days. At $25,000.00 something reasonably special was a decent possibility. These days the middle class and lower households are in many cases finding it hard enough just to meet normal living costs. At the same time anything interesting in an old car is as often than not somewhere in the $20,000.00 - $75,000.00 bracket,. A noticeable disconnect between a middle class collector car cost and a middle class budget. Relatively few middle classed households have 3 times the discretionary spending similar households had 40 years ago, but many old car prices have seen at least a 3 fold increase over that some time. Some much more. Some attempt to offset part of this disconnect by small time vehicle flipping. The persons knowledge and situation within the hobby allows for decent buys, and then it is just a matter of connecting with the right buyer. Someone who knows what it is , wants it , and has the means to become the new owner. Up to recently it is a technique that has generally successful. Greg in Canada