Scooter Guy

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Everything posted by Scooter Guy

  1. There is a fine line between collecting and hoarding. Exactly what or where that line is remains open to interpretation and debate. I suspect that someone that doesn't "understand" car collecting could probably point the finger at any number of us and call us hoarders. It all depends on what the criteria is. I sure don't think hoarders are the root of all evil in the automotive hobby. How are they any different than someone like Jay Leno that owns hundreds of fine cars and doesn't sell them? Is it because Leno is a public figure? is it because many of his vehicles are restored? Is it because he shows his vehicles? Is it because of his garage/storage complex? My point being, of course, that what one person sees as a collection another sees as a hoard and I'd bet that nearly 100% of the folks on this message board would call Leno's stuff a collection and not a hoard, right? I've personally always looked at hoarders as sort of "treasure protectors" in the sense that they are assembling collections of cars/motorcycles/antiques in order to keep them from being scrapped/crushed, lost to time/nature, or from ending up in situations where they will not be appreciated, be it hot-rodding, etc. Yep, some of these cars are up to the frame rails in the mud, but they still exist, which is something. I think a lot of people here are too paranoid about things being scrapped and crushed. Yes, some small collections have probably been crushed. Maybe even yards full of stuff, but I'd think that in this day and age (with TV full of car shows, American Pickers, the internet, etc.) that nobody in their right mind would come in to settle a hoarder's estate and immediately start crushing/scrapping cars by the hundreds. Anyone stumbling across a car hoard would have to realize that they are looking at something special that that hoards of hundreds of cars are not just scrap heaps. No...instead I suspect that they would start to see dollar signs and think auction. This "saves" the stuff and allows buyers to come in that need/want the stuff and who usually know what they're looking at. The family auctions a bunch of ratty looking rusty hulks for thousands of dollars (or more) each, realizing that so-and-so's old hoard of stuff really was pretty significant and valuable. Those people will then never look at "junk" that same way again, I guarantee it. No, maybe you will never be able to buy something directly from a hoarder, but that's not really the point, is it? It seems to me that the point is that the hoarder will save stuff and it will EVENTUALLY end up in the hands of another collector rather than being thrown out. All the stuff we buy at flea markets and swap meets (heck, Hershey, anyone?) is all stuff that got saved...maybe by a hoarder at one time. And it was a collector or a picker that brought it there for you to take home. I've been in a few motorcycle hoards that are unbelievable. Hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles, and not just the typical Harley and Indian stuff, either...some pre 1920 motorcycles (mostly American), ex-race bikes, rare foreign bikes, scooters, NOS parts of bikes, and so on. Not one nut and bolt was for sale and probably none of it will be in my life time. I've gotten over being upset/disappointed/angry about nothing being for sale. At least they are being saved for someone in the future. We can't personally have or "save" them all! So...hoarders, pickers, collectors, auctioneers...they're all ok in my book. Without them, many of us would not own what we have today.
  2. I sure hope it has an upside for you guys at Phipps Auto. If nothing else, it's a once in a lifetime experience to have been involved in something like this. I did see Dewaine on channel 8 news a while back (yes, I'm local to you but don't have any old old stuff all has two wheels). I thought it was great that they came out and had him on.
  3. I am not going to directly answer the original question as I have no experience with restoration shops in MA, but wanted to offer up the following as a general thought: If at all possible, try to find the best shop or person for the job regardless of their location. To me it would be "worth it" to have my car in the "right" shop vs. the "close" shop, keeping in mind the end result. Identify the experts in your make and model; when the stars all align and you stumble upon that magic combination of an expert on your vehicle that has a shop and does superior quality work, you've really found something. It can make the difference between "correct" and "close" on your restoration. That stuff matters to some, to others not at all. There are lots of considerations when selecting a shop: your goals, your budget, logistical challenges (location/transportation), restorer's expertise, time frame and so on. There are shops for every sort of car and for every sort of budget and job from the quick flippers to the one man operations that work slowly and quietly out of the public eye restoring 1 or 2 cars at a time over a period of years. Best of luck to the original poster. I simply encourage you to consider all of your options and go with the best you can for your circumstances.
  4. Let me begin by saying that I do NOT know the law and procedures in North Carolina, however the quote (above) about the car having had a good PA title seems, to me, like a significant tidbit of information. Why can you not take the PA title (which I presume you received when you purchased the car) and go to the DMV in North Carolina to have the title transferred into your name in NC, car registered, etc.? Are you saying that NC does visual inspections of "antique vehicles" and that all of the replacement parts you've mentioned were installed recently, thus causing the issue with the fender tag and such? Nonetheless, it would seem to me that you would have some sort of leg to stand on by virtue of the fact that the car has (had?) a PA title as recently as this past year. On the other hand, if all of the major components (or at least the numbered ones) have all been changed out, I can sure see where the state is coming from. Also- at the end of the day, would a specialty vehicle title really be that bad? At least they aren't saying that you can't title it at all. Perhaps you should just go that route and call it done.
  5. That update was on the Forall, not the Lowther. I didn't think I was unclear, but my update post was getting back to the original topic, the Forall, which has been dated to 1960. Your Lowther was a 1949.
  6. UPDATE: Dave Lewis of Dave Lewis [Car] Restoration in Springfield ( has confirmed that it is actually a 1960 model and he even sent me a scan of a factory advertisement dated 3/60 to prove it. Dave is something of an expert on Forall Scooters, having lived in Springfield, Illinois growing up and having received a 1958 model from his father for his 8th grade graduation. In 1994 he wrote a multi page response to another enthusiast that had tracked him down that details the origin and production history of the Forall Scooter. That letter ended up posted to the US Scooter Museum website (the website is the museum---there is no physical location or collection of scooters). I managed to locate Dave, nearly 20 years after that letter was written, to see what he might be able to tell me about Forall that I didn't already know. It turns out that it wasn't terribly difficult to find him as he has not moved and has a very nice website he maintains for his collector car restoration business.The ad he sent is actually the first piece of Forall literature I've ever seen that is dated. Thanks, Dave!
  7. This reminded me of one other thing that has not been mentioned that could be a perfectly legal way to buy and title the car that was originally mentioned: bonded title programs. This may absolutely not apply since I don't know the laws in NY or in FL, but I know that Texas has a bonded title program. I will not go into all of the details of how this works in Texas (you can easily find it online if you really want to know), but basically you submit a bill or sale and statement of facts to the county tax assessor that they can either accept or deny. If all is well, they then make you buy a bond for 1.5x the value of the vehicle. They will run VIN checks, inspect the vehicle, etc., and if all works out, you end up with a bonded title for the vehicle for a period of 3 years. During that period potential owners and/or lien holders may come forward and "claim" the vehicle, so going for a bonded title isn't without its risks either. After 3 years and no stakeholders coming forward, the state of TX will issue you a "real" clean title. There is the potential for a the car and lot of money to be lost if you don't have an "honest" car, so you need to be darn sure it was NEVER stolen and doesn't have any sort of liens on it...if it does, you're now the one on the hook. Just like with title services, there are people out there willing to do the work for you for a fee, but you can do it yourself. If you're not the kind of person that is willing to follow detailed instructions and deal with the red tape (including people that say "no" or give you the run around even when you've followed procedure to a "t"), getting a bonded title yourself is probably not for you. I have a friend that went through the process for a Porsche he has. He was careful and took his time and has had no issues. 1 year left on the bond for him and he'll be good to go.
  8. Cars with no paperwork are different than cars with wrong paperwork. If you decide to buy this car and decide to use a title service, my advice to you would be to proceed as if the car has zero paperwork rather than the car has a title with the wrong VIN and the wrong year. The existing tile (in a legal sense anyway) is not title to the car you want to buy, which is likely how the DMV will see it, of course. They won't just take it as a typo and go in and fix the numbers to match. So, for me it would come down to buying the car without a title or not buying it at all. Unless it was strictly (always and forever) going to be a race car, I wouldn't buy it. You might go through a title mill and come out with a title, or you might find out it's stolen. Only you can determine if you want to take that risk. I also know that I would NOT accept the title to the wrong car (wrong VIN and wrong year = wrong title to me) and definitely would not use it to try to get legit paperwork. That could be the beginning of all sorts of trouble. I wouldn't want that piece of paper in my possession at all!
  9. Technical problems just announced on-air. No more fantasy bidding for Thursday. They hope to have it fixed by tomorrow (Friday) night.
  10. They seem to be experiencing massive technical issues. I have played every year and enjoy doing so...never manage to win the prizes even when I'm completely on the money with my fantasy bid, but it's fun to guess anyway. This year has been frustrating: problems registering, problems logging in, problems registering my bid (it did not count my bid for car #1 for some reason...seems like their servers crashed). Oh well...I'll play if it works and have no expectation that I'll win any prizes.
  11. Maybe I'm completely wrong about this, but I think I've seen the YR2 used on Packards from the late 1930s - early 1940s??? I don't know what those Packards are supposed to have, so again, possibly totally wrong. I suppose if they were a replacement carb, it's possible.
  12. I don't have any leads or information for you, but have to say that that thing is very cool! I've never seen one of these before. I'd love to have one myself...hmmmmm
  13. I would back up and say that there has been a resurgence of mainstream interest in "old stuff" (not just cars) driven, at least in part, by several things: Television: Barrett-Jackson auctions on Speed, American Pickers, American Restoration, Chasing Classic Cars, Chop/Cut/Rebuild, Fast n' Loud, Overhaulin' and so on. Many of these shows don't paint a realistic picture of market value and have only caused many people to think that old stuff automatically equals valuable stuff. Internet: It's easy these days to hop online and discover that there are people out there buying, selling, and collecting darn near everything. This creates a perceived desire to the potential seller, as he sees a market rather than having the scrap yard be the only alternative. Condition drives desirability though, and some owners/seller fail to remember that. So, lots of potential sellers have the idea that their old stuff is valuable and that there is a collector out there somewhere willing to pay top dollar for their item. These people are seeing that collectors are paying far more than scrap value in most cases, so they think they're sitting on gold mines. This has absolutely saved some vehicles from the crusher, which I'd say is a good thing, because once they're gone, they're gone. Even if the seller is unwilling to be realistic on the price considering the condition, the vehicle has been spared from the crusher and theoretically becomes available. The pricing problem is nothing new and will probably ALWAYS be an issue. It's simple: not everything old is valuable and condition matters. Some sellers will always believe just the opposite.
  14. I looked through the completed listings on Ebay and think that I found your car (it was sold twice virtually back-to-back out of Colorado Springs). The title thing is kinda sticky...the actual auction narrative description did say "no warranties and sold as is," but didn't mention anything about the title in either of the auctions. However, the description tab (on all ebay car listings) DOES say "title: clear" which would indicate (to me) that the car did in fact have a title as that information is supplied by the seller. So, the buyer does have a leg to stand on, in my opinion, if he wants his money back out of the deal though I would also say that the buyer seems not to have done his due diligence prior to the purchase to determine the existence of the title. I don't know if it's illegal to transport a vehicle without a title or not, but the fact of the matter is that now the car is in NJ (presumably with the buyer) who is unhappy that there is no title. It should have never been transported before any possible issue was resolved, but it was. The buyer should have asked about a title, but apparently didn't. The seller should have completely disclosed that there was no title, but (at least in the ebay listing) didn't. I think the only thing you can do is either give the money back and go get your car or wait and let the Ebay dispute play out knowing that you might lose and have to give the money back and go get the car. Or maybe Ebay will go your way and say that all of that is the buyer's problem. I just think the way the car was listed (assuming that I am looking at the correct ebay car) seems to indicate that the car does, in fact, have a title. Reading through Ebay motors policy makes it known that saying that the title is "clear" is a pretty big deal to them. That might be all the buyer needs to be able to have Ebay get him out of the deal. I don't know how car location/shipping would work out if that's how it played out. Good luck!
  15. In that case, it seems to me that if the car was sold by you (or your designee in Colorado) without a title and was bought and paid for by someone (a broker or not), coming up with the title is now the buyer's problem as they paid and took delivery of the vehicle without a title. The fact that they want to get the car out of the United States also seems like it's the buyer's problem, not yours. The fact that the car was sold on Ebay probably doesn't help, BUT if it was disclosed that the car had no title and the buyer purchased it anyway, I see no reason that you should have to refund the payment unless you want to AND you get the car back. Someone must have come to pick the car up based on the fact that it's now in NJ, right? Was that the buyer or just a shipper? It's starting to all sound like buyer's remorse that came with asking questions after the fact. Now, if the buyer was told the vehicle had a title or that you would be able to produce one for him, that's a different story.
  16. The car cannot be exported from the United States without a valid title. Lots of information on the specifics of which can be found at the Customs and Border Protection website. Attempting to export the car anyway could result in the car being seized and/or legal action against the owner/seller/exporter. IF the car does, in fact, have a title (that is just lost or was not supplied with the car), even the person listed as the legal owner on the title could be implicated if it were exported. Is there a bill-of-sale that was done? Any notarized paperwork stating that the vehicle was sold "as is" or some such thing? I don't really follow how the car is now in NJ, you're in Australia, but it could be taken back to Colorado. That aside, I think getting a title for this might be a real pain and this might be a good opportunity to check into using a title service to get the title. Also look into the laws in a state like Vermont. Probably the most important thing to determine before you do anything else is if the car has ever been titled or not. If it has, it will be very difficult to get a new title in a different state and will be virtually impossible to export. This is where the services of a title service might be valuable to you. You'll have to check with individual title service companies to see how they operate, but I know they won't give you a title without something to go'll need (at least) a bill of sale and possibly some other proof of ownership. I would go back to the FIRST seller in the chain and lean hard on them to produce a title or issue a bill of sale for the car. This is a difficult situation. Best of luck!
  17. I agree with you about the show...the early years were interesting but I grew tired of the drama (real or fabricated) and then it got to be one "theme bike" after another. After some time, they all began to look the same and they seemed to have run out of original design ideas. I just didn't know that the show had been cancelled, so the announcement came as a surprise to me last night.
  18. I watched the two night series they did on the build-off and have watched both Fast 'N Loud and American Chopper off and on since both of them first went on the air. I didn't personally care for any of the bikes very much, but the Gas Monkey bike was my favorite of the bunch...the "old school" nostalgia type of chopper. And it literally was a chopper...born from a '67 Harley Davidson Shovelhead. I have mixed feelings about the nice original being turned into a chopper, but STILL liked it much better than all of the others. I found it rather annoying that more than once it was mentioned that nobody had ever done a Harley based sport bike. This isn't accurate at all. Harley has factory built some sport bikes AND the entire Buell motorcycle line was exactly that...Harley powered sport bikes. I didn't think the results were surprising at all. Of course Paul Jr. was going to win. He could have built virtually anything and still pulled it off. He is the guy that's come up roses on TV and has the backing of the fans. His dad, Paul Sr., in my opinion, has always been portrayed as the 'bad guy' on the show, thus no way he could win; Jesse James builds neat stuff but doesn't have the fan base without West Coast Choppers and Monster Garage on TV (not to mention that his bad-boy image is getting old), and the Gas Monkey garage guys were (again, in my opinion) thrown in as the underdogs because the Jr.-Sr.-Jesse thing was already played out from last year. I wanted to see them win it, but didn't think they stood a chance with Jr. The most surprising thing to me was to hear that American Chopper is done for. The last episode was last night (the build off show). I don't know if they'll be back doing individual shows or if this is the end of the road for them in terms of tv shows, but I sure didn't realize the show as we know it is over. There was no sort of wrap-up or retrospective aired prior to the build off show last night in which it was announced.
  19. As far as I can tell, the clutches are identical except for the difference in the crankshaft size they are intended for. I do know they can be repaired and the 1/2" can be refit for 5/8" to work with a Doodle Bug. Give Don Jackson a call about that. He and I have discussed exactly that operation. Every now and then he has a real fluid clutch around, too...worth asking about.
  20. The correct crankshaft size is 5/8" The clutches can be rebuilt and repaired by (I know I sound like a broken record here) Don Jackson at Yesterday's Rides Metalworks. He has done one for me and is going to do another for me soon. Also a word of caution to anyone looking for a fluid drive clutch: a similar fluid drive unit was used on washing machines (also manufactured by Beam Manufacturing), but they are 1/2" instead of 5/8" I actually purchased a washing machine fluid drive once because I got caught up in an auction and didn't carefully check the size beforehand. Oops.
  21. I collect scooters, old mopeds (back when they actually had pedals, ha!), small motorcycles...things of that sort. I generally pick stuff that I like and want to keep, so I rarely sell anything. PS- Indy is great...lived there for only a touch over three years, but I loved it. I spent lots of time at the Speedway and at all of the major automotive sites across the state. There was actually a scooter made in Indianapolis called the Cycle Scoot and the model name was "Indianapolis 500." Hmm....I wonder about that! They were built from around 1954-1957 or so. The exact years are hard to pin down. One of the first ones was presented to Wilbur Shaw at the Speedway and had a special plaque on it indicating such. There are photos of him on it at the yard of bricks in front of the pagoda. That machine is still around and is owned by a collector from Michigan. The Cycle Scoot was unique in that there were no hand controls at all. It was entirely foot operated with floorboard style pedals you pushed forward to go and back to stop. They billed it as a safety feature! It's on my wish list of oddities that I'd like to own at some point.
  22. No, that's not what I meant... The scooter I am restoring is the machine in question that was on Ebay. I was not buying it for parts to finish another, I was buying it to restore THAT one. I am not saying that it was misrepresented or that the person I bought it from was dishonest or anything of the sort. He had absolutely every right to do whatever he wanted: sell it complete, part it out, withhold specific on and so on. No argument from me about that. I do not claim that there is nothing unethical, immoral, illegal, or "wrong" with what he did. There was no scam. He had every right to do exactly what he did and he found a buyer willing to play the game and pay his prices (me!), so everyone ended up happy. Scrappers and salvage guys (along with MANY hobby-collectors) do exactly that. I was just commenting that as a collector it was disappointing to me that I bought it from a guy that had purchased a nice, original with little more than the intent to flip it for more cash by parting it out. Honestly, I would have paid more for it as a complete unit than I ended up paying for it in parts, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.
  23. I am 100% with you here! I have a scooter that I'm working on right now that was originally sold on Ebay as a complete machine. It had a very reasonable buy-it-now price and sold to another person before I saw it (I got an email about it, but it was too late). About one month later the same scooter appeared on Ebay being sold by the person that purchased it when it was on Ebay the first time. The only difference is that it had been disassembled and was being offered as a rolling chassis only. I was still interested, so I bought it. However, I knew that this had been a complete scooter until then, so I asked the seller what happened to the rest of it. I received no response. After about two weeks, I got an email from the seller saying nothing more than "check out my listings on Ebay." There was the rest of the scooter. So, a nice complete machine was parted out and I had to win multiple auctions to get it all back in one piece. Sadly, one of the auctions I did not win and that part is essentially gone forever. I understand the guy had every right to do with it what he wanted and to make a buck, but it really irritated me to see a nice complete machine get parted out as if "all original" was insignificant.
  24. Tell them it means "shipped" or "mailed to." That should clear it all up. Good luck.
  25. I think you'll discover that violins and antique string instruments are a whole different world. You're dealing with varnished wood (the varnishes on antique instrument are, in some cases, considered priceless) vs. raw wood and it's considered a sin to refinish an old instrument or to try to "clean" them. The absolute best thing for antique string instruments it to be played regularly (thus kept in tip-top condition) and to be stored in climate and humidity controlled environment when not in use. Playing them regularly helps the wood stay "alive," which is why you'll hear people say things about particular instruments such as they need to be "broken in" or "played in." Humidity control helps keep them from cracking. In the winter we use things called dampits to keep some moisture in them when the air dries out. It's funny to be talking about this on the AACA forum, as I'm in symphony orchestra administration for a "major" orchestra and part of what I do is keep tabs on the orchestra owned instruments including a Stradivarius violin, among other rarities. We go to great lengths to ensure these instruments, some of them worth more than $1 million, are well taken care of.