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Everything posted by Gunsmoke

  1. This is a question that requires looking at the big picture of the time, WWII was over, a new boom was shaping up in the American economy, and in America in particular, an era of affluence relative to the rest of the world was emerging. Other countries like Europe and Japan were struggling to recover after tremendous damage to their cities and infrastructure. So while the Germans (Mercedes, Porsche, VW), British (Jaguar, Triumph, MG, Austin) and Italians (Ferrari, Alfa, Fiat) were producing clean lined, technically efficient and aesthetically purposeful modest sized cars, the American Big 3 (or 4 or 5), decided that "excess and flamboyance" would sell. Exner, Earl, and others set the industry ablaze with their excesses, chrome, fins, length, weight, bells and whistles of all sorts, aimed at the affluent pre-boomer market, who thirsted for something more grand than the neighbour, the guy lower down the ladder, or for just bragging rights. Skilled marketing by the industry ignored all the downsides and focused largely on splash, pizazz, and "mine is bigger than yours". Predictably, the bubble would eventually burst as the next generation of buyers, the baby boomers born after 1945, became a more discerning and informed buyer. The so called "Chrome and Fin" era lasted about 10-15 years depending on how you pick a start/end date, and by then, car style/design began to be dramatically influenced by what Europe and Japan were offering, smaller bodies, less flash, less weight, more focus on efficiency and quality (although quality was an elusive goal for many more years), and more development focus on technical/engineering than on cosmetics. The mid-sixties influence of the Mustang, and eventually the whole era of Muscle Cars, meant little room for cosmetic excess thank goodness. The 1950's excess was a 10 year marketing circus, everyone bought a ticket, but eventually they recognized it was an unsustainable ride.
  2. Nice photo from FB, any thoughts on cars in photo, coupe has wide whites and perhaps dual spares at rear?
  3. What a great looking piece of hardware, have never seen anything similar. I'm guessing a spare wheel lock, not sure how it might work. Appears bolt would be separated from gismo by removing lock cylinder and bolt screwed into a wheel lug hole in a spare mounting bracket and when tightened in place, lever put on (secured against hubcap hole) and lock cylinder inserted, key turned and bingo (the spacer washers make this suggestion dubious). Thus cannot be removed without key. Since all wheels have different diameter hubcap hole, different lug sizes, etc, likely for a very specific car. The Perro Machine & Foundry Co in Cleveland OH might spark a model application. Now if I could tell you what it fit you'd have to pay me!
  4. Not worth much, typically sell in $25 range if usable.
  5. Thanks viv w for posting on the "Italian Job". That looks like a great project. I'm guessing he started with a complete and largely solid car and is simply restoring. My project on the other hand started as a roughly re-assembled barn find, good hood, decent cowl(less dash), a heavily modified rear tub, a decent rumble seat lid, decent but modified doors, windshield stanchions and a "clear title". Most everything else needed to be found or made. The good news was my initial purchase price (net of re-selling un-needed parts) was only about USD$1700. So low starting cost left me room to invest in what was missing. And people on this site have been of great assistance and encouragement. While I've enjoyed the ride, having done this one, not sure I would recommend anyone else taking on such a major rebuild unless the car had some special meaning or rarity.
  6. This week was spent making "cores" for the rumble seat cushions, and similarly fitting a front seat (all of which were missing from my CD8 roadster and impossible items to find). For the front seat I started with a 1932 Dodge Coupe seat, donated to the cause by our good friend Rob in Maryland. It was a "fixed bench" type, with a spring loaded fore/aft adjuster on bottom, moving whole seat at once. I disassembled it into 2 separate pieces and tossed the original side frames. The bench will suit as it is, proper dimensions all around, and other than figuring out a means of securing it in place, it just needs reupholstering in leather. Similarly the back will also work, but needs a bit of tweaking along top edge to mate against the horizontal and vertical curves in the roadster tub. I sat in the seat, and position is perfect, good clearance to steering wheel (which I have in lowest of 3 possible positions), and good reach to pedals (I'm 5-11", a guy 6'-2" would be OK, taller might be problematic). Some may know the CD8 roadster seat was fixed in place except for the split back cushion on driver side which could be moved fore/aft 3" via a turn knob on back of cushion. As mentioned in earlier post, I am using the rear seat of a CD8 Sedan for rumble seat cores. The seat was relatively easy, simply removed a row of springs at each side and one from back (going from 72 springs to 40 springs) and narrowed the steel framing top and bottom, and Bob's your uncle. The lid cushion needed a full monty. The lid curves about 3", so needed to make a plywood carcass to clip to lid. Then used 4 rows of 6 springs from the old seat back and a lot of tweaking of edge framing to get something close. In next few days I'll test fit some temporary material to these pulled down tight, and check for any interference where back meets bottom as lid is lowered. I'm aiming for a tight fit between the cushions when rumble seat is open, I've seen pics of a snug fit and others with a 1" gap. Not sure what originals had. I will sit in it to see comfort level, but doubt anyone will ever sit in it except a 50 lb grandchild!
  7. That "pancake" horn was used on several applications, including some motorcycles. In each case, the chrome grill was slightly different as was the mounting bracket. I have a correct one on my 1931 Chevrolet (grill not same as this posting), and it uses an L shaped bracket fixed in place by headlight bolt and I also have a chrome grill from a different horn that also fits. The M or W and unusual bracket should suggest an application.
  8. The car appears to have curved glass front windows which would be highly unusual for the era. That and the oddly contoured rear fenders may eventually lead somewhere. Has about 110"-115" wheelbase. With several hundred manufacturers back then and even more custom body builders, pinning this one down might take some time (or a real expert, not me!)
  9. Last post for tonight. The radiator shells on the early CD8's were painted body color except for a thin series of raised moldings which were chrome (see pic from original late 1930 brochure). As I understand it, the designers/stylists felt this made the cars look longer (especially the hood) and sleeker. The process involved chroming the whole rad shell, and then masking and overpainting with body color except for raised moldings. I've shown my sand-blasted shell with the body color portrayed in black tape to give an idea of the pattern of chrome. I'm planning on talking to the local "powder-coat" guy to see if he can duplicate this effect using the body color of my choice in powder- coat and also "chrome" powder coat as shown. I don't know if body color could be sprayed on full shell and "cooked" and then overcoat of chrome and cooked etc. Alternative would be to powder coat moldings first in chrome, carefully taped off, cook it as per regular process, then paint rest of rad shell body color when hood is painted (to ensure a perfect match. I would prefer to have whole shell powder coated for greater durability as it will get lots of bugs, dirt tossed at it flying down the road compared to sides of car which is not so exposed. Any experience/advice out there? BTW, not interested in the full chrome option, I like the early version. I do note some have also gone to a full body color rad shell with raised moldings same color as beltlines etc. (pic off internet).
  10. Among other things this week, I have 4 rad ornaments of various qualities and styles picked up over the years. some may know the first series CD8's only came with a winged ornament. The Gazelle was added later as a MOPAR accessory, and eventually a factory issue. I plan to use the "non-gazelle" winged type (my car is a first series), and I picked up an excellent all original one this week, think it would look more racy on a roadster. While it has lost some original bright finish, it has very little pitting and chrome on sides is excellent. I may seek advice on options for polishing it up if I decide not to re-chrome, a process that is not only pricey, but usually mean a loss of a lot of the fine feathering detail on wings. The gazelle ornament is a 2 piece job, I picked up the very good original Gazelle without a base several years ago (has antlers shortened), and found the rough base separately. The winged one next to it I bought on ebay, but it arrived with one tip broken off in shipping. It appears to be a former base for a gazelle, it has the gazelle mounting holes underneath and they and rear fin filed/filled in prior to re-chroming.
  11. The rumble seat back core requires a bit more finesse. Current Sedan backseat is 45" wide and 24" high (25" at center), with 4 rows of 10 springs. I only require 37" of width, and so I will remove a spring at both ends of each row, and one row from bottom edge of back to finish with 3 rows of 8 springs, and a seat back measuring about 37"x 21". The Sedan seatback currently has about 1" of curve on upper edge which will have to be cut to a straight line and upper-most row of springs(which currently follow the curve) realigned into a straight line. Finally, the rumble seat lid has a vertical curve of about 2.75" which will require adding curved hardwood framing on back side to match profile of R/S lid and also find some suitable large head tabs/bolts that can drop into keyhole openings in R/S lid to hold seat back in place. I include a photo from internet showing an original R/S setup. Getting that nice taper on upper edge will require some strong wiring down of last row of springs and some serious horsehair padding!
  12. So today I had a good look at the 1931 CD8 Sedan back seats (which were about to be tossed in the dumpster by the guy I sold the sedan to), and they will provide an excellent core for Roadster rumble seat. As per pics, the Sedan seat bottom is 45" wide, but the wood platform is about 39.5", exactly correct size for Roadster rumble seat width, and 20.5" deep, exactly as needed. Will mean I have to remove one row of springs from each side, it has 12 tightly packed springs in 6 rows now, will reduce to 10 springs in 5 rows, and cut and alter metal framing to suit. The rearward most row of springs will get removed to clear the rumble seat lid when it is in upright position. This seat also has heavy steel mesh bottom as shown including a cutout for the floor hump over the rear-end area. Height is correct pretty much as is. The wood platform had 2 "ears" sticking out on front edge which I cut off so platform fits in nicely. These photos deal with rumble seat bottom/seat.
  13. Firstly, the "pennants" on the OP car don't look similar in shape as those on 1930 Chrysler, specifically note the OP car pennant has concave curve on back side, while Chrysler had slight curve on front of pennant. Running board and wheelbase in general look much longer than 30 Chrysler, and tire sizes larger. Also note large hubcaps. Biggest issue for me is hood/cowl/rad. The OP shows perhaps a 3" wide rad shell while Chrysler was only an inch or so. Hood top leaves have a much more squarish look on outer edge (see also cowl band) versus the very rounded Chrysler hood top leaves, suggesting the rad shell would have similar more squarish top corners. While the fenders match Chryslers of the era, they were used on many models, both American and European. The "clean, smooth slab sided" design idiom was popular with many European coachbuilders (and discerning buyers). 2 bar bumpers suggest 1932 or earlier, and rear spare may suggest something. The longish door suggests likely a 5 seat Victoria, and I know Chrysler made a few of those in late 1931 Model year on the 124" CD8 chassis. Proportionally based on an estimated tire diameter of 30-31 inches, wheelbase for vehicle comes to about 132"-140", longer than any Chrysler except the 1931 Imperials at 145". I'm guessing possibly a Kellner bodied 5 seat coupe, and that 3 piece luggage rack suggests some rich dude going on a long holiday! (note Franklins of that year had a high squarish hood line (here's a '28).
  14. Who's the expert on these? Lots of detail, should be easy for someone, Buick? Olds? ....
  15. I have rear seats from the 1931 CD8 Sedan, no where near correct, but may use springs and frames in a modified form as starting point for Rumble Seat. I agree Narve N that almost anything could be used for a core, I doubt they will ever be sat in!
  16. Also trst fitted the under fender R/S step pad supports, the newly made cleats and adjusted fit of cowl vent.
  17. After getting body back from bodyman, the work begins trying to put the puzzle pieces together before dis-assembly for painting. Fitted the floor this week, a mix of under-seat pan from the sedan, R/S toe kick from original roadster, and some new plywood infills as well as cowl toe board. Not sure what original roadsters had for a floor, as everything was missing from this barnfind except for the R/S area toe kick and one vertical brace. Also put these wood "upholstery" tack strips on, they are originals although I'm not sure how material secured to them (no sign of staple holes etc. Back curved strip had many tacks on underside. Later this week I will try fitting seat in place. Looking for seats for Rumble area, have nothing.
  18. I have every issue of Automobile Quarterly, all 210 published from 1962 including indexes and specials . A truly wonderful trove of automotive history, knowledge, creativity and everything one could ask for. So sad they closed up shop in 2012. So I'm looking forward to someone else embarking on a mission like this, may not be as ambitious as AQ, but that's a sign of our times. Wish him the best.
  19. Note that car does have lights, mounted on cowl. Car appears to have been in accident as mentioned, or otherwise altered, rear tub not fitting frame properly. Also appears to have an upward slanting pole/bar of some sort on frame forward of driver although that could be a flaw in the photo itself. Really an "in period jalopy" my guess!
  20. Without knowing your personal profile (are you a hands-on type, mechanically inclined, any automotive knowledge of this period of cars, some money to spare on a potentially expensive hobby etc), but assuming you have a space at least 25x12 to store and tinker with a vehicle, then the absolute lowest price you can get it for is your aim. 4 door sedans of virtually any "common" make of this period have only a small market, and values have been dropping past few years. While cars like this in good mechanical condition can be taken on 10 mile trips with relative safety, they are not suitable for much else. While they can be maintained by a mechanically competent owner, they do require regular maintenance of engine and brakes in particular, and few shops will do that (at least not properly). A set of tires will set you back at least $1000. The Chryslers were well made cars, but a 4 door like you suggest would be a good entry buy at $4000-$5000 perhaps. That leaves enough margin (after purchase costs are added on including any taxes) to re-sell without a loss if it turns out not to be something you enjoy. A 1926 fully restored 4 door Chrysler locally in pristine shape had a tough time selling in the $6500 ($8000 Canadian) range locally 4 years ago. A seller will wince at a low offer, but frankly, that is what they are worth IMHO.
  21. A few enlargements to assist those with failing eyesight, like me! (1)Front picture, frame is straight end to end, (no kickups, drops or horns). Note front springs appear 3/4 elliptic with a longish shackle at rear of lower spring. Large bar at front of frame is clearly a substantial cross member as none other likely exist until rear of powerplant. Radiator has very purposeful large top tank, smallish air inlet area. Longish drum style hood suggest might be more than 4 cylinders, interesting ribbing and simple handle. Car is RHD and only has a headlight on RH Side. (2)Second pic shows the simple trussed frame side rails, nicely cast steel running board brackets including what appears to be an RB cross support bar, quality fittings of lower cowl and seat base and quality tufted seating. (3)Rear photo appears to show a cast steel "horn" secured to frame rail, likely to connect to a semi- elliptic spring. Oval gas tank likely fits behind the young fellow.(4)Finally the 4 spoke steering wheel appears to be aluminum and note the rod extending down column with a lever on underside of wheel. I sense this is a pretty high quality build, and its low profile generally and sparseness of amenities suggests designed specifically for speed. Early Mercers of 1913/14 (this is not one) echoed this same general look.
  22. Might the ACE on the seat side suggest something (other than the owner/driver's nickname)? It was a common practice to sell stripped down versions of family cars as sport versions and give them a catchy model name. Springs could be 3/4 elliptic. OOPs, thanks for clearing up the JCB monogram.
  23. Sedan fenders are about 3" narrower at top as they tuck in under upper body. Roadster body at this point is about 6" narrower requiring the extra material shown in photo. I spot welded these initially, bodyman would later stitch weld seams. Had to make a set of 3 bows and couple photos showing the dash which consists of 2 pieces with the mounting bolts welded to the inner piece before securing the 2 pieces together. A lot of care is needed to get the 2 sets of gauge holes in perfect alignment, and note dash face holes are 2" and 3" but backing holes are 2&1/8" and 3&1/8". Post from this point forward should only include progress being made after this date, i.e. welcome to 2021!. Hard to believe I've been at this car for 6 years!
  24. Fall and Winter 2019-2020 floor panels made, Sedan fenders modified and fitted to rear quarter salvaged panels (came from Oregon to Maine to Nova Scotia), and finally car loaded for trip to the body shop, September 2019, where the body would reside for about 18 months.
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