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Gunsmoke

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Everything posted by Gunsmoke

  1. Last post for today. Bringing home an old car is always a mix of excitement and trepidation. A few pictures of the day of pickup and it's arrival 200 miles later at my property. To say it was rough and partially incomplete would be an understatement, confirmed later on as I began to realize just how many alterations had been made. The first decision was deciding to actually keep it and make it into something. The second was a choice between rebuilding it the way Walter had in the 1950's as an historic "modified", or try to return it close to 1931 specifications. Having decided on the latter, the Caddy V8 had no value, nor did the LaSalle tranny so I donated them to a hodrod friend for use in one of his eventual builds (they are now the power plant of a 1930 Ford Coupe hotrod, very cool old school). The Auburn rear-end (which was in perfect condition) fetched a good dollar (about 1/3 of what I paid for the whole car) at Hershey in late 2015. And those Electroline 1950's headlights fetched $600 on ebay! Sold the bumper and the Plymouth Goddess hood ornament that also came with it and by the time the financial dust settled, I was into a starter project for under $1700USD. But a long and expensive road remained.
  2. As part of my effort to learn more about the Chrysler Roadster, I contacted one of Walter's sons who told me his Dad had sold the car to a good friend, who could tell me it's history. I met the guy in 2015 (he was then 92) and he told me of Walter's passion for cars, that Walter had rescued the roadster body from a scrap yard in about 1953, and that in 1957 Walter had bought a rare 1941 Packard 4 door convertible and sold him the roadster. He gave me pictures he had of the car taken in 1957. Another friend of mine had pictures of the car taken at a car show in 1966, and the widow had a photo take in about 1969, last time car was on the road. In all the photos, the car wears proudly the same front bumper, which I think is from a 1935 era International truck! As can be seen, none of the cars original brightwork survived and even the lovely dash had been cut from the car at some point.
  3. A brief trip down memory lane. When my Dad realized in the 80's that I had a passion for pre-war cars, he talked about only 2 cars. His 1936 Auburn he owned before the war, and his friend Walter Keys "Big Black Chrysler Roadster". Dad and Walter were both mechanics, loved getting cars working better than factory, and enjoyed stock car racing at the local 1/4 mile ovals. He told me Walter had modified the Chrysler Roadster using a 40's Caddy Flathead V8, LaSalle tranny and Auburn dual ratio rear-end, and it was such a "cool car". By then, he had not seen the car since the 60's and figured it had been sold out of the area. Up to time of his passing in 1999 he regularly mentioned his old friend Walter's car. I never thought about the car after his passing. But on a trip back home (about 200 miles) in 2014, I asked an old car friend if there were any interesting old cars lurking around. After initially saying NO, everything has been found, he told me an old gent who lived 4 miles away had died a couple years earlier, and in the 80's the guy had a couple of old cars in a shed on his property but would never sell them. I went to visit his 85 yr old widow who confirmed the 2 old cars were still in the shed, "go have a look"! My jaw dropped when I opened the overhead door to find a "Big Chrysler Roadster" staring me in the eye, rough shape, loosely assembled, with a Cadillac flathead V8 sitting along side. I returned to the house and asked if it was for sale. "My son was here yesterday and we decided it was time to sell it". I put a deposit on it and closed the sale the next day. These were taken the day I found it. And the journey began.
  4. A clamp of some sort, perhaps to go on squarish tubing, not likely automotive.
  5. More photos of CD8 as it sits today, Dec 5 2020. I've put a few things on body to ensure fit, including the deck cleats I made last winter. Some of the gauges are only there for ensuring hole size is OK (I have a full proper set, I made this dash from scratch back in 2017/2018, original had been cut from car in 1970's). Pretty much all the disassembly, cleanup, finding and rebuilding of 1,000's of parts and pieces has been completed, rolling chassis is 90 percent done, so from here on it should be just a case of positive progress, fingers crossed.
  6. Many of you know I've been playing with a barn-find 1931 Chrysler CD8 Roadster for about 6 years now. I've posted several threads over the years, looking for advice, parts, ideas and have gotten great feedback. I've decided moving forward I will consolidate everything about my journey in this one thread. I don't want to repeat too much already dealt with, so will start with a few pictures as it sits today, and will add 2 or 3 posts shortly summarizing how I got to this point for those not familiar with the first 5 years.
  7. Looking at several fender options including those. Patience is a virtue! I am going to post a new thread shortly as an opening post for a series of updates to log the CD8's rebuild from here forward, instead of running several different threads. Cheers.
  8. Basic engineering, an internal combustion engine needs an engineered cooling system, water, air (thru channels or finning) or whatever to maintain efficiency and survive. Remember there are hundreds of moving parts that need temperature control. The original question was "can an engine work without a coolant in cold weather". The obvious answer is NO (or not for long)! Without an engineered cooling system (air, water) the engine would run in various degrees of hot or cool dependent on a whole range of variables, RPMs, ambient temperature, idling or moving, length of run time, power load on engine (accessories), etc. In a carefully calculated hypothetical cold case, (like maybe 0 degrees F), and at a fixed operating speed, and with no radiator up front (to allow air flow to the block), it might be that air rushing into the engine bay along the outside of the engine may permit a specific engine to be run without an engineered system for a short trip. But there are far too many variables for anyone to give anything more than a "hypothetical" answer to the posted question. That's why we have engineers design cooling systems, i.e. so that they do not rely on a very narrow range of operating conditions for the engine to survive/work efficiently. Some engines can tolerate "hot" (overheated) for considerably longer that other engines which cannot tolerate overheating at all. Some engines can be run cold while other engines need to be at normal operating temp to run properly.
  9. I would also have stripped block checked thoroughly for cracks (magnafluxed), especially if it has been in a colder climate at any point. I bought 2 so-called good 1931 MOPAR 8 cyl blocks (a Chrysler CD8 Deluxe 3.25" pistons and a Dodge DG8/Chrysler CD8 with 3" pistons) and at start of a rebuild, both had serious hairline cracks, mainly in the internal valve train area, virtually impossible area to repair. The cooling channels on these is complex, and difficult to drain in freezing weather areas, and it does not take much of a freeze up to crack them. I wound up throwing both blocks away, along with the $2000 I paid for them! Just a word of caution.
  10. I have a proper trunk rack as per the CG shown and will install it as a fold-up, but don't plan generally to fit a trunk (I may make a removable one for longer jaunts). The CG's are lovely, and the suicide doors a bonus. I have this list of 1931 Chrysler color options for the Roadster. Not sure if there were any other standard factory schemes. 1931 Chrysler Roadster Original Color Schemes Body Moldings and Fenders Stripes Wheels Cossack Brown (IM-444) Gray Green (IM-827) Gold Bronze ? Smoke Gray (IM-840) Pembroke Gray (IM-878) Extra Perm. Vermillion ? Auto Gray Dark (IM-924) Brewster Gray Dark (IM-499) Carmine ? Black Cat’s Eye Green (IM-374) Packard Ivory Cat's Eye Green & Ivory pin str Royal Maroon Deep (IM-945) Black Extra Perm Vermillion ?
  11. Regarding colors, no decision yet. Initial plan was a light grey body, darker grey belt/molding lines. Chrysler offered 2 different 2-tone grey schemes in 1931 for the roadster. Also considering dark grey body and black moldings. As I researched this specific vehicle, it appeared based on original paint uncovered behind door hinges, that car was originally all Black with Cat's Eye Green moldings and Packard Ivory pin striping, much as per the illustration in the original brochure, and a standard scheme in 1931. The body work is passable, but not show quality, so black is not likely a desirable color as any flaws will be too pronounced. I will finish getting all the other bits and pieces fitted to body (lights, gauges, handles, seats and upholstery panels, rear fenders, cleats, etc), and once everything seems a good fit I will send body for paint, probably next spring, so I have 6 months to decide. As per sketch shown here, the front fenders that came with car were not salvageable, and a decent pair impossible to find and likely super expensive. So I plan at this stage to use custom made cycle-style fenders (similar shape to rear fenders) and no running boards in mean time, and if decent stuff shows up down the road, a full return to factory look will be relatively easy. As some may know, the running boards on Roadsters were of little value, and in fact are a hindrance in getting in and out. (for some reason my sketch seems to want to download vertically?)
  12. A short update: Chassis work is pretty much finished, virtually everything rebuilt, steering wheel/column and Ebrake removed for placing body. Got the body back from shop on weekend, have since set on chassis and over next few days will confirm fit, alignment, gaps etc. Body rebuild was a difficult challenge, virtually all lower sheet metal all around had to be made from scratch, there was nothing left of original lower 6" of body. Also whole rear panel is newly made. About 300 hours of bodyman time. Moldings are not perfect, but close enough for me. There is only one person willing to take on this kind of work locally, and he is approaching 80 yrs old, so I was happy he took this on. Will still need to do a bit of fine tuning, will make for lots of hours this winter.
  13. This photo appeared on FB locally, dealership in Sydney Cape Breton NS, Canada, think a GM outlet. Looks like a nice Phaeton in background, maybe Cadillac or LaSalle? Article said this building burned down in 1933.
  14. Can you tell me dimensions of the low trunk, bottom right in 1st photo if you still have it?
  15. 1932 Gauges mount identically to 1931 ,i.e. they bolt on from the rear with the chrome "bezel" projecting about 1/16" into the car interior. Here are my 1931 gauges mounted in my Roadster dash panel I had to make as my dash had been cut out and scrapped decades ago. In any event, the gas gauge is $90, the water gauge $60, and the oil gauge $35. I have another buyer interested in the oil gauge, and it may be sold later today. Shipping extra, let me know your zip and I will get quote for shipping. BTW, asking $250 for speedometer if anyone is interested.
  16. Rolling chassis is pretty much finished, all rebuilt wheel bearings, rebuilt brakes all around, relined gas tank/new lines, refurbished shocks, springs and have wheels sandblasted and primed. Body rebuild is due back here first week of November to set back on chassis, to be followed by fitting of gauges, seats, interior panels, windshield etc. Once fully reassembled, I'll take for a spin or 2 to check out roadability, and then disassemble for final paint. I'll post some further photos in a few days, stay tuned.
  17. tj1107 Send me a PM indicating just what you want. I have the steering wheel, and the set of control rods shown (one lever is broken at tip), horn button etc, and also the column, shaft and steering box. May also have a clum switch for end of rods. I think $150 plus shipping is fair. Let me know if you want it all and send me your zip code so I can get you a shipping quote.
  18. I have a spare gasoline gauge, water temp gauge (missing bulb at engine end) oil pressure gauge and speedometer for 1931 Chrysler CD8, all with curved glass lenses (some earlier versions had flat glass). I think all are same as for 1932 except speedometer has drum style dial versus hand style used in 1932. The oil pressure gauge shown has 2" bezel with curved glass lens, but internals appear to be from an earlier Chrysler. If interested send me a PM.
  19. A great find, a rare very desirable truck, might look even better if it had a tow hoist originally and one could be reinstalled. I think $10K is low, but as stated, you need at least 2 interested buyers to get top dollar. I would be surprised if some Ford dealership that also focuses on service is not keen on buying it.
  20. Viv wrote "31 Chev had side lights on the crown of the front fenders". No, 1931 standard Chevrolet Independence models had parking lights in the headlights (a 2 bulb system), and Deluxe models had cowl mounted parking lights and a single bulb in headlight buckets. Note Deluxe models also had twin side-mounts and a full length rear bumper. The rad shell grill was not standard on Deluxe models, but only on sport models as standard equipment, but later an accessory which could be added to any 1931 model.
  21. Most likely a car club, thus the CC, could be a specific area club (Skokie Car Club), or a local one model club(Studebaker Car Club) etc.
  22. What do you mean with...cooked the shoes/linings .. The brake linings were in excellent condition (good thickness, even wear, all rivets good etc), but were contaminated to varying degrees with oil of some type, possibly either rear differential oil, or brake fluid from leaking wheel cylinders. Initial plan was to replace them, but several on this site suggested soaking them a few hours in lacquer thinner, and after wiping and drying, "cooking" them in an oven at 400-600 degrees for about 1 hour to burn off any remaining oil/petroleum residue. Seemed to work.
  23. Not sure why an acorn nut is being used? A plain hex nut would give better clearance.
  24. Eric Davidson, the subject of the original posting is legendary around here (Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada) among the old car guys. I've been told he was so familiar with the shapes of cars back in the 40's and 50's that he could walk up to any make and with a few feels with his hand could tell make and year. I was told by an older gent I know that he went to visit Eric at his house and Eric's wife said he was down in the basement assembling a Rolls Royce engine. When the guy walked down the steps he realized Eric was working in the pitch dark. Eric heard him on the steps and supposedly said, the switch is on your left, but don't move a thing, I know exactly where everything is on the floor! Abilities and Disabilities are sometimes hard to differentiate.
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