wayne sheldon

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About wayne sheldon

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  • Birthday 07/12/1952

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  • Location:
    Grass Valley, Califunny
  • Interests:
    Horseless Carriage, Nickel Age, Model T, Classical music, Roaring '20s music, silent era films, history, linguistics, philosophy.

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  1. wayne sheldon

    1921 Hudson Speedster Phaeton ex-Harrah

    I see this is an old "for sale" listing. However, I knew Bill Nichols fairly well from a couple different clubs we belonged to. He toured that car a lot! And it always performed very well. I enjoyed following it in my Studebaker for many many miles. Seeing this listing again is like seeing an old friend. Whoever has this car today? I hope they realize what a wonderful car they have.
  2. wayne sheldon

    Historic Packard Plant bridge collapses in Detroit

    I had read in a past article, about a year or so ago, that restoring the pedestrian bridge was planned as part of the renovation project. So very sad it didn't hold up long enough. I am just very grateful that nobody was hurt.
  3. wayne sheldon

    mechanical brakes

    Proper adjustment of mechanical brakes is critical to efficient safe braking. And, as others have said, cars are different. Good lubrication helps a lot. Understanding the angles of leverage helps figuring out adjustment. For every general rule, there are exceptions. However one general rule is that maximum efficiency is when brake rod and lever are at 90 degrees (right angle) when the brakes are applied. When the foot is off the pedal, levers should lay back a bit (how much varies a lot from car to car). Internal expanding and external contracting also makes a difference in how they operate, and exactly what is proper adjustment. Mechanical brakes should generally lock the wheels at about half way down the pedal travel to the floor. Lower becomes risky with additional wear. Higher may cause the brakes to drag slightly and get too hot when not being used. Some cars have equalizers in the linkages. They compensate for uneven wear or ground. Proper adjustment of the equalizers generally should pull both sides equally on smooth level ground. Again, nice right angles are usually best. Some cars (most notably the model A Ford!) do not have equalizers. One must make certain all braked wheels begin braking at about the same pedal point, and also lock at the same pedal point. Many cars can have more than a couple dozen different cams levers and adjustable brake rod ends (clevises), all need to be set up in concert. Some early cars may have only a half dozen. Four wheel mechanical brakes, properly maintained and adjusted, can work just as well as four wheel hydraulic brakes. Two wheel mechanical brakes should work at about 40 percent that efficiency. With a little extra care while driving, plenty adequate for basically safe time enjoying life in the slow lane. Mechanical hand brakes generally work about the same. I recommend people practice a few times using the hand brake for stopping, just to be prepared for that emergency that you may hope never comes.
  4. wayne sheldon

    Early Brass Era Steering Column parts.

    FYI, The steel column appears to be a 1913, offset hole pattern and type of construction on the firewall base indicate so. It could actually be a latter half 1912. 1914 however, the firewall base was more like the later style construction. Note, this appears to be the sheet metal pressed over a casting base used from the beginning of Ts through '13. 1914 onward were heavier metal stampings and had dimples to strengthen them around the base. The quadrant for the spark and throttle levers would be appropriate also for '13. They were basically unchanged from '09 through'14. If you look it over carefully, see if it has the DB maker's mark on the brass quadrant. That would indicate the Dodge Brothers manufactured it, and add desirability. The gear case, on the other hand, is later. That style was first used early in calendar year 1915. Earliest '15s and before, used a riveted two-piece gear case. It appears to be in pretty good condition. $75 is a very fair price. If I were closer, even I might be interested. But I already have one extra, and do not need another.
  5. wayne sheldon

    What does original mean?

    Having personally looked very closely at many thousands of original era photographs, and some of about any kind of car you can name, I can only estimate that about one car out of several hundred actually had a rear view mirror before about 1920. A popular accessory in the early days, they were not. I do have an original brass side mirror (steel bracket). It will hopefully go onto my '15 runabout, and be the only apparent after-market accessory on that car.
  6. wayne sheldon

    Base Coat / Clear Coat

    Although I have never gotten really involved in high level showing, I find this thread VERY interesting. One historic detail early in the thread I would like to clarify. Base coats/clear coats is how nearly all cars were painted during the brass era. Early paints were slow drying and had a relatively dull finish. Clear coats were added to give the cars a fine shine. Even the well known master of cheap, Henry Ford had his cars done with clear coats for most of fifteen years (Original photos of model Ts fresh out of the factory show a beautiful deep shine!). Then as now, it was the demand of the people "writing checks" for a beautiful finish. I am not sure just how far back clear coat goes, but is way before the Civil War. Paints change a lot and often over the many decades. And people are funny. Forty years ago, I knew a lot of people going crazy over getting good old fashioned lacquer paint to "correctly" restore their '10s or early '20s car. The problem was, that Lacquer paint wasn't generally used on automobiles until the late '20s. Before that, lacquer paint dried way too fast to be applied to anything as large as a fender and look good. So all those efforts to use lacquer on earlier cars were not correct anyway. Personally, I hate seeing metallic finishes on '20s cars. They did not generally begin showing up on automobiles until after 1930. A long-time very good friend of mine who is well known for writing a lot of very large checks for automobiles in his collection, happens to also be one that prefers correct over trophy winning. Yes, he is an exception to the common rule (I think that is part of why he and little old me get along so well!). About thirty years ago, he was having a Mercer restored. He paid another long-time best friend of mine to spend many hours restoring the original running board trim, knowing that it would cost him points if ever judged (I don't know about now, but that is the way it was then). That Mercer has been shown at Pebble Beach, I think a couple times, however, he generally declines to have his cars judged. He has had several cars shown at Pebble Beach over the years. Although it has been a long time since I have been there, I always look for pictures and videos of the show and drives to see people I know.
  7. wayne sheldon

    28 olds coupe

    A very good friend of mine had a '27 Oldsmobile sedan many years ago. I rode in it for quite a few miles, and followed it on numerous group tours. A good reliable car. I don't know about their rod bearings specifically, but most cars of that vintage, bearings usually hold up well with age. Generally a good idea to check them however. That car looks good enough that I would suggest as others did, to do what needs to be done to make it roadworthy, and enjoy it awhile before you decide what direction to go with major restoration or preservation. It can always be restored later. But once restored, it can never be taken back to preserved original.
  8. wayne sheldon


    I am a bit saddened to hear about your troubles from live bidding and the model T Ford. I had a center-door sedan about 25 years ago, and really wish I had kept it. That one looks pretty nice in the picture. Model T Fords are different, different than almost any other car one would likely be familiar with. Although other American cars of the era also used planetary type transmissions, few operated quite like the model T Ford. When teaching people to drive them, I always first tell them to forget everything they have learned about driving since the age of six. At six, one knew mommy or daddy sat behind the steering wheel and sort of turned it to guide the car in its direction, and pressed pedals on the floor, but did not really know what they did, and pulled or moved other levers and knobs, but again not knowing really what they did either. From that point. a Ford model T is one of the easiest cars ever built to learn to drive. One should remember, the T Ford was designed to be driven by people that had never driven an automobile before in their life. The next thing, is to find a big empty parking lot to practice in. Until one is used to the T's peculiarities, one needs space to not hit anything! It usually does not take long. The T model becomes second nature, a simple extension of one's self. I love nearly all automobiles from the earliest, to near the end of the 1920s. However, the model T will always have a special place in my life. I very much look forward to seeing your Humberette completed! Humber did build many wonderful automobiles over their years.
  9. wayne sheldon


    I would think posting a request for photos in the general discussion is a good idea. Linguistics is a fascinating, and sometimes frustrating, subject of study. Bad enough we have two cultures separated by a common language. Add dialects, regional colloquialisms, common words with different meanings in different work environments, usages that change over time, and a hundred other little things to muddy up the works. On a model T Ford forum I spend way too much time on (what can I say, I enjoy it), we often get into lengthy debates on the "correct words" for parts of the automobile. One of the worst pieces, on the whole automobile, is that (usually) metal panel that mounts below the body, between the frame and the running board. The two most populated camps are "splash apron" and "side apron", although there are a couple other options including "splash panel" and "side panel". It amazes me how entrenched some people are! One fellow is adamant that "splash apron" is absolutely incorrect, he often offers quotes out of a vintage parts book to support his claim. Others, are equally convinced that it is the one and only correct usage. However you phrase it, somebody won't like it. However, don't let that stop you. Just be clear about what it is you would like to see. Many people on this forum are really good about helping find information and good photos.
  10. wayne sheldon


    Unfortunately, I do not have any good pictures of cars with leather aprons. Photography is not one of my great talents. It has been a few years now since I actively toured with the clubs (must change that really soon!). I can picture in my mind a certain green body yellow/cream chassis horseless carriage that had the nicest leather side aprons I ever saw! But I have yet to find a way to scan my brain into the computer . And I do not know who owns that car either .
  11. wayne sheldon


    I have been enjoying reading your coverage of the repairs, and details of how you accomplish wonderful recreations of damaged bits and pieces. So many things you do are things I have been doing repairing the original pieces for my '15 Ford T runabout. Most people would buy the ready to use reproduction parts, but me? I like the original parts wherever I can. As for the leather aprons? I am in the same camp as the others that said reconsider this. I have seen several brass era/horseless carriage/veteran cars with leather aprons along the running boards and insides of wings (fenders in American). Properly done, they can look really sharp! There are several different types of leather that are meant for this type of use. I warn you though, I am NOT an expert on this! If you don't get good advice here (or locally to you?), I may know a couple people I can ask. For some uses, there is a special carriage leather that is sewn onto metal frameworks, and then shrunk tight. It is used in carriage and early automobile fenders and front dash panels. Another type remains stiff, and holds its shape without a framework. Any good carriage shop should be able to help find the right stuff. Both are available in a so-called "patent" finish that remains shiny black.
  12. wayne sheldon

    1908 REO touring original unrestored.

    I would like to encourage RICHELIEUMOTORCAR to begin a new thread for this Reo, and sidestep this thread drift that doesn't really help him. I admire what he is doing, trying to get some of these hidden treasures into the hands of hobbyists so that the cars can be restored, enjoyed, and seen. I wish I were in a position to consider this Reo, or one of the Buicks he showed on another thread. I wish him well, and hope he can find buyers that he can be happy about. I would also like to apologize for my part in the thread drift. Even though I do believe what I said, did need to be said.
  13. wayne sheldon

    What does original mean?

    PFitz says "Sometimes, it means whatever was on the car when the present owner bought it, .... because they believe what the seller said, until you can show them concrete proof otherwise. And many times, even faced with concrete proof, several experts in full agreement, and obvious HUGE flaws in their logic? They still won't believe you. Yep. Been there, done that. Too many times.
  14. wayne sheldon

    1908 REO touring original unrestored.

    Cadillac, Thank you for your kind comments. My many passions all intertwine. Family, history and its most tangible interest antique automobiles, music and art, philosophy, physical laws and the origin of the universe, and politics past present and future. They all connect to all the rest. There are always exceptions to every general rule (the ultimate philosophical joke is that there are absolutely NO absolutes!). There are of course individuals that would work hard to resurrect a neglected antique automobile, and I may have once been one of them. I have over the years restored nearly a dozen antique automobiles, most of them so bad when I got them that few people would have been foolish enough to have done so. I also had a few nice cars that were nice when I bought them. Over the years, I have sold most of them because family needs demanded it. In the past ten years, I have sold five cars in order to keep my home (I cannot rent anything for what I pay for my mortgage!). I currently do not have a running antique automobile, the last two sold this past May. I have several "project piles", and one halfway decent '20s sedan that was last driven in 1947. None of them are worth much. Much of it could cost me more to try to sell it than I would get for them. One of the projects I am currently working on, pushing to get it assembled and decent enough to drive and enjoy. Before I can finish it, I must take care of some financial issues provided to me by my "wonderful" family. Maybe in a year, maybe two, I can be touring again. The sedan? It will have to wait a bit longer. It will require far more time and money than any two of my other project piles. It is a long sad story, my dad bought the car to be the "great family project" about fifty years ago. Unfortunately, he was good at ideas, not so good at following through. By the time it became mine, it had been apart for about twenty years. I had a few decent cars that I had restored by then, so I couldn't make it a priority. I did work on it off and on some, but it is still a long way from being a car. Frankly, If someone were to offer to give me an antique car right now? I would probably advise them to find someone better suited . At 66 years, one major heart attack nearly four years ago, and too much family and financial stress? I don't think I will live long enough to do even a third of the projects I have. Two quick project piles to cover my major touring desires, then the '20s sedan and the early gasoline carriage project. If I could get that far? And have a few decent years ahead to enjoy those cars? I may die happy. Your Cadillacs are beautiful! I always enjoy seeing pictures you post of them! Even if it is the same picture for the umpteenth time. Keep driving them! Keep enjoying them! I love '20s sedans. And your touring car reminds me of a Cadillac touring a good friend used to have. I loved to follow him on club tours.
  15. wayne sheldon

    1908 REO touring original unrestored.

    Another consideration to not be forgotten about pricing rough old automobiles. While they may make no financial sense, one cannot realistically just give the things away! If the rusty relics were given away, they would mostly go to dreamers that would never get around to doing the work and making a nice (or even barely decent) car out of it. If they paid nothing for it? they wouldn't bother to put it in decent dry storage. Those brass era Buicks and Reos would sit outside behind the garage for a few more years until there was even less to be salvaged and restored. Way too many antique automobiles suffer that fate every year already. We do NOT need to encourage such waste by giving the cars away just because they might cost more to restore than they will be worth afterwards. As for the "PS- One can always make more money, " I am sorry. But this nation needs to get its priorities in order. Henry Ford figured it out more than a hundred years ago. The businessmen need a healthy working middle class if they really want to make a fortune! This country, and the politicians and businessmen that run it have been sending most middle class jobs overseas for about thirty years now. If this hobby dies in a couple more decades? It is more likely to be from interested people not having any money to spend on something so frivolous. Not because nobody is interested. The moderators have my permission to delete that last paragraph if they think best. However, I think it needs to be said, for the future of the hobby's sake.