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shinyhubcap

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  1. YES -- I UNDERSTAND...you are unhappy with those of us who do not like poured babbit connecting rod bearings. Some of us think it is unforgiveable to re-do ANY motor that orginally came with poured babbit connecting rod bearings, without converting the rods to "insert" type. ( or having new connecting rods made that will accept a modern off-the-shelf" 'insert"). But you do have a point. A restoration shop who knows the customer has no intention of ever actually driving his "costume jewelry" level restoration, couldn't care less about the motor, so long as it can drag the carcass from the trailer to the show field. So it would be an inappropriate waste of the customer's money to do a sound mechanical restoration along with the pretty stuff. Makes sense.... ( well...to some....! )
  2. wont work - no way can I feel superior when I go to a prestigious fancy auto show at some ultra expensive facility with acres of rolling green lawns.......not when I see so many "costume-jewelry perfect" cars that probably cost more than I have spent on my airplane. Of course it is unfair of me to judge a situation I am thousands of miles away from, and have no clue as to the personalities involved. But a review of the posts in here confirm I am not the only one who is puzzled at the evolution of the old car hobby. C'mon...man..admit it - of course you have seen "the type".....folks to whom a car is simply a status symbol - who has little or no interest in its technology. In my circle of friends, I don't know of ANYONE who fails to INSTINCTIVELY shove their car into "reverse" when leaving a manual transmission car of ANY type. ANY big-engine pre-war car of ANY make, even with a heavy body, isn't going ANYWHERE if you leave it in "reverse". And again... I strongly recommend if there is the slightest HINT of a slope...get out that wooden chock-block and CHOCK at least one wheel. C'mon, guys, you do all carry wood chock-blocks in your cars ?
  3. Couldn't agree with Matt more ! Private question to Matt...you say you own a '41 Buick "90".....is that from the late Paul Clancy?
  4. what's the big deal...it was only an 8 cyl. Packard - wasn't a Packard V-12.... Seriously, guys, I agree it is unfair to judge this particular situation - I personally don't dare buy pencils unless they have erasers (if you "get my drift"...!). Fact remains that this sad incident MAY fit into my personal prejudice of how the old car "hobby" has changed down thru the years. Of COURSE those of us who love, drive, fix, and exhibit our cars on a personal basis love em enough to be sure they are left IN GEAR with the hand-brake on. Sure, at some of these prestigious car shows, the grounds are uneven - my own circle of friends...well...EVERY one of us carries wheel "chocks" for just that reason. Again, I have no idea if my personal prejudice about these "costume-jewelery" restorations is correct IN THIS PARTICULAR sad situation. Humor me by letting me tell a story. My favorite story about how things have changed....at a VERY prestigious car show I once attended, I was exhibiting my own Rolls Royce Phantom 1. It was pretty nice, but parked alongside it was another P-1 that put mine to shame. The judges came around, looking for the owner to ask him to start it. They found him eventually, at the bar, where he was telling the other exhibitors of costume jewelry about HIS Rolls Royce. When asked to start it, he looked around, asking where his "helpers" were. Asked to start it himself...? He had a puzzled look on his face..." WHY"....he asked. Of course he had NO clue how to start that georgeous car!
  5. I strongly disagree. Of course Buicks of any year are outstanding cars in their respective price classes. However, they are not immune to the laws of physics. They did what they were designed to do, on the roads they were designed for. Now for the bad news. The roads they were designed for pretty much ceased to exist in the years immediately before the 2nd World War. Those sections of U.S. Highway 66 that remain accessible are MUCH "faster" roads than what pre-war cars were designed for. DO THE MATH ! Look up the rear axle ratio of cars of that era -( Buicks ran around 4.3). Think about how long the strokes are on those 8 cyl. Buicks. Think about how hard those heavy connecting rods are whipping about the faster you spin the motors. Buick stayed with "poured babbit" connecting rod bearings clear into the early 1950's. The combination of a very long stroke, extremes of engine rpm brought about by what today are absurdly "low" final drive ratios, and "poured babbit" connecting rod bearings are an invitation to disaster if you try cruising at speeds the cars were not designed for. Yes - there are solutions - even Buicks with their closed drive lines can be equipped with aux. trans / overdrives. And you can replace those connecting rods with ones set up for "insert" style connecting rod bearings. With that combination..yes...I would be comfortable crusing a pre-war Buick (or, for that matter, ANY pre-war over-drive equipped car) at speeds higher than 50 mph. If any of you think a car motor equipped with poured babbit con.rod bearings can survive high-speed cruising, tell me what modern auto mfg. thinks poured babbit for ford bearings is an acceptable engineering idea.
  6. Hi again Matt - I apologize - I think you are right - if I read your comment the way you apparently meant it...you are getting around 16 mpg. Assuming you have a Hydramatic rear axle ratio, and you drive that thing much more gently than I drove my 41 60 Special, under better conditions....yes, I guess 16 mpg is possible.
  7. I am puzzled by Matt's statement that his '41 Cadillac gets "about 8 mpg". Having "just a wee bit of experience" with Cadillac cars of that era, I am curious. Depending on the rear axle ratio ( I am NOT referring to the much larger, heavier, "75 series - that's a whole different situation) (the Hydramatic-equipped '41's had about a 3.23 final drive ratio - the manual-transmission ones had around a 3.7 or so) I am not clear how many tires of those vehicles you'd have to run flat, into what kind of head-wind, pulling a house trailer....to reduce the mileage to "about 8 mpg". Seriously, Matt - you don't do the hobby any good with such statements. Unless your '41 Cad. spends its entire life in ONLY stop-and-go traffic, somewhere between 13-16 mpg would be typical of one that is in half-way decent shape.
  8. To put that into perspective...how much in today's money was that $400 ? I would make a rough guess and say "multiply that by 18". If that is a reasonable guess in comparative purchasing power, you come out with about 3 times what a top-of-the-line new Buick or Oldsmobile went out the door for. So - what has really changed ?
  9. Just curious - anyone know what happened to the late Tom Spark's club sedan (was seen in a number of movies...!)
  10. Not clear what is news about this. The simple fact is both parties have worked very hard over the past 40+ years to de-capitalize the middle class. Best way to do that is to reduce the value of their money. We have been fed the lie that this is called "inflation" when it in fact is the deflating of the dollar. To get the approximate equiv. purchasing power - you'd have to multiple that bill by at least a factor of 15. There really hasn't been all that much difference in what things cost - when I was a high-school kid, I bought gas for 23 cents a gallon. Multiple that by about ten and you find the price really hasn't changed all that much.
  11. Thanks Rusty - for refreshing my memory - shows I owe Dave an apology. I was and am correct that you dare not try and fire up a radial without first "pulling thru" to make sure the bottom cylinders don't have oil in them....meaning...a "hydraulic lock" that could destroy the motor. Of course that is correct about the typical radial aircraft engine, such as the "985" Pratt & Whitney that was used in some of our World War Two Tanks. My mistake was "correcting" Dave - he correctly noted that Chrysler had made a "radial" out of a bunch of light truck/industrial engines by mounting them around a common crankcase. So yes, the bottom "engine" of the Chrysler industrial motor would be in the same situation regarding potential "hydraulic lock" as an ordinary radial aircraft engine. I was also reminded that the earlier big radials did NOT have "slip clutches" on their starter-motors - which explains why in films of World War Two "pre-flight"...you see guys moving the propellors by hand. I do not agree, however, that Packard missed anything prior to the 2nd World War, by failing to use the technology in motor engineering they had developed even as early as the First World War ( overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, supercharging, etc.). Of course they had the engineering skill and manufacturing capability to do just about anything. They knew what they were doing as far as the market for luxury cars is concerned - the typical buyer of an expensive car was quite conservative - look at the factory photos; most of the cars coming off the assembly line were very conservative colors, I doubt if more than half even had white walls. Packard correctly recognized its particular market wanted a quiet easy-to-drive vehicle ( many of the buyers came to adulthood BEFORE the automotive era even arrived) that exhibited good taste. I wonder how many of Packard's customers knew or cared what a cylinder was - best proof of that when Packard ceased production of its famous "Twin Six" in the early 20's, and went to the much simplier-to-manufacture in-line eight, their sales increased steadily. As for the 1930's, by then things like rubber motor mounts, higher compression shorter stroke motors, reduced the difference between an inexpensive car and a luxury one. Packard correctly recognized the market for the super-cars died in the late 1930's; not to come back until after the 2nd World War. They did very well with the so-called "120" series, a good buy for the money, but quite conservative in its engineering and styling.
  12. REGARDING AMERICAN TANK ENGINES & THE FAILURE OF PACKARD: First - regarding tank engines: I hope David will forgive me for correcting him - let me first "set-the-stage" for where we were in the early war years. We were in a hurry to get weapon systems in service. Our first tanks during that era, were so light and small that by today's standards they were little more than armored cars! Two Cadillac car motors coupled to two GM Hydramatic transmissions! Yes, they ran well, but we obviously needed a LOT more power. What David is referring to is the CYLINDERS of a standard aircraft engine that was put in some tanks - a "985 Pratt & Whitney". These were radial engines - what Dave was referring to is "oil lock" or "cylinder lock". Yes, if you are not familiar with the starting drill for a radial engine, you can destroy one just by trying to start it. We call the proper procedure "pulling thru". Ever watched a piston airliner or radial equipped military aircraft start up? They crank em over - oh...at least "seven blades" before they turn on the ignition. The starter drives had clutches in them that would slip, protecting the motor if there was enough oll in the lower cylinder to cause a hydraulic lock. As the war went on, we got better and more easily managed motors - but that's another story. Second - Regarding the failure of Packard. I call it the "Packard Disease"...started in the late 1930's when new management correctly recognized they needed something a LOT cheaper to sell, or they would go out of business. No question those 1930's Packard "120"s were a great car for the money IN THEIR PRICE CLASS - of course it is silly to compare them with much more expensive cars. So they saved Packard. For a while. Trouble was, new management started siphoning off profits for executive perks and stockholder benefits. Funds that SHOULD have gone for quality and improvement. So - quality started going down. By the late 1940's Packard quality was so miserable that they had become a bad joke in the industry - I believe a Packard with the first series of Ultramatic Drive was about the SLOWEST accelerating car of its year. (hmmm...a post-war Packard with a standard Hydramatic transmission...? That would have been neat...!) A TV news reporter preserved for all time the embarrassment of a senior Packard executive at a major auto show, who had to repeatedly KICK his way out the back door of a Packard on exhibit. Sad to say the mentality that killed Packard remained loose in our country's industry thinking......"out-source everything...strip the company of funds to the benefit of senior executives and stock-holders" then sell off / license the product name to a foreign manufacturer (who wants to guess where all the famous old brand-name "American" products are now made.....! ) I was sitting on the curb at Beverly Hills Packard in late '53 having lunch with some shop employees when a transporter came up loaded with some brand new Packards. Cannot repeat his exact words since this is a "G" rated site.....!....but..to paraphrase......the shop foreman said " here comes another load of "do-it-yourself-kits". Packard had a huge sign on their building, spelling out the tradition that made them an American industry legend " QUALITY FIRST". Anyone who has actually worked on the later post-war Packards know how miserably they failed to live up to their reputation.
  13. Excellent question - gives me an excuse to repeat my raving as to my personal prejudice - the advantage of radial tires over bias (again, for those of us who actually use and enjoy our Packards on the open road ! ). Yes, I most certainly did watch my tire temps. Even at 35 lbs psi bias tires got hot enough to scare me if I drove my nearly three ton Packard at anything much over 55 mph. I had THREE high speed blow-outs over the years before I finally decided the bias "re-pros" ( avail. in my size) were not for me. Again - when these cars were in service, as well as today, of course there were and are wide variances in quality control, durability, etc. in bias tires. Again, using modern radials from reputable manufacturers, good quality is much more predictable. I know fellow car nuts who ARE getting good service out of "repro" bias tires (however, they know how I drive mine; having more brains than I, they admit they choose NOT drive their collector cars as hard or as fast as I drive mine). Which gets us back to your question - at 35 lbs psi. my radials, even at modern highway speeds ( meaning 70+) even on the hottest days get only warm to the touch. Yes, I frequently ( and RECOMMEND TO ANY COLLECTOR CAR OWNER) inspect tires for any signs of failure. WARNING - no question we need to be observant...ESPECIALLY using radials - that's the one BAD thing about radials compared to bias tires. You get a high-speed blow-out, either front or rear with bias.....( go ahead and ask me how I know)....no big deal...big Packards remain stable and controllable - just don't try a hard panic stop...!...... pull over and wrestle off that side-mount cover, and you are back in business. On those rare occasions when there have been blow-outs with a radial.....not pretty...without the strong side-wall of a bias, you may have wheel damage. There have been instances where the disintegrating radial took a fender clean off the car...! Again - the radials I personally like are the ones I get from Diamond - they take a modern off-the-shelf "D" rated truck tire and simply add a white-wall to that. This is not to serve as a criticism or indictment of other suppliers using non-name brand manufacturers... - again, there are plenty of examples of success with their products.
  14. I have no quarrel with Matt or his posts - I think Matt has the right idea - if you don't like what the CCCA is all about, avoid listening to explanations as to what the CCCA is, how it differs from other car clubs, and what its long-established and (down thru the years pretty much un-changed) rules are. This is a hobby - not a religion - or is it...? Matt is right - why aggravate yourself ? Restorer is right - if you can somehow get the power of censorship, why not silence those with whom you disagree ? Matt is correct - we do make all who are going to be judging at a CCCA event listen to our detailed Instruction Video. However, I think it is a reasonable question to ask - if there are failures, is that the fault of our publications, our Head Judges and our event administrators, Judging Rules, etc...? Or does this simply reflect many folks do not like or agree with what the CCCA is all about? As Matt correctly notes, our Judging Rules have caused some folks entering cars to be dissatisfied - and who can blame them?. Matt cites as an example that he personally is aware of - a car that has been in service scored as high as a car that was "perfect". I agree - IF I were the owner of a car I'd spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on, and IF there was another car that closely resembled its condition, both cosmetically and functionally, to its condition when in service as a new car, and IF I really wasn't "comfortable" with the historical purpose of the CCCA, of course I would be furious if at a CCCA event CCCA Rules gave both vehicles the same points. Another point Matt made that I agree with - yes, he is right - we do require all who are going to serve on Judging Teams to watch our Instructional Video. And of course it is tiresome if you are not "comfortable" with what we are about. Isnt it ironic - so many in here feel the CCCA as presently constituted is obsolete ? Yes...they are RIGHT ! Heck - even the cars we started this Club to preserve were obsolete when they rolled out of their respective dealerships ! The introduction in the early 1930's of rubber engine mounts, higher compression motors with short strokes and "high" (lower numerical final drive gearing) pretty much obliterated the difference between the low priced car & "the unique, the first rank...the highest standard of excellence" that was the focus of our interest. Yes, the car hobby public did "catch on" .....the word "classic". As time went on and our Club grew...clearly there is some mystery (and some financial value) in calling things "classic". These days, tt is getting harder and harder to find ANY product that isn't called "classic". At the supermarket, I bought some CLASSIC potato chips, some CLASSIC macaroni salad to go with my CLASSIC coke....! Who cares what words mean if you feel they will help promote something! I strongly recommend people support organizations that reflect their views. For example, some clubs call the 1941 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special I owned an "antique". Why not ? If you like the word "antique"!~ Words words word.....judging points....judging points. Organizations use words for a reason. Why not go with those organizations that meet your expectations...? For example, why be bothered by the fact a 1941 Cad. could have been ordered with automatic thermostatically controlled cabin temperature, including air conditioning, multi-speed automatic transmission with "high speed" rear axle ratio, power windows, pressurized cooling system, power seat, hydraulic "internal expanding" brakes on all four wheels, even a power radio antenna.... etc...etc. ( if that is an "antique"....i wonder what we are supposed to call a pre 1920's Cadillac with its carbide generator powered headlights, and external - contracting brakes only on the rear wheels....! ) Words...words.......shouldn't everyone seek out those organizations where they feel most comfortable with how words are used? Who could deny if we had to get across the desert on an August afternoon at 90 mph.....which car would we choose...a 1931 Cadillac "Empress Imperial" V-16 limo....or a 1941 Cadillac fully equipped. Some Clubs use words....have the kind of judging rules that Matt would like to see. I know...like Matt...I belong to them ! The CLASSIC CAR CLUB OF AMERICA will have its next ANNUAL MEETING in Reno, Nevada late next March. We hope for the greatest number of the cars WE call "classics" will be in attendance. Hopefully, we will have an outstanding turnout of our membership, who will have an opportunity to express their views. If you are sincerely interested in what our Club is about, and are already a member, please come and express your views. If you are not yet a member, and think you may be "comfortable" with what our Club is all about, please JOIN and ATTEND ! Or at the very least, converse with your Region officers, who can relay your views at our Annual Meeting.
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