DeSoto Frank

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Everything posted by DeSoto Frank

  1. My '60 Windsor, snoozing under a blanket of winter white.
  2. From the peanut gallery... I'm presently forty-something; been nuts about cars since I could walk. If I can remember it being new, I will never be able to think of it as an "antique". That said, things like GTOs, Malibus, Mustangs, Roadrunners, etc will always just be "cars" (or "used cars" ) to me. When I was a little kid (five years old?) my parents took me to an antique car museum near York or Lancaster , PA, which was filled with horeseless carriages and brass cars. I LOVED it ! A few years later we stopped at Zimmerman's "Automobile-a-arama" in Harrisburg, on our way to Hershey Park. I wanted to stay at the car museum... the heck with Hershey Park ! My first love are Brass and Nickel cars... followed by Pre-Depression, then Pre-WWII. I take interest in cars made up to about 1960-62. Am still waiting for the price of "unwanted" brass cars to fall to a level I can afford... right now, they're still "a rich man's play-thing"... :cool:
  3. Apparently, to own a SAAB is to love them. Every SAAB owner I have known is fanatical about them, and wouldn't think of owning any other make. I've never been crazy about them (from an aesthetic standpoint), but then, I've never owned one. I've always rather liked the "beetle-shaped" SAABs, both the 2-stroke and the V-4 versions. I would love to have a 3-cyl two-stroke SAAB. At his web-site, Jay Leno has a nice video article on his '59 SAAB - "Made by Trolls in Trollheim". He loves the little car ! I have nothing good to say about GM.
  4. " Elin Woods hooks-up with basketball star. " ?
  5. Way back in Junior High School, I found a book on the history of the automobile, or something to that effect, that delved back into the history of the internal combustion engine. One of the early internal combustion engines cited, powered a rude vehicle constructed in 1805 by a Swiss inventor named Isaac de Rivaz (?). There was a line-drawing of the vehicle in the book; I do not remember it having any steering aparatus. George Selden is probably the most celebrated of the "neglected inventors of the automobile"; certainly the patent suit generated much PR. One of the interesting aspects of the Selden case was that aside from the patent model, he did not construct a functioning motor wagon until the Patent suits were under way, some 20 years after filing his patent application.
  6. The melody itself is attributed to Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn, by the tune-name Austria and is still in most Protestant hymnals, first line: "Glorious things of Thee are spoken..." It's a shame that it got a bad rap due to its association with National Socialism. (As did much of Wagner's music, including the overture to "Rienzi".) And if anyone wants to "giggle at Goering", go to You-tube and search for the Looney Tunes "Herr meets Hare"... Bugs befuddles both Goering and Hitler... plus a surprise ending !
  7. Guess it could be legit... Derham did do custom car bodies for Chrysler Corp, usually limos and formal cars, and usually on Chrysler chasses. Unusual car - looks the backlite was inspired by Studebaker ( an interesting pre-Forward Look amalgam of Exener and MoPar)...
  8. Brings "permanent hearing loss" to a whole new level ! So, if he punches the accelerator, does the car roll-over in reaction to the torque ? " Ah, dos clever Chermans!"
  9. Using the calculator on Ply 33's site, you can plug & play with different tire/ rim sizes and see how that affects enging rpm / road speed. 28 to 30 % seems to be the ratio that Detroit standardized for overdrive. Most OD-equipped cars of the 1930's and '40's had rear-axle ratios between 3.90 and 4.6. A final drive any taller than 3.90 tended to be too tall for practical driving. I recall seeing ads in Hemmings about 20 years ago for "Mitchell Overdrives"... they made a point of advertising that they did OD conversions for torque-tube cars, such as Buicks. Don't know if they're still around, but theyr'e probably worth "Googling". I know what Caronagreen is speaking of regarding certain vehicle's / engine's "sweet spot"... My full-pressure /insert bearing '41 DeSoto with 4.1 rear, 3-speed tranny and 6.50x16 tires begins to sound "strained" at speeds above 50 MPH... I wish I had a "fourth gear" to shift into when out on the open highway. Ironically enough, Chrysler Corp, who pioneered Overdrive with the Airflows, dropped the OD option after the 1940 model-year, as they were introducing their first semi-automatics in 1941. So, whereas the 1940 De Soto with the same drivetrain as my '41 had an OD option, my '41 De Luxe "stripper" had to make-do without. Not a big deal in 1940's NE Pennsylvania, with its steep mountains and two-lane WPA roads... no one was going anywhere fast back then; not around here. There were some flat, straight stretches of US Route 6 where you might have been able to speed-up above 50 MPH for a couple miles, but there was no place to cruise at 60 MPH for hours on end. It's a different story trying to take the De Soto out on Interstate 81, or the PA Turnpike these days, with the "modern motorist" zooming along at 75+mph. I am planning to swapping an OD tranny from a '40 De Soto into my '41, for easier highway cruising. Personally, I like the idea of multi-speed trannies ( tranny with more than 3 speeds) and Overdrives more than I do changing a ring & pinion; changing a ring & pinion is a compromise - you'll sacrifice "get-away" and hill-climbing abililty for higher cruising speeds. The multi-speed transmission is what has made European and Japanese cars, with their tiny engines, feasible in this country. It's a shame that Chrysler's "double-high" 4-speed transmission of 1930-31 never caught-on.
  10. Around here, the school busses have a flashing white strobe on the roof nowadays.
  11. I strongly suggest that everyone who has participated in this thread go to the link below, and read the page carefully, thoughtfully, and several times. Plymouth First Decade: How Fast Should I Drive? Pay particular attention to the Section under "Wear and Tear", especially where it describes "overspeeding an engine". Find the "Road Speed Calculator" on the right side of the page, about 1/2 way down, and plug in the numbers for your own car / truck, whatever the vintage. Using the data supplied elswhere on this thread, and from MoToR's shop manual, a 1934 Buick 40, 235 cid straight-eight, producing 93 HP @ 3200 RPM, with 4.33:1 final drive, and (presuming) 6.00 x 17 tires charts-out at a top speed of 64 MPH at 3200 RPM. To get that same drivetrain combo up to 85 MPH road-speed, engine RPM will have to increase to 4250 RPM. "[Cannon 2002 14] Notes that over speeding an engine is defined as exceeding the RPM that maximum BHP is generated. In addition [Cannon 2002 14] notes that “for long engine life, maximum engine RPM should be held a couple of hundred RPM's below the rated RPM at maximum rated brake HP”. " ( From Ply33's site) So, if we get this Buick up to 85 MPH, we are overspeeding the engine by 1000 RPM. A by the sea, I respect your knowledge and experience regarding the Model A, and the issues with modern rebuilders not machining cranks or pouring bearings correctly. Much of that talent and care has died with the men who worked on these beasts when they were new. Old Henry certainly placed a very high value on precision machine work & manufacturing process, and both the T and A Fords were quality machines. Original poster mentions his Buick 40 is "completely restored", but we have no definition of what that means with regard to the engine work. It may be an unrestored engine with a new coat of paint and a crankcase full of 1930's sludge... it may be rebuilt with NOS parts to factory specs, or it may fall somewhere in-between. With respect to comparing the '34 Buick 40 with other marques of the same era, another poster made a valid point: Fisher-bodied GM cars used heavy wood-framed bodies up through 1935-36, whereas Chrysler Corp and Ford went to all-steel bodies around 1928. Thus the Fords and MoPars didn't have as much weight to drag around. The model 40 was Buick's least expensive and lowest powered offering. Also, running the '28 Model A Ford through Ply33's calculator, with a 3.7 final drive, running on 4.75 x 21 tires, at max output of 40 HP @ 2,200 rpm (?), the Ford should be running at 53 MPH. The Ford was light enough to tolerate a fairly tall final drive ratio ( for that era) w/o sacrificing hill-climbing ability or acceleration. By design, the Ford has quite an advantage. By further comparison, the Essex Six of the late 1920's had final drive ratios around 5:1; they had great acceleration, but fairly low top speeds. They were quickly nick-named "High-winders" because of their screaming engines. Not saying they weren't a good car (Hudson pioneered the "balanced" engine in the Teens), just their design limited their performance. Back in those days of low-compression / low-powered engines, heavy wood-framed composite bodies, and 3-speed transmissions, automakers were forced to use "stump-puller" rear-ends for their cars to have reasonable "get-away" and hill-climbing power. Cetainly luxury makers such as Packard, Buick, and others were aware of this, and generally put 4.1 to 4.9 rears in their senior cars, so as to minimize the chances of being out-run by a light-weight Ford or Plymouth in urban traffic or on hills. Top-speed would be a moot point w/o high-speed roads. ( And I am not including period "super-cars" such as the Duesenberg J or Caddy V-16 in this discussion.) If Original poster has a "perfect" engine in his Buick 40, then by all means, run it up to 60-65 MPH "all day", as others have suggested. I still think this is an invitation to find-out that the engine may not be in "perfect" condition, and reap the consequences. By claiming in their advertising brochure that the Buick 40 was good for up to 85 MPH, Buick was trying to SELL cars, not necessarily ensure that they would last a long time. And how many Buick owners were actually going to be able to drive their Buick at 80-85 MPH, to the point of failure ? (Calling Buick's bluff, essentially...). Again, I'm not trying to slam Buick; they were a fine car, but also a product of their era. I'm suggesting some careful thought and research as opposed to un-informed flogging of a 75 year-old car. Cheers !
  12. Thank you for posting the link to the advertising brochure for the 1934 Buick. While I agree with your desire to spread accurate information, I believe the orignal poster's question involved "how fast should he drive his '34 Buick TODAY"... which I took to mean "how fast can I drive my '34 Buick w/o wrecking the engine." Parts are not as readily available or as cheap for a babbit-Buick as they might be for early Fords, or insert-bearing MoPars. I don't think a new '34 Buick 40 would have lasted very long driven at 85 mph for any legnth of time. "Henry Ford told the dealers in 1928 to take the customers out and show them the car does 60MPH." For how long, and how many Ford owners them could/would actually try this stunt ? In 1928 ? Where ? I'll make the point again, that I don't believe there were many places in 1934 where one could actually drive at 60 MPH , let alone 85 MPH; we simply didn't have modern high-speed roads everywhere, as we've had since the Kennedy administration. Certainly there were none here in Northeastern Pennsylvania prior to WW-II. Ply 33 offered some very sound research on his Plymouth site (find his post near the top of this thread), referencing engineering data from SAE, Chrysler Corp. and other reliable sources. Read the section where it talks about "overspeeding an engine" and use of governors. Original poster is trying to avoid destroying his vintage car from abusive driving; where's the harm in that ?
  13. I think it was inevitable... How many different ways can you disguise a Chevy ? For how long ? GM is becoming a victim of its own "badge engineering"... For those Pontiac guys that are in mourning, come on over to the "Orphan Car" side... we'll make room for you, right between Plymouth, Olds, and De Soto - all once-worthy marques.
  14. How about the Locomobile 48 ? 1911 Chevrolet "Classic" six Hudson big six
  15. I believe the technique of applying gold-leaf then sealing with varnish is commonly (?) known as "gilding". So, would that make this Pierce a "Gilded Lily", or a "Gilty Pleasure" ? If Louis the XIV had owned a Pierce, I guess it would look like this...
  16. Ken, I'll bet your straight-eight Pontiac has Hydramatic ? (Auto tranny & fluid-drive cars tolerated taller final gears...) I used to drive my '48 New Yorker (3.36 rear) 65-70 MPH on the interstate on four-hour trips between school & home while finishing college in the late '80s, with no seeming ill-effects. Put over 40,000 miles on it, retiring it at over 106,000 miles. I also "killed" a number of stove-bolt Chevy sixes (couple insert-bearing 235s and some babbit pounder 216s) by trying to drive them at 55-60 MPH for prolonged periods, back before I knew any better ( These were in 4.11 cars and 4.57 trucks). When Detroit made the switch from long-stroke, L-head engines to short-stroke overhead-valve V-8s, between 1950 and 1955, they also really began to embrace the true "modern" automatic transmission, and with the burgeoning interstate highway system, all-day cruising at 60, 70, 80 MPH (or more) w/o destroying the engine became possible, and even common. With their "valve-in-head" design, both the Buick and Chevy in-line engines were pretty advanced as far as breathing and performance were concerned, especially prior to WWII; it's kind of a shame they clung to poured bearings for so long. As for the Model A, I'm supposed to be taking delivery of my '28 Special Coupe next week, and I hope to get some road-time in before PennDOT lets fly with their "Car-B-Gone"... So, I will be getting some hands-on experience with my own 80 year-old Babbit-mobile. The Ford does have a lot going for it, with its relatively light weight and 3.7 gears. Just to be clear, my original point was finding a practical ceiling speed for prolonged, repeated cruising in a pre-1955 car... my '50 Chevy Fleetline would do a short sprint of nearly 80 MPH for a brief period, but it was happiest at 50 MPH or less. I think there's an engineering component behind Chrysler choosing their color-coded speed zones the way they did... ( Green to 30 MPH, Yellow from 30 to 50, Red at 50 & above.) And MoPars would keep up with anything else during the "color-coded speedomoter" era (1939-1948).
  17. I was pondering the ever recurring question "how fast can I drive my old car", most recently surfacing as " 1934 Buick Speed Problem", elsewhere in this department. As I was driving down I-81 today, in my '97 Jeep wagon on my way to work, I was glancing down at the gauges, and my eye fixed on the tri-colored plastic strip from the speedo of my '41 DeSoto, laying on the little shelf in front of the Jeep's speedo. This strip has three colored bands, starting with green, going to yellow, then ending with red. This was to achieve one of the variations of Chrysler Corps' "Safety-Signal" color-changing speedometers, used from 1939 through 1948 on Chrysler, De Soto, Dodge, and Plymouth. Here's how it looked: From 0 - 30 MPH, the speedo / needle glowed Green From 30 - 50 MPH, the color changed to Yellow At 50 MPH and above, the color changed to "warning Red". I take this to be a manufacturer's recommendation as to safe operating speed for the vehicle's welfare, as well as legal speed limits / public safety. Prior to 1950, there weren't that many roads East of the Mississippi that would be conducive to driving faster than 50 mph... one of the few exceptions was the original Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Harrisburg to Pittsburg. For the most part, I have found that most pre- "Modern V-8 cars"* are happiest cruising at 45-50 MPH ( or less ). Certain cars may be capable of prolonged higher speeds, but at what mechanical / fuel cost ? Slow down and enjoy the ride... :cool: *( Modern V-8 Cars: '49 & later Caddy & Olds, '52 & later FoMoCo, '51 & Later MoPar V-8, '53 & later Buick, etc)
  18. All Chevy cars & 1/2-ton trucks had 6-lug wheels through '48. There was a six-lug 16" artillery wheel for Chevy in '36. Chevy and GMC continued to use this style wheel into the 1940's on some trucks, usually the 3/4-ton. Some of these artillery wheels were 15 ". MoPar did not have six-lug wheels. GM last used this style artillery wheel in '36 on passenger cars.
  19. '33-'35 Chevy or GMC truck ?
  20. So hard to chose just one... So here's my short list this year: Something Big & Brassy: Locomobile 48 touring Packard Twin-Six big Willys-Knight And then, de Causse Franklin Chrysler B-70 touring or Roadster Airflow '55 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman 2dr HT, navy blue with grey top & sweep
  21. The Truman car was probably a "Stafford". I think Floyd Clymer was probably the "Jay Leno" of his era, minus the talk-show & web-site...
  22. Google "muggyweld" - I believe Mike Muggy has a line of specialty solders for pot-metal repair.
  23. Marty - Thanks for your reply - I was hoping a "man who owns one" would chime in! I had a 1961 Willys 6-226 4WD truck up until a few years ago, which had 4.88 final drive and 7.50 x 16 tires. At 50 mph, the engine sounded as though it was going to send its pistons skyward. ( And this was a "modern" Continental "Super Hurricane" flathead six, with full-pressure oiling and insert bearings!) For a brief time, I had a Warn Overdrive installed in the truck, which did enable it to achieve speeds of 70-75 mph on flat ground; I also discovered that the front suspension and steering geometry, while "tight" and within factory tolerances, was not designed for that kind of high-speed driving - it was a white-knuckle "death ride" at speeds over 60 . :eek: I eventually removed the OD, and resigned myself to driving that truck at 45 mph, as Toledo had intended . A friend now owns it and still enjoys it. Said friend just acquired a 1955 Hudson Wasp Custom, 4 dr sedan, with 202 cid flathead, Twin-H carburetion, and 3-speed w/ OD. When he was initially considering the car, I warned him that "it was a lot of car" for that "little" engine ( originally furnished in the Jet). Driving the Wasp around, it becomes clear that the engine is maxed-out by 55-60 MPH, unless you put it in OD, then you can cruise up to 70 - 75 mph on level ground. Conversely, long grades require shifting down into regular direct drive. The OD makes all the difference in this car being a comfortable highway cruiser. Regards, De Soto Frank
  24. Talk to the guys down at Buick Forum and also the BCA ( Buick Club of America ), I'm sure they've wrestled with this issue too. In the meantime, get some county / local maps w lots of detail ( or try Map Quest or Google-Earth ) and find all possible alternate routes in your area. It'd be a shame for you to not be able to drive your car because of the knuckleheads who won't obey the law.