jrbartlett

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About jrbartlett

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    Grew up in the hobby working on father's Packard, DeSoto & LaSalle, driving on car tours in the 1960s

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  1. A friend painstakingly restored a '39 Packard V12 7-passenger limo. A few years later he sold it, and the buyer arranged shipping (I don't know with what carrier). The Packard was loaded on bottom in a stacker trailer. When the car reached its destination, the steel top had been crushed down to the level of the seat backs when the trailer ramps above had given way. I heard that as for liability, the buyer had not yet insured the car; the seller's insurance lapsed when the seller turned the car over to the transport company; and the transport company's insurance was reportedly refusing to pay. I don't know how it turned out.
  2. "This car is believed to have belonged to Mr. Mercedes." -- from an old auction catalog hyping a 1950s Mercedes.. Of course, as most know, there was no "Mr. Mercedes." Mercedes was the first name of Emil Jellinek's daughter; he was involved in marketing early automobiles and named the 1901 Mercedes after his daughter.
  3. Sorry I can't help on your specific question, but I can tell you that back in the 1960s we had a '29 Packard Super 8 with the Bendix three-shoe system. The linings were worn out and my father took the shoes to a brake specialty shop here in Houston. As soon as he brought the shoes into the shop, the counter man said, "Bendix three-shoe. We put one type of lining on two of the shoes, and another type on the third shoe. They'll stop like a modern car." And he was right. That car stopped like it had power brakes. Of course we had cleaned everything up and adjusted it per the owners manual instructions. Problem is I have no idea what linings were put on the shoes, but you can bet they were asbestos. Today I have a different '29 Packard Super 8, and the previous owner had installed new lining. Despite adjusting the brake eccentrics per the owners manual, that car does not stop as quickly or easily as the car we had back then.
  4. If after all the recommendations above you are still having problems, keep in mind that on that era Packard the vacuum tank sits right above the exhaust manifold. Back in the 1960s we had a '29 Super 8 club sedan that would starve for fuel going down the road. We addressed it by insulating the vacuum tank, thus eliminating vapor lock. When I bought my '29 Super 8 roadster about 12 years ago, I had a metal shop match the shape of the vacuum tank with sheet aluminum, but leaving a half-inch or so of clearance on the sides and bottom (it did not extend over the top). I installed this shield, separating it from the vacuum tank with a layer of insulation (don't remember what type). And with that, plus other work to clean up the inside of the vacuum tank and ensure the flapper valves were clean and smooth, I can cruise that car any speed I want even in Texas summers. I even ran it at 75 for about 10 miles once when I got trapped among trucks on a freeway. Normally cruise 50-55. It has 4.07 rear end gears and 700x20 tires. I've read that today's gasoline boils at 160 degrees, so that could be something to think about if the above suggestions don't work.
  5. There are a number of previous threads on this -- you should have a look. In terms of drying the tank, think about how an air compressor works. Compressing the air heats it up, and condenses the water vapor. That's why you have to drain the compressor tank regularly. Anyway, when you blow hot compressed air into the gas tank, that moisturized air hits the cooler metal surface of the tank and the water condenses onto that metal, and keeps doing so until the metal finally heats up to the temperature of the compressed air. Adding moisture to a tank that you're trying to dry out doesn't make sense. Instead, use a common vacuum cleaner. Insert a long vacuum wand or hose deep into the fuel filler or sending unit opening, and turn the vacuum on. It will draw in air that's the same temperature as the tank itself. Air will enter through the remaining openings in the tank -- the filler pipe, drain plug hole and sending unit opening. Then just walk away. Absent a rainy day, the tank will dry in no time -- typically a half hour or so.
  6. What I remember about the Bill Harrah era was that there was someone in each big town trying to pick up a few bucks on what most of us back then considered was a hobby. They'd pick up the phone and call Harrah's folks and inform them whenever there was a rare or interesting car for sale, and of course Harrah's could respond immediately and could always outbid the local guys. So the tipster would get a commission, the seller might get a little more (but given more time might have received the same amount from a local buyer), and the local car scene would get cleaned out of anything out of the ordinary. On the other hand, I remember people telling me that when they were seeking a rare party that Harrah's would often help.
  7. One year in Mekong Delta with Navy Seabees. Father was into old cars but I had college and career on my mind when I got back. In 1980 I restored a '64 Lincoln Continental Convertible for my mother in law (she owned it since new), and ultimately inherited it on her passing in 1985. Then in 1994 bought a super-charged Auburn convertible that my brother and I restored, then in 2004 a '29 Packard roadster and '19 Locomobile Sportif, then in 2011 a Duesenberg Dual Cowl, then in 2016 a '36 Cord. Also two '66 Buick Rivieras at various times.
  8. Been down this road myself with a '35 Auburn, with a Ross worm-and-nut (I think) unit -- could be worm-and-sector. There was a lot of play in my steering wheel, and the grease had hardened to the point that I could not turn the wheel. I had already rebuilt the suspension, drag link, tie rod ends and other parts of the steering, and replaced the shocks and tires during restoration. I pulled the box and disassembled it and found a lot of play in the pitman arm shaft, due to wear in the bushings and the shaft itself. I located a local shop that rebuilt steering boxes for trucks. They replaced the bushings (bearings would be even better if they are available in the sizes needed). They also spray-welded the shaft and then turned it down to provide .0005 clearance with the bushings (1/2 of 1/1000th). They cut a groove in the shaft to accommodate an O-ring so I could run oil in the box instead of grease. On the steering shaft, they smoothed up the bearing races and I found new ball bearings. I also made a seal for the bottom end to keep the oil in place. I really don't know how worn my worm gear is, but I cleaned everything up and reassembled the box and adjusted out most of the play. The car has steered easy now for 20 years, and I've never once had to add oil. The wheel has maybe 1 to 1.5 inches of play. I would consider this amount of work the minimum that you'd want to do, But it was the most I could handle locally. None of it was all that expensive, just detailed.
  9. Could be old loggers tongs to rotate logs to complete a cut.
  10. There might be two screws holding the pull strap, screwed into the metal of the door. At least that's what I think I remember, back when I had one of these in the mid-1970s. I think the brushed chrome covers at the end of the strap have prongs that hold them in place. Try gently prying them straight out, front and back, while keeping them parallel to the door. Also, I don't recall if my '73 had screws at the bottom of the panel, concealed in the carpet. Check for that; my '66 has them. Also be careful when prying the panel loose at the edges. If you buy the right tool you can easily and quickly pop the mounting clips out of the mounting holes in the door. Otherwise if you just start prying you run the risk of tearing the clips loose from the door panel. I bet you can find an instruction video online somewhere. Also, now that I look more closely at the picture, it's possible that the top half of the door panel comes off separately from the bottom, and first. Note the two screws at the bottom front and rear just below the woodgrain. I had mine off back in the 1970s to get the armrests reupholstered. If that wasn't 45 years ago I would remember more distinctly.
  11. So what did the Duesenberg sell for?
  12. My little 5-foot-tall mother operated a crane at the Philadelphia Navy Yard lifting batteries out of submarines from 1943-1946. She climbed a 60-foot ladder up and down, though I seem to remember when she first told that story the ladder was 40 feet. By the way, she still talks about it. She's 103 years old now.
  13. A 1953 Buick Skylark convertible, yellow, sitting on concrete blocks and missing the wire wheels. A guy bought the property and found the car abandoned in an old shed in the back. He traded it to my father for an adding machine in about 1975. When we went to look at the car, we found it had less than 60,000 miles and the body was completely straight and rust-free. My Dad offered to give it to me, but my then-wife looked at it and said, "Oh, that's ugly." I was young, freshly married and too easily influenced back then. We just left it there, darn it. Never knew what happened to it.
  14. Where is that grey and red Locomobile Sportif -- in a museum? If so, where?
  15. I have a REO question. In the late 1960s my father owned a good-looking unrestored original-condition REO rumble-seat coupe, with a roll-down window between the passenger compartment and rumble seat. I distinctly remember opening the hood and seeing a chrome-plated water jacket cover that said Royale on it. He sold the car while I was in Vietnam, and I have no idea where it is now. However, I've recently been told that the car was actually one of three Flying Clouds built by the factory with Royale engines and front sheet metal, as show cars to bring more attention to the Flying Cloud line. Does anyone know whether this is true? I do remember that the car seemed a little short in the back. Apparently no one in the family ever took a photo of the car.