Walt G

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About Walt G

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 06/13/1949

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  • Gender:
  • Location:
    long island, NY
  • Interests:
    pre war custom coachwork,classic cars all makes, especially 1930 Packard 7th series , pressed steel toys, Chrysler products of the 1930s/1940s, Packard,Buick & Cadillac 1925-1941, car mascots, old factory and dealership buildings, automotive history pre war

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  1. DB stands for Doing Better - now that you found the final cap you needed. Your Christmas present to yourself! Congratulations and thanks for sharing the happy news.
  2. The 1934 LeBaron coupe that John Lindhardt owned that you showed a photo of is owned by Bob Bahre in Maine. It was sold new to a fellow who lived in Roslyn, long island , NY. I have a period photo of it ca. 1950. I attended the former pre 1942 car show held each September in Ridgefield , Ct. that was run by the Fairfield County Region HCCA once in that Packard - wow it could really move! It was an amazing original car. Perhaps I may be wrong but I thought that the Harrah Franklin town car was still in that collection. Re the front doors on the Franklin Berline coming from a town car - most likely the Berline and town car shared this build as Derham wanted a very narrow profile windshield post and a new door design that would have a heavier frame ( like on the rear doors) would ruin the look - they had the castings so probably used them and never gave it a thought. WG
  3. Paul there is one other Derham bodied Franklin and also a 1931 series 153! it is the town car at the Harrah collection that was restored from a really poor remains of a car found I believe in the Pacific Northwest. I had a lot of conversations with Paul Larios and Mike Moore of the Harrah collection when that town car was under restoration. I recall Paul calling once and starting off with "it's me again with more questions". My former victoria brougham now has a home in eastern Pennsylvania and was shown at the Elegance at Hershey by its current owner this year where it won an award for pre war enclosed custom bodied cars. It couldn't have a better owner then the friend that has it now and not only enjoys showing it but drives it on tours. Nice to know that the car currently is about 10 miles away from its first home from 1931 to 1941. For those of you reading this , Paul is the one who did all the structural wood work replacement in the body on my Derham, he is an absolute master at that craft! This included both front door posts, entire cowl, both main body sills and he even crafted a new trunk to replace the original one that was taken off the cars 30 years before the car was rediscovered.
  4. The Franklin is a 1929 series 13 model 135 or 137. Body may be by Locke. I have lots of period photos to share but most of this will happen/appear in the Antique Automobile magazine starting next year if West chooses to use them as he has/ can find space . I love the forum, but much prefer to hold a magazine and look at period photographs then stare at a computer screen! What more can I say , I am old school. 😏
  5. Walt G

    Reo Royale

    West you are totally correct, when the owners took delivery the bright colors were buried under a more conservative color or shade. This was also told to me in person by the coach builders I knew . People who had the $ in pre war days did not want attention brought to their wealth unless perhaps you were a favorite female star in Hollywood. The price of a really decent house in a village on long island in the prewar era was about $3,000 to $4,500 all while a full course meal was fifty cents. The wealthy had the $ but did not flaunt it , the Derham body on the 1931 Franklin I had cost about $3,500 - that is just for the body, the whole car was priced at $4,800. The fellows who worked for Derham were building a body that cost more then the house they lived in. I always look at the economic situation/climate that was present when I do research and write my storys, it really puts into perspective what things cost, by what people were making per hour or week etc. It makes you appreciate the cars we own even more be it a Plymouth or a Packard.
  6. In N Y City pre war there were lower priced hotels on the West side of N Y City that chauffeurs would stay in after they dropped their employers off at the upscale places to the best of my knowledge none of the upscale hotels had chauffeurs or hired help areas to stay in. The cars themselves would be parked indoors in multi story parking garages, again some more upscale then others. Some of these were provided by the specific auto makes who sold or serviced the cars, this was especially true for Lincoln in New York in the 1925-33 era. There were numerous ads for this in the souvenir catalogs issued for the annual custom body salon held in NY first at the Astor Hotel then at the Hotel Commodore after it was constructed. I knew one of the chauffeurs for Herbert Franklin of the Franklin car company and he told me of the hotels where fine , said all was good and he liked the trip from Syracuse to NY or "the big city" as it was known.
  7. Walt G

    Reo Royale

    Thanks Ed for your comment. The Auto Shows were where the general public were welcomed to attend, and to catch the attention of the reporters for the local newspapers to report on what spectacular car was on display, a bright colored car could be expected to be seen on occasion. the custom body salons held in NY, Chicago, LA and SF were by invitation only. I do not recall ever reading a report of a salon display car done in a really bright color. The Derham bodied 1931 Franklin victoria brougham I owned for nearly 40 years had light colored fenders,hood and even light color on the axles and springs to match the light color of the fenders. This was a NY Salon car in Nov. 1930. Before their passing I had lots of correspondence and conversations with Tom Hibbard, Enos Derham, Ray Dietrich ( Ray to a lesser extent) and especially Rudy Creteur of Rollston as he lived closer to me and he and I and Austin Clark used to go to lunch together on a regular basis. They all mentioned conservative colors , especially because they wanted people to see their design work, not be blinded by a bright color. All very fine gentleman who enjoyed talking about their pre WWII car activity. I can imagine at the time in the early 1970s they wondered why a "kid" in his early 20's (me) was just so interested in their work of 50 years earlier. They were artists in wood and metal from an era I always admired, and still do.
  8. Walt G

    Oil cooler?

    Like John M. states that he did, my engine was done the same - new seal at blower /fan and insert rod bearings. This is what I think the Franklin Company would have done had they remained in business ( insert rod bearings at least anyway) My car never burned oil, but just due to the higher temperature an air cooled engine runs at and driving it at 55-65 mph for hours in 80+ degree heat it thinned the 30 weight oil enough to let it leak out a bit at the bottom of the push rod tubes. Never did that if it was driven in cooler weather and for less time . Great running cars, easy to setter, ride is amazing with the full elliptic springs , after a 5+ hour drive to get to the trek the Franklin club holds ( that is what they call their annual meet) I got out from behind the wheel with absolutely no fatigue from a longish drive.
  9. Walt G

    Reo Royale

    Re the photo I shared with A.J. of the Reo showroom and A.J.'s comment re colors of cars when new as opposed to what they may be restored to now. GEEZ everyone, perhaps it is not good for me to comment on color choice, but for the 50+ years I have collected period material on pre WWII era cars which includes about 400-500 color chips that are about 4 inches by 2 inches with the formula on the back as well as the name , year and model of the car it says to me color choices were very conservative not only by the car manufacturers but by the car buying public. Even in warmer climates where car color choices leaned towards lighter colors ( due to darker colors holding the heat - ever lean up against a dark blue car on a hot day?) Most car owners no matter how fancy or striking looking their cars were so far as fender line and body style , stuck to the conservative choice . A totally light tan color on a car was a big deal. I have journals and reports of what the popular colors were for specific years, auto shows , salons etc. One has to keep in mind if you could afford a $5,000 car in 1932 you really didn't want a flashy color as most people who saw it were either in low paying jobs or didn't have one due to the depression! Flashy colors meant you were 'in their face ' with your wealth, even if the car was a low priced car. You didn't have to prove you had $ then ( as people do now) everyone could tell. All of this opinion I have is also based on the fact I did study color - I taught art for nearly 40 years. I always suggested to my students, if you have made a really excellent piece of art you don't have to have bright colors to make it better - if you do, people see the color not the form you have created, so all your creative effort in working to get that form was lost because of a flashy color. I would show them the same shape in a fairly conservative color and a bright color to make my point, usually the reaction was "wow" in both expression and verbal comment and most were in favor of the conservative colored example . Ever go to a car show and stand back and wonder why one car which is nearly the same as another there just "works" so much better? It all has to do with color ( fender, body, pin stripe, wheels etc) End of lecture for today😮. PS I rarely judge at car shows because the judging team always knows that I will be very critical of non authentic /period colors on a car. I have had the comment made to me "but if you wanted to for $50 more you could have had the car painted any color you wanted " and my answer is - yes but people weren't making $50 per week so didn't have that to spend on special order colors" Sarcasm on a Sunday - thanks all for reading this, now I will be quiet. Walt G.
  10. When I bought my 1930 Packard 733 at auction in 2016 I immediately sent the car to a friends shop to have things tested and replaced. The car took an AACA 1st place in 1981 and the was basically kept in a heated garage and taken out to a show only on rare occasions so it would not see its restoration/condition "suffer". Car ran great, but I had all hoses , belts replaced and the radiator taken out and boiled out to make sure it was clean. A lot of other stuff was done too to make sure all was well even though it "looked ok" and ran well without anything being done.
  11. Walt G

    Oil cooler?

    Dutch Kern restored the engine in my 1931 series 153 Airman at the time that I owned it . and used his own 153 sedan as a test vehicle for anything he wanted to use to rebuild and restore Franklins mechanically. If you looked under the hood of his sedan it was a wonder to behold! I told him when he was rebuilding my engine that "the car is going to be driven , not see a trailer to be transported to events, shows etc" he mentioned to me some of the things he did incorporate in his rebuilds would not be seen but he felt were what Franklin would have used if it was available or known at the time. I told him I did not want an electric fuel pump and to restore and leave the original mechanical one. He smiled and in his wonderful Pa. Dutch accent said "ya Walt I knew you would say that" . I drove my 153 near 45,000 miles total, never had an issue with oil over heating etc. including the trip from long island where I live, to the trek held in Cazenovia, NY near Syracuse where the cars were made. This is at least a 5 1/2 hour trip in August weather that went up and down long grades in heat that ranged from 75 to 85 degrees. Never ever had a problem. Paul's first line of his comment says it all.
  12. Walt G

    crank handle identification requested

    Perhaps some of us can comment on what it doesn't fit to narrow the field down a bit? It is not Franklin 1930-34
  13. Walt G

    Fire at the Los Angeles Auto Show!

    If a new post is stated and the location is mentioned in the title it will attract more people; don't hesitate to post something just do it so it can have its own following for comments, additions, etc!
  14. My articles and stories regularly appear in Hemmings Classic Car magazine, I also have a column for that magazine 4 times a year, articles appear at assorted times of the year the column is in April,July, October and January issues. For 35+ years I also had a regular ( almost every issue) story in the Classic Car Club of America magazine 'The Classic Car' , my last article for CCCA will be in the December /Winter issue that will be out soon as I will not be renewing my membership to CCCA , at least for 2019. Hopefully in 2019 my new venue for sharing my information on pre war vehicles with club members will be in the AACA Antique Automobile magazine . I have a story into West Peterson as well as some period photographs to share with all of you. I take great personal satisfaction in being able to share what I have in my library and archives ( it is focused on WWI to WWII era primarily) with all of you. There is just so much material, information, images etc out there that has never been made available or made known to a lot of car enthusiasts and I am happy to be able to do that, it is my way of giving back to an absolutely wonderful interest - old vehicles , that interest keeps us all going while we put up with the every day rigors of life, health etc. thank you for asking.
  15. Walt G

    1886 Mercedes

    Poetry in motion, absolutely wonderful, thanks for sharing.