Big Beat

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

29 Excellent

About Big Beat

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. 12 years later, wondering what happened with the Pobeda and the Volga...
  2. Have you noticed that ever since eBay started charging fees for shipping, many eBay sellers now offer free shipping? It's not really "free", of course, it's just built into the purchase price. That's what I do as a seller now - exactly to avoid unpleasant interactions with clueless buyers over combined shipping, or complaints about the difference between a stated flat rate and actual cost, or dumb unsolicited opinions over why you charge more than they think you should, or whatever. You can still be nice and offer a discount to a buyer who requests one courteously (by sending them an offer), if you wish. But now your generosity is seen as a privilege, not an entitlement. And everybody else just ponies up and pays your stated amount. And they don't have any cause for complaint because they're getting "free" shipping! Also, more people use cell phone apps these days, and the eBay app hides your description. Only a line or two is shown. A lot of buyers never bother to click through to read your fine print in its entirety. In the past, sellers could say that it's their own fault that they missed whatever shipping terms were stated in the description. Not anymore, and that's just how it is. Many sellers still have several paragraphs of outdated "fine print" in their listings dating back to when they first started selling 10 or 15 years ago, but most of it is no longer relevant or enforceable. Instead of complaining about bad buyers, you might wish to update your policies.
  3. Before WWII, Russia's car industry was very underdeveloped. While there were a few early home-grown attempts (such as Russo-Balt and Lessner), none of them were mass produced. Besides those and some experimental models (such as the NAMI and the L-1), all cars made in Russia were either license built or reverse engineered(GAZ cars based on Ford, AMO trucks based on FIAT, etc. ). When those weren't enough, the Soviets simply imported foreign cars (for example, Renault taxicabs in Moscow in the 1920s). All these cars were abused and poorly repaired with all sorts of makeshift parts, and then scrapped in a thousand scrap metal drives. In addition, all vehicles were owned by the government or official organizations in those days. There was almost no private ownership, so nobody had any incentive to preserve them. Due to all these factors, pre-war cars in today's Russia are extremely rare. The few that exist are either 1930s German cars that were brought home as trophies by army officers returning from the war, or the occasional surviving GAZ M-1. Those are the cars that one usually sees in war films today. Lomakov is a well-known character. He has collected and preserved many cars that are now in his museum in Moscow.
  4. I have seen a Land Rover on which the owner transposed the emblem letters to read "very disco". In Russia, most models have a folk nickname. For example, the VAZ (Lada) 2101 is called "Kopek" ("Penny"), the GAZ 24 Volga is "Barge", the ZAZ-965 is "Hunchback", the ZAZ-968 is "Big Ears" , the UAZ van is "Bread loaf", etc.
  5. I have done something very similar once. I called a junk yard and junked what appeared to be a nice car over a simple and obvious repair. That repair was the last straw after many previous failures. At least I got $50 from the junker. I wrote up that story here: As for the buried Ford, I can understand that too. In the US, worthless cars like that were often parked behind the barn and left there to rot, or there was at least a small token payment you could expect if you called a scrapper. But in the UK, fewer people have that kind of space, and apparently, the scrappers charged you for the hassle. So making an unwanted car disappear by burying it makes some sense.
  6. I've been following this thread since the beginning and I can understand the appeal. The Plymouth has a lovable mutt, a plucky underdog, almost a cartoon car kind of vibe. It is just so small and cute and unexpected to see, and appears to be friendly and approachable - unlike a more stereotypical muscle car or 1950s cruiser that everyone is used to seeing at every cruise-in, or some snooty and totally alien to a young person brass era car. This is exactly the kind of car I like, something that was once common and unpretentious, but now unusual enough to be interesting. I enjoy seeing it coming together and getting sorted out.
  7. I only have one old car. I have a sentimental attachment to it, and since I intend to keep it forever, the dollar value truly does not matter. Whatever it brings after I'm gone is just found money to my family. As long as I manage to preserve even just the one old car for posterity, I will feel that I have done my part. And if I ever get to the point that I cannot continue doing that, I will sell it before I go, so that my family does not have to deal with it. A little more or a little less will make no difference at that point, either. If I can ever afford a second hobby car, I have always wanted something much older. But it would have to be relatively modest, and it does not seem likely in the near future anyway. Maybe when the bottom completely drops out of the market, I'll be able to give a good home to one more car. But I'm not counting on it. I have never done a full restoration, have never driven anything pre-war, and have never bought any car with the intention of making a profit on it, so my position may not be typical here. But I have done all that with my other hobby, vintage guitars. And I believe a parallel can be drawn. Just like with cars, there was a lot of speculation in this field, and price corrections have left many speculators holding the bag. But the "good stuff" tends to retain its value much better. Back in 1995, I bought an old Japanese guitar for $30, restored it, took it to a guitar show and sold it for $150. At the same show, I bought an older Gibson guitar for $250 (I was quite the wheeler-dealer as I tried to trade up to better gear than I could afford outright). The same Japanese guitar would be worth perhaps $300 today, but the Gibson, at least $1000. Both have gone up in value, both were selling for even more before the 2008 crash, but the price gap between the two has grown much wider. Once upon a time, a higher-end collectible guitar was not that much more expensive than a low-end one. But today, the better stuff is worth multiples of the cheaper stuff, and would sell faster, too. The $1000 Gibson would sell within a week or two. There's always somebody who wants one if the price is right. The $300 Japanese guitar might take many months to sell until the right buyer comes along. If I wanted to sell it within two weeks like the Gibson, I would have to blow it out at the 1995 price - $150. There's always going to be somebody to take a Pierce-Arrow off your hands for a decent price. A four-door Pontiac, not so much, unless you turn your price back a few decades.
  8. Totally possible. Even as recently as the early 1990s, I could buy a '69 Pontiac for $100 on a minimum wage job ($4.25 / hr at the time). Not sure I would have wanted to drive that thing for the next 70 years, though. I have a far bigger problem with the author describing a Model T as "analog". Seriously...
  9. Great car and great thread! I absolutely love following "detective stories" like this. And the level of both expertise and goodwill is amazing. I know nothing about these Studebakers, but have some experience doing similar "forensics" in a different field. I restore musical instruments, and sometimes it takes Sherlock Holmes skills to figure out what exactly had been done to some guitar or drum over the years and what it originally started out as. And with the evidence presented, I would tend to agree that this was a touring car that got damaged and rebuilt into a roadster after sitting around and losing some bits and pieces, and that this work is decades old. If this was my car, I would definitely keep it a roadster. For a car with this much history, restoration back to a tourer or a chassis swap back to a shorter wheelbase would only detract from it. I would also attempt to track down the previous owner who sold it in 1997.
  10. Buy it. Have fun with it. If you decide it's not for you, sell it. You'll most definitely lose money, but you'll have a lifetime of stories about how you once owned an antique Plymouth pickup to show for it. Owning a vintage car is not logical. If it absolutely had to make logical or financial sense, nobody would ever do it. Other than that, there's some good advice in this thread, if you choose to listen.
  11. I only have one question.... if you show up at a car show in a big ass fire truck, do you still need to have a little fire extinguisher on display with it?
  12. Thank you all. I ended up ordering the Uniroyal Tiger Paws from Walmart @ $65 each.
  13. So it's time to replace tires on my '79 Chevy Monte Carlo, which currently still wears Toyo narrow whitewalls that have probably been on the car since the 1980s. Narrow whitewalls are not exactly common anymore and it appears that my only choice is a special order from Coker. And Coker only shows a couple in my size (195/75R14), Tornel and Travelstar - brands that I have never heard of. My question is this: do any major brands still make narrow whitewalls? Or should I just get the Tornels or Travelstars from Coker? If you have recently bought a set of period-look tires for your 1960s or 1970s car, what did you get, where did you find them and what has been your experience with them? Thanks.
  14. About the Russian video... the car is part of an antique car collection that is displayed at the restaurant in Moscow. The video was posted by the restoration shop that restored the Studebaker and several other cars. The voiceover is mostly about the history of the Studebaker company, not much about the car itself other than pointing out some features. Not sure what the connection is between the restoration shop and the restaurant. I didn't watch the whole video, but that's the gist. Here's a link to pics of some of the other cars restored or being restored by the shop, including several other Studebakers: Studebaker vehicles have recognition in Russia, just like Buicks do in China, because everyone fondly remembers the Lend-Lease Studebaker trucks from WWII. Ask any layperson to name an old American car company and they'll probably come up with Ford and Studebaker, in that order.
  15. The last modern car that I really admired and aspired to own was my 2000 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. A small, peppy 5-speed wagon that could go anywhere. They don't make fun cars like that anymore, newer Subarus are much bigger and have too many electronic bells and whistles, plus I don't really like their current styling. Nobody makes small all-wheel-drive wagons, now it's a choice between an econobox hatchback or a Jeep. I looked forever for a nice Outback Sport. Loved that car. But after a couple of years I stupidly sold it, because I was living in NYC and got tired of shifting in traffic jams every day - so I got a Forester with automatic instead. Big mistake, as I soon found out about the infamous head gaskets, and then I moved away from NY, to where I could've been enjoying driving a 5-speed... So maybe some day I'll look for another one of these. Other than that, no. I like some modern cars more than others, but none inspire admiration or aspiration. I have no use for sports cars and exotica, and current models don't really have my kind of personality.