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Big Beat

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Everything posted by Big Beat

  1. I only have one old car, and STILL cannot find enough time to drive it as often as I would like, nor enough space in the garage to avoid piling stuff on top of it between drives. I cannot imagine how some people manage to have more than a few cars and a small stash of parts without having all that stuff overwhelm them. It takes discipline, and many people just don't have it. Discipline, to me, is what defines the difference between hoarding and collecting. The actual amount of stuff may be exactly the same, but a collector has the discipline to organize it, maintain it, keep the collection focused and move stuff along when necessary, while a hoarder does not. A collector has a plan for each car he owns and the discipline to actually follow that plan, even if it sometimes does get sidetracked or delayed. A hoarder has no plan and no focus, merely a desire to accumulate and vague dreams about getting to it some day.
  2. I have a set of wooden spool clamps that belonged to my grandfather and were brought over from Russia. As a small child, I liked to steal them and roll them around on the floor. Half a century later, I'm still playing with Grandpa's clamps. I have no idea how old they really are, but even 50 years ago they were already ancient.
  3. If the tire is so ancient or so unusual that it immediately appears different even to a layperson, AND you have a ton of storage space for all the cool old stuff you want to display, then perhaps an old tire may find its place among old oil cans and tin signs and other such junk. But that would probably be in a museum rather than your own garage. And it will be the first thing to get tossed whenever the collection needs to be downsized, because nobody will ever really find it all that interesting, valuable or compelling in any way. If it looks more or less like a current tire, then there's absolutely no point in saving it. Actually using such old tires isn't even worth discussing, just no. Maybe if you need an extra set of rollers in your paint shop. Whenever I feel bad about tossing useless old junk, I take a few photos of it, especially any lettering/nomenclature and close-ups of any remotely interesting detail. If you think you might ever need such reference, digital pics are much easier to store than the object itself.
  4. Englishtown is basically a big flea market with a lot of car-related junk. It's fun and I go almost every year. But the emphasis is on junk and it is all very random. As mentioned above, it is no Hershey by any stretch. You will find lots of parts - but probably not what you were looking for. Also plenty of rusty modified bikes, lawnmowers, buckets full of old tools, welded "art" made from old springs and mufflers, guys selling pocket knives and old license plates and used mechanic overalls, as well as all sorts of yard sale bric-a-brac that has nothing to do with cars. As far as complete vehicles go, there are always a bunch of projects as well as a small car corral and show, mostly hot rods and muscle cars but occasionally something more interesting. Here are a few random pics I took in previous years:
  5. There's also a lot of car related footage to be found in silent films. Here's one from 1914, featuring Charlie Chaplin and Barney Oldfield in action.
  6. My first attempt at a restoration project back in the early 1990s. As a teenager, my dream car was a GTO but they were getting too expensive even then. This was the closest I could afford to a proper wide-track Pontiac. 4-door hardtop, bought for $100 from the little old lady original owner. The car ran well and had fairly low miles and a dead mint interior. The back seat had never been sat on. I thought it was a perfect drive-as-you-restore project. Unfortunately, a few months later, as I was just starting to get a few things sorted out on it, the frame rusted through under the engine. I had no clue it was that bad as I had never lifted the car to check. I was living in an apartment in New York at the time - no garage, no driveway, no way to keep a non-operable car even long enough to sell it. I jacked up the engine, put a 2x4 under it and drove the car to the junkyard under its own power. 😪
  7. Genevieve, The Yellow Rolls Royce, The Great Race, Excuse My Dust. To a lesser extent, Christine (the book is much better). Here's a very cool Russian comedy (with subtitles) about 30 years in the life of a Zhiguli (Lada) car and its various owners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2g-NuaOuNs
  8. To me, "garage", in reference to music, means only one thing: mid-1960s bands such as The Standells, The Music Machine, The Count Five and other such "nuggets". I still have several mixed tapes with such stuff that I made back in the 1980s and I keep an old boombox in the garage to play that stuff, among other music. My 40+ year old cassettes are still good to go, even if I don't play them in the house anymore. Until recently I still had a daily driver with a cassette deck, so the tapes lived in the car. But these days they're my "garage music". Radio... I have a love-hate relationship with radio. I love old tube radios, but I hate everything that comes out of the speaker, unless it's some obscure retro program. To me, nostalgia is not a passive thing, I always preferred to seek out, or to make, my own soundtrack.
  9. Some great stuff! My stash is quite a bit more modest. The model cars I collected as a kid in Russia in the 1970s. A few Moskvich, one Lada and a couple of pre-revolution Russo-Balt. I used to have more but my younger brothers destroyed most of my stuff in the 1980s. The 1929 registration for a '24 Hupmobile Touring was found when renovating the basement of my mom's house. I wonder if that car survived the scrap drives of WWII.
  10. A few years ago a young guy, probably still in his teens, walked up to me and my '79 Monte Carlo and asked "Is it real?". I had no idea how to answer that, so I said "no, but it's a pretty good fake, huh?" He walked away, nodding, like I confirmed his suspicions.
  11. Antique Automobile does have some minor value, especially if a complete run of a long stretch of years. It is of no interest to the veterans in the hobby, as they all probably have their own. But it may interest someone just starting out. I know I myself bought at least three guys' accumulations of old magazines when I first started going to car shows years ago. I didn't pay much for them, but they weren't garbage either, I was glad to have them to read and educate myself. I wouldn't want any now, though. If you know some younger guy who just bought their first vintage car, the magazines would make a nice gift. Otherwise put them on Craigslist at a very token price and see if someone comes for them. If you still have them a few months later, then donate them to a nursing home. The other titles... I would have recycled them already by now.
  12. I wrecked a car on black ice in PA a few years ago. I'm an experienced driver, I was driving carefully below the speed limit and the car was an all-wheel-drive Subaru, so I managed to limit the damage and not cause a pile-up. But nothing can prevent such an accident. Once you hit that black ice, there's just no control.
  13. As a phonograph collector, a few tips... The machine in the famous Victor trademark that the dog Nipper is listening to is NOT a Victrola. It is a Victor model B from 1896, with a very obvious external horn. The Victrola was a line of machines with an INTERNAL horn that Victor introduced in 1906. The external horn was considered too intrusive to display in a fashionable home, plus everything was exposed to dust. So a new type of machine was invented with a horn folded inside the cabinet and a lid to cover the turntable when not in use. This proved very popular and the name Victrola became generic for any such machine. But NOT for an older external horn phonograph. Also, early Victrolas were too big to be easily portable, even the tabletop models. The first truly portable "suitcase" type Victrola was the model VV-50, introduced in 1921. Taking a Victrola to a picnic in the trunk of a car became very popular in the early 1920s, not before that. Hope this helps.
  14. >>> On the list of statements you'll never hear, >>> Curious what year your D88 was? It was an '82. I wrote up that story on another site, it's a fun read: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/cars-of-a-lifetime/coal-1982-oldsmobile-delta-88-royale-brougham-channeling-christine/
  15. "Worst" is too vague. Worst in which way? Design, safety, reliability, appearance, marketing, suitability, etc. ? The Pinto was a miserable little car, but other than the eventually resolved gas tank safety issue it wasn't really any worse than anything else in its class at the time. The Corvair, the rope-drive Tempest, the fuel-injected '57 Bonneville... All brilliant designs, but total disasters in the real world. These are cars that are fun to read about and make great collectibles today, but how many first owners agreed? The Edsel was a marketing failure, but not a bad car. The Aztec is fugly, but again, not a bad car. On the other hand, something like an Isetta is cute as a button, but imagine living with one as your only vehicle. No thanks, an Aztec is far better suitable as an actual car. And if we're looking at European models, there are plenty more miserable candidates totally unsuitable to be considered a proper car, from a British Invacar to a German Lloyd with a body made of "glit" (glue and sh*t). On the other hand, the Russian Lada, while also a pretty crappy car that no one would want to drive outside of Russia, is nevertheless super durable and infinitely repairable. In good hands, it's a car that will last a lifetime. So is it really a bad car? I'd take a Lada over something more modern but truly miserable with no redeeming value, like a Hyundai Excel! How about something like a Corvair van? What were they thinking, a rear engine cargo van with an uneven floor? Poor design! How about a 1970's Mazda Rotary? My family owned a '74 RX-4 wagon. Really nice car in its day, but we rebuilt that horrible engine twice. Zero reliability, but I would love to have one of them today with a regular gasoline engine (which was a Japan-only model). Oh, and the absolute worst car I ever owned was an Olds Delta 88. Not something typically found on "worst car" lists, but in my case it was even less reliable than the rotary Mazda. It's all extremely subjective.
  16. I agonized over this for years. My Chevy only has AM radio, which unfortunately works perfectly, thus making me feel bad about ripping it out. The car is completely original, so I don't want to replace it with anything that would look out of place. I thought about finding an original AM/FM/cassette unit that would have been optional for my car, but that would still have no CD or MP3 capability, and I know that once I tear into it, I'd want to change the speakers too, and might need to run new wires and maybe do something else while I'm at it, and that's a slippery slope I don't really wish to embark on with a totally unmolested car. Then I thought about setting up some modern digital system hidden in the glovebox, but I know nothing about these and never got around to researching it. So eventually I just started to do what I used to do as a teenager - I just bring along an old boombox and some tapes. It's the correct era for the car and gives me a sense of nostalgia. If I had a pre-war car, I'd probably put a Victrola in the back seat. Most of the time I'd rather just listen to the engine, anyway. I have all the modern conveniences I need in my modern car.
  17. Here's the average life of a car back then - from March 1932 issue of Popular Mechanics.
  18. Exactly. I could never understand the desirability of the '70 Chevelle, then or now. To me, the '68-'69 was perfect and '70 was a very distant runner-up. A Chevelle, albeit a '68, was my dream car too once, too, but this was in the early 1980s when I was a teenager. My tastes have become a bit more sophisticated since, though I did own a '70 Pontiac later on and got that era out of my system. By then prices for such cars went through the roof to the point that I completely lost interest. Their very popularity works against them too, as far as I'm concerned: why would I want to pay a premium to own such a mainstream car when the world is full of far more interesting choices for less money? I have zero interest in '57 Chevies and hot-rodded '32 Fords too, for the same reason. All of this may not matter to the topic starter. As one of my favorite fictional characters said, "don't touch my dream with your dirty hands!". If he wants a '70 Chevelle resto-modded into total irrelevance to the antique car hobby, then who are we to advise him of other alternatives or better use for his money? It's his dream car, it doesn't have to appeal to the rest of us here. There are plenty of fan boys on other forums more geared towards this kind of thing. My only advice would be to buy what you like. Because you're the one who's gonna have to look at it in your garage every day.
  19. Here's me - or at least my feet - with my first car, a '79 Monte Carlo. I bought that car at 17 with my own money earned by working after school, something I was very proud of at the time. I'd been saving for a car since age 14, and wanted one of my own ever since I was old enough to play with toy cars. This car took me to college and beyond. Fourteen years ago I bought another just like it, same year, same color (my avatar). Sometimes I forget they're not the same car. The pics are both c. 1987 or so. The first is camping out on a road trip, the second is replacing the header panel in our driveway after a minor accident.
  20. A speedster type car on Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn c. 1922. The photo is interesting because the car appears to be already fairly old when photographed. What is it?
  21. I understand that the company entered the car, of course. And that the events played out the way they played out. My question is more of a "what if". Why did the Thomas team win? Was the car inherently superior in some way, or was it mostly the human factor, or was it just plain chance?
  22. Lots of interesting info in this thread. I've often wondered, what made the Thomas special? Aside from the historical fact that this specific car and crew car won the race, was the Thomas in any way better suited to the task than the other vehicles involved? Some particular feature(s), or exceptional quality, or... If the crew hypothetically had their pick of 1908 cars to take around the world, would they have had an obvious better choice than the Thomas? Or was this crew so good that they would have probably won with any other more or less comparable car?
  23. A couple of European mini-cars. What are they?
  24. Prewar? A few years ago I couldn't get my '79 Chevy inspected. As soon as they saw me pull up, they started to wave me off. Apparently, inspecting a car that old in NY required the use of some rare and/or expensive apparatus that they had no wish to risk using for a measly inspection fee. There were plenty of modern cars that did not require anything extra for the same price, so they preferred to lose an oddball customer like me. I remember hitting three or four shops until one agreed to take me on. Thankfully, no such issues in MA. But this year I needed to replace a broken fan belt, and the local shop had to special order it. A simple fan belt. For a small-block Chevy. I remember stuff like that hanging on the wall at every gas station. Made me feel really old, and the extra cost they charged me almost made me want to do the work myself again next time - like I used to do 30 years ago.
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