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  1. <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> There were five automobile manufacturers that used griffins for their hood ornaments: Vauxhall (English), Stoewer (German), Gardner (American), Hudson Essex Terraplane (American) and the Ruxton by the New Era Automobile Company (American). Please send me a message if you know of any other car manufacturers that used a griffin as their hood ornament/mascot. I have one of the first four, and would very much like to complete my collection with a Ruxton. I would be okay with a reproduction given how rare the originals would be. I also am looking for a 1929-31 Gardner griffin, any Vauxhall, any Stoewer, and any Hudson Terraplane griffin. These would be used for display, not restoration, so I am okay if they are missing the original radiator cap base, badge holder, etc. Please see my Pinterest board for a collection of known pictures of all of the above. 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  2. Long story short, I bought a 1925 Gardner 4 out of a guy's backyard a few years ago. It had been sitting in his yard for many years, and he told me it was in a guy's 'collection' for years before that. The car is rough, with most of the body missing. I dont have room for it at my place, but was able to stash it at my parent's extra garage. After pulling it off the trailer, I looked at the body (what's left of it) and the running board braces, and it appears the car was hit at some point. My guess is the body was damaged significantly enough that the old wood and metal was just removed, and possibly trashed. Looking at the rest of the car, it looks pretty good. Old, but looked mechanically sound. I think the car was in driving condition until it got into the wreck. So when I visited my parents I would go out and work on it a bit at a time, removing parts to take home with me for repair or cleaning. I checked the bottom end, and everything was tight, and even sort of clean. (I've seen '70s engines look a lot worse) With a little work, I got the engine to spin, all the valvetrain moved, had compression.. Hell, this thing will run! Rebuilt the carb, slapped the oil pan back on, new plug wires, a bit of hot wiring, etc, and I had a cranking engine. Then the little Lycoming 4 started! Had not run in at least 40years. I had a bit of tweaking to do on the carb, and just figuring out the timing setting it liked, so the day after Christmas I went back out to play with it. Hooked up the freshly charged Optima, pulled the choke, gave it a bit of throttle, and hit the starter. She fired right up, and as I fumbled with the timing and throttle, she sputtered and died. Hit the starter...Nothing. Hit it a few more times, nothing.. Looked over the engine and saw a bit of smoke flowing through the air. I pulled the battery, switched sides on the hood, and found this: The fun is over! The end cover of the starter shattered when the armature slammed back. Another case of brittle antique pot metal. Anyone know how to prolong pot metal's life? I have several pieces on my 1926 Gardner that have basically turned to crackers. You can break them with your fingers. This is going to be a huge problem for our hobby. Looks like I will be modeling the piece and having it cnc'd
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