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Is it becoming impractical to drive an antique?


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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Hinckley</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The question of impracticality in driving an old car is dependant on two things. One, are you driving the car for enjoyment. Two, are you going to depend on the car as regular transportation.</div></div> And THREE, you are subjecting your car to everyone around you (who couldn't give a damn, not even for their own car). All you 'skilled driver' guys better watch out for everyone else who isn't so skilled. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Skyking</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: simplyconnected</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> (They surround us.)

</div></div> Ummmm........that's one BIG reason I wouldn't use one for a daily driver. Way too many brainless people driving today.

</div></div> Like Skyking said.

That accident I saw today was in mid-day, rainy, and everyone involved had cars/SUV's under three years old. The hood on the SUV was an accordian; 'and everyone was soooooo sorry...'

Do you really want to bring your classic out in THAT? I think I will wait for driving opportunities that aren't so chancy.

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Sounds like most of the practical issues have been well covered here, but two additional considerations are your registration and insurance. In most states antique plates allow certain privelages such as lower prop tax and reg fees, and of course antique insurance is much lower. To use the car daily and be honest about it, you would need to give those advantages up (I assume, although I don't know every state law.) so you would lose those savings. You may then be subject to more stringent/frequent safety inspections?

Also, if you use the car daily be prepared to maintain it and break/repair/replace more parts. I am all about driving our old cars, but everyday is another deal, just a couple things to consider here.

Lastly, develop and maintain a healthy fear of minivans. CT traffic is brutal for the most part, and old car drivers get no breaks from most self absorbed drivers. I continue to be amazed at the high levels of courtesy in other parts of the country, though! Here it would be a hassle. Even with our A in sound mechanical shape we find it most enjoyable when traffic is light.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">No 59 Chev could ever get, even close, to that figure. </div></div>

My father's did. I was in it when it happened. The car couldn't get out of it's own way, despite being maintained to the hilt. But man it was good on gas!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: simplyconnected</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 54nuyorkrwagon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">...I'm talking about using an antique as a daily driver. ...The brakes had been refurbished from master cylinder to wheel cylinder, lines, shoes, etc. Basically, everything had been rebuilt except the booster, which did not work at all. </div></div> Ok, your car was designed for, and came with, POWER BRAKES. An 8-inch booster with 20 inches of engine vacuum will provide about 240 lbs. of brake assist, THAT YOU DON'T HAVE. How can that be a machine's fault, old or new? </div></div>

If you disconnect the booster on any 2008 car and try and drive it you'll repeat the same result you had in the Chrysler. Driving 60 mph in a power brake car w/o an operating booster is darn near suicide.

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If one has an Antique vehicle which is large and for which one can easily obtain replacement parts then it may not be impractical to drive it.

Bottom line is that many people driving on the roads today are simply not paying attention to their surroundings.

They are getting into or causing many more accidents.

When one owns a smaller antique vehicle the risk of serious injury is much higher when it is hit by a much larger vehicle.

If one's antique vehicle is difficult to get replacement parts for, some may not find it worth the risk to drive on public roads except under certain conditions.

Right after I restored my vehicle I drove it to many auto events.

Over time, those trips became less and less enjoyable (and more and more stressful) due to way TOO MANY close calls with other inattentive and/or careless drivers.

After a few years I decided to get a trailer and tow vehicle for transporting my vehicle to auto events.

I still take my old vehicles out for drives early on a Sunday morning. It seems that many of the inattentive and/or careless drivers like to sleep late on Sundays.

During the last few years I have noticed a marked increase in the number of classic and antique vehicles being driven early on Sunday monrings.

I guess I am not the only person who prefers fewer drivers who are more attentive, more careful and more respectful of others and their older vehicles.

It is a shame that some of us have to feel this way and not drive our vehicles as much as we would like. Unfortunately for some of us, replacement parts are much harder to come by and it is simply not worth the risk to expose our antique vehicles to the harards of modern day roads.

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I did a little bit of reversible modernising on my 1918 Mercer when I was using it last, West. Because it is reversible I probably do not need to apologise for that. I adapted quartz halogen dipping headlamp bulbs to the correct bulb bases. And because it is presently set up as right hand drive for our roads, the steering box had to go where the generater normally is; so I mounted an alternater to drive from the fan belt. Change of driving position was necessary to get full road registration; and of course overtaking was a bit of a problem on 2 lane roads because you can't see well what is coming until you pull out in front of it. Brake were not the world's best, but were good enough, and the older children liked me to drive them to school in it. More interesting is the direct material consequence of having that car to be used at any time for enjoyment of visitors. An Englishman who was holidaying here as a backpacker came. (It took him several hours to drive the 70 miles because the cheap rental car was faulty.) I fixed the problem in five minutes. My wife made the evening meal a bit early because Robin had been battling the bomb so long he had no lunch. By the time he finished looking at cars and workshop it was approaching 10pm. I opened the door behind the Mercer, touched the starter, and took him for a run of about 9 miles round the block. He made a favourable comparison of it with a 3 litre Bentley. His brother restored Bentleys, and I had passed the 1923 engine I had on to a friend who had a better prospect of rebuilding one. I put them in communication with each other, and Robin located more than enough of the necessary parts in UK for Bill, and two of his friends, to build their cars. That meant two 3 litre Bentleys and a 4 1/2 restored and back on the road that otherwise would not. When I can get a set of new 6.00x 23's that I could never afford, I'll put Mercer on the road again. Cars of that age command considerably respect from other drivers, and it is otherwise fairly practial, but to avoid city peak hour and driving in the wet in respect for the two wheel brakes.

Cars of the 50's are modern to me, though I know some of you regard them as antique. (That does not mean I dont have favourites of that era). In the early 1950's Ken Purdy published Kings of the Road, who and which stimulated a lot of earlt awareness and enthusiasm for old cars. In the last chapter, titled What Hope for Tomorrow?, Ken says that if he could only have one car, but could choose any current car then being made, It would be a Lancia Aurelia. It virtually had then Grand Prix technology in a family sedan. It is thoroughly safe and practical even today, and quick, and easy and enjoyable to drive. Purdy is worth a read again. Regards, Ivan Saxton

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Barry, all--In the old days they used to grind (profile) a new set of shoes to the real diameter of your drums, especially if the drums were turned. The machine that the shoes were ground on was commonly refered to as "the widowmaker" due to the toxic dust that it generated. Of course the Joe at the auto parts store stood there working it with no OSHA approved resperator, he was probably smoking an unfiltered Camel while he was happily grinding away.

The process did give the highest percentage of contact, and that is essential for proper drum brake function.

I drive my cars to work on the occasional nice day but would never subject it to the everpresent dangers in commuting--there are just too many cars on our roads today, and it's too risky a roll of the dice.

Frankly, I'm spoiled by my 12 year old daily driver, it runs great, is good on gas and has the right amount of creature comfort for my everyday needs.

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That's awesome, West. It's even awesomer (ha!) that you're doing it in the rain. Use these cars like they were meant to be used. They'll love you back for it.

I long for the day that I can drive the Buick to work. My drive is a traffic-free winding country road at 35 MPH--absolute heaven for a car guy.

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I have to say, I own both a modernized old truck and a car in the stages of absolute restoration. I have a 1952 Dodge pickup that I bought in 1972 for $100 - I'm still driving it, and it's my commuter and firewood truck. I just put in my third engine, a 1981 Jeep 258 ci straight six, and included four - wheel drive. Where I live, that's very necessary. It scoots along with traffic very nicely, and I get offers to buy it often. I also have a 1927 Overland Whippet, that will be restored with every original part I can obtain, and never be rodded out. I only plan to drive it occaisionaly. If my life lasts, I have a 1938 McCormic Deering tractor that's waiting in the wings, along with a 1939 of the same make and model, for parts. I do, however, believe that more cars should be restored, than rodded. There are tons of fiberglass bodies on the market for many "old" cars, and folks should use those, not original cars. Just my two sense.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> The car couldn't get out of it's own way, despite being maintained to the hilt. But man it was good on gas! </div></div>

Dave, that's odd that you say this. I had 2 friends in the 60's, 1 who had a 58 Biscayne stick six and one who had a 58 Impala convertible stick six, both were pretty quick cars with the Blue Flame Six. I could only guess that maybe the 59 was much heavier.

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To Ron Green, I wasn't in any way referring to anything you said. It was another person, and I just didn't want to get started on it.

QUOTE: I have installed overdrive trannies in my 69 and 72 Buicks to make them more economical to drive, and they will run the interstates with ease. UNQUOTE

The above is interesting, tell me more. It is something that nobody could ever see or tell - except maybe some judge. I'm restoring a 71 Riviera 455 and I'll bet it would really benefit from a overdrive tranny. Problem is, though, I guess the steering gear mounted indicator would be ruined.

I installed insert rod bearings into a couple of my old Buicks and have changed the 34-40 oil pumps to the larger capacity 41-53 versions. These were great improvements in the cars that nobody could see.

As for those halogen bulbs, I bought a pair to test out on my 39 Buick convertible sedan on the AACA Sentimental Tour. What I'm finding is that the generator/voltage regular will not go to charge with the increased amperage requirement. The best I can get is up to zero.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dynaflash8</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

As for those halogen bulbs, I bought a pair to test out on my 39 Buick convertible sedan on the AACA Sentimental Tour. What I'm finding is that the generator/voltage regular will not go to charge with the increased amperage requirement. The best I can get is up to zero. </div></div>

I believe installing a resistor across the lamp leads will consume enough current to trigger the voltage regulator. A fan speed resistor pack might provide some resistors to play with. Also, if there's room behind the reflector you could use one of the original headlamp bulbs, tied in parallel with one of the new lights. The combination of two new and one old lamp should trigger the regulator.

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I drive mine every day..to and from work and for all my errands. I expect to be heading down hwy99 and I5 a week from tomorrow to the Munroe swap meet. Who knows I might even get out of the truck lane a couple of times. Any excuse to get below the 49th for some of your cheap gas.

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My 1915 Buick is totally impractical.... But so much fun that I really don't care.

I'm sure I take a chance every time I drive it, But the thrill of the road in my eyes does not outweigh the risk. Folks around here think I'm crazy and think I should park it in a museum as a monument. No thanks, Not I!

Install seat belts??? Never! Improvments? Yeah, Ball bearings converted to Timkin tappered roller Bearings in the front end. Made new tierod ends and bushings. Sure took the shake out! whistle.gif Dandy Dave!

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54 New Yorker Wagon

Nothing wrong with driving original or restored old cars. Just be aware of the capabilities and limitations of them as far as safety is concerned and drive accordingly.

Also, be aware of the changes in fluids over the years. For instance changes in brake fluids and fuels. Most all gasoline sold today is 10% ethanol. Ethanol is not compatible with rubber and will cause early failure of old rubber parts in fuel systems. Be sure you use a brake fluid that is compatible with older rubber parts or replace them with modern synthetic rubber parts. Be sure to use a zinc additive in your engine oil to protect your camshaft.

Are you the Lionel that I have seen on other sites that is restoring a New Yorker wagon?

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This turned up on another forum but it ties in perfectly with this thread:

"Hello folks,

thanks everybody who has helped with the starter wiring problem on my '49 Custom, but today I have to tell you the true story about what I was doing in the last couple of days.

I bought a 1938 DeSoto S-5 Touring Sedan at the Mallorca Island in Spain earlier this year. Actually the car came from South Africa and therefore it is a right hand drive.

A friend of mine had bought a 1958 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire at Mallorca and so we decided to bring our cars home on the road by driving them.

Last Sunday we flew down to Mallorca. We checked the cars and found everything okay for the trip. We had the brakes checked, put new plugs and points and fresh oil.

On Monday we took the ferry from the Island to Barcelona in Spain.

From there we took the 1.600 miles drive home where we arrived today.

On the way we passed South France, the Cote D'Azur, places like St. Tropez, Nice and Monaco, from there we headed north thru the French, the Italian and the Swiss Alps, passed some high pass roads where the cars saw snow for the very first time, then we took the roads thru the Black Forest and this afternoon we arrived home.

I tell you what. The S-5 ran like a new car. No single problem whatsoever. It didn't burn oil, just one quart for the whole 1.600 miles trip. The engine is clean, it doesn't drip any fluids at all.

You knoww the british scrap piece of Armstrong used like 2 litres of oil every day.

The S-5 ran up the pass roads in the Alps like a modern car. No overheating - it was perfect.

Actually I don't believe that many of the today's cars can do that when they are 70 years old, but the DeSoto S-5 really made it. I had a great week, with an even more great car and that gave me a life time experience.

What can I say, for me this is ""the"" car.

take care

Rainer"

Further comment would be superfluous.

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One more thing.

I wouldn't throw a 200 year old Aubusson carpet on the floor of my kitchen

I wouldn't serve the kids breakfast on the Wedgewood china

I wouldn't rebuild a carburetor on a Chippendale sideboard

And I wouldn't use an antique car for everyday commuting, in all weathers, in today's traffic.

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To Bob Call - No, I'm not Lionel - my name is Al. I had a tahitian tan (beige) original, unrestored 54 NY wagon that I sold 9 years ago - the last I knew, that car was in North Carolina.

And, Rusty, I think I've come to the same conclusion. Although it can be done if one is willing to do it, I'm not going to drive one for everyday transportation, so I guess I'm just not going to have one period. I love them, but I no longer have storage to keep one in the dry - even my everyday drivers have to sit outside. Insurance & upkeep for the newer cars is enough. Maybe if an unknown relative passes away leaving me an untold fortune.............

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There's a guy in my neck of the woods who uses his Model 'T' as a daily driver all summer long. The top speed on the 'T' isn't that high and it takes him longer to get to work, but he gets better gas mileage with his 'T' than he does with his pickup.

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  • 9 months later...

Hey 54nuyorkerwagon!

Until I "traded up" to a 1966 Newport in 2006, my daily driver - YES, DAILY - was my 1954 Bel-Air four door sedan. Drove it with OEM drum brakes, vacuum wipers, and standard equipment - including the "new for 1954" power steering package. Drove "Mr. Miagi" up and down the east and west and used it for my Real Estate broker work here in NC too to grab the eye of prospects (PS: Didn;t work too well - people thought I was strange - maybe eccentric).

Drove it in the snow, the rain and the sunshine.

My work truck till 2006 was a 1958 GMC 100 stepside pickup, named "Animal." Handled like one too, but oh damn, the memories - and driving out of Home Depot with loads that even to post-2000 pickups couldn't handle.

Please reconsider your fears and - even if you putter along at 50 MPH, do some poor car a favor and rescue it from some guy's dark garage and DRIVE it! You'll be GLAD you did!

Cheers from NC NASCAR country!

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I have 2 choices for an every day driver. One is a 1931 Dodge coupe with the original engine and the other is a 1967 Dodge A100 pick up with the original rebuilt 273 V8. They both get about the same mileage. They are both limited to carrying 2 adults comfortably. They can both haul a ton of stuff (the business coupe trunk is cavernous). They are both unrestored "drivers". I can obtain parts for either one in about the same time period if one breaks down. Which is more practical for me to drive? The A100 gets me a LOT of looks, being such an odd ride (people usually think it was a van that was cut off in the back), but the '31 Dodge puts a bigger smile on my face. That's what's practical about it. I hear that people who smile more live longer.

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windjamer...I gotta tell you, there isn't much of a "rat race" here in these rural parts. There's only one traffic light on the main highway here in town. I DO, of course worry about the usual non-attentive driver. I also get a little upset when they come up behind me fast and get really close to read "DODGE" on my tail light lens. I was rear-ended in my first '31 that's not on the road at this time, so I do not drive in the rain at night again with either '31.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: keiser31</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I also get a little upset when they come up behind me fast and get really close to read "DODGE" on my tail light lens. </div></div>

That was my problem with the 32 Ply PB conv with the rear spare tire. They would try to read the name on the hubcap.

There is nothing to read on the back of the 32 Nash,,,,so I am hopeful smile.gif

I hope to move the Nash into the heated work area next week and get started. I am shutting down the shop to work on it full time to try to get it roadable by summer. Then I plan to run the wheels off of it. It has been apart and neglected since it was saved back in the 50s. It deserves to be back on the road.

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Not impractical, but you have to be so much more aware when driving them. Your "situation awareness" has to be peaked. Other drivers have no clue about how hard it can be to stop one of these older cars and some like to jump into your braking space. I try to time it so I am not out there in rush hour. I also avoid roads that clog when driving my 56 so I don't get stuck and overheat in traffic.

It can be hard to relax when driving antiques in traffic, but there is a lot of joy in having brought one of these back from decrepitude.

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We have been driving a 1932 Auburn from NE Ohio to Auburn IN for over 10 years; don't consider this a major accomplishment, just do it. We keep off the Interstate and stay on the "blue roads", they're more fun anyway. We've never had a problem that we couldn't fix enroute, and once you get to Auburn on Labor Day weekend, call me crazy, but it seems the place is crawling with Auburn mechanics.

I won't say we've never had a close call, we all know there is no shortage of idiots on the highways, but so far nothing worrysome enough to make me consider quiting. If you have a mechanical brake car like I do, it is important to keep the brakes up to snuff. I always take the week off prior to Labor Day to give the car a good going over.

I say keep them rolling!

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My everyday car in the 80's were Studebakers ranging from a 47 Champion bus. coupe to a 64 Cruiser. In the 90's It was about the same until I bought a new Harley that was modeled after the 1948. In the early 2000 my everyday car was a 1940 Packard 160 touring sedan, then a 55 Packard patricain. so, my imput is: if you drive in a small country town a model A would be nice, in a big city with lots of traffic, well, mechanical brakes for the idiots that jump infront of you and slam their brakes on may not be so wise. 40's-50's cars are cool, you are lacking a/c but, enless your in mega hot vegas, or close, it's not bad. The mid-late 50's have most modern convience such as power streering, power brakes, ect.. I feel much more safer in a big metal car than a plastic car of today. If you plan on driving a classic everyday like I do, check out any defects the compnay made, such as the 1963 Studebaker Avanti, very modern but they made a big mistake, the master cylinder has only 1 reserve not two, and a few people have died because they lost the brakes ( including Herb Shriner ) So, with that I would replace the master cylinder for a dual reserve type. other than that, this is a great everyday car, I for one, drive my old cars for everyday use. I love driving and enjoying this hobby, having it sit in the garage to look at is not so enjoying to me, haha. Love the post...

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  • 1 month later...

Going for rides in those old buggies is a real blast! Here's some kids enjoying the rumble seat in a '28 Pierce-Arrow coupe.

<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://img.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vidmg.photobucket.com/albums/v129/poobie2/PAride.flv">

<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://img.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vidmg.photobucket.com/albums/v129/poobie2/PAride2.flv">

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