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These are NOT good stories ! My particular car-off-a-trailer story involved a 4000 + pound 67 Thunderbird Landau at 60 mph with my wife following me in her little Mazda Protege'. We learned a lot that day with the primary thing being don't use chains with hooks on a car with a lot of soft suspension travel !! This turned out to be our most fortunate "could have" type event we ever had though, as she didn't get hit, the T-Bird didn't cross any lanes, it missed a newly installed fence at a local Doctors farm, came to a stop on it's own on the shoulder, and I drove it home ! .........Then, we came back and got the truck and trailer. Whew ! Still makes us wonder how in the world we got away with it. John

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It is Thursday, early PM on September 5th. Boy I am glad that I am not the only one who has trailer mishaps from time to time. I am sure that Chris turned into a very religious person when that Avanti started rolling off the trailer. I hope that his heart has slowed down a bit.

Greg came by last night and picked up the Suburban and enclosed trailer. He said that he was going to leave this morning. Hope that he has a great trip and show. The show is Saturday and Sunday. He said that the old IH is looking and running great.

I spent this morning cleaning the Jaguar. It really looks good except for the wire wheels and white wall tires. I have to do some cleaning on them before the concours in two weeks. I did take some time to clean the mechanism that allows the steering wheel to go forward and backwards for driver preferred driving positions. When I got the car the steering wheel was locked down tight and I had to use a pair of large channel lock pliers to get the lock to release. I have not touched it since then.

So this morning I got the lock to easily release and I lubed everything up and made sure that everything worked correctly. I even took some chrome polish on the spring and metal sourround, and cleaned them up. When the car was new I think that they maybe were chrome. Now it has turned almost black and there is no chrome. So maybe they were just polished metal? But I took my polish and got all the back off and now the look presentable for a 1953 car.

Then Shadow and I went for a long ride in the country. I think that we logged about 50 miles or so.

When I got home I had a package from Bob Helm's Studebaker Parts. The power steering hoses for the Avanti had arrived. They look great.

I still have not received the used Avanti leaf springs. The seller say they should have been delivered on Tuesday, they were not and Wednesday either. If they do not show up by Saturday I will ask for my money back. I do understand that I may be out some money, but he is a player on the Studebaker forum and will not like my input. So we will see.

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Chris- I guess we all have had an off the trailer experience (or two). My first was the day we brought the 31 Hupp home in 1996. The trailer looked level, we unhooked the straps and stood there looking at it and talking. Five minutes later it rolled right off the trailer- without the ramps down! Fortunately the drop was less than a foot, but she rolled straight at the corner post of the garage with me trying to push back. Stopped about two feet from crushing me and all we could figure is the old girl really liked her new home and wanted to get inside!

The other one involved the Avanti in 2008. I had a new to me open trailer and it was my first time loading anything on to it and my first time ever trailering up the Avanti. I got her up on but the nice looked a long way from the back of the truck..... My wife was spotting and screamed simultaneously to me starting forward. And I drove off the front of the trailer! After a lot of not so religious or lower volume language I checked things out and made a plan. Since it was just off the deck I tried to jack up the one wheel using a board as a ramp and figured I would back it up back onto the trailer.

Of course as soon as I lifted the wheel the weight shift caused the car to lerch forward about a foot. What had been a no serious damage situation became a lot worse! The car was resting on the frame on the trailer deck and the radiator was now impaled on the jacking front post with the lower cowling around it all broken up. So I did some more religious type talking, calmed down while the wife had retreated to the house to hide and the neighbors were now observers (of course) then called AAA. Over comes the truck, then a second guy to help, then the shop owner- now we got a party! After a lot of head scratching we lifted the front by hooking to the bumper brackets between the body and the front bumper and lifting the car. I then pulled the trailer forward under the car, unhooked the car and backed it off the trailer into the garage. We then went the tour, rode with friends all week and got the hard luck award without the car ever attending.

So we all have trailering stories Chris, welcome to the club!

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It is Saturday morning, early, September 7th. We just got a report from Greg.

" We left Thursday morning for parts Midwest. Nice day and the miles went well, the only backtracking was to fetch an errant clip-on mirror that decided it didn't want to go along. That was on Rt 68 out of Cumberland. Miraculously, nothing broken, not even the mirror glass.

To avoid toll roads I opted to take Rt 70 across Ohio, overnight in Dayton and then North on 75. As we were enticed to attend by my friends Glenn and Jeannie Miller we stayed near them in Plymouth Michigan.

Today, Friday, was early registration, our reason for being there early. Met in the parking lot by Glenn, we also noted the arrival of Dave Liepelt and father. The former driving a truck hauling his I think 1911 Overland and a trailer hauling an early twenties Willys coupe. Watching him unload was a hoot. The Willys was backed off the open trailer, then ramps placed so that the Overland could be backed down off the truck onto the trailer and then off the trailer .

Dave, the sly dog, then offered me the chance to drive the Overland around a bit, which Barbara and I had to do, just to be polite. Dave doing this to entice me to get to work on mine. It sure felt good.

After the registration packet was picked up, Glenn and Jeannie just happened to cruise by in their 1904 Sunset and offered a tour of the Greenfield Village layout. Who was I to say no? Now, after a tour of their restored 1850's home and shop and a nice dinner out, we're getting ready for tomorrow.

That's the latest from Detroit. Tomorrow starts what is supposed to be the greatest assemblage of early cars, shown and driven. Looking for ward to it.

I bought a camera for this trip so there should be some photos coming.

Ps. Mike, are you coming along with Pam? It would be great to see you."

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Greg's going to have fun, if he can figure out how to work new camera!

My fun towing experience was when I had a 1973 Cutlass with a hitch, towing an open car trailer. I'd loaded a project 1957 Thunderbird on the trailer backwards, chaining it down well, and parked it overnight at my apartment in New Orleans. I took off the next morning, and the first braking at a stop sign I hear a big "THUNK" and the rear of the Cutlass goes down.

Someone had stolen the chains from the rear of the trailer that night, and the back of the Tbird rested on the Cutlass......what fun

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Well here we sit in Abdington, Vajenya as someone here calls it. Good day, nice evening to sit outside the room, and a good meal at the Italian place out front. We are 19 miles from TN after 11 hours and 650 miles today. Not a bad run but I kept wonderin- As we blasted down I-81 today how close did we come to Unimog and all the other VA folks here? Tomorrow is only 240 miles, piece of cake!!

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It is Tuesday, PM. Looks like we have lost several posts from Greg due to the hacking problem of the forums. So here are his posts.

"We've had a wonderful time at the Old Car Festival in Dearborn. Quite unlike any "car show" I've attended.

Greenfield Village is the product of Henry Ford's appreciation for history. It amounts to a small town of historic buildings tied together by streets , roads and railroads (with live steam trains running on schedule).

The show is very much like hundreds of antique vehicles (boneshaker bicyles and motorized up to 1932 ) descending upon this town for a cruise-in. Parking was arranged for us usually in chronological order on shady lawns but the really neat thing is that we are encouraged, actually expected to drive around . With intersections patrolled by traffic cops (in period costumes) , imagine traffic jams of cars from 1886 up to '32 of all kinds. Should you see something you'd like to ride in, if you see it coming by with an empty seat, all you'd have to do is stick out your thumb.

We also spent a lot of time giving a receiving driving lessons too. Dan Miller checked me out in his single cylinder '08 Cadillac and I made him drive the old IHC in return. All this going on in addition to the usual Village route of house tours, carousel and train rides, etc.

There was also in addition to old car games, a judging of cars for place prizes. And although I declined to enter that, I was surprised to learn that the museum staff had voted the Harvester the best unrestored vehicle there and awarded it the Curator's Choice Award. They need to get out more.

But to report on the Harvester's behavior, I'd have to say that it did exceptionally well. It has no excuse for starting and running so well. The glitches were minor. On one lap of "the block", I had Dan pull over so that I could check the gas supply on hand. I'd put about three gallons in the tank at home. Pulling the gas cap, I looked in the tank to see the bottom. That's when it quit. Who knew I'd put that many miles on it.

That's when Glenn Miller hopped out and hot footed it to his trailer and can of spare gas. Saved my life again. The only other incident was a spec of carbon that fouled one of the spark plugs. A minute cleaning and both cylinders were firing again. The gas lights worked well for Saturday night's after dark Gaslight Parade... hanging out with friends and making some new ones, just everything went well.

And today was also Girl's Day Out. Barb, Jeannie Miller and Pam Nash took in a House Tour of Marshall, Indiana.

So now tomorrow we have to look at some equipment and then for some business at the Ford Museum.

With no plan, we don't know what day we'll be home.

I've taken plenty of pictures but until I get home and read the manual , I don't know if I got anything and if so, how to get it out of the camera. Still a dinosaur in the computer age.

It's been a great trip."

Next report from this morning. Looks like it was written Monday PM.

"Greetings from Strasburg, Ohio. Wherever that is.

We just crawled out of the Suburban after a marathon drive through the Ohio byways in the dark.

It has been another very special day of coincidence and I'll bring you up to date next missive.

Should be home tomorrow night. Beat."

Found a link to the show. Greg's car is not there, but some nice cars. http://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/2013/09/08/greenfield-village-old-car-festival-2013/

Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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It is Wednesday morning, September 11th. Just got a note from Greg. They made it home safe and sound. He will be bring the Suburban and trailer back in the next day or so.

Looks like the site is still having hacking problems, but was able to get back in.

Over the past few days I have been cleaning the Jaguar. It is about all done and ready for the big concours on Sunday in Reston, VA. Really the last thing I am going to do is treat the leather seats, that will be done today. A couple of days ago I pulled the carpet out of the car. It is in good condition, but had a few spots with either grease or black tar on them. So I did a deep cleaning of both the carpet and and carpet liners, which go on top of the carpet. Both came out great.

I also could see some rust forming again on the metal floor panels. So I cleaned them and then used Eastwood's encapsulator paint to prevent any more rust formation. Will keep an eye on it over the next few years or so. You can see that there has been damage to the metal, but it is still strong and no rust through. The other half of the floor is plywood and it is in very good condition.

Here are a couple of pic. The dark stains on the carpet is where I really had to clean the carpet to get the stains out. They will fade as the carpet dries out.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Thursday, but PM. Done for the day, going to hit the pool and chill out. Hot in VA, says 93 degrees, but with high humidity the heat index is more like 102 degrees. You just run for shade if you are outside. Storms are suppose to come tomorrow and cool us down for the weekend.

Oh, the Avanti springs were shipped back to the owner, not to me. He told me that he had to reboxed them and put them on an express truck on Tuesday. So I should have them Thursday/Friday. If they do not show up he said that he would refund my money. I just don't understand how this could be so hard.

I finished cleaning the Jaguar this morning. It is a good as I can make it. I am done. Cleaned the wheels and white wall tires and then took some Maguires leather conditioner and applied it to the seats. I find that it is easier to just us my hands to rub it into the leather rather than a cloth. Leaves my palms nice and buttery too.

Here are pics of before and after of the wheels. They were not that dirty anyway, but now they are nice and bright.

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It is Thursday morning, September 12th. Spent the morning under the Jag. It has a stainless dual pipe exhaust system. So crawled under as far as I could go and took Fantastic cleaner and cleaned/polished the pipes. Fantastic removes all the grit and grime, and also any soot and grease. A great cleaner. Also took the time to clean the rear pan, which is under the trunk area. Was a little dirty from road grime. The judges always seem to like to find fault there. So now it is nice and clean.

And for your morning coffee, Greg has a show report for us.

"My Summer Vacation by Greg Cone.

I'm not sure how to report on the trip to the Greenfield Village Old Car Festival.

I bought a small digital camera the night before I left, sure that Barbara could program it ready for me to shoot. That turned out to be a challenge but we were able to get it working somewhat.

An epic trip, I think the best way to cover it would be to break it up into chapters, so much happened. In an attempt to avoid clogging up everyone's computers, I'll begin by sending photos of some of the cars I really liked and general shots of the village.

Since I don't know how to caption the photos, I'll just list the cars and you'll have to play match the make with the picture.

Let's call this Chapter 1, A fine collection of Automotive History.

Part 1.

* The Miller's 1904 Sunset

* EMF roadster

* The Miller's 1908 Cadillac

* Cartercar

*International Harvester

*Street scene

That's all for this installment."

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Still Thursday, but PM. Greg dropped off the Suburban and trailer, and we invited him to stay for dinner. He told of his wonderful adventures at the show. Said that it was the best time he ever had.

And tonight he sent me a link to a UTube movie of the event. Interesting to see so many early cars. When I go to a show their may be one or two, this show had hundreds. Looks like a great time. I may have to put this on my bucket list for sure.

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Friday morning, September 13th. Had a big storm roll through last night. What a light and thunder show, and a half of inch of rain to boot. Big day, expect the long awaited Avanti leaf springs today.

In the meantime, here is another Greg show report.

"Here we go with Greenfield Village 2013 Old Car Festival

Chapter 1 Part 2

*Street scene

*A MacIntyre

*Our IHC in front of the Wright Cycle Shop

*A Jackson

*A lineup of cars

Only one more installment of "just cars"

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Friday, but PM. After some maneuvering around the pastures and trees I got the trailer positioned and set up in the pasture. This will be it winter home and home to one of the cars, probably the Jaguar or the 23 McLaughlin Buick. Have not decided what car yet, but I am leaning towards the Buick.

Oh happy day, the big white truck came up the driveway and dropped off the Avanti leaf springs. This has been over a month long endeavor. But they are here now. Unpacked them and they look very good. I was going to replace the bushings, but they look very good. I hope to have one of them in the car early next week. Yahoo! The Avanti will be back on the road again.

The next project on the Avanti will be to change the engine oil and power steering fluid. Will also pump out the ATF in the supercharger and put in fresh stuff.

Greg told me that he had made a special tool to remove the control value to enable you to put on the new power steering hoses. He said that he would look for it. Sounds like a couple of days kinda job.

Here are some pics.

Tomorrow is the Jaguar concours reception at a local dealership. They are going to have several F Types for rides and demo. We are not going to take the Jaguar as we would have to come home in the dark and in deer country. We are planning to leave here on Sunday about 6:30 AM. Have to fill up and drive about an hour and a half to the show. Registration and the tech inspection starts at 8 AM. Hopefully, we will be able to have a good cup of coffee before all the activity takes place.

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It is Saturday PM, September 14th. Did the final clean on the exterior of the Jag this morning and put it away in the trailer. Tomorrow, Sunday, is the big show. But tonight we went to the reception at the local Jag dealer. Wow, what nice cars. We had a good time talking to other owners, but quickly found out that most had modern Jags. We are leaving at about 6:30 AM. Hope to be on the show field at 8 AM so we can head out and get a big cup of coffee to start the day.

Here are some pics of the event. Love the new F Type, and the price was only $110,000 not including all the little add ons. Way to rich for us.

We also found out that the "old timer" Jag group is organizing a day long tour of the XK and Mark cars of the 50s and 60s. So we quickly signed up. It will be a day long tour of the Blue Ridge mountains. It is going to be September 28th.

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It is Sunday, PM. Wow! What a day. As you know we went to Jaguar Concours in Reston, VA. What a bunch of really nice cars. The only real disappointment was that there were only 54 cars registered. Last year they had more, and in years past they had up to 90 cars. Lots of folks stopped by to look at the car, and of course Alice invited one and all to come get in, feel, and experience being in an old Jaguar. We had people lined up waiting to get in. By the end of the day both of us were hoarse from talking to so many people.

Our Jaguar was judged in the "Driven" class. The judges were very knowledgeable, experienced, and very professional. The cars received a 0.9967 score out of 1.0, which was good for second place. Today, we were good, but not the best. I know what we got marked down on as I could see and overhear the judges during their discussions. First, the seat leather piping was worn on one corner of the driver's seat (needs to be redyed), the chrome on the door latches is overly worn (they need to be re-chromed), and one of the door panels has a deep scratch (needs to be redyed). I am sure there will be more when I get the judges sheet, but this is what I was able to glean from watching their inspection.

First place in our class when to Bill for his XK140 Blue FHC, and third went to Dave in his XK 120 White FHC. I have included pics of them and their awards.

Here are some pics for your enjoyment.

The most spectacular Jaguar in the show was a newly restored, but driven, 1937 SS100. It was truly impressive and done to an outstanding standard. I have included pics of the car too.

All in all it was a great day. Our Jaguar ran great and it boogied down the road at about 65 mph. We met and talk to a lot of great folks who really appreciated the car. And finally, the weather could not have been more perfect.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Here are some more show pics for your enjoyment.

Also we signed up for a day tour in a couple of weeks. We will be going up into the Blue Ridge mountains with a bunch of 50/60s Jaguars. More on that as we get more information will probably be about a 200 mile trip.

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It is Monday, September 16th, PM. Nothing is easy in Avanti land.

It has taken me about four hours of hard work to get the leaf spring and axle married and back together. The first problem I had to solve is how to get the spring locating pin back into the perch on the axle. If I used the new plastic pads the pin would not go deep enough into the bushing. Solved by using the old pads, which were half as thick. Then the pin would not line up with the bushing, about 1/8 inch off. I pushed and pulled on the axle to see if it would move. Nope, held solid by the traction bar. Now I did not want to tear into that and open up another can of worms. So end up putting my back on the rear shackle, and lubing the pin. Got the shackle to go far enough that the pin dropped in. Was I a happy camper. Everything else went back on just fine. New grade 8 bolts are in each end of the spring shackles too.

Then I looked over at the other spring and wheel and noticed brake fluid down the tire and onto the garage floor. Oh well, looks like I need new brake cylinders. So will order two today, one for each side. Might as well replace both.

Here are some pic.

PS. Just a quick update. Called Dave Thibeault of Studebaker Parts & Services. He has new cylinders and the four little adjusters for the brake shoes. So I ordered them. Should be here in a few days. Maybe will have the old girl back on the road by the end of the week.

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Still Monday and braking news. Dave Tbow called and said that everything has been shipped and should be here Wednesday, Thursday at the latest. So tomorrow I think I will pull the drums and brakes. Should be able to do all including clean-up in a couple of hours.

This is all my fault as I was in a hurry to get the brakes working. When I bought the car, it had no working brakes. So I did a quick refurb of the rear setup. I did not put in new cylinders, but decided just to clean them up, hone the cylinders and put in new rubber. Everything worked great, but that was almost four years ago. So I guess that I was somewhat successful. The fronts are a Turner disc brake system, and I did put in a new master cylinder and SS lines. So everything else should be good to go.

I will take pics tomorrow of the disassemble process. One good thing is that I do have the drum puller.

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It is Tuesday morning, September 17th. We have another show and work report from Greg for your morning coffee.

"Been out of touch with a downed internet, so tonight I'll finish the beauty shots I took of cars at the Greenfield Village event.

I've had some feedback about the size of the photos and all I can say is that we chose a minor setting for the camera, I'll reduce it further next time.

On our trip to Indianapolis/Springfield a couple years ago we took photos / videos on a low setting and the result was postage stamp sized images. Didn't want that .

Avanti 5054: I've officially finished my "Summer plan" by successfully installing the rear window. It took four tries for the maroon Avanti, ,Seabiscuit installation, got this one first time. So as of now, any work done on the black one will be minor "in shop" projects until warm weather returns next Spring.

It's now Matheson Engine Time.

Old Car Festival Chapter 1 Part 3

Tonight's photos:

*1910 Hupmobile Runabout

*A personal favorite, a couple shots of a St. Louis. HIndsight, should have gotten a photo of it in front of the Wright Cycle Shop. They were dealers for St. Louis cars.

* Miller's newly finished EMF

*Bicycle Row, some of the cycles we had to dodge.

Tomorrow's installment we'll see a few cars during our brief visit to the Henry Ford Museum."

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Still Tuesday, mid AM. Boy, there was a nip to the morning air at 8:30, but decided I better tackle the rear brakes on the Avanti. I had to move cars around, which meant that I had to put the wheels back on the Avanti to move it back where I had room to work.

After everything was somewhat organized I started to dissemble the passenger side rear brake. Really, everything was uneventful except that a couple of the bolts were really tight. The drum popped off with a few really solid hits with the mallet on the puller.

Everything was really wet with brake fluid. The linings are toast, soaked through and through. I have another used set so will take a look at them to make sure they will be OK. If not I will call Dave Tbow and order a set. Time from start to finish was two hours. Here are a few pics.

This afternoon I will do a clean up of the backing plate and have everything ready to go when the new cylinders arrive. I am going to do the driver's side brakes also, but will not tear into them until I have this side done. One thing at a time.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Tuesday, PM. Done for the day. Got back to the brakes and cleaned up the backing plate. Took about 30 minutes of scrubbing with a wire brush and a full can of brake cleaner. I also found the old brake shoes. They look OK so am going to use them.

I also cleaned and inspected the drum, and it looks very good too. I did order the little adjusters to manually adjust the shoes to snug them up to the brake drum. The ones on the car now are all mangled. Dave Tbow had them.

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It is Wednesday, September 18th, AM. Cold here this morning, 36 degrees F. Alice relented and let me start the pellet stove. First fire of the season.

And for your morning coffee, we have a Greg report. And he is back working on the Matheson engine. I did ask him if he was getting close to finishing it. He said in a stern voice, "NO!"

Here is Greg's report.

"Our trip to Greenfield Village had to include a visit to the Henry Ford Museum (now known as the Henry Ford). Although we didn't have a lot of time to kill, I did get to pay my respects to some historic machines.

*Ford's original 1901 Sweepstakes racer. Two cylinders and seventy miles per hour. A car that got him started in his empire. More about this one later.

*Ford's 1902 999 racer. Four cylinders, eighty horsepower and ninety miles per. This is the car that defined Ford as a businessman. It also served to debut Berna Eli Oldfield (Barney).

The 999 made both men stars in their professions.

*"Old Pacific" the Packard that made the first transcontinental crossing.

*"Old 16" Locomobile. This was the first American built car to best foreign machines in competition. And very much in unrestored condition.

Also on display in the HFM was a modern artifact. The reproduction 1903 Wright Flyer that I'm very familiar with. Built for the 2003 Kitty Hawk Anniversary Flight, I was personally responsible for it's engine and operation (once started it was my airplane until I gave the pilot the thumbs up), the last time I'd seen the thing was when I had to crawl under it to retrieve it from a failed flight attempt and it splashed down in about two feet of cold North Carolina rainwater.

I like it much better hanging indoors where the ignition can't get shorted out when wet.

Another thing that I really admire about the HFM is the personnel that I've gotten to know. They seem to consider themselves "family" and that they are caretakers of the artifacts. To the degree that some have found their way to other institutions but yet will return for events, even operate the equipment. Really neat and I'll introduce you to some of them.

Matheson shop: Tonight I began the reassembly of the Bosch low tension magneto (a generator). Might call it the Magneto Family Reunion. Fitting it together , I'm always amazed at the close tolerances and fine machine work of the early magneto industry here and abroad. A lot of tonight's effort was the substitution of new hardware in the magnets. Oval head screws like the originals, I had to hand fit them by adjuting their lengths. More of it to go.

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Still Wednesday, but PM. Not much car stuff today. And no Avanti parts either. But I did get out to the trailer and check on the Jaguar. Made sure that all the fluids and oil was OK as we are taking it to a big wedding on Saturday and then to the Cars and Coffee in Fairfax, VA on Sunday. A group is organizing a Jaguar section and they expect over twenty cars. Should be fun.

And did I tell you that it was cold this morning, 36 degrees. And the house was cold and convinced Alice to let me light off the pellet stove. And since it is so cold, the pool is down to 60 degrees too. So spent a couple of hours and put it to sleep for the winter. I do remove the pump and motor and store it inside the house. Here is our first fire.

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It is Thursday, September 19th. And we have a report from Greg.

"Greenfield Village Chapter 2 Part 1

I've heard of the Old Car Festival for a long time. Being so distant, I've not had the opportunity to take it in. Rob Burchill, being from that area, considers it an "old home" event. He went last year and took his REO since the meet is geared towards the older antiques. The Dearborn to Lansing run in your car is a highlight, a two day event. Rob tried it and the REO decided it was a one day event. The car still apart for repairs so Rob didn't go this year.

In walks Glenn Miller. He and Jeannie his wife were visiting and while we were kicking tires at Rob's, Glenn decided that I should bring something to the '13 OCF. Without other plans, the trip was on.

Glenn, retired from Ford's Power Train Development, is a mainstay for this event. Responsible for operating some of the museum's vehicles, he's also an announcer as the cars pass in review . And Jeannie probably wouldn't want me to put a number on the years she's been on the museum's staff. Considerable. Even son Dan is crew on some of the museum's equipment. Truly a Henry Ford family.

A fine host, Glenn and Dan made sure I got a couple very special rides as well as a driving lesson in their 1908 Cadillac.

Photos for tonight:

*The HFM reproduction 1886 Benz.

*Passing in review, Glenn announces and Derek Moore chauffers Jeannie Miller. Derek was on the museum staff but has moved over to the Crawford collection in Cleveland. Derek returning to demonstrate the Benz.

*Bird's eye view of Glenn restarting the Benz when it stalled during my turn.

*Not every ride had wheels, Barb on the Merry-Go-Round.

Lots more to come.

Meanwhile back to Matheson time:

Tonight was more fitting of new and reconditioned hardware, securing the stator armature in position with it's tapered key.

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Still Thursday, but PM. The postman showed up this afternoon with Avanti parts. Two new brake cylinders and four new adjusters. Here are the pics. They will go on tomorrow.

I will save the old parts. Never know when you might need them. Will clean them up before storage. The Avanti cylinders are now very expensive, like $85 each, and are becoming relatively rare. At that price point it is worth it to send them to White Post Restorations to have them sleeved with stainless steel. May do that a bit down the road.

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It is Friday, September 20th. Boy, this month is flying by. Hope to get the Avanti's brakes on and bled today, anyway that is the plan.

But before I can start I have to read Greg's report. So here it is.

"Where was I ?

Chapter 2 Part 2.

Another of Glenn's accomplishments was overseeing the study of the original 1901 Sweepstakes racer, it's restoration and duplication. We'd seen the restored artifact on display in the museum, now a copy of it available for demonstration on the street outside.

As promised, I got my turn to experience it. Not the most comfortable of rides, with no seatbacks, the driver holds onto the steering wheel, the passenger precariously hangs onto a drawer pull screwed onto the side of the seat box and hooks his legs on anything he can. There's also a running board where during competition the mechanician crouched to balance the machine in turns and he probably maintained things within reach and vital. Neat trick at seventy miles per.

Meanwhile, there's another of the Village people to mention. Dave Liepelt it's your turn.

I first met Dave during a previous trip to the HFM. A contemporary of mutual friends, graduates of McPherson College where they studied automotive history and restoration. Some of today's finest in the restoration trade studied there.

At that time Dave was involved with the maintenance and upkeep of the fleet of vintage vehicles in service at the Village. Since then he's been transferred to become "Railroad Specialist".

He's the guy who stopped by to see me the other weekend. Out for a spin in his Willys Knight engined sedan, he'd been to an Willys-Overland-Knight car meet in Virginia and was on his way home. I think he said it was two or three thousand miles he put on the thing . In other words, a true enthusiast.

So as Barb and I arrived at the HFM parking lot to meet Glenn, in roars this Chevy truck with an old car on it's back and a towing a car on a trailer. It's Dave. Then the fun began. He pulls the trailer ramps in place, starts the very much patina'd Willys coupe and backs it off and parks nearby. Then another set of ramps are set from the truck bed to the trailer. The '11 Overland is started and then backed down onto the trailer, then off the trailer to the asphalt. This wouldn't be the last we'd see of Dave or the Overland.

Tonight's photos:

*Glenn and Dan starting the Sweepstakes.

*Glenn and Jeannie departing on a functional test ride.

*The Dave Liepelt Willys coupe that arrived on the trailer.

*Dave unloading the Overland."

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It is Saturday, PM, September 21st. My green Avanti's brakes are back on the car. I still need to bleed them and put the wheels back on. I intended to do that today, but getting the farm ready for winter is taking priority.

And Greg reported that the AC in the Suburban went kaput on the way home from his trip. I put some more Freon in it, and it is fine. But it continues to cycle on and off quickly. Everything that I have read says the low pressure sensor is bad. So I ordered one. It should be an easy install as you do not have to recharge the system. There is a schrader valve under it so when you remove it the little valve closes so you do not lose any gas. Also ordered a new washer bottle. The one in the car continues to leak, I have tried numerous times to fix it with little luck. So bought a new one.

But Greg has been pressing ahead on his black Avanti. Here is his Saturday report for us.

"I'll interrupt the Harvester saga with some Avanti progress.

I've blasted, primed and painted the cooling fan. The fan clutch has been cleaned and prepped and took time this rainy Saturday to install the fan assembly and pulley.

It also seemed the time to get the headliners into position.

Looking for more items to get off the shelf, two pieces of vinyl turned up. They cover the door posts. Cleaned, redyed and now re-glued in position.

Little steps but in the right direction."

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It is Monday, September 23rd, AM. Going to get the Avanti brakes bled today with the help of Alice. Hope to have her back on her wheels by noon.

And Greg has another quick report for us too.

"And a good weekend it's been. Yesterday saw some Avanti progress even though it was raining, sometimes heavily. Today, more check marks on the big list of things to do. Since the forecast was right, a nice sunny day, I could get some buffing done. Our buffer is in an outside shed and like painting, you can never have enough light.

Since the doorpost upholstery glue was drying, it was time to hang the stainless trim. Sanding and buffing, sanding and buffing, even though they weren't too scratched and dented, it still takes time. And with both of them looking pretty good, they then went to the tin barn to be reunited with 5054. Before I glued and screwed them in place, I couldn't help but update them. Inside them I found I'd signed and dated in 1973 from the first time I gave the car a once-over. I hope this will be the last time I put these things on. Of course it might take another forty years for me to find the windshield post trim which I've carefully put away. Somewhere.

And all progress wasn't just Avanti. Since I was in the nasty buffing department, I pulled the Matheson fuel pump out of it's box and began it's restoration. This is the earliest instance that I've seen for an engine mounted fuel pump. A complicated and unusual fuel delivery system, this supplies a carburetor that has no float and needle valve, the pump keeps a chamber filled and any excess drains back to the fuel tank. The pump is also working in concert with a hand pump for starting. Should the carburetor chamber be empty, you can fill it manually. Or you can also use the hand pump to prime the carburetor.

I found the pump in good condition other than being clogged with a waxy substance and the little check ball corroded and stuck. I'll get another ball coming along with some black delrin rod to reproduce some cracked insulators for the magneto.

Apply all this to Barbara's company and a special dinner of corn chowder and barbecue, about as good a weekend as it can get here at Hyde Manor.

Tomorrow I'll resume the Greenfield event by beginning the final chapter.

I'll just mention that it begins with a phone call from Dave Liepelt while I was standing in the Henry Ford Museum.

It went something like:

"Hello?"

"Where are you?"

"By 999 in the museum"

"Be at the railroad roundhouse at five o'clock"."

PS Here is a note that Greg received as a result of his post. Its an Avanti story so thought I would post it.

From: glen]

Subject: Re: Studebaker Saturday.

To: gregcone

Speaking of Studebaker-- great story. This weekend was the Orphan Car Show in Ypsilanti (about 10 miles from home). Saturday was the Orphan Car Tour. 23 cars ranging from Dave Liepelts '11 Overland to a Avanti II, what ever year they are. A '28 Overland was leading the tour, running about 38mph. Midway through the tour at one of the stops, a driver came to Jerry, and complained that the tour leader was going too fast for everyone to keep up. Yup, it was the Avanti II driver.

Drove the EMF, ran pretty well on the way there. Ran like crap on the way home. Time to pull the carb, and give it a good soaking and cleaning of all orifices.

Hershey draws near...

Glenn

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Still Monday, but PM. Got the Avanti rear brakes bled, or so we thought. Alice said that she had a firm pedal. So put the wheels back on, filled the master cylinder, started the engine and did my test. Yes, we have a full pedal, all the way to the floor. So my initial bleeding job was not successful. So will jack it up tomorrow and try again.

I also decided to order new door seals, but only a partial. So I will get the ones that go around the door, but not up around the window. My window rubber is in good shape. The door rubber is rock hard and big chunks are missing. Got them from Studebaker Intl. for $48 and two tubes of 3M adhesive for $20. I think that the total bill was about $80.

Also cleaned the leather seats on the Suburban to complete my car jobs for today. Got word from Rock Auto that the AC low pressure switch and the water bottle are on their way too.

I don't remember if I mentioned that we will be going on a tour on Saturday with the Jag. Up into the mountains with other older Jags. Weather looks like it will cooperate.

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It is September 24th, Tuesday morning, and we have a Greg report.

"Tonight was dismantle the Matheson spark advance linkage night. Looks like it only requires cleaning and renewing of the painted components. Photo when I've got more space available.

Greenfield Village Meet, Chapter 3 Part 1

So back to the Dave Liepelt story.

Loyal supporter of the Willys - Overland- Knight automobile registry, he of course showed up for the event well armed. The Patina'd Willys coupe and his '12 Overland. We've already seen his transporter and unloading drill. By the way, he did correct me on the make of his pickup. "It's not a Chevy, It's a Ford. I'll not make that mistake again....."

When the Overland was offloaded, he graciously offered it for a quick spin which Barbara and I accepted. Although a little newer than my '10 with different shift and throttle controls, it sure sounded the same. Makes me anxious to get back to work on mine.

Later, during the show I saw Dave tooling around without any passengers onboard. I hailed him as he drove by and on it I jumped (you don't sit IN something like this). We rolled along in the Village traffic until he bypassed the turnaround. Knowing his way around the place, he turned to a gravel road and off we went. Mario Spaghetti would have been proud. Wind in our faces and gravel flying, he approached a zigzag in a four wheel drift and came out of it by glancing off a nearby grassy knoll. Gives new definition to the term "bank shot".

So let's resume the story when I received the call to be at the roundhouse at five.... We of course were there on time. Glenn too. Dave explained that he happened to be "late man" and was responsible for servicing the steam locomotive for the next day's service hauling passengers around the Village. We were going to help. After a insider's tour of the roundhouse, we walked the tracks to where the "Edison" was parked. Invited to climb aboard, this is when Barb took one look at the situation and faced with the realization that she had to negotiate a steep climb and wade ankle deep in coal.... that's when she said "I'll wait here". Right. Leave her standing on the train track. (Might make a good scene in a silent film....) Glenn and I helped her up and the engineer then began his work. Dave explained various things (two toots of the whistle means locomotive proceeding forward) while we began rolling. That's when I asked him if he intended to keep this one on the track.....

Photos of :

* Dave Liepelt

* Dave explaining things to us and his Dad .

* All aboard!

To be continued.

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It is Wednesday, September 25th. I promise to bleed the brakes on the Avanti today! Yesterday I just did not get around to it. I did get the tractor all ready for winter with new oil and filter and a general check. Then I had to take a five gallon of black paint and do some fence painting. We paid a neighbor kid to paint the fence line, but he missed a few spots so had to clean them up. Also he seems to have missed a couple of sections so have to do them today. I don't mind the finish painting, at least it will be all done and I did not have to do 95% of it.

And Greg has a final Greenfield Village report for us.

"The Conclusion. Greenfield Chapter 3 Part 2

So tonight we find our heroes aboard the cab of "Old Number One" the Edison. Engineer Dave takes a moment to open the firebox door and toss in a shovel of coal. Picture Barbara seated on the fireman's seat being consumed by a cloud of coal dust. Wait a minute, if she's in the fireman's position, why isn't SHE shoveling the coal?

Anyway, two shorts on the whistle and we proceed to the coal pile. Bring it to a halt, one short blast and Dave dismounts to climb onboard a front end loader. Two buckets of coal spilled into the tender and of course two clouds of coal dust.

Back in the saddle, we get three shorts (backing up) and he reverses to the tower where Dave scrambles across the tender to fill the tender with water. Prevailing wind carrying coal dust into the cab...... Then maybe another throwing of the switch, I forget, but anyway what happen next is amazing.

Dave pulls the locomotive onto the turntable. He explains to us that he must balance the locomotive . By watching the end of the table, he can tell when all is right with the world. Glenn asks if perhaps there's a mark somewhere for each engine. Answer is no, each time it's a guessing game depending on the particular loading of water and coal. So then the unexpected. We follow Dave out and down leaving Barb to watch the boiler.

On each end of the turntable is a steel bar protruding. That's what powers the turntable. A twenty-two ton locomotive and God knows what the turntable weighs and one man can walk the thing around in a circle. And I've exerted more effort trying to push a Pierce Arrow with a flat tire. Just incredible. When we're lined up with the proper doorway, the engine is driven in. It's over a grease pit so that Dave can work beneath it before returning it to be staged for the next day's run.

So our trip to the Old Car Festival was a real blast. We crammed as much into it as we could and also fell heir to the unexpected.

One other coincidence unexpected. As we were leaving the museum complex, we got turned around. Stopped in a church parking lot, I thought I'd consult the atlas. Barb was trying to get the GPS in gear. Since Rob had suggested an alternate route back to Va, I'd give him a call back home for details. With him on the line I ask. He wants to know where I was. Gave him a general idea. He tells me to take the nearby highway to a town about fifteen minutes away and park at a certain restaurant . He and his Mother were there having dinner with friends. Nothing like a map with salsa on it.

I've said it before. If there's anything that I've done right in my life, it's collect some awesome friends. That's what made this whole adventure very special. Thanks to you all.

Photos of:

*Tender loaded with coal

*Dave filling the tender with water.

*Locomotive pulled onto the turntable

*Glenn and Dave rotating the turntable

*Looks like Barbara is enjoying herself

Now back to real time. Tending to Matheson parts being depainted."

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