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Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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It is Saturday, September 28th. Have done nothing on the Avanti. Still there just looking at me. Tomorrow, tomorrow. I have been putting in most of my time painting fence lines. Paint will not dry if it is raining so making hay as the sun shines, in this case, painting.

But we did take the Jaguar on the tour today. A total of about 120 miles through the mountains of Virginia. Got up to about 4,000 ft in one of the passes. Not high by the Cascades in Washington or other mountain ranges. We had a dozen Jaguars. Of course our was the oldest by at least ten years. We did have four XKEs attend, which is great. All the rest were newer cars, I call them modern. We had a great drive, stopped at many overlooks in the park, and had fun running in a group. We had a lot of folks come over when we stopped and of course, Alice had them all sit in the car. We left at about 9:30 AM and we were back home about 3 PM. This included a nice stop for lunch when we exited the park. It was a great little run. And to top it off, the car ran great.

Here are some pics.












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It is Monday, September 30th, AM. Today is my Avanti day, promise. But fence lines are almost painted, only five sections to go. And I did get the new windshield washer bottle installed the the Suburban. This is the fifth time I have played with the thing trying to get it from stop leaking. It takes some time to do as you have to remove the battery and battery tray and then get the inner fender loose. Everything takes time. Oh well, it is done and does not seem to leak, yet! Also put in a new AC low pressure switch to see if a miracle occurred and the AC fixed itself. Nope, that was not it. So next week it goes in for it annual safety inspection and now, an AC fix.

But Greg is making good progress on his projects. In fact he has a new day project. He old me that the company is going to start reproducing and repairing early Curtiss Jenny airplanes. They have done some restorations in the past, but demand is now picking up for some more running and flying examples. I look forward to following along.

Here is Greg's report.

"This past week went by like a bolt of lightning . Plenty got done, but hard to recall. It was that busy. Day job always interesting and got more so, changing hats from Wright Brothers to Glenn Curtiss.

We've a need for some working OX-5 V8 types, so the Wright V8-60 rods are on back burner and I'm getting reacquainted with the slightly later Curtiss eights as manufactured for the JN-4D Jenny WWI trainer.

As for after hours, the Matheson project continues. The fuel pump has been overhauled, it was in good shape except for a corroded check ball and needed cleaning. With no 1/4" bearing balls on hand , one option was to order a package of 100 to get one. It seemed to me that I might have seen some at the local hardware store, but when that proved false, it dawned on me that since bicycles used loose balls once upon a time, to check the bike shop. BINGO! That allowed me to reasemble the pump and get it off the shelf and back in place.

The next link in the chain was to spend some time on the pump drive gear and connecting rod. The gear has an eccentric cam for the connecting rod which reciprocates the pump piston. Disassembled for cleaning, the gear is waiting for gray paint and the rod is in line for buffing.

I've also found some time this weekend to spend on Avanti 5054. While searching for something else, Barb found the elusive windshield stainless trim so I got it sanded, buffed and hung in place. Ditto for the stainless rain gutters and drip mouldings. Even found the tiny little transition pieces. Check, check and check.

The bad news is that my old friend died. The Sony floppy disc camera. It captured such vivid photos, and it was so easy to transfer the images to email, so user friendly. Now I'm trying to figure out new technology. So far I'm disappointed with the result. I guess it's a fact of life: as things evolve in the name of progress, they don't necessarily get easier or better.

Otherwise, countdown to Hershey. Nine days?!"

Note: I found a Wikepedia bio on the OX-5 engine. Here is the link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_OX-5

And here is a link to the Curtiss JN-4 trainer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_JN-4







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Pat, surely you can add a Jag to your livery.

Still Monday, late morning. Before I could start on the Avanti I had to do a wipe down on the Jaguar. Our next meet is in two weeks so I just wanted to go a bug removal while they were a fresh kill. Then I noticed a problem in the paint. It looks like the paint is delaminating from the body and the roof. I had seen a little spot before, but now they are growing. Here are a couple of pics. If anyone has an idea as to what I should or can do in the short term let me know.

Wayne dropped by in his 64 Buick convertible yesterday to say hi. He wanted to know if I wanted to go to the Fall Carisle swap meet on Friday. I said sure, so it looks like we will head up on Friday morning early to spend the day. A boy's day out. I am also planning to go to Hershey for a day the following week too unless something else comes up. I really do not need anything, but it is always fun to do a walk about and look at the mass of junk.



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Still Monday, but PM. We have been invaded and have lost the war. The stink bugs are back with a vengeance. Must be thousands on the side of the house, on the cars, on us, etc. They have been building over the last couple of weeks, but now they are out in full force. We are going crazy with the vacuums trying to keep most of them picked up inside the house. I have been sealing wherever I see them coming in. However, when most of the house to include the roof supports are grooved, then we have lots of paths for them to get in. They only need a crack to make it in. They have the ability to flatten themselves to squeeze through almost any opening.

In spite of the bug wars, I did manage to bleed the brakes of the Avanti. I have a nice firm pedal. I have not taken it out as the dog has been watching me like a hawk wanting to hitch a ride. He has been in the creek most of the day and is wet and stinky so I do not want him in the car. I did take it around the front lane so at least I know it stops. Will take it out tomorrow.

Just in case you forgot what she looks like, here are pics after a bath. Tomorrow I plan on putting the front bumper back on. Progress, a bit at a time. But I must admit that I like the look of her without the bumper. I don't know if I will put the grill back on either. I like it without it. Oh well, decisions, decisions.



Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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John- I can't say I really like the look without the bumper but I like chrome in general. As far as the grille- mine never had one and I like it without. At R2602 it was a March '63 delivery and probably an end of year build but I have never checked. Or it was a built on Monday/Friday car.......

I did get to tinker Saurday with the carb. I leaned the idle mix screws out 1/4 turn and it made a huge difference! No more gurgling at idle, a lot cisper sound. Also less stumble at mid-range and a nicer throatier exhaust like I remember! I may try another 1/4 turn but I definitely am on to something it seems. It sounded like it was drowning and had to clear out and this has helped a lot!

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i'm also a chrome & shiny stuff guy, but if those rectangular "slots" were covered in the front - maybe 'glassed or even a piece of rubber to fit - i think i'd like it.

there was a long thread in the last month or so about the grille over on the Studebaker Forum. i picked one up for R-1384 mainly since i thought it was cool looking.:) others mentioned the grille keeping road debris (gravel, etc.) from having a shot of hitting the radiator...

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My Avanti, 63R 2502, was built in January of 1963 so it probably did not have a grill guard initially. But, one was in the trunk of the car when I bought it, but it was never installed. No holes in the opening. I did mount it and had it on. Had to take it off to to take off the bumper to have it redone. I will probably put it back on when I get the bumper back on.

I did take the Avanti out tonight. It sure runs good and just rumbles down the road. I do not feel the rear wallowing now that the replacement leaf spring is in. And the brakes work good too. It is truly a real pleasure to drive.

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It is Thursday, October 3rd. The Avanti is up on ramps and everything is ready to hopefully put on the bumper today. The last couple of days got away from me doing farm stuff and helping out the neighbors with farm issues. The days just fly by. Tomorrow Wayne and I are heading for Carlisle for the Fall meet. Should be interesting to see all the modern stuff.

But Greg continues to work on the Matheson engine. Will it ever end? It is one complex machine.

"Working on the Matheson parts. There sure are a lot of them.

Made the new insulators for the magneto (dynamo, whatever you want to call it) and last night I made a new aluminum cover for the windings. The old one being scratched and not very pristine. It has a felt pad beneath and rivetted in place. Spare felt from the Avanti glove box restoration worked fine.

Tonight I prepped and painted the drive gear for the fuel pump.

I'm still trying to learn my way around this new camera. Not as convienient to use at the old Sony . The photos need to be unloaded into the computer and filed in order to mail out. Lots of pictures taken and loaded if I can find the power cable when I need it. Trouble is that I don't know where the photos wound up . If they turn up someday, I'll send them along."




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Still Thursday, but PM. Some bad news. Wayne got held up at work so we are not going to Carlisle tomorrow. So will work around the farm. Still may make the trip on Thursday to Hershey.

Got right on the Avanti this morning. And with Alice's help we were able to get the front bumper back on and secured. I even took the time to put the grill back on also. And since the car is up in the air decided to go ahead and change the engine oil and filter. If I decided to change the transmission fluid and filter tomorrow I will put it back into the garage and put it up higher on jack stands.

Here are a couple of pics from today's work. Bumper back on and then will the grill.



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It is Monday, October 7th, AM. Rain! Finally getting some all day today. We are parched and everything is bone dry. And the October heat wave is breaking too. Going from 90 degree days to 70. Been spending my time painting metal gates, a bit mind numbing, but three dollars to paint them versus $80 to $120 for a new gate is worth it. They look brand new. Have several more to go, so am not done yet.

On the car side I have been taking out the Avanti for runs. Boy, she is a pleasure to drive. Smooth and powerful, she just rumbles down the country lanes. I still have a badly leaking fitting that I cannot get a wrench on. I am going to see if I can modify a small wrench to get on the nut. I am tired to filling up the canister every time I take it out. Also spent some time on the Jag. Did the final cleaning so she is all ready for the British car show this coming Sunday. Going to be put in the previous winner class to compete for the big dog bragging rights. Should be fun.

And we have a weekend report from Greg too. Looks like he got in some down time to wander the wilds of Maryland and Virginia, even West Virginia.

" Nice weekend that it was, got in a little bit of work, little bit of play.

A streak of warm weather allowed me to do some paintwork on Saturday. The overhauled brake booster and new master cylinder for the Avanti 5054 that have been waiting for attention. Prepped and painted and allowed to dry overnight. Although to be removed for the initial engine startup, today I mounted them under the hood just to get them off the shelf .

That left some time today to sightsee. A pleasant drive through the Va countryside, crossing the Potomac on the ferryboat Gen. Jubal A. Early, lost on backroads of Maryland and back to the ferry.

Otherwise, I've been getting in some time managing squirrels. The day squirrels are getting comfortable enough to help themselves to the peanut bucket, climbing on my leg as I sit there.

The night flyers, they are getting bolder or at least more familiar too. I've noticed that since I whistle something on my way to the feeder that they too have started singing for their supper. When I step out they start chirping like little birds. There's usually one or two scampering on the feeder tree and then others are on final approach. Barb swears that one grazed her hair on his flight to the tree.

Even with me standing near the feeder, they go at after the nuts and even each other. Musn't disrupt the pecking order. One was perched on the roof of the feeder chowing down and another jumped it from behind. A scuffle ensued, one of them leaping from the feeder and slammed onto my chest, tail in my face. Wasn't expecting that. Jim Davis left his night vision movie camera to catch some of the escapades. Hopefully I've got something for him to work with.

And of course, this coming week is the annual Hershey swap meet so I'll be out of touch starting Tuesday.

Day job OX-5 Curtiss disassembly. Took several days to remove a damaged crank gear. They weren't meant to come off.

Photos tonight: *Crossing the Potomac

*Squirrel cafeteria. They are very hard to tell apart visually (they all look alike, you know). Usually tell them by their personality, but these two have distinguishing characteristics. The one with the torn ear is Rip. He actually will respond to his name. The other has a pock mark on it's side. As of yet unnamed."





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David, that is a good name. I will pass it on to Greg.

It is Tuesday, PM, October 8th. Busy day. And by the looks of the weather report, more rain is headed our way and will last from tomorrow until Sunday. A big change in the forecast from last week. It was suppose to be overcast and sunny, with no rain. How can they be so wrong.

Well, the first thing I jacked up the Avanti. I was determined to get some kind of wrench on that fitting to snug it up. In addition to it being up into the frame it is surrounded by two other fittings. One you cannot see is behind it and no way are you going to get a wrench on it. So I found my smallest vice grips, about four inches long, and after considerable frustration was able to just grasp two sides of the offending fitting. And it moved! In about fifteen minutes I was able to get the fitting to turn maybe 1/8 of an inch. It is now tight, I just hope that it is tight enough. Took the car out for a long run. So no fluid loss, but then again it did not seem to lose a lot running, just sitting. I will give a report in the morning.

Here are a couple of pics; one of the little wrench and the other of the valve assembly. The offending fitting is at the very top.

Then after lunch and some other chores, started paining the gates again. Got another one done today. Including pics of the before and after, and then of one gate all done. The gates are about sixteen years old and have lost most of their original blue finish. They are mostly all surface rust. Oh, and I have learned my lesson, all my new gates are zinc coated.

And it looks like Hershey is going to be a very wet one. Sure glad that now all of it is on asphalt, versus dirt and grass. Only the parking is on grass. Thank goodness the Suburban has four wheel drive.






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It is Wednesday, October 9th, early PM. It is actually cold here this morning, about 55 degrees. And I can see lots of rain coming on radar. We are suppose to get about three inches of rain this afternoon and through tonight, and it is suppose to continue to rain tomorrow. No gate painting today.

Hershey is looking really bleak for me right now. I will get up early tomorrow morning, like 4 AM, and see what it is like. I want to be on the road by 5 AM to get there NLT 8 AM. I do have some folks that I want to meet, so I am still leaning on going. Heck, I have rubber boots and an umbrella.

I often wonder if I am going to have something half way interesting for the forum. It never ceases to amaze me that I have so many problems or successes that I can write about. Today is just one of those days that I thought I would not post, but issues have hit that be of interest.

I had to do something this morning I decided to wax the Avanti. I have not put a coat of wax on her since it was painted last year. So I got a nice coat of wax on all the flat surfaces, hood, top, and trunk. The wax polished off really nice and everything looked great. But then I spied an issue. The driver's side fender is cracking! Here are a couple of pics of the problem. It is about five inches long. The pics look worse that it is, but it is a problem. I do not know if the battery weight is causing an issue or not. I do have a couple of long splits in the inner fiberglass under the battery. I will have to ask Greg about it. But if anyone has any ideas let me know.

And a success, the power steering canister is still full from yesterday. Yahoo! I am sure things are seeping, but at least I do not have a bleed out.

Oh, and a PS. Just got a call from the event staff for the Rockville, MD car show, which will be held on Saturday, October 19th. The Jaguar has been selected to be in the special display area for the event. There will be two XK 120s, our FHC and then a pastel blue, OTS (open two seater). I understand that this is quite an honor to be selected. If anyone plans to attend make sure you look us up. He also said that they expect over 500 cars for the event.




Edited by unimogjohn
added Rockville car show comment (see edit history)
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It is Thursday, October 10th, early AM, like 5 AM. Raining, in fact rained hard all night. Should I roll over or go to Hershey? HERSHEY here I come. It did rain all the way up, a 3 hour ride, but it mostly stopped at Hershey. It did spit off and on, but I just kept wandering the isles looking at lots and lots of car parts. Attendance seemed to be down, but not by much. The rain did not keep many away. I was also able to get a great parking spot so I was able to return to the truck at noon to make a deposit and then go to the the car corral. I would estimate that about 75% of the vendors were open for business, and the corral was pretty much packed with cars, maybe 95% full.

I wanted to meet a couple of guys that have been on the forum, but they were no there, their spots were empty.

I was able to make up a complete tool kit for the 1923 McLaughlin Buick from several vendors. And even picked up a Buick hat in the correct script.

I left about 2 PM and got home just about 5. I am pooped. It rained hard all the way home.

Here are some pics that I took of the corral. Most of the cars seemed to be way, way overpriced, but then it was the first day. Most were 50s and 60s cars. Very few old timers, which I like.














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John - I really like that '57 Suburban. But $69,500??!! You were right about way, way overpriced.

Regarding your fender cracking - S.I. has a battery box reinforcer on page 223 of the catalog.

Not much has happened this week on my Avanti, for reasons I will explain on my thread later. But, I am getting ready to head out to the storage unit to start putting some stuff back on the car. It'll be good to see the old car again, especially with her new paint job!

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Thanks Chris, I will take a look at the reinforcing item. Had not seen that before. Looking forward to seeing some more bling going back on your Avanti.

Raining really hard here this morning. We got 2.25 inches last night and maybe have another half inch this morning. I took a look at the Hershey weather, and it said drenching rain, not good. Sure glad that I went up yesterday.

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I had to schedule the personal day 2 weeks ago and had great plans to meet with all my Buick friends. Today was a total washout figuratively and literally. A total of 10 minutes without driving rain. Not all together. Only about 10% of vendors were open and many simply packed up and left. Tried to connect with Dean Tryon and the 1915-18 McLaughlin/Buick group at the space he mentioned in their newsletter. But when we got there all in the area were closed up. My son Alex and I buddied up with Dave Balfarb and we sloshed around until 3:30. Before leaving the red field we stopped to pick up a correct restored horn for my 1925-25 from George Mazurek who at 8:30 AM was the only one doing any business. By 3:30 PM he had also packed up .I am still drying out. I guess we were spoiled by 2 years of great weather. If the rain quits overnight the show field will still be very soggy. So I don't know if we will go back tomorrow.

Best Regards to all:


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Larry, I have been reading the forum posts on today's wash out at Hershey. It must have been daunting at times with the hard rain. I cannot believe all the rain that has come down here at the farm either. We had 2.25 inches last night and today another 1.5 inches and it is still raining at 10 PM. I think in total we have had over 6 inches of rain in 36 hours.

Our pastures are holding for now, but when you walk on them your boots go down about three inches. It does not take much to make mud. Even the llamas are drenched and hiding in the barns and under trees. I have written to a couple of Buick folks to see if they are still going to take cars to the show tomorrow. I am sure the car numbers will be way down. I have not heard from Greg, but I am sure that he is toughing it out and is still at Hershey.

We have the big British car show on Sunday. It will be held rain or shine, but the show field are the pastures. We are still planning to go even though they say showers in the morning. I just don't think that the fields can drain quick enough, but we will see.

I have Wayne coming over tomorrow to take a look at the paint on the Avanti. He is a fiberglass and paint expert so I hope he can tell me if I have a paint or substructure problem.

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I think Greg gave up on Hershey Thursday, and went home, he was there all day Wednesday...Wednesday was a beautiful day considering, it was overcast and cool but dry...Thursday morning was OK but early afternoon it started getting nasty...I left Friday morning, just too wet and very few vendors open....

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I have not heard directly from anyone on how the Saturday Hershey show went today. I have read that the numbers were down, but there was little or no rain. And the show field was not torn up too bad. So it looks like everyone who decided to come had a good day.

The Jaguar is all packed for the show tomorrow. Suppose to rain in the morning and then clear. We will head out of here about 8:30 AM and should be on the field NLT 9:30. Have the chairs packed and two large umbrellas for us, just in case.

Wayne dropped by this morning and gazed on the paint crack on the fender. He said that the substrate primer is pulling away from the fiberglass or the original paint. He said that it was probably due to incorrect preparation for the new primer. So I will call the shop next week and take it in for them to take a look at. Wayne also found a couple of other spots that looked like they were about to crack on the same fender. It has been only eight months since the car was painted.

Speaking of the Avanti I ordered two rebuild kits for the power steering. One for the ram and the other for the valve assembly. I figured since I was going to replace the pump and lines I might as well go the entire route and rebuild the other two components. Not much money, they were about $20 for each kit; and the labor will be my time.

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The showfield was in amazing condition. As a former golf course, apparently it was designed to drain better than I thought possible. There were a few 1 inch or so deep ruts in a couple of places where all the cars came through the entrances but the rest of the showfield was as good as I ever saw it. The rain did eliminate the normal gravel dust and the weather was about 60 degrees in the morning, no rain all day, and actually getting warm and sunny by noon. I started out the day with a light weight vest over a polo shirt and short pants. I unzipped the vest by about 10 am and by noon had to take it off as I was getting too warm. There were lots of empty spaces on the field, but other than that the weather was perfect for the show.

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Matt, thanks for the report. I am sure glad that the rain gave up for the show.

It is Sunday, PM, October 13th. We got up this morning to heavy rain. The weather radar looked daunting, but what the heck, so we headed out in the Jaguar to the Hunt Country Classic, All British Car Show. It was only about 15 miles away so it made for a short drive in the rain. Speaking of rain, I pulled the car from the trailer to the front of the house. What!!!!! The wipers do not work. So opened the bonnet and banged on the wiper motor. Now it works. Ah, Lucas electrics.

We arrived at the show about 9 AM. The show field maybe had twenty cars. Not good for a show that typically has 400. But folks trickled in throughout the morning and I estimate there were probably 75 or so cars in two fields. We were in the previous winners class called the Prince of Wales class. Kinda of a best in show thing.

We hoped that it would stop raining at some point, but it didn't. It did vary in intensity, but it just poured most of the day. But folks were real troopers and stayed the entire time. The fields got really muddy and folks had a hard time getting in and out. We made it in and out, and had to keep the power down as the wheels started spinning and grinding to a halt. But we made it OK. The car is a little muddy and very wet and will take some time cleaning it over the next couple of days.

Oh, and we were awarded the Mayor's Choice Award, and the Prince of Wales, Best of the Best Award. Oh the good side no one spent any time cleaning their cars before the judging started. We were all just trying to keep it dry inside. Oh, and I did find out that the Jag's dash leaks like the dickens from behind. I will have to see where it is all coming from.

Here are some pics that I took. The show was held at a big farm, and the manor had an old log cabin addition at some point. Real nice construction so took a pic of that too. And the pics of the show field was early in the morning so there are relatively few cars. But you get the idea.



















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Still Sunday, and we have a Hershey and Avanti report from Greg. And finally, no rain on weather radar.

" So much for last week. I took off for parts Hershey on Tuesday. That's the day the antique auto flea market opens for traffic. It's also the day that the vendors are slow getting started. Nevertheless I had my shopping list and started walking. For those of you who've never been, it's immense. The length of it is about one mile, as for the breadth??

Seems like the ones on my list to visit were no shows. It wasn't a big list this year, so the time was mostly spent visiting with old friends.

Jeff Brown was there and I did manage my first ride in his 1906 Wayne. I also begged a ride in that 1907 Ford Model K that was featured in that Greenfield Village video footage.

Thursday morning's rain showers led me to return to home base (where there was work to do) with the intention of returning for Saturday's show.

Friday night's weather forecast and film footage of Hershey flooding and the pouring rain here was my reason to cancel. Of course I got calls on Saturday describing the delightful day they were having up there. Probably the only sun shining on the East Coast.

Still raining here, it's just another example of the 50/50/90 Rule.

As for progress I did try to get in some Avanti work. With the supercharger yet to be looked over, I decided it was time.

They have a tendency to go bad if abused, or allowed to sit. When in use, it was the best I'd overhauled. Lots of miles without a problem. I remember the one before it lasted eighteen miles, but it died a noble death . I'd overhauled the blower in Winchester, drove to Stephens City, then to Route 81. That downhill stretch to Kernstown was the end of it. Fastest 5054 ever went for me. Pulled off and yanked the drive belts. I rebuilt it again with a few Bonneville Team upgrades and it served me well.

Now I'll send it out for a professional overhaul. My rebuilds don't come with a warranty.

Photos enclosed: Supercharger inspection.

(seen at Hershey) Hupmobile 20

Pierce Arrow

Regal Underslung roadster."







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It is Wednesday, October 16th PM. I reluctantly told Greg about the paint problems on the Avanti. He was not happy. He thought they did a crappy job, but did not want to spoil my high when I brought it home. I did contact the shop, and Tom, the owner, said to bring it in. So I will do that on a nice day next week.

Yesterday was a nice day. So Alice and I decided to paint gates together. She on one side, me on the other. We painted and talked, talked and painted. One topic came up again and again. Where were we going to store the cars. Build a bigger barn and finish it off, or maybe expand the existing garage to hold four cars. Above the existing garage was finished floor space so why not just expand the garage out 24 more feet? So we decided to see if we could expand the garage and make a full functional, one bedroom apartment above the garage. We only have a one bedroom home, so this would give us extra room for visitors and in our old age it might be good for a live-in caregiver. We want to stay on the farm as long as possible. We are a long way from needing any help, but it is always in back of your mind when you reach retirement.

So when we finished painting, I got on the phone and called the architect who designed our house. He is still in business and agreed to come and see us today. We met this morning and discussed our preliminary plan. He agreed that it is doable, and is going to work up a rough design and estimated cost. We told him that we did not want to delay and would like the design to be completed this Fall, get all the permits over the Winter, and maybe find a builder to start in the early Spring. So stay tuned.

On the Jaguar side, it is all ready for the car show on Saturday. The weather looks good too, no rain, and temps in the mid 60s.

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Sounds like a great plan ! When we decided to build our house in Alabama, we fixed a 16 X 45 building with an additional 2 car garage on one side, then completed our 2400 sq. foot basement. Hey, we had a LOT of stuff with wheels on 'em, ha ! THEN, we built the house with an additional 24 X 26 garage on it. Oh, now you probably think we might like cars and bikes, huh ? It is SO good to have the metal babies safe and sound, I hope you get to do it quickly, your vehicles are so nice and deserve it ! To us, it seems like a no-brainer to protect such a big investment as a vehicle, but we haven't always been able to. Over here, our daily driver "disposables" ( almost anything built after 72 we think, ha ! ) set outside, and we don't like it, but, the two little oldies and bikes are in the only garage allowed.... 1st time in a sub-division for us... oh well.

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John, yes, it does pain me to have stuff out in the open especially the cars. Now the chance to get them inside. Hope it all works out. Will keep you informed.

And it is Thursday, October 17th, AM, early. And we have a report from Greg.

"Checking in.

Had a pleasant interruption last evening. I'd gotten a mail from 'Ol Bill that a B-25 Mitchell bomber would be expected to arrive at the local airport, 1800 hrs.

As luck would have it, I was looking things over in the tin barn and sure enough, the drone of two radial engines proceeded it. I stepped outside to catch sight of it, cruising in a direction towards the Warrenton-Fauquier airport. The sight and sound of it truly an emotional thing. A veteran of the days when the B-25 brought hope and inspiration to our nation when it was on it's knees after Pearl Harbor. The mount of Jimmy Doolittle and his crews as they returned the favor with the Tokyo raid.

Then back to business. Seabiscuit, the maroon Avanti, had been standing idle, so I decided to take it out for a run. Funny thing. We wound up at Warrenton-Fauquier airport. The crew was putting the medium bomber to bed. It's an H model, the gunship. It wasn't for just carrying a bomb load, it was bristling with machine guns all over and also a forward firing cannon.

Tonight I was determined to get something done on something on the black Avanti. Alternator time. I'd gotten a replacement pulley and it needed to be installed. The bore too tight, I needed to chuck it up and take a skosh out of it before it would go on. That done, I got it hung in place on it's mount.

While there, I needed to deal with a master cylinder issue. I'd opted for a new one and it was obviously an "offshore" component where the metric and inch conversion will never meet. I elongated the holes so that it would fit the mounting studs on the booster. That's done now also.

That's enough for today."









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It is Friday, October 18th, AM. Spent an hour or so under the Jaguar cleaning all the mud and grass from the rear wheel wells. Did not do a great job as the car is so low to the ground. But it is packed and ready for the Rockville, MD car show tomorrow.

Also played with the Avanti a bit. Wanted to see how much the power steering was leaking. My firming of the hose connect worked and is holding. But I have a few other seeps and weeps. At least it has gone to a tinkle versus a gusher.

I got my annual collector insurance premium for the five cars yesterday. I realized that I still had on the $12K value for the Avanti. That was the value I put on it when I bought it in 09. I have a a much better car now and a lot more than that it it now so increased the value to $28K. If something happened I think that I could replace it for that. I have $32K into the beast now.

This morning we have an interesting story from Greg. So for your morning coffee here it is.


From: gregcone@msn.com

To: gregcone@msn.com

Subject: FW: "Top" notch

Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 00:50:10 -0400

From: gregcone@msn.com

Subject: "Top" notch

Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 00:47:45 -0400

Thursday turned out to be an interesting day. On a parts run out of town, I found myself near Thetan Ogle's (tinsnips) shop. Couldn't help but stop to see what manner of sheet metal he was beating into shape. Surprised as I entered. There was old friend Joe Patterson adjusting the top material on a freshly restored '16 Ford. I've known Joe since the sixties when he was sewing upholstery for most of the local hot rods. He's still at it. Thetan's been handling the restoration of the T and as you can see, it's nicely done.

Got another surprise while there. Mentioning a mutual friend, Thet inquired if I'd heard from him. Has he finished yet? Finished what?

We were speaking of Dave Liepelt (you know, Ford Museum steam engineer Dave). It's top secret. He's racing a Tesla. Tesla Model S, the Motor Trend Car of the Year. The "Proof positive that America can make great things" , "truly remarkable automobile" EPA approved Tesla.

Well, the race is over and I found it on the net, so the secret is out. Dave and associate raced the Tesla alright. With a 1915 Ford Model T. From Detroit to I think Long Island. As I understand it, a contest sponsored by Car and Driver magazine. Well, Dave lost. They drove in shifts and did something like 775 miles in 23 1/2 hours. An hour behind the Tesla. And they took a longer route due to traffic concerns.

Put that in your Tesla ads. And can hold it's own against a hundred year old flivver.

Good on 'ya Dave! Nice work. I wonder how long your ears will be ringing and your vision blurred.

See, I keep telling you. Got some neat friends out there.

Photos relayed from T.O. showing Joe hard at work. The one shot of Joe reminds me of Buster "Stoneface" Keaton.

A forum account of the race."






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It is Saturday, October 19th, PM. Just got home from the Rockville, MD car show. What a well attended event. Well over 500 cars. Many concours level. I took over 150 pictures. Will post some of them tomorrow and put the rest in a public album that you can access. We had a great time meeting new folks and seeing old friends. I just love the old car hobby. Our car was a hit with a lot of folks and we enjoyed talking with everyone. By the end of the day we were both getting hoarse.

The car ran great, about 100 miles or so. She sure like to run 3,000 rpm/60 mph. She will do much more, but I just do not want to push it.

On a side note, we were talking to a gentleman and he said that he had a XK140 DHC that has been apart and in storage for 18 years. He was looking for advice on how to sell it through a local club. We must have talked for fifteen minutes or so. Bottom line is that we are thinking of going to take a look at it. You never know. I really need another car like a hole in the head.

Here is a pic of HALF of the show field in the morning and several shots of the various "makes" in attendance.








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It is Sunday, October 20, early AM. I am having some difficulty loading all the pics from the car show to my Picasa album. But hope to have it done today and will let you know when it is up. Here are a few samples.

To me the most spectacular car there was the 1954 Allard race car. I first saw one in about 1963 or so at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. I was walking through the pits full of really great race cars I spied a red Allard and fell in love. This is the first time I have seen another one in person and fell in love all over again. (Don't tell Alice!)

It was a great show with many nice cars. I would have taken more pics, but the camera battery gave out after 150 pictures.

















Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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John, do you have any interior pictures of the Allard? I did the interior in one once, red leather with blue welting...car had a Cadillac engine. Was always curious where it is now, I never met the owner.

A number of years ago, a friend who owned a body shop called me, said he needed an Allard upholstered. He had the leather hides and welting. I was working a full time engineering job, and when he said "we need it done in three weeks so the car can go to Monterey", I hesitated, as I'd only have nights and weekends to work on it.

He then said "David, we have to get this done, it's for an Allard gathering, money is no object.." Magic words, car was in my garage that night and finished in two weeks....

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David, I think it is your Allard. You can just see the blue piping in the interior shot.

I think that I have managed to load all the pics. You should be able to see them at https://plus.google.com/photos/108456879037339730707/albums/5936765026217095681?authkey=CP-JobWR_vTLNQ









Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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It is Monday, October 21st, AM. Talked to the guy with the XK 140 DHC yesterday. I am going to pass. He says he has no pictures to send and that if I wanted to see it to come out. I could tell that he would be difficult to deal with and, in my opinion, wants too much for the car for the state that it is in. So if anyone wants a Jaguar project with probably good bones, let me know and I will pass on the information. Oh, he wants $35K for it. The average price for a running/driving car is about $60K. You could easily drop that amount into getting this one back on the road depending on needs. Oh well, you cannot save them all.

Will probably fire up the Avanti tomorrow morning and take her to the paint shop for their look see.

I did take the Jaguar out yesterday. Shadow and I ambled down the country lanes blowing leaves from our path. Stopped to fill with fuel then to the grocery store. I was stopped by a lady for a half an hour waiting for her husband to come see it. We had a nice chat and several other stopped by. It was a mini car show. Turns out he was a distinguished Naval Academy grad with a fighter and helicopter pilot career. Looked him up on Google and found out that he had 3,300 flight hours 600 arrested landings, 2 Command tours (Hqts sqdn), 625 combat missions - Vietnam. I was impressed. Anyway, it was nice meeting them and glad I could brighten his day.

Oh found out that when the little low fuel light comes on, I have used 14 gallons of a 16.5 gallon tank. Nice to realize that I have a safe margin of fuel left when I do get low.

And we have a short note from Greg on the race between the Telsa and Model T from the driver, Dave.

Subject: Model T vs Model S

Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2013 19:39:54

News of the trip:

The 1915 T Touring (Annabelle), my co-driver Chris Paulsen and I made it from Detroit to NY. We lost by less than 1 hour. It took 23.5 hours straight, 765 miles, 47 miles further than the Tesla at an average driving speed of 37mph. We actually were driving for 20.5 hours. Had a few foibles with an expiring condenser, anemic charging system and low fuel pressure with low fuel in tank. It is hard to set up a car for hilly country running when you live in SE Michigan. Car ran long runs at 50-55mph and I reached over 60mph for a spot around Toledo. Chris said it was deceiving how smooth and well it ran. I couldn’t be more proud of Annabelle.

Watch for the February issue of Car & Driver magazine, on shelves in early January.

David Liepelt

Railroad Specialist

the Henry Ford

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It is Tuesday, October 22nd, AM. Weather looks nice so think that I will dust off the Avanti and head over to the shop for them to look at the paint.

And Greg has one of his interesting posts for us too.

"You'd think my day job was aircraft related.

Heard Friday that the transient B-25 would be leaving the Warrenton airport that afternoon, so I made arrangements to meet Frank Gable there. He was accompanied by his visiting friend Capt. "Lucky" Chesley. I especially wanted to say hello to him. Not just an airplane enthusiast, he was "lucky" enough to have his F-4 shot out from under him and wound up a guest at the Hanoi Hilton, seven years I think. Always a privilege to spend time with real life heroes.

Really a special moment be with him and hear of taking down bridges with his Phantom, watch with him as they started the B-25 and discuss what that airplane and it's crews meant to our country seventy years ago.

Then, hurrying back to the shop I was able to catch our Bill as he buckled Dave Meyer into the Stearman for it's trip to the Warrenton airport hangar. That meant another road trip to fetch Dave.

Enough for now."

= Note from John, I took this partial bio from the Internet. In Greg's picture, Frank Gable is on the left, Larry Chesney on the right. You can do a Google search on Captain Larry Chelsey if you want to read more. He also wrote a book of his experiences and found that on Amazon and Ebay. You can probably find it at your local library.

Vietnam history:

I went to Webb AFB, Texas for UPT and from there to Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona for combatcrew training. I graduated as the outstanding pilot of our class. I met JimElliot there; he became my AC. We went to Eglin AFB, Florida for two months.

Jim was drafted to go to Southeast Asia, so I volunteered to go also - with

my wife's blessing. Jim and I went to Ubon, Thailand with a squadron from

George AFB, California. We arrived 16 December 1966. Four months and 76

missions later on 16 April 1966 I was shot down.

Major Sam Johnson and I were on a "milk run" mission about 30 miles north of

the DMZ. This started my long stay in North Vietnam-almost seven years. I

was sick much of the time during those seven years. My illness was caused by

my bout with beri beri from December 1966 to April 1967 which left me in

such a weakened condition that I caught everything that came along. I lost

approximately 60 pounds, leaving me weighing only 100 pounds. While in

prison, I received news that my wife had remarried. Because I had not been

allowed to write for four years, neither my wife nor my family knew I was

alive. I received my first letter four and a half years after my shoot down.

Though I was tortured, beaten, and generally mistreated, I was not treated

as harshly as some of the others.

I am a Mormon and I believe deeply in my religion. It was one of the

strengths I clung to during those dark days. I believe in a God who is like

a Father, One who cares about His children. I had a patriarchal blessing

when I was young (about 14) and it said that if I were ever called into war

that no matter what would come or what would go, I would be returned to my

loved ones. So I never doubted for a moment. I knew that I would come home


My homecoming was wonderful. My little city really treated me great. Though

Burley has only a population of 8000, over 30,000 from throughout the valley

came to say "Welcome home Captain Chesley." One newsman from Salt Lake City

said on television that, in his eighteen years of news coverage, he had

never seen such a moving expression of love as the love my city had shown to

me. The General from Boise also said that in his 26 years of military

service he had never seen such honor bestowed upon a service man.

I am attending college at Arizona State University to get a master's degree

in Business Administration. Then I will teach AFROTC there while I work for

a law degree or Ph.D.EDITOR'S NOTE: Captain Chesley has written a book which tells of his

experiences in more detail. It is titled: SEVEN YEARS IN HANOI.






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