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Where Have All the Brass & Early Cars Gone ?


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Where have all the great Brass Era Cars gone ?

Just thinking back when I was a Kid in the 50s-60s

and Dad I attended every "Antique" car show in my tri-state PA NJ NY area there were at least 60-70 Brass Era cars at these events !

Always:

20 Model "T" Fords

20 Model "A" Fords

2-3 Curved Dash Olds

20-30 other Brass Era Cars

at least one electric

AND

one, if not two Steamers

I am sure today all these cars are not sitting im museum collections or on Brass Tours~ ???

There has to be hundreds of these restored cars just sitting in some owner's garage carriage house or barn.

Perhapps the owner is no longer able to drive them

or lost interest

Or the former owner's family just keeps them around as a past memory.

What is your opinion on this ?

Why are these cars missing ?

I see too few early autos attending area shows today !

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)
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Museums have gobbled up a lot as they become less popular as this hobby moved along. I'm 46 and although I admire brass era cars and there is still a strong following, I am more interested in cars from 1936 to 1980's.

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A lot of people with brass cars, out in the open, touring and having fun. These guys are the names you'd recognize, if you kept up with early cars.

A number of people with large brass collections, who are relatively secretive about it. I know of one collector who probably now has over a hundred early cars, some excellent stuff in beautiful condition, but not often seen in public. There are many such collections (possibly not quite that quantity, but significant cars) out there.

Then there are the lost little sheep, the cars owned by the older hobbyists, or their family, and hidden away in garages or storage buildings. They'll come out one day.....

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They were on the Glidden Tour. They were at the meet in Moline. I've seen more brass cars this year than I've seen in a long time. Check some of the photos I've posted in the Meet and Tour section and you'll notice something else about them - younger people are bringing them out. I'm lovin it!

Terry

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In my area, over the last 10 years or so the brass era cars have dissappeared! The last brass area car I saw was a Stanley Steamer; and that was probably 8 years ago. My town's local cruise nights are usually full of 5 year old corvettes......

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Then there are the lost little sheep, the cars owned by the older hobbyists, or their family, and hidden away in garages or storage buildings. They'll come out one day.....

I certainly hope so--I am 43 and just waiting to carry on the brass car torch for another generation. Actually I have been waiting for over ten years for something to turn up with the logic that:

(a) they are less popular with old car people who want something newer and faster, plus their owners must all be elderly and ready to sell them off, and

(B) there are zero street rodders interested in buying them.

So brass cars restored in the 1950s and 1960s should be available for a song because no one wants them, right? Wrong, haven't found a candidate yet. An auction near me recently had this Buick, part 1950s refurbishment, part awful recent upholstery and top, sold for $30,000. At that I am priced out of the picture once again, for a car no one seems to want. Hard for me to understand, but I am still waiting, Todd

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I saw half a dozen brass cars on the road just a few weekends ago. Mostly Model Ts but there were a couple I could not identify, along with a number of black rad Ts and other 20s cars. They were on some kind of tour in Prince Edward County.

If you want to exercise your brass car these days you have to get away from the big city to where roads are narrow and traffic thin. There are several events in this area every summer for brass cars. I doubt they have as many in the big cities, and probably there are none.

So get involved in the "grapevine" and do a little traveling and you will see some brass cars. They may even give you a ride.

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I have noticed that I am one of the few on this site with an early car, ( My 1915 Buick) for an avitar. The problem with Brass, it is hard to take it to a cruise night because the festivities usually go until after dark. My lights have two positions, Dim and Dimmer. I am not comfortable driving it after dark. Trailering is a pain because you need space for three + vehicles, and you need to tie it down, and untie it to get it off. Space to park a truck and trailor and room to unload. Everyone else has turned the key and driven off in their 1950 + something mobile and you are still loading. I like to drive my car to a show which limits me to day shows for the most part, but not where the traffic flows fast. So this is also limiting. If you want to see a lot of Brass, be part of the HCCA. They have a good handle on Brass era vehicles and put tours together around the fact that these cars move slowly compared to modern traffic for the most part. The're out there. Big brass cars with lots of power will always be expensive. One, and two cylinder cars can still be had for a reasonable price and have Tours of their own because they cannot keep up with the large cars on the highway. I do not think that you will ever see any brass era car dirt cheep unless you are at the right place at the right time. Bushel basket cases are out there if you have the time and talent. Dream Brass. :)Dandy Dave!

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On a positive note, I have been hearing (and seeing some of it actually) some younger people are getting interested in brass and early cars. Case in point in CT I know of a few folks younger than me (I am 46) with them, actively touring, restoring and showing. One guy brings his whole family, sometimes in period attire.

I would like to have one someday while I am mainly interested in Classics and non Classics from the Classic era, a "runabout" style 2 seater Hup or simillar would appeal to me. (wife is warming up to them also!). Kind of a baby Stutz Bearcat... Some early cars are suprisingly affordable. Todd, not to sound like a salesman but check with Tom Laferriere if you really want an affordable early car, besides Packards he does a lot with these, and prices are all over the lot. Also, I would note that they are selling, so someone is buying them.

I agree with Dave that the driveability is somewhat limited but I have pretty much lost interest in cruise nights, so evening operation is not important to me. Driving is, though. A well sorted car makes a world of difference in any era.

Dave, regarding another post where you mention driving the 1915 Buick (a very cool car, BTW..)35 miles one way to a show - that is really cool, of course modenr traffic/poor drivers are probably an even bigger issue but I guess you work around them. Sunday mornings sun up to noon is probably ideal Brass car driving time!

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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I believe interest in the brass cars is growing, if anything.

The heavy hitters will always be interested in the high horsepower, 40HP and up cars, and the prices are accordingly very high, usually six figures.

The 30-35HP cars are great for tours, with good power and speed, and they seem to be in the 30K to 80K range, depending on the car, condition, accessories and such.

The lower horsepower cars, 20-25HP, have some followers, Model T the most prevalent. The Model 20 Hupp is a fun car, 20HP in a light car, quick handling, capable of 40-45 mph if everything is correct. I've seen prices rising on the early Hupps, Tom just sold one in the upper teens, and I sold a 1911 project car that ended up going for around 10K. A nice one will run 20-30K these days, which shows that someone wants them.

1 and 2 cylinder prices are all over the place, depending on the car. CDO (curved dash olds) have gone up in value recently, and any pre-1905 (London to Brighton eligible) car should bring decent money. Small cars such as some Maxwells don't bring much, it seems, but get a Buick Model F 2 cylinder (one of the best 2 cylinder cars I've heard) and they can be pricey.

Brass cars are a blast to drive, and I love being out in the open in my Hupp. My Model 16 Buick is not on the road yet, but I've ridden in one and it's great.

Good luck on your search....worth looking for a brass car.

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If the weather is good on Hershey Saturday, my 45-year-old son will drive his 1909 E-M-F touring car to the show field with a load of passengers, probably including his teenage son. A friend of comparable age will drive my son's 1912 Ford commercial roadster with a passenger. I (age 74) will drive my 1906 Buick Model F 2-cylinder touring car to the show field with at least one passenger. The starting point will be my son's home south of Lititz, PA, about 33 miles by back roads. We will park in our respective judging classes with "Do Not Judge" signs on the windshields. (Don't look for us if it's raining - we're eager, but not crazy!)

This year I've driven: the HCCA Brass in Berks County tour and the HCCA 1&2-cylinder tour with the Buick; the eastern steam car tour in Maine and part of the HCCA Ontario tour with my 1911 10-horse Stanley; two Model T tours, the AACA Snappers Frosty, and the rest of the Ontario tour with my 1913 Ford runabout; and several one-day or weekend tours. If you live anywhere in the northeast and have a brass car, there are more major and minor tours than you can possibly attend. The brass car end of the hobby is thriving.

Yes, you need a trailer to get to and from the tours; boo, hiss! Trailers are a pain in the kiester. And no, you can't do cruise nights and come back after dark. But you can have a blast with brass. Expensive? Depends on your vantage point, and on the car you're looking at. Decent brass Model Ts start at about $15 thousand for '14s and '15s, and can go above $35 thousand for '09s to '11s. Two-cylinder Maxwells can be had in the low 20s. You can spend way more, but you can have just as much fun and make just as many friends if you don't. And what do you pay these days for a tri-5 Chevy, an original Mustang convertible or a GTO?

Are they available? Look up hcca.org and go to the classifieds!

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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Well, the era of people collecting those and the cars up through the 40's are dead or dying out. My grandfather loved the early cars-1940's and they had to be original. Because he had memories of these cars. But, now the baby boomers are collecting the stuff from the 50's and up. My generation (I am 22) is not collecting anything, or if they are it is 70's-80's stuff. My favorite cars are stuff from the 40's I also love any luxury car from any era. But, the problem with my 1921 Chevy is that I cannot drive it anywhere, it is an around town car, it cannot drive on a freeway or long distances without breaks. The brakes cannot keep up with CA traffic (though I have had to slam on the brakes a few times!). So, that is why you dont see much earlier stuff around S. CA. Most car shows have hot rods or stuff from the 50's and later, with upgrades. A common question I am asked is, how do I drive say, the '48 Linc. without power brakes. And I always tell them that if the brakes are in full working order, they are as good as my power brakes. As for speed I have taken it up to 80 comfortably. The 41 I have taken to 65-70 comfortably.

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Wes, it may seem to be "common sense" that the interest is dying out in the early stuff, and that opinion is always held by the people who have no interest whatsoever in early stuff (i.e. they think that since they're not interested, no one is or should be interested).

The thing that slaps the face of this reasoning (a bad metaphor, oh well) is the fact that prices are not going down on good early cars. While I see a good buy here and there, overall, prices are higher now than they were 10 years ago, and not all due to inflation of the dollar.

That said, there's still the division of what cars are worth good money. Brass cars are, of course. Then there falls what I call the bastard years, 1916-1928, during which time some great cars were built, but the interest is lagging, as they're not as desirable as the early cars, and the styling isn't as desirable as the later cars.

Then from 1929-1934, there were some beautiful cars made, and those years bring good prices. Mid to late-30's lag behind that level.

There are still buyers out there for good early stuff..................

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"I certainly hope so--I am 43 and just waiting to carry on the brass car torch for another generation. Actually I have been waiting for over ten years for something to turn up with the logic that:

(a) they are less popular with old car people who want something newer and faster, plus their owners must all be elderly and ready to sell them off, and

(B) there are zero street rodders interested in buying them.

So brass cars restored in the 1950s and 1960s should be available for a song because no one wants them, right? Wrong, haven't found a candidate yet. An auction near me recently had this Buick, part 1950s refurbishment, part awful recent upholstery and top, sold for $30,000. At that I am priced out of the picture once again, for a car no one seems to want. Hard for me to understand, but I am still waiting, Todd "

Here, here ! Me Too !!!! :D

A local enthusiast / automotive writer with a special fondness for Brass / Nickel cars suggest getting involved with HCCA ( Horesless Carriage Club of America), which is limited to per-1918 vehicles.

Apparently, there are "a lot" of early cars quietly resting in garages and museums, whose owners have died or are no longer able to enjoy the cars, families that don't know what to do with the vehicle, etc.

Apparently, networking and word-of-mouth among the Brass crowd is the best way to find a vehicle; if you make some connections, and demonstrate a sincere interest in and appreciation for these early vehicles, they will start "finding you"...

The only brass car that shows-up around NE Penna is a brass Model T touring car (Senior AACA).

Imagine my surprise about 20 years ago when the Great Race came through Wilkes-Barre, and there was a car show in Kirby Park - among the dozens of wonderful cars was a yellow, honest to goodness brass Stutz Bearcat... the owner had to have been in his eighties(?), and had a younger helper to actually drive the car.

Recently I found out that this car belonged to Scranton Collector A.J. Kovaleski...

A Ford is still probably the least expensive way into Brass cars ( just like 100 years ago ! ) , and the easiest / least expensive (?) to restore / maintain and enjoy...

I hope there are more "younger guys(and gals)" out there that appreciate Brass & Nickel cars, and will be able to carry the torch; for those that presently own them, get 'em out and enjoy them, and get the young ones hooked early ! That's the future...

:cool:

Edited by De Soto Frank (see edit history)
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David, thanks for the overview, which I found informative. I was hoping to get up to Tom's to drive the Hup but it sold really quickly, although he knows I am a couple years from adding on he will use any excuse to get out on the road!

One big thing that drives my interest in this era is that I realize how little I know about it, and there seems to be an emphasis on touring and zero conflict with the modify/modernize/rod it crowd.

Heading to Hershey with fresh eyes next week!

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Wes, it may seem to be "common sense" that the interest is dying out in the early stuff, and that opinion is always held by the people who have no interest whatsoever in early stuff (i.e. they think that since they're not interested, no one is or should be interested).

The thing that slaps the face of this reasoning (a bad metaphor, oh well) is the fact that prices are not going down on good early cars. While I see a good buy here and there, overall, prices are higher now than they were 10 years ago, and not all due to inflation of the dollar.

There are still buyers out there for good early stuff..................

Well said, and certainly echos my observations. Here in central IL there is NO visible interest in brass cars or really anything pre-Model A, and interest in any original old car is limited compared to the street rod crowd. Likewise the TV auctions that now seem to set trends. But as stated, the fact that values continue to hold must say something. And when I go to Hershey or read the AACA magazine I see brass cars owned by people my age and younger. It is a gratifying trend, albeit apparently small. I will be involved someday, hopefully.

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I recently purchased the 17 truck specifically for my 17 year old son to drive. He is currently helping me get it fixed up to drive. I like Oldcarfud is working to keep younger persons involved in the brass/nickel era vehicles. It has been great developing common interests.

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Wes, it may seem to be "common sense" that the interest is dying out in the early stuff, and that opinion is always held by the people who have no interest whatsoever in early stuff (i.e. they think that since they're not interested, no one is or should be interested).

The thing that slaps the face of this reasoning (a bad metaphor, oh well) is the fact that prices are not going down on good early cars. While I see a good buy here and there, overall, prices are higher now than they were 10 years ago, and not all due to inflation of the dollar."

But, money means nothing. How many people buy them to enjoy them? Is a Chevy from the 1920's worth as much as a '57 or split window? Rare cars like a dusenburg, regardless of era will always be worth a lot of money, for investment purposes. Money is not a good indicator. I have an interest in early stuff but, if you go around to any car show in this state, you may find, maybe one car pre-1930 unless it is a specialized show. My 40's stuff is usually the oldest, and I dont count the rodders.

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But, money means nothing. How many people buy them to enjoy them? Is a Chevy from the 1920's worth as much as a '57 or split window? Rare cars like a dusenburg, regardless of era will always be worth a lot of money, for investment purposes. Money is not a good indicator. I have an interest in early stuff but, if you go around to any car show in this state, you may find, maybe one car pre-1930 unless it is a specialized show. My 40's stuff is usually the oldest, and I dont count the rodders.

Wes, I was going to say that reading your posts all this time I did not realize you were only 22--you have the taste of a more experienced car guy (a complement).

I am sure that being in So Cal probably limits the use of older and prewar cars and I commend you for driving yours. Here in central IL we have enough two lanes with light traffic that one could enjoy a prewar car and they are still very rarely seen. That is why I also assumed that brass cars were destined to come down in value and they have not. I have no idea who would be paying $30K for the Buick I posted, it is certainly no one I have ever met in the car circles I know. A speculator maybe? Who knows, Todd

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David said it very well !!

The interest in Brass Era Cars seems to be growing, not declining. Good cars bring good prices.

While we regret selling the 1912 Oakland Touring (30 Hp), the 1914 Buick will be on the field at Hershey in Class 15, and then hopefully on the AACA Reliability Tour in Georgia, later in October.

We do drive our Brass Cars, grinning all the way!

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I've had a '23 Dodge for 20 years. I used to take it out to ten events each year in a congested urban area (metro Washington, DC). To drive this car in today's traffic requires a combination of guts, excellent defensive driving skills, and a determination to show-off a piece of automotive history. Most drivers on the road appreciate seeing a vintage car, but there are an increasing number of younger drivers who will not give a vintage car any slack. It can be downright dangerous out there. Even back-country roads have become populated by this same driving mentality. Since I have more modern antique cars that can compete with power, manuverability, and safety devices in traffic, I always use them. The 1923 Dodge is a nice garage decoration now. However, it probably will get out to the 2011 Glidden Tour.

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I agree that some people buy cars for investments, which is a silly thing to do, in my opinion. Cars are meant to be enjoyed, and pride of ownership is an enjoyment, but not the whole nut.

I do see people with money who have a passion for the cars, though. I'm not even going to mention the obvious, Jay Leno. Oops, I mentioned it. He's high profile.

But what about the people who own a hundred or more brass cars, but are fairly secretive about it? That's not showing off, that's a passion of some kind for the pretty shiny things.

I agree that money doesn't always measure things, as there are people just throwing money at some cars just to do it, or impress someone, or.......

However, deep down, there are people who love the old cars, and that's what drive prices up, down, or sideways; how many people can afford it, how many people want it.

Imagine the price of a rare car, on an x/y scale. Let's say it's a 45 degree line, sloping upwards, as time passes (x axis), the price goes up (y axis). Now, let's look at the ordinary guy's buying power on the same scale. It's going to go up, and then start leveling off. If the lines cross, that's the point beyond which the guy starts being unable to afford that particular car. In my case, that happened in the 1980's, and was when I was able to acquire the three open Classics that I own. Right now I could probably stretch to buy one of them, but it would be a stretch, as the prices kept going up while my income didn't match that incline.

OK, that's enough....from me for now....dc

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I agree that the early cars are a labor of love. That is one of the reasons that I have them is because not everyone can just jump in and drive them. It takes a lot of knowledge and patience to drive one. Anyone can jump in and drive a 60's muscle car, but not everyone can drive a brass/nickel vehicle.

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I do not own collector cars and have no plans to do so. However I love going to shows and museums and seeing the cars and taking pictures. I judge the interest in cars by how long it takes me to get a picture. Tri-Five Chevys, no problem. Look them over, take a photo or two (if I want to) and move on. However it's a different thing with brass cars, true classics, and exotics such as Ferraris or Lamborghini's. Every body wants to look at those and just as you go to click a picture four people amble up and start looking. You stand patiently waiting for them to move on and just as they finally do another crowd takes their place. My advice! If you want to see brass cars go to a museum or to an AACA show; hopefully a regional or grand national if it's close enough to go to. Some shows claim they are AACA shows but they end up being a muscle car show with several street rods shown. Two good annual shows I've found are the Shenandoah Valley Show at Winchester, VA and the show at Broadway, VA. Cruise-ins are often a waste of time. One of the best shows was the show sponsered by the White Post VA restoration shop but they only held it 4 years, 1986-89. If you want to see the good stuff, you have to hunt out the good shows and if you have to drive 200-400 miles to get there you'll have to decide how bad you want to see the good stuff. If you find one rare automobile such as the 1914 Norwalk that showed up at Winchester in 2009 your time will not be wasted.

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I still think that quite a few of the brass-era cars I remember in our area that are hidden away by the owner's family.

Case in point~

I know of an original 1913 model "T" touring car that is sitting almost forgotten in the former owner's garage.

He died in the mid 1970s of a brain tumor~

I knew both of his sons in high school~

His wife just can't seem to part with it !

There are two other non-brass "T" s about 15 min away !

These two have been sitting for 30 years !

There is also a restored 1920s Pierce-Arrow touring car sitting in a garage since the late 70s~

The owners have no intention of selling them !

Guys~ They are out there !

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I guess 1994 was the last time I had our 1912 T Touring car at Hershey, looking at a photo of it on the grass in the Chocolate Field. It hasn't been out of the garage in 12 years. Very easy to blame collage costs for the kids, but taking the car to shows just got old. Touring was fun, but a week long tour is costly. I do think of getting it out every year, but that will eat up a thousand dollars in no time, and what is the point? The late model guys are clueless as to what it is, and there aren't many cars from the era to park with. Someday it may come out for a weekend tour, I do want to have a ride in 2012 when the car turns 100. This was the very first Antique car I got a ride in back in the 1960's and it is special to me. The restoration was done in 1950 in time for it to go on the Glidden Tour, still looks good.

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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I guess 1994 was the last time I had our 1912 T Touring car at Hershey, looking at a photo of it on the grass in the Chocolate Field. It hasn't been out of the garage in 12 years. Very easy to blame collage costs for the kids, but taking the car to shows just got old. Touring was fun, but a week long tour is costly. I do think of getting it out every year, but that will eat up a thousand dollars in no time, and what is the point? The late model guys are clueless as to what it is, and there aren't many cars from the era to park with. Someday it may come out for a weekend tour, I do want to have a ride in 2012 when the car turns 100. This was the very first Antique car I got a ride in back in the 1960's and it is special to me. The restoration was done in 1950 in time for it to go on the Glidden Tour, still looks good.

I can appreciate the time and financial constraints of family and life, now that I have hit "middle age"...

Personally, I get my greatest satisfaction out of driving my old cars...

And, I think that seeing old cars out on the road, as well as on the show-field, does much to stimulate interest...

How is the average "muscle car guy" or "tuner dude" know about anything else if "the good stuff" is squirreled away in garages or museums?

Since getting my first Model A, almost a year ago, I'm still surprised by interest shown by bikers, muscle car guys, tatooed and pierced youths, etc...

My Ford is no cream-puff, to be sure... I think part of the intrigue to non-antique people is that " you still drive that 82 year-old car ??? " :eek::confused:

"Yes; why yes I do !" :D

I'm not suggesting that folks drive their show-quality cars into the ground, but please, take them out and share them with the world ! Perhaps the majority won't give it a second glance, but there will be those folks who might be seeing an "real antique" for the first time, and get hooked !

I'm quite happy to "stick my Model A" in the faces of the modern world...;)

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If you want to see brass cars in use, monitor the HCCA and Snappers web sites from time to time. Once in a while there will be a multi-day tour somewhere within a reasonable drive of where you are. Some of those tours incude a brief car show. Even if they don't, showing up at the tour headquarters one morning will let you see the cars coming out of their trailers and being fettled for the day's run. Or, contact the tour director and find out where the lunch stops will be. Old car tourists love to eat, and there's usually a pretty spectacular gathering around the village green of a town with restaurants, starting about noon. Some HCCA folks refer to themselves as an eating club with a driving disorder!

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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Interesting discussion.

Cars from the teens and twenties are my favorites. I'm 46, but my dad was a child of the 1920's so I grew up with stories of these cars from when they were on the road.

I've noticed that there are fewer early cars at shows than there used to be. I own a 1911 EMF and 1921 Ford Model T. So maybe I can provide some additional perspective.

If I'm taking one of my cars to a show, that means carefully choosing a back road route to the show, paying $12 to park my car on the show field, then sitting around all day.

Or, I could just leave my car home, walk on the show field for free, look around, then go home and tool around in my cars on the back roads in my area.

I really enjoy driving my cars and as long as there's nice weather, they're both out several times a week.

In addition, there are 5 other brass era cars and 4 1916-1929 cars within 10 miles of my home. Twice this year, while I was out tooling around in one of my cars, I met a Model T or two coming the other way (way cool moment). A number of these cars get driven, but are not shown. Possibly for the same reasons stated above.

But there are a couple shows out there that attract the early cars. Those shows are still like the ones I remember as a kid.

The 1916 to 1929 cars are generally a real bargain! Look for something like a 1917 Overand or 1918 Oldsmobile.

These are my cars. I've owned the Model T since I was 35 and got the EMF when I was 44.

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1940 Buick, two beautiful cars and keep driving them! You know as many pre 1940 car owners get older I guess they get a bit afraid of driving these old cars on the modern roads. I'm restoring a 1928 Durant. I will restore it, show it at AACA events and then drive it as much as I can. I've ridden in many a Durant car at club events and they never seem to get a positive remark or hand wave from passers by. I've never seen anyone get upset because they are behind an antique car. Of course you have to stay off the interstate and major highways in major metropolitan areas, but to have these cars and not drive them is terrible. Once your dead your relatives will sell the car for whatever they can get out of it, so you might as well enjoy it now and drive the heck out of it.

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We had the '12 Mascotte out today for a free show in Burbank, CA. We were the oldest car of about 100, next was a pretty '14 Ford T, the rest a collection of T's, A's, hotrods of every description, some swell 50's (a '54 Rocket 88 convertible) and 60's, with a scattering of 30's. Sunday is a good day to drive Los Angeles. The main boulevards are not too crowded and the speeds match brass cars (35 mph). As long as you are wary about stopping, not too much problem. Our T and the AB with their planetary transmissions are easiest to drive and almost perfect for a city with lots of stop signs and lights. When it gets dark, we light the carbide lamps which are more than enough for well lit city streets. They seem designed for 20-25 mph. Only problem is when someone comes up from behind and honks a "friendly" horn to say hi!. Scares the bejabbers out of me every time.

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I went to a car show today in Melrose, Mass., sponsored by the Melrose Rotary. I've been to a couple of local shows this year, ones that I always went to, but was disappointed at the turn out. I thought going out of state might make a difference. While it was a decent show, there was very little of what I like to look at. I stayed three hours and came home. I have no interest in modifieds, trucks and tricked out foreign stuff. That seems to be what younger people want to look at these days. I told my wife tonight that I'm done with shows except for Hershey.

Edited by John_Maine (see edit history)
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Wes, I was going to say that reading your posts all this time I did not realize you were only 22--you have the taste of a more experienced car guy (a complement).

I am sure that being in So Cal probably limits the use of older and prewar cars and I commend you for driving yours. Here in central IL we have enough two lanes with light traffic that one could enjoy a prewar car and they are still very rarely seen. That is why I also assumed that brass cars were destined to come down in value and they have not. I have no idea who would be paying $30K for the Buick I posted, it is certainly no one I have ever met in the car circles I know. A speculator maybe? Who knows, Todd

Hahaha Thanks! I love the luxury cars of the past and stuff of the forties! It is my love, to drive and restore them to their original condition, none of this souped up 350 stuff! But, yup it is something to try and drive the 21 chevy during any traffic periods! With those mechanical brakes, and all! The 41 and 48 Brakes are very good, and I keep them in top condition, their acceleration is not a problem either. The 21 is the problem as it can only go about 30 mph or so with it's 4cyl

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...snip... If I'm taking one of my cars to a show, that means carefully choosing a back road route to the show, paying $12 to park my car on the show field, then sitting around all day.

Or, I could just leave my car home, walk on the show field for free, look around, then go home and tool around in my cars on the back roads in my area. ...snip...

I think that is the crux of the problem for lots of car shows, not just ones trying to get brass era cars to come out. I will pay to enter my car in a show if I know that the money is going to a charity I approve of. But otherwise entry fees for cars is a turn off for me, especially if the general public can get in for free.

The local Model T club hosts a very nice event at a local history park each year. No entry fee for vehicles but they must be 1945 or earlier. There is a great turn out of Model Ts (of course) but there are usually a dozen or more other brass era cars. This year they had a steamer theme and had two Stanleys, a Locomobile, a White and a Doble. All were fired up and driven around the show so people could see them in motion.

So getting older vehicles to events can still be done. And they are out there, I saw a Model T touring drive by as I was waiting to make a left turn into the grocery store parking lot this morning.

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Where have all the great Brass Era Cars gone ?

Just thinking back when I was a Kid in the 50s-60s

and Dad I attended every "Antique" car show in my tri-state PA NJ NY area there were at least 60-70 Brass Era cars at these events !

Always:

20 Model "T" Fords

20 Model "A" Fords

2-3 Curved Dash Olds

20-30 other Brass Era Cars

at least one electric

AND

one, if not two Steamers

I am sure today all these cars are not sitting im museum collections or on Brass Tours~ ???

What is your opinion on this ?

Why are these cars missing ?

I see too few early autos attending area shows today !

You're right. The numbers are not like they were 30+ years ago, but I think the same can be said about the Model 'A's.

You also have to take into account the current AACA awards system. We're bringing our woodie wagon to Hershey that hasn't been shown at Hershey since 2003. We never got rid of the car, but with exception of 2009, if we've brought anything to Hershey, we were usually going for a Junior, or Senior Award with a car. We brought our '37 Plymouth back more than once because it's the smallest and lightest vehicle we have, so it gives us more room in the car trailer for parts that we buy in Hershey.

Today we did finish paint on the frame of our '52 Willys M38 Army Jeep. Because of its' weight and size, I have a feeling that after next year, you probably won't see us bring anything else to Hershey other than the Army Jeep.

Because of having to borrow a trailer and it's size and weight, you most likely won't see our fire truck at Hershey ever again. It probably won't be out unless there's a meet close to home.

You very well could have owners of brass cars out there that are leaving them home to bring out something else.

Back to the original topic, the brass cars aren't up in numbers like they were, but I think they're higher than what they were 10 years ago.

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I think is is safe to say that Brass Car owners of 25 years ago are now showing the cars they bought new to tow them to the meets. Why crank start something to put it in an enclosed trailer to tow it to a show when the tow car can be shown?

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