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Howdy from the freezing Rocky Mountains!

I'm currently president of the Laramie Hi Wheelers chapter, based in Laramie Wyoming. We have a tradition of asking our club presidents to write articles for our regional newsletter, the Tire Kicker.

I'm starting to write the series of short articles that will be published over the upcoming year. Very few of them will have subject matter that is truly local, and I thought other newsletter editors around the country might like to have them available to fill space if they find themselves facing a publication deadline and lacking material.

If you edit a newsletter for your local AACA chapter or region, please feel free to publish any of the short articles I post in this thread, any time you need them. No need to ask for my permission in advance, just attribute the articles to Ted Preston - Laramie Hi Wheelers Chapter, Laramie, Wyoming. I'd also like to have a copy of your newsletter if you use one of my articles. Please mail it to me at 1231 Howe Road, Laramie WY 82070 or email it to me at tedpreston31@hotmail.com.

Edited by R W Burgess (see edit history)
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How can I get my restoration project moving?

It’s winter time, when the long evenings and weekends give us an opportunity to work on those project cars hiding in our garages. I’ve had one of those in my garage, too. I’d like to say that I’ve been working on it for the past six years. In truth I worked on it for about six months, then it sat for almost six years, mostly disassembled, and largely in the way. It seems I needed some motivation to complete the project.

I remember loving how the car drove when I first bought it. I liked it so much that I wanted to build it into a practical, classic daily driver. Seeking motivation to restart the languishing project, I decided I should reassemble the car enough to drive again, and that might motivate me to get it finished. Mission accomplished!

I put the car back on the road a couple months ago, installed a drivers seat in the otherwise stripped interior, drove it a thousand miles or so, and shook out some driveability bugs. I liked driving the car just as much as I remembered from six years ago, and I was, in fact, re-motivated to get it finished.

When I left off with restoration progress all those years back, I left the car with fresh paint on the hood and front fenders, and the rest in primer. With fresh motivation, I found myself wanting to spray paint and finish the bodywork . . . in November in Wyoming. It worked out better than I had hoped, thanks in part to some unseasonably warm weather. I found that you can easily sand, mask and spray a single panel at a time in the evening after a work. It produces a marvelously motivating feeling when you watch the paint job proceed in that fashion, and the car looks a little better every day!

I also learned that my amateur painting skills produce a much better finish this way than when I try to paint a whole car at once. Spraying a single panel gave me far more time and concentration to control the paint film, and my home air compressor was able to keep up just fine. It always struggled to keep up when I sprayed a whole car at once, even a small car.

My paint job is complete now, and I found the motivation I need to finish this project. A new interior upholstery kit is on order, and I look forward to seeing the car finished by spring.

I hope other AACA members can find their own inspiration to make progress on their projects during these long winter evenings. My painting strategy probably will not work for metallic paints or for show quality restorations, but putting your car back together and driving it to motivate your work might be useful to anyone!

Don’t ever feel embarrassed to drive your project car. Getting it out on the street again may remind you why you started that project in the first place! AACA as a whole might benefit from holding “project” car shows occasionally, where members can show off the progress of our ongoing projec s It may also be a way to reach out to the next generation of restorers and antique car lovers, whose rides aren’t quite up to normal “show standards.” Every AACA chapter can use new members.

Happy wrenching!

Ted Preston

Laramie Hi Wheelers Chapter, Laramie, Wyoming

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How old is your Antique?

We are encouraged to “suspend our disbelief” when at the theatre. That may also be the best approach when we open the cover of the March 2012 edition of Hemming Classic Car magazine.

The cover story, you see, features an examination of the latest crop of antique cars accepted on the show fields of our very own AACA. Our club welcomes all antique vehicles that are at least twenty-five years old. That means that a new crop of “antiques” becomes eligible each year. As of January 1, 2012, vehicles that were manufactured in 1987 or earlier are welcome at our AACA car shows and tours. Seriously!

As I shook my head in disbelief at the 1987 Mercury Sable wagon photo at the front of the magazine article, I stopped for a moment to recall my own history with antique cars.

I developed a fondness for antiques very shortly after I started driving. While my first car was relatively new and sensible, I quickly moved on to my second car, a 1962 Chevy Impala, and started my long love affair with antiques. I drove the Impala through high school, all the way from the Rockies to the east coast and back while I was in the Navy, and kept driving it as my daily driver all through my undergraduate years in college.

I was proud of that Impala, and often attended car shows, even though my car was far from “show quality.” It was a good looking driver, though, and a mostly practical car, in the days when fuel was less than $1.50 per gallon! I look back on that Impala and think how thoroughly it inspired my current love for antique cars.

As I read the recent article about “antiques” built in 1987, I had an epiphany: My 1962 Impala would not have been welcome at an AACA show or tour. While I certainly thought of the car as an antique, it was only 22 years old when I bought it in 1984 as a sophomore in highschool.

I’m glad that the members of the local car club did not turn me away from their many tours because my car was too new. They welcomed me with open arms, and encouraged my love for antiques and street rods. They also provided me with many memorable evenings and weekends turning wrenches, driving and learning about antique cars.

As I ponder our club’s upcoming year, and our desire for increased membership, I’m struck by the wisdom of keeping an open mind about the latest crop of “antique” cars. More importantly, we need to keep an open mind about the generation that will drive them. We would be well advised to welcome the next generation of kids who love their antique Pontiac Fieros, Cadillac Allantes and perhaps even Mercury Sables. They may very well be our AACA officers of tomorrow!

Keep those antiques on the road folks, the old ones and the “new” ones!

Ted Preston

Laramie Hi Wheelers Chapter - Laramie, Wyoming

Edited by Ted Preston (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Ted,

I just love the articles and cant wait to use, one of them in our March 2012 newsletter. Please look forward in recieving our monthly newsletter. Also cant wait to read more of them. Thanks.

Penny White 'gottaracdirt'

Central Mountains Region, AACA, Clearfield, PA

Secretary/Publicity/Editor

"The Mountain Road Newsletter"

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  • 1 year later...

I have an article submitted by the Peconic Bay Region of New York, that I will post here after this weekend. It's a great Packard story written by Paul Katz. I think some of you editors may want to reprint this article for the benefit of your region and chapter members.

As Paul Harvey used to say..... "Stand by for News!"

GROUP ONE.pdf

Edited by R W Burgess (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's an offer for all of you editors! If you have a good article written by you or one of your members, how about sharing it here? You can upload a PDF yourself, or I can help. If it is already in your newsletter, just separate it from the rest of your newsletter to make it easier to upload. Thanks, Wayne

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