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Kvinokor

Young and Eager to Learn

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Hi all! I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself! My name is Koby, I'm 16 years old, live in Long Island, NY and just started my junior year of highschool. I enjoy playing basketball, football, running track and have a passion for classic cars. I've been interested in classics for about a year now and I make family members drag me out to car shows whenever they're not too busy. I actually attended one yesterday to be exact :P. I already passed my road test and a drivers education course so as soon as I turn 17 I hope the freedom will allow me to hit up shows everyweekend!

I basically spend every day afterschool browsing ebay, craigslist, AACA forums, project car sites and informational websites dealing with cars, trying to absorb information and get a feel for what parts and accesories are worth. I haven't made any major car related purchases yet but my goal is to restore my own classics in the future. I work whenever I can doing random jobs around the neighborhood and for family members in order to save up for my own project.

I am a member of AACA and I will be attending my first Hershey Meet this October and I absolutely can't wait to see what it's all about! I will hopefuly be joining my local AACA chapter in the upcoming year, I just have to finish doing research to decide which local chapter would fit me best! I am currently trying to start a Classic Car Club/Group within my highschool in order to promote classic auto passion within peers of mine. Sadly most teens who are even slightly into cars are all about 'modern muscle' and don't really appreciate the old iron! Though this is discouraging, my efforts to promote classics for the younger generations will continue!

I'm not really sure what I want my first restoration to be, I have Ford Model A's, and 1950s Chevrolet Bel Airs up on my list for the future but probably not my first. I'm thinking I want something with a little muscle in it, and I do love the way the early 1970s Cadillacs look! I would like to add that I have great respect for people that hot-rod cars for their talents and creativity but I personally want to keep things as origninal as possible in my rides! I know restorations take money, time and effort, so this will take a while. But I figure the sooner I start the sooner i'll get to enjoy my ride!

I was wondering if anyone could point me to any reading material I should be checking out for information about restorations, or car history. Any insight from you "car experts" will be greatly appreciated. I know that knowledge comes with years and I'd be honored to be able to learn from all of you.

Thanks for reading. :]

Koby

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Koby,

You sound a lot like me at 16 in 1974 when I bought my first collector car, a 1929 Studebaker. Back then, I read the classified ads of the newspaper everyday for any ad that was old car related. I also drove my parent’s nuts looking for an old car until they loaned me the money to buy the Studebaker. I really think they did it just to get me off their backs about getting an old car.

When I bought my Studebaker I did not know anything about cars, clubs, swap meets, or even what a Studebaker was. I learned everything about the hobby after getting the car. The greatest source of information was other collector car owners. The key is to be a good listener. Ask questions, but be willing to take the time to listen. There is a vast source of knowledge in older members of this hobby that needs to be passed along to enthusiastic young members like you.

In addition to asking questions and listening, read – books. There are thousands of good used old car related books out there that can be bought cheap. Start building your collection now. Read as many books as you can. There is more knowledge in old books than what you will find on the internet.

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Hi Koby, glad you are interested in automobiles. And thank you for writing a very well-written and punctuated post.

Mark gave you some good pointers in the post above. I would like to add to those:

Your very first item to do should be a trip to your family insurance agent (assuming your family is happy with the current agent). Make an appointment, and discuss your goals and ideas with the agent. "Fair" or not, the insurance agent is going to have a serious impact on what car you drive at least until you are 21, and some impact as late as your 25th birthday. My son wanted a TransAm (your comments concerning muscle cars). The agent did not say the insurance would be one-half the G.N.P of the US. The answer was a very simple "NO!" There was no appeal. He suggested some form of economy car from age 16 (legal license age in Missouri) and age 18 to establish a driving record. This was not what my son wanted to hear, but he did listen, had no tickets of any kind before his 18th birthday, and acquired a used Turbo TransAm which we restored at that time.

The second item I would share with you concerns your first project. My own first project in about 1967 was a 1953 Jaguar XK-120 (which I never was able to afford to restore!). A good friend in the local car club suggested to me that restoration of the Jaguar would be both expensive and frustrating (some parts are made from "unobtanium", others from "verypricium"); and that even though I wanted to do the Jaguar, my first project should be something that while less desirable, was more affordable and mistakes (hey, we all make them) would be less damaging. I heeded his wisdom, and have never been sorry.

And the last item to share at this time is literature. If a vehicle comes up for sale that you might like, and the insurance agent approves; try to locate a factory shop manual and possibly a factory master parts book BEFORE you actually purchase the vehicle. The information contained in these books will help you in avoiding a "bargain" that isn't, and will make your project much easier.

Good luck, and share your questions and experiences on this forum.

Jon.

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Koby,

I can not tell you how great it is to read your post! We welcome you into the ol' car craze with open arms.

As for advice on what to read, you should check out the Auto Restorer site and subscribe to the monthly mag. You will find it informative and entertaining. Here is the site - Auto Restorer Community

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Koby, If you want to drive a Pierce Arrow eight or twelve, your welcome to take one of mine for a spin. I live just outside Springfield Mass. Just send me a email if your going to be in the area. Good luck with your car hunt, and remember....... PRE WAR ONLY!!!!!!!! :-) Ed

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Koby, you're doing some good thinking. First, I will suggest some books. Being a member of the AACA you already get the Antique Automobile magazine. Read it carefully and it will help you decide what you like the best. Read the listing of car shows in each issue. Concentrate on trying to attend 1 or 2 major AACA shows each year, take lot's of photos and keep a description of each car you photograph including the make, year, and model if you can determine it. You don't want to take a bunch of photos and go home and download them into your computer and then wonder was this Buick a Century or a Special or was this Ford a '53 or '54. Unfortunately AACA windshield placards do not include model or series names and numbers so you will not find a full description of each car but ask the owners if they are nearby. Be polite and they will be glad to talk to you. Never, ever say anything detrimental about their cars or they will shun you like the plague. If you see something that doesn't look just right it's better to just move on then to start a disagreement. Buy as many books as you can afford. One of the best is Automobile Quarterly. It is a hard cover book of 112 pages each volume and is printed 4 times a year. At $80.00 a year it is pricey but is well worth it if you can afford it. Used books are available. I was fortunate to come to New Jersey several years ago and obtain a complete set of them at a reasonable price and they are one of my main sources of automobile history. On a cheaper level, Hemmings Classic Car is a good magazine published monthly and you can start a subscription at $18.95 per year. Books dedicated to only one make of car are good and they are fairly easy to find. However, you might want to start by buying books that give good basic coverage of all the cars built during a specific time (like cars of the Fifties or cars of the Sixties) and there are also books dedicated to one type of vehicle such as pickup trucks or convertibles. Consumer Guide publishes several books of this type and they are available in the discount book stores for about $30.00 each and some times less. Keep in mind that not every thing you read will be correct and not every thing you hear at car shows will be correct (many books contain a few typos, some of them contain a lot of typos or just some wrong information) but as you grow in knowledge you will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. As you seek to choose a car to restore keep in mind that parts for Fords and Chevrolets are the easiest to find less expensive to buy. That's enough advice from me for now but watch for a private message from me. Good luck.

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Thanks so much for all of the responses, and please keep the comments and suggestions coming!

@Mark Huston: Thanks so much for that compliment, it really means a lot! And I'm going to start browsing through eBay checking out our local bookstores if there are any reasonably priced old car books available.

@Carbking: I will definitely try and get a hold of my families’ car insurance agent. I hadn't even thought of that! Also, as far as my first project goes, I'm absolutely going to expect and leave room for mistakes. Hopefully they won't be too costly :P

@D Yaros: Thanks for the welcome; I'm excited to have all of these knowledgeable people floating around, ready to help me out! It really makes me want to get into the classic car world even more! I'll absolutely check out that magazine. Thanks for the link!

@The Continental: It's funny you mentioned the Coupe Deville and the Eldorado those are the top two on my list for my first restoration! I love the fact that they give off a slight muscle/performance feel but they still have the elegance and sophistication of an old time Cadillac.

@Edinmass: Wow! What a great offer! I really thank you for putting that out there, it means a lot to me! If I ever manage to get my parents to take me to Massachusetts I’ll absolutely give you a ring! Otherwise, as soon as I get my license I’ll have to make a trip on up there for an offer like that!

@John2dameron: Thanks for the book suggestions and I'm absolutely going to check out Hemmings. It looks reasonably priced and seems to have a great reputation in the classic car world. I'll respond to your private message right away.

Edited by Kvinokor (see edit history)

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Koby, you have a lot of good information contained in the above posts, especially about reading as much as you can. For my money, i'd find a way immediately to get up to Springfield, Mass. Pierce Arrows of the quality that Ed owns are rare and not too many are driven that much. You would have the experience of a lifetime with his Pierces plus learniing about brass era cars. Better move quickly before the rest of us get there !

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Koby, while you are here at Hershey stop over at the AACA Library & Research Center! You will get a real feel for the depth of automotive literature...might be pretty busy but I am sure our librarians will spend some time helping you. Make sure you take in all the activities of Hershey from the seminars on Friday to the race car runs. Enjoy!

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Koby,

Join a local region of AACA and attend some local shows. Make some friends with "old guys." There are a lot of people who will be willing to teach you a lot of things. I was born into this hobby here on LI, with my father and grandfather as very active participants. It's a great hobby.

BTW, where on LI do you live?

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Sorry for the delayed response... haven't been near a computer in a few days.

@ABallard35R: I know, how great an offer it is to be able to drive a pierce arrow and that's why as soon as I get my license in January I'm going to ask Ed if it would be okay if I took a day trip to Springfield to do so. Hope he says yes ;)

@Steve Moskowitz: I will deffinely go check out the research center while I'm at Hershey this year. I'll only be there Friday/Saturday since I can't miss too many days of school. I Can't wait to check out the Flea Market!:)

@Steve Braverman: I'm trying to figure out which local chapter would be the best fit for me. I live in Syosset and I haven't been able to contact anyone from the Huntington region yet (which is the closest in distance to me). I attended the show two weeks ago in point look out, and I hope to hit one up this weekend, if I can find a ride :P

3weeks until Hershey... Can't Wait to see what it's all about :)! Please keep the suggestions and comments coming everyone, I really appreciate it!

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Took out the Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography: The Automobile Industry 1920-1980 today during my lunch period. It was a little dusty and old, but so are the cars we all love! :)

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Wow!! I am ashamed of all you guys,Thank goodness Steve Moskowitz is on the ball as usual, I can't believe no one else told Koby to check out our own library and research center, good job Steve,the rest get three lashes with a wet noddle. WELCOME aboard Koby.

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Koby, As long as the roads are dry and salt free we can go for a spin. Mid to late march is usually ok. Just keep my email. Ed

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Great to see your enthusiasm Koby. My suggestion for any first car is keep it a simple car. Cadillacs are wonderful cars but loaded often with electrical things that may need attention. They require a learning curve and some money..

I started with basic Chevy 2 door post..and learned a lot..and sealed my enthusiasm with driving my prize !

Ken

Also Docc a real nickname !

Edited by Docc (see edit history)

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Koby;

As many others have said, look to your local clubs, AACA as well as marque car clubs and see what you are interested in. A good idea may be to find one of us "old guys" who could use some help and see if he is interested in "teaming up" on a car. I know if I could find a young person locally who would be interested in helping with the work, I'd buy another car for him so that we could work on both his and mine at the same time.

If I may humbly suggest you look at the Crosley Auto Club ( www.crosleyautoclub.com ) you may find something that interests you and we are certainly looking for young people to get involved. The cars are simple and inexpensive, and a fantastic way to learn about cars in general as well as the restoration hobby. I can also assure you that a Crosley at a car show ALWAYS draws attention and you will rarely see another one at the same show. The only exception is that you usually know when another club member is going to the same show....we are that close a group!!! As far as promoting young people, we have 2 young men involved in the national show, one, a 16 year old is National Meet co-chairman, and the other , a 17 year old is in chage of games and activities. We also just awarded the National youth project (a car to restore) to a 14 year old girl!!! Contact me directly if you are interested and I can provide you with more information and point you to someone near you to see a Crosley in person. In fact, one of our more famous members was a former NY teacher of the year and lives on Long island.

Edited by DAVE A
misspelling (see edit history)

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Second on finding something simple to begin with. I love 67-70 Eldorados and 60s Thunderbirds, but they can be vacuum and electrical nightmares (which is still not stopping me from going to look at a 68 'Bird later this week, I'm that hopeless and I have not learned a thing from fooling with Toronados and Starfires). I'd also stick with something reasonably simple emissions-wise for the simple reason that a lot of that stuff got tossed. Even if it is intact, if it's not working it is not easy to find good replacements.

Also- while you're at Hershey, pick up some original sales literature for cars you have an interest in. It's a cheap way to get started and can show you features you might like to have in your hobby car.

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@Windjamer: I've heard great things about the AACA library and research center so when i get my license I'm going to take a (long)day trip to PA to spend a day taking notes and reading. Unless anyone can point me to some sort of virtual archive?

@Edinmass: Sounds great! I can't wait, and I’ll private message you closer to the date to coordinate! :)

@Docc: That's an interesting point. I had never heard of early 70s Cadillac’s having electrical issues but I will definitely take that into consideration when picking my first restoration.

@DAVE A: I spent today browsing through the Crosley sight and there definitely are some interesting ones; I think I’ll do some more research on them. I hope I can find someone in Long Island with the same attitude towards a "restoration apprentice"... I think that's exactly what I need!

@Rocketradier: Once again, I didn't know that the 70 Cadillac had so many electrical issues to worry about, so thanks for the heads up! That’s exactly what I was planning to look for at Hershey, thanks for the suggestion.

Basically my goals for Hershey are to of course learn a lot (I'm going to carry a fresh notebook to write down everything I hear), to take lots of pictures and try to find any original literature, any affordable license plates, hubcaps, or emblems for my newly started collection, as well as any reasonably priced parts for future restorations that I may spot. (Model AA, TT in particular)<o:p></o:p>

Edited by Kvinokor (see edit history)

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Also, I'll only be at Hershey all day Friday, and early Saturday (due to school and family obligations), I realize it's not possible to see everything in my strict time constraints, any suggestions on areas where I should absolutely not miss? Are the swap meet spots random or do certain era/model/make vendors stay in certain areas? Thanks in advance for the help everyone, and please keep the suggestions coming. I really appreciate it :)

Edited by Kvinokor
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My spots are RCH 39 & 40 on the red field. I'm going to be there all day Friday, I'll be at the HCCA tent during lunch. Ed

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Heh. ALL Cadillacs (as well as any other gadget-laden car) are ripe for electrical issues when they get some age on them. They're not insurmountable for a bright kid who doesn't mind a little aggravation or getting his hands dirty and skint-up. They may also expand your vocabulary.:rolleyes:

Apologies in advance to the Cadillac faithful: there's a reason it's called "Caddy-Whomp".:P;)

I believe someone on this board who had a fleet of Cadillacs coined that expression some years ago.

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Well Glenn, I can tell you that I own a '55 Cadillac Coupe deVille, and did own a 1963 Corvair Monza. The Monza continually presented electrical problems. The Cad has not presented any?

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@Edinmass- I'll come over and introduce myself if I can find where that is!:)

In other news I picked up an original 1953 Studebaker manual to start off my literature collection as well as a 41-48 Chevrolet hubcap and a 1955 NY license plate for my wall, all while garage saling on Saturday. Can't wait for Hershey!:)

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Koby, you remind me of myself when I was your age, in the mid-1970s. Before I got a driver's license at age 16, and a job, I would come home from school and read Hemmings Motor News, Old Cars Weekly, or any of several car club magazines my dad and/or I got in the mail. You're lucky that today you can use the internet to communicate with others who share your interests. Back then we were not so connected, and it was seldom I found anyone anywhere near my age who understood what I was so fascinated with.

I applaud your desire to keep a car original, as that's what I like best, too. As you said, a lot of skill and creativity goes into some modified cars, it just doesn't happen to be my thing.

I agree with the idea that a straightforward car would be a good one to start with. While I share your appreciation of Cadillacs, they are complicated machines. Leaky vacuum lines can be a challenge to replace, and the Automatic Climate Control systems used to challenge even trained professionals when they were current. Also, in today's world, they use a lot of fuel, which can get expensive very quickly.

If cars of the '60s appeal to you, you might take a look at something like a Chevy II or something similar that could deliver some decent gas mileage, and be relatively simple to repair and maintain. I had a '65 Buick Skylark that I really enjoyed. I also like Ramblers. If you are willing to drive something a bit more unusual, you will probably find they are available at lower prices than the more popular Fords and Chevys. How about something like a Studebaker Lark? Keep on going to those car shows, and you'll probably find that certain types of cars hold a special appeal for you. Maybe that's one way you could start narrowing your choices.

Best wishes, Jerry K

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