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Young and Eager to Learn


Kvinokor
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A Few Questions I have:

1. Would a Model A be a good choice for a first restoration?

2. What equiptment is a must to have before even thinking about working on cars?

3. What do you do if a car you see is being sold without a title? Why does it matter?

4. What happens if a car doesn't have a key anymore? Do you get one made?

5. I've started to obtain some unique hubcaps for my collection and am curious about what cars they were used on and when. Is there a such thing as a hubcap encyclopedia? Or something to that effect?

Thanks in advance :)

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1) A Model A is an excellent choice. They're affordable, reasonably plentiful, have amazing club and parts support, and are simple to work on. Drawbacks are: mechanical brakes and best kept under 50 mph- no L.I.E. runs, in other words. A Model A pickup would be an infinitely cool first old car for a young buck.

2) You need a set of hand tools. Sockets, combo wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers to begin with. Sears often puts comprehensive sets on sale. Drop hints to parents, grandparents, girlfriend etc for Christmas, birthdays and graduation.

3) I would personally never consider a car without a clean title. Sometimes it's no big deal, but you want to be sure whoever's selling it is the actual owner or has agency or power of attorney to sell it. You don't want to invest a lot of time and money in it only to have the legit owner show up with a warrant. You're out of luck if that person can prove legal title to it. Keep in mind that some states never issued titles, and some do not issue them on cars over 25 years old (GA comes to mind).

4) Any competent locksmith can make a key. Some older cars might be a challenge, but key blanks are available for most popular old cars.

5) You can post pics of the hubcaps here and odds are someone will know what it's for. A Hollander interchange manual shows and identifies wheelcovers as do sites like hubcapmike and Blackburn's.

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I was about to suggest a British sportscar too, for the same reasons as the Model A, and in the NYC metro area there are bound to be people who understand and can service them. I mean, if this podunk town in southern Virginia has two Brit car service garages... and one of them is run by a thoroughly noddy Englishman.

I myself am keeping an eye out for an MGB. The difference is the baby seat is now out of the picture and me buzz cut would have to be covered with a driving cap.;)

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Hi Glenn,

The MGA in the picture is mine and it has original factory hydraulic brakes with drum rear and disc on the front. I have fitted a power assist to the brakes because my sons drive it from time to time and forget about the extra pressure required until the first application. The brakes are excellent considering the age (1960). This car is rarely under 50mph because it is not happy at low revs. I agree that the support in terms of knowledge and parts is as good as it gets. Simplicity is the key. For example no door handles, with just a bit of cord in the door to open it, (often unnecessary) and plywood floor.

The MGB is a lot less 'agricultural' and was I believe designed largely with the American market in mind and may suit a young man more than an A.

John.

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Howdy John- didn't mean to imply that an MG could not stop and keep up with modern traffic as I know they can- one reason I'm interested in having one. Comment was about a Ford A which is not suited to modern high-speed traffic at all, but is still a fun vehicle and would be a very good car for Koby to learn on before he tackles a late-60s luxury car.

I like the idea of an MG or Triumph because they're simple and have good support, plus with the two Brit service shops here there's no question of having someone who can repair them. Tivvy (the noddy Englishter) was a Jaguar factory engine builder before he came to the States, and the guys at Southside British (the other shop) are just great to work with. Their specialty is MG but they've even had a TVR in there.

I would prefer a chrome bumper car, but the rubber bumper cars are more common here. Even though I think the late 70s federal bumper and headlamp height regs ruined the styling, the classic Brit roadster look is still there.

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@D Yaros- I'll check out that site right now! Thanks for the link :)

I spent HOURS on the site today. There is a whole lot of interesting info, and links. Unfortunately, it does take a whole lot of time and patience to dig it all out. Still, a very good site for one just getting into the old car hobby.

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Hi Glenn,

No offence taken mate. I agree with your comments about the the Ford which enjoy the same support in terms of parts and knowledge. I also have an 8 cylinder Studebaker that I have had since Koby's age and learnt so much from it.

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And to you Koby: Sorry don't mean to hi-jack your thread with our conversation but you have the idea to ask for advice because some cars can be a bottomless pit and even when finished you don't have anything special. When I was your age I sought advice from older blokes and it was not only advice I got but help and often they would not take anything for parts or even labour if in the trade. Many were just happy to see a young'en taking an interest as it seems you have found out at Hershey. One of my young mates from those days was given a fully restored 1923 Willys Knight (that he had admired for 20 years) by a fellow member who had grown too old to drive and couldn't bear the thought of selling it to a stranger. I have seen a spirit of generosity here and am especially jealous of your offer to drive the Pierce Arrows. :)

Regards, John.

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@John.McMaster- At least for now, I'm going to stick with looking for some American steel for my first car. Thank you for the suggestion though. I'm jealous of your friends Willy present! I dream of something like that falling into my lap one day, but for now I'm going to keep saving my pennies! :P

@Rocketraider- Thanks for all of the answers to my questions. I figure if I do get a Model A (which I hope I do) It'll be for local roads, and cruising... nothing fast pace. I'll deffinetley start hinting tools as gifts for when the holidays come around! I hope I can find a Long Island Model A that's affordable and what I'm looking for since I'm not sure about how to go about shipping an item that large and it would be difficult for me to convince someone to drive me far for an inspection.

@D Yaros- Once again, I'm loving that site! Thanks again for the link :]

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Hi Koby

I am so glad to hear that you are having fun in the old car hobby. I was introduced to it by my father, it must be so much more difficult without a family connection, but it sounds as though your mum was very supportive on the Hershey trip. Bring on the driving licence hey?

I think you have already received lots of good advice on choice of car. A model A is great fun, if not very fast, but easy to maintain. I used to have a 29 sport coupe. A british sports car would also be good. An MGA might be pricey, but a B or a midget should be affordable with easy spares availability. The big 70s luxobarge might be cheap to buy, but may be difficult to work on without a lot of equipment and knowledge.

My main advice to you is to find something that does not require too much restoration in the first place. In other words, get something you can DRIVE. It may need work and you will be anxious to tear it to pieces, but try not to bury yourself in a protracted restoration project at first. That can come later.

As a new driver you will want to get out and have some fun. A scruffy old car can give you exactly that.

Good luck with it all, and keep us posted with your progress.

Adam...

Lincolnshire, UK.

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get something you can DRIVE. It may need work and you will be anxious to tear it to pieces, but try not to bury yourself in a protracted restoration project at first. That can come later.

As a new driver you will want to get out and have some fun. A scruffy old car can give you exactly that.

I couldn't agree more. The beauty of it is that an old car, even one with faded paint and surface rust, is fun to drive. There is nothing like getting behind a steering wheel of a classic. You feel like you almost connect with the car. You can feel how everything moves and operates. Its not like cars made today that have power everything and are one computer away from driving its self down the road.

If you can find a car that runs, drives, and isn't rusted right through thats what I would go for. Getting to take the car down the road is what made me fall in love with all of my cars and there is nothing like fixing up a car you already enjoy.

Dan

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I'm not such a reader but my interest in learning about cars has started to change that. This weekend I purchased a book on Barn Finds and am almost halfway done with it! It has me peering into peoples backyards and open garage doors even more than previously. I feel rather nosey, but keep telling myself it's okay because I may spot something incredible!

Today I found out that my school actually has a car club! Though very small and not too active (only 6 members) I showed up at the meeting today and was already asked to fill the leadership role of treasurer. Sadly everyone in the club seems to be interested in modern sports cars. I figure anything I can learn dealing with automobiles whether about present day cars or classics will be benefitial to me at the moment. Hopefuly the club activity will pick up. Even though everyone there seems to be very set in there ways about only caring about modern cars and modified customs, it's still nice to be in an environment with others my age that share the same general interest that I do.

I hope to have my pictures from Hershey up soon. I will post them as soon as I can.

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  • 3 months later...
Just to keep everyone updated on my life happenings..... I turned 17 in January and now have my license:), and tonight I will be checking out the Greater New York Region's monthly meeting to see if that club is a good fit for me!

Great idea to touch base with the local AACA Region!

I had the good fortune to take the Bridgeport-Port Jeff ferry to Long Island yesterday for a business trip, and enjoyed checking out the surroundings as we made our way to the company we were supposed to visit (in Hauppauge, near Smithtown, I think) for the day. Even saw an early dual-headlight Corvette (so I guess that'd be a '58 to '62 model?) out there being driven on the local roadways along the way.

In all it was an enjoyable day and I am envious of the beautiful areas you Long Islanders have to enjoy!

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit

Luckily for you, Caddies are plentiful and cheap and über comfortable rides. I too am a "keep it close to stock" type of person (sans mechanical modernization such as intakes, carbs, breaks, coolers,exhausts and suspensions).

I think it's great to have an interest and build a hobby out of older cars and I wish you luck in your learning (BTW, we are all still learning), and searching for your first ride!

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