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gmkc

Advice for 1934 chevy

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I am a new to AACA. I bought my first antique car recently, a 1934 Chevy. I have a lot of questions about restoration and what is a good idea or bad idea? Should I put parts on that make it less original but easier to drive like Hydraulic brakes, maybe better steering. And where do I find parts? I want to take advantage of all the knowledge that already exists. So far, all I have done is search the Internet for information and not finding that so helpful.

Anyone have any advice on getting started?

Thanks in advance

gmkc

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You say you bought an antique - a '34 Chevy. You want to improve it. Why not just buy a more modern car and leave the Chevy alone as an antique? Part of the charm of driving these things is learning to live with their original characteristics. They are different and need to be driven with their limitations in mind.

Having everything working as originally intended it an important first start.

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I must agree with Don. Old cars are just that.....old cars. If you don't want the little quirks that go with driving an original car, buy a newer one. You will NEVER get the feeling of driving an old car by modernizing the drivetrain of an old car and making it "more comfortable" to drive. You will never experience the fun of looking for a glitch when everything is new. I love old cars exactly as they were built. I love hotrods when they are very well done. They are two very different experiences.

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If you want the looks of an old car with modern drive ability, you may want to look at a Shay roadster or touring car. (Ford Model A replica)

I think it would be best to leave the 34 the way it was made.

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I really do appreciate all the comments and will probably keep in all original. Its so complete now, that it would be a shame to mess with it, that's for sure. It runs and drives but needs restoration. However, when you make the decision to keep an old car completely original, I assume you are also making the decision to own a neat old car that sits in a garage and only comes out only on special occasions? That's the part that bothers me just a little.

Thanks again

Gary

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I really do appreciate all the comments and will probably keep in all original. Its so complete now, that it would be a shame to mess with it, that's for sure. It runs and drives but needs restoration. However, when you make the decision to keep an old car completely original, I assume you are also making the decision to own a neat old car that sits in a garage and only comes out only on special occasions? That's the part that bothers me just a little.

Thanks again

Gary

No need whatsoever to "hide" the car most of the time. I was driving my 1931 Dodge as a daily driver prior to the wiring needing replacement. As soon as I get the money for a wiring harness, it will be my daily driver again. A lot of insurance companies will not insure a car after a certain age, but there are some companies specifically designed to do just that. Those that do, rarely let you drive the car as a daily driver and you need a newer car to be insured in order to insure your old one. I am bummed about that since I have no newer car other than my truck. I just happened to find an insurance company locally that would cover my Dodge as a daily driver. After all....they were driven daily when they were new. As long as you take care of them, they can be driven daily again.

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Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Well I guess I have more answer. I will restore to original and try to drive it more than I was thinking. I want to enjoy it.

Thanks again to everyone. Here is a pic of my 34 Chevypost-95238-14314221233_thumb.jpg

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WOW! That looks good enough to blow the dust off of and drive as is!! Very nice.

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Depending on your tastes, a lot of cars that are very original, and in good condition can be kept 'as is' and are very appreciated by most who see and drive them.

From the photo of the car on the trailer, a good wash and wax, maybe a few chips touched up and the exterior is good to go. Show us some photos of the interior and dashboard. and of course the engine compartment.

As mentioned in above posts, driving a car with 1934 steering, brakes and suspension, but that is part of the charm of an old car.. Mechanical brakes if properly adjusted work fine, the steering can be pretty good if kept maintained and lubricated. A modern set of vintage looking tires will make a huge difference in the driving characteristics.

I'd put an acceptable set of seat covers on it, if needed, give it a good maintenance, tune up, all lubricants. A set of tires if they are cracked or really petrified. Then take the car out and drive it. As you find quirks, sort them out, make the car as original and as good as you can keep it.

Good luck with the car, please post more photos when you can.

Greg L

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WOW! That is a great looking car. And rare by the fact that it still looks like that after so many years. I think you will grow to enjoy the driving characteristics once everything is working correctly (getting someone to do a wheel alignment might be a chore and getting the brakes right).

Just look at the photos on this site of people restoring cars that are not much more than a crude pile of rust - even cars from the 60's and 70's and you'll understand what a rare gem you have.

Don

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Well I guess I have more answer. I will restore to original and try to drive it more than I was thinking. I want to enjoy it.

Thanks again to everyone. Here is a pic of my 34 Chevy[ATTACH=CONFIG]216293[/ATTACH]

Since you want opinions- looking at this photo you have the makings of a great looking original car. If you really want to enjoy it, don't restore it. Clean it up, make it mechanically reliable, and just preserve it. There are plenty of restored cars out there along with bankrupt owners. Keep it original, simple, and cheap.

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Tex Riv is really right. If you do a total, accurate restoration you will probably have to spend twice as much as what the car would be worth when you are done.

Don

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gmkc, go to the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America website. Tons of help,and a great club. Ed in Fla VCCA #47508

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I just joined VCCA. Thanks for that information. Again I find all the comments a great help. I really like the idea of not tearing it down for full restoration. I'm just going to start enjoying it. I need to do something with the brakes and I need an interior, but all other improvements can wait. Here are some pictures.

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post-59076-143142214585_thumb.jpgYour interior doesn't look bad. Parts for this car are easy to find and easy to repair. I believe that is a master Sedan ( the fancy one) first year for the Blue Flame Six, 209 cid engine - ran as the BF6 until 55 and its descendants in chevy's through the 80s. We have taken our 34 Master Sedan on 11 glidden tours, several regional tours, weddings, funerals, beer runs to the neighboring town and sometimes just get in it and cruise around. Both of my children have driven this car (18 &13) and I taught my 70 year old mother to drive a stick in this car. When I want to ride in style, reliably and with minimum effort, the Chevy is the go to car. Last month we went up and down Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga (quite a climb!!) and it was easy, comfortable and SO much fun.

The only odd mechanical bits on this car are the starterator, a vacuum switch that disenagaes the mechanical connection from the accelerator to the starter when the car is running and the DuBonnet knee action shocks. If your front end is bouncy, you should fix these but do the research first. They are not hard but understanding them is critical to safely repairing them. If you need any help or answers, feel free to contact me through the forum. Also I reccomend that you read Landman's reconstruction of a 34 chevy in the " our cars and projects" section of the forum. He rebuilt his 34 master up from rust and memories and he examines nearly every facet of the car with excellent pictures. Good Luck and happy motoring

Edited by sambarn
Add more thoughts (see edit history)

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Thank you. Im sure I will have questions when I get started. I retire next month and will have more time to get into the details. First up is figure out why the brakes dont work very well. Also, do you know what colors the 34 Chevy came in? I would like to paint it something other than black.

Thanks again

Gary

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Thank you. Im sure I will have questions when I get started. I retire next month and will have more time to get into the details. First up is figure out why the brakes dont work very well. Also, do you know what colors the 34 Chevy came in? I would like to paint it something other than black.

Thanks again

Gary

Go here for color names....

http://www.tcpglobal.com/autocolorlibrary/

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The brakes are mechanical, and need to have all the levers, shafts, pivots, springs etc, well lubricated, and in the proper locations or angles so that they are providing the best 'geometry' for maximum leverage to push the shoes into the drum.

The next thing is that the brake shoes might have grease from the wheel or axle seals on the lining, this obviously will reduce the brake friction.

The brake shoes might have been relined with modern hard brake lining material. This modern material does not have as much friction as 'soft' or 'woven' brake lining.. I'd take a wheel and drum off both front and rear, and see what the condition is of the drums, shoes, linkage etc.

There is a reprint of a brake manual that I have used for reference many times, it is : "Vintage Veteran BRAKE Repair Manual" By C Perham.

I have seen a copy of an original manual, it was printed in the mid '30's, and had all the early mechanical brake info, as well as later juice brakes and info on the many versions of power brakes, both mechanical and juice [hydraulic] .

I would shine up the paint for now, it looks very presentable from the photos, and concentrate on getting the mechanical portion of the car up to speed. The interior might survive with just inexpensive 'generic' seat covers. At least for a while..

What I'm suggesting is to get the car roadworthy, drive it a lot, see if for YOU it's a keeper, if not, then you don't have a ton of additional money invested in the car which you might not get back.. Drive it, enjoy it.. and then if you really like the car, a nice re-rag o fthe interior and a paint job can be something to look forward to.

Go to a bunch of shows, there will be lot's of wonderful restorations, but the real original cars are still very attractive and well appreciated.

A car can only be original once. Once 'restored' it's going to be compared to all the other restored cars, and how much the owner spent on the restoration.. But an original is just that, either very poorly preserved or very well preserved, your car looks like it qualifies for 'very well' preserved. I'd keep it that way if you can.

I looked on Ebay, didn't find the brake manual I have, but there were two of them for auction a month or so ago. Maybe the AACA library has copies ??

Anyway, when you 'get into' your new car, learn it's mechanisms, quirks and good points, you will appreciate your car much more.

Do you have some photos of the rest of the interior ??

Greg L.

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