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1937hd45

THE ACTIVE BRASS CAR Forum

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Is there an ACTIVE website for BRASS ERA CAR people? ==== NOTE: I've upgraded the title after we reached 3 pages of replies, let's keep the Brass Car chat flowing. Bob

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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1937hd45,

HCCA's web-site is a very good source of technical info and advertising of brass era autos. I am not a member, so I can't speak about their forum questions etc., but some of their members have helped me in the past. My brass era autos have specific sites (Brush Owners Association and Early Cadillac Group) so I use the HCCA as a back-up source of info. It gets kind of expensive to belong to every club out there. Just my $.02 worth. Good luck   

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I often post on the HCCA Forum, but it's not as active as this one. It seems the more popular a forum is, the more popular it gets. The MTFCA Forum is very active, for example, while MTFCI Forum is slow. Not sure why, as both are successful Model T clubs (I belong to both). I'll sometimes sneak a brass-era car question into the MTFCA Forum to get a quick answer. 

 

Phil

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I rejoined HCCA after dropping out 10 or so years ago, I just thought there would be active web users, but I guess there isn't hope for a Brass Car version of the HAMB. With all the talk about new and "young" members you would think the internet would be put to use. Then again  my 1912 T hasn't seen the outside of my garage in 15 years. Bob

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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I rejoined HCCA after dropping out 10 or so years ago, I just thought there would be active web users, but I guess there isn't hope for a Brass Car version of the HAMB. With all the talk about new and "young" members you would think the internet would be put to use. Then again  my 1912 T hasn't seen to outside of my garage in 15 years. Bob

 

Bob,

 

If you are close, I will come drive with you.  IMO, there is nothing like driving the vehicles.  My wife and I drive our '15 truck to the grocery store, out to dinner, church, and to friends during the summer.

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Maybe I'm part of the reason Brass is Dead, after the '12 T was parked and sat for two years it was real easy for it to sit for 13 more. I really do like working on projects, and researching the history, but driving them isn't a big deal any more. You would think there would be others willing to talk on the internet about the Golden Years of the hobby 1950-1975. Bob

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Bob, Having restored my first car in 1962 and  still at it I think you are short changing some of us

when you stop the "Golden Age at 1975" Granted the hobby will never be like it was in 1975 but neither will we.

When my daughter cam back from a drive in my 73 E Type Roadster a few weeks ago she thought this is

the golden age, when I drive my 1908 Stanley I think that was the golden age. I think it is all relative, the question is

weather we are willing to adapt.

No offense meant, just stating how I feel.

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JAK,

Absolutely true.

I started out with the AACA in 1972 and purchased my first true brass era ("04 Cad) a short time later. I was curious about the early production of autos and the history was fascinating. Having grown up with muscle cars, and owning quite a few, I took them for granted. Little did I know how valuable they would become. To me they were fun and fast. The antiques on the other hand, were an unknown that needed research and documentation. The hobby has changed dramatically and I think we lived in the best of times. Just my opinion of course.   

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I would also like to find an active "brass era" forum but for a number of reasons I can see where it is unlikely.  Brass cars are so diverse that it isolates the owners to a degree. The Brass model T owners are a big and separate group, and tend to identify with other T owners regardless of year. One and two cylinder people tend to stick together and form a sub group. and other than Buick and Cadillac most other makes exist in pretty small numbers. 

  When you factor in age, location, people who tour, people who own brass era static show piece cars, people who are involved in multi decade restoration projects and so on there isn't a lot to draw people together to share common ground.

 I find that while there are a fair number of Brass era owners in my "local' area most have a driveable Brass car for events, something I do not have. That fact in itself seems to be a bit of an obstacle as far as being part of the brass era community. And it will likely be some years before my pile of rusty and battered parts becomes an intact machine. in the meantime forums like this one do their part in keeping my interest alive.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Greg, I've always had a ":Brass Era" project car, starting way back in the early 1960's. I'd sure enjoy sharing the project with fellow Brass Era people, and helping others with their projects. From what I see they either don't own a computer, or have no interest in socializing and helping others. Check out the HCCA website, the number of posts this year can fill one hand.  Bob

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Hi Bob, I agree that the HCCA web site participation is disappointing. I have been a HCCA member for quite a few years but have rarely been in a position to actively be involved with club activities. 

 It is primarily a touring club, and I have up to this point not been in a position due to either time or finances {or vehicle } to join on a tour. Still I look forward to each Gazette, there is always something to keep my interest peaked.

 And I feel you are probably correct, many brass car people don't seem to have much internet involvement. I suppose it could be an age related trait. Brass car people definitely seem to be largely part of the older segment of the population.

 

Greg

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I wish you all would post about your early cars on this forum or the HCCA Forum just to see what responses they bring. Photos are important to bring responses. Check out Bernie's latest series about his 1929 Renault restoration. This series has 399 posts. Bernie started posting in 2008, two years after joining the AACA, about his 1922 Dixie Flyer restoration. This series got 307 replies. This was not because people are into the Dixie Flyer or Renault, but because Bernie kept the series going and replied to every legitimate post. What I'm saying is: people will become interested in your brass-era project, so start posting!

 

Phil

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 many brass car people don't seem to have much internet involvement. I suppose it could be an age related trait. Brass car people definitely seem to be largely part of the older segment of the population.

 

Greg

 

Greg is probably right about the internet involvement of the brass guys, but there are some of us who are active.  Still, I'd rather be driving my car than talking about it. 

 

GREG:  We're pretty active in the HCCA Vancouver Regional Group.  Why don't you join us for a few events this summer?  You could take a turn at driving my car.  In the fall, some of the A & T guys hold a "learn to drive a Model T" day - it's a fun event.  If your car is "in process" I'm sure some of the guys would enjoy a drive out to your place to see it.  These are good ways to get connected with brass era guys.

 

http://antique.vccc.com

 

Peter Findlay

1911 Cadillac

1912 REO

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Hi Peter, thanks for the suggestions and kind offer. I have actually been meaning to join the local club for some time. My erratic work schedule is often at odds with social activities but retirement is only a few more years away so it's probably time to start taking in those events that I can .

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I follow the HCCA site every day. Lots of action on the For Sale site but little on the discussion group. I have four brass cars and wish their were more folks in the my area interested. Any others out their in Southwest Ohio?

Tom Muth

Cincinnati, Ohio

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Hi Phil, I must agree. Restoration series article are always favorites of mine as well.  

 Unfortunately I don't think my Staver Chicago project is a good candidate. The pace has been glacial to say the least. The car started out as skeletal remains decades ago. The two prior owners found enough parts ; over a 25 + year time span, that it can at least be considered a "project" car. But it is still missing a lot !  I am not in a position to travel to the important "brass era " swap meets, so I am limited to what parts I can find in the Pacific N.W. and over the web. Over the last 15 years I have owned it I have filled in a few of the blanks, but to be truthfull not all that much.

 The car really needs an owner with greater resources and deeper pockets than I will ever have. But it keeps my toes in the Brass car world.  Due to space limitations the bulk of what I have for the car is stored away in a number of spots around my House and Garage.  In the reasonably near future I will be constructing a new shop. This should provide me with enough space to do a mock up assembly of the car as it currently exists. Once it at least looks like more than a bunch of scattered parts I probably will start to document the project.  If you follow the link to my  Staver Chicago album on Flickr  you will see what the car looked like 20 or so years ago when the previous owner had it pieced together.  There is also a fair bit of Staver Chicago historical material amongst my other non brass car pictures.https://www.flickr.com/photos/57244155@N07/sets/72157663559626600

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I am in pretty much the same boat as 1912 Staver. I have a 1910 Mitchell that is almost certainly someone's abandoned long-term project. I do have virtually all of the chassis and most of the engine, but quite a few bit are missing. I suspect the engine is from a different car, primarily because the engine number is stamped on one of the cross members and it appears that both parts have been changed... thus it matches, but the differences in condition suggest they were associated. Whether the rest of the chassis was a '10 as well is anyone's guess, but the model was only made in 10 and 11 so it must be close. I don't think the Mitchell was a particularly well-engineered automobile, so I find myself re-making many things I actually have, in addition to making things that are missing altogether.

 

I also don't have deep pockets, but I am an amateur machinist and have put together a reasonably good shop entirely equipped with antique machines, several of which are as old as the car. My newest (and most expensive) machine is a B&S Mill that probably dates from the late 30s. Everything else is much older. All of this is very time consuming. I started buying the machines with a project like this in mind but was only able to find the wreck of a car that I could afford about 4 years ago. That said, the entire shop probably has not cost as much as the dismantled, incomplete Mitchell did. Even where there is some discussion of brass cars, very little of it is any help from my point of view. When the late Harold Sharon was alive there was an occasional discussion related to the engineering of brass cars on the HCCA forum... but nothing since then. Overall, I've found the best place to discuss the problems I encounter in re-making many parts is the Practical Machinist Antique Machinery Forum.

 

Here's an idea of where I started and how its going... The engine on the day it arrived.

 

IMG_0017a.jpg

 

Castings I am making the new pistons from... I only had 1 of the original iron pistons.

 

IMG_0096_zps636c4e2f.jpg

 

New valve cages...  I only had one of these as well.

 

IMG_0011_zps59427313.jpg

 

This is very time consuming work and is not for everyone.

It will be years before its on the road. However, I have found that having a brass car, even in this condition, if essentially the "ticket of entry" into the that world. I've gotten, and am still getting, lots of useful help from other brass car enthusiasts, most of whom are not either elderly or well-heeled. The constant drum-beat of "judging" is a deterrent to me and I suspect to others as well. You can see from this photo, that my valve cages are not identical to the single original one I had. That would have required a casting and fixtures I was unprepared to make... mine will work just fine (probably better than the originals) but they won't be 100% authentic.

 

I'd be happy to exchange information with anyone else attempting this sort of project, but so far I haven't met many on any of the car-oriented web forums.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)

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Hi JV, your work looks great.  It looks like you  and I are facing quite similar challenges. And you are right, Harold Sharon's Gazette articles and web post's were very informative .

  As a matter of interest Mitchell and Staver were involved with each other in the business world.  They both were in competition for the horse drawn vehicle market and later in the Automobile market.  Staver was a reasonably big manufacturer of horse drawn vehicles , but only dabbled in Automobiles.  They made a large miscalculation when they agreed to buy out Mitchell's horse drawn line. Staver soon was out of business , having over extended themselves to expand in the rapidly shrinking horse drawn market. Mitchell remained in business for more than a decade longer, and produced vastly more automobiles than Staver.  There was even a Mitchell family member employed in Stavers management team. And I believe an Oregon based farm equipment distributer ;  Mitchell , Lewis and Staver, had involvement with people related to both the Staver and Mitchell clans.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I didn't know anything about the Staver / Mitchell connection. Mitchell was probably badly undercapitalized. They had one really bad year and were unable to recover from it. Their advertising copy reminds me of one of my late father's expressions... "the man that writ the ad should've writ the book." The actual cars have a lot of changes from the published  factory information and I suspect they were regularly encountering problems and making running changes. I would be surprised if that wasn't common with nearly all of the early car makers. The Mitchell company became the Mitchell-Lewis company in 1910 so the Oregon firm you mention probably did have members of all the families involved. Its just too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence.

 

In any case, I'll be glad to share any of what I've learned in this process if I can be of help.

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My 1912 McIntyre. This took 13 years. But it was very rewarding at the end ! Like the other cars I had to copy parts, make body parts, make engine parts. Got to know a lot of old time craftsmen.  It was a little at a time, a lot of wanting to give up but eventually I got there  

Sorry for the earlier post  I am better I think at old cars than attaching photos to web posts

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