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owning, fixing and driving a Snapper's era Buick


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Larry; Thanks for posting the link to RetroFest.  I have never visited Auto Fair at the Sloan but I have been to Golden Memories there.

 

Hard to believe I began this wheel repair and refinishing last December, just today I completed all the sanding and the wheels are in "final prime" and ready for top coating.  Two coats of sanding sealer followed by two coats of epoxy primer with a thorough sanding between coats.  Whew.  I do not think it matters but I plan to paint the wooden parts, body colour, first,  wait some days for the paint to harden then mask off the new paint and paint the metal parts black.  Everything will be spray painted mounted in a vertical stand where the wheels can be rotated for complete coverage.  Wish me good luck.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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The local weatherman is calling for a wintery mix today and I believe him because it is cold outside for this time of year.  We did however have one nice day last week and I managed to paint the spokes and felloes of my wheels.  I also finished putting hats on my carriage hub bolts, lightly sandblasted them and the rim clamp parts and finished up with epoxy primer.  I painted the brake drums black so next week I can assemble the wheels and paint the metal parts black and then hang the wheels on the car and get it mobile.  Hard to think in just three weeks is our first tour of the summer.

 

Bev and I are registered for the summer Snapper's tour and we received an invite to attend Back to the Bricks in Flint, Mi.  There is going to be a reserved parking place for the early cars in front of the old Flint Wagon Works offices downtown.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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When I purchased my 1915 McLaughlin from a long time owner and director of the McLaughlin Buick club here in Ontario I did for the flowing reasons.  First, you do not get many opportunities to obtain a hundred year old car, second, it was 400 pounds lighter than my 1913 Buick and third it had an electric starter so the McLaughlin should be easier to drive.  Today I find it is lighter because every part is lighter, for instance, my 1913 spring mounts are forgings and on the 1915 they are sheet steel.  A friend with the same chassis in a 1913 says the electric starter is stupid because it adds too much weight to the car, hurts performance and is unnecessary.  The McLaughlin is not finished yet so time will tell if I made a good choice, however, the driving compartment give me 3" more leg room, that's good.

 

I had to buy 2 12" rivets to attach the rim clamp hardware for my newly painted 1913 Buick wheels and they are beautifully zinc plated so I decided to paint the pieces which attach to the face of the wheel a matching silver.  Just 10 days to go before our first event and the weather remains cool and damp.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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One day of mild weather and my wife hinted she wanted her car.  I drove a 6 year old Triumph when in high school and many of my friends drove sports cars too so when my wife said we should get sports car I was all in.  When I found I could acquire an Alfa Romeo spider for the cost of an MG that was the one for me.  The thing I did not understand was the fact I was buying a chick car and my wife has taken the car as her own.

 

Last fall the Alfa had a vibration and a local shop rebuilt the driveshaft but it did not resolve the issue and I was advised the vibration was a bad front wheel bearing.  Parts are available and I changed all the wheel bearings and added new brake rotors and pads while I had it apart.  However by the time I repaired the Alfa it was too cold for a road test and Sunday afternoon was first opportunity.  The vibration is gone and all is ready for Bev.

 

The nice thing about her Alfa is I get to attend Italian Car Day in Toronto in August and hang around with Ferrari, Lambo and Maserati guys while getting in on a children's ticket.

 

Regards, Gary

 

 

 

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It really is her car, the guys at the Kent Historic Auto Club have given her a nickname, "Bevalfi".  I don't have a nickname and when I do drive her car it is always good natured? ribbing like " does Bev know you have her car?" or "did she send you out for gas?"  There is just one other lady in the KHAC who has her own car, she is a young police constable and her dad looks after it for her.  No reason for women not to share in the old car hobby, or is there?

 

Bev has driven our old Buick too, but I am a nervous passenger, so she does not like to.

 

Regards, Gary

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  • 1 month later...

In honour of taillight Tuesday, Mr. Earl's Daily Dose of Buick, I am reviving this thread to show my completed taillamp on my 1915 McLaughlin touring car.  The photo does not show it very well but is glowing.

 

Also note the belts holding the spare tire to the car.  Those are the belts I received with the car and could be original equipment.  I planned to get them duplicated at my local shoe maker's shop but instead I restored the leather with a concoction of half and half Neat's Foot oil and black enamel paint..  Spread the oil with a small paint brush, let soak in and wipe with a dry rag, came out pliable and dark, with a semi-gloss sheen.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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16 hours ago, cxgvd said:

In honour of taillight Tuesday, Mr. Earl's Daily Dose of Buick, I am reviving this thread to show my completed taillamp on my 1915 McLaughlin touring car.  The photo does not show it very well but is glowing.

 

Also note the belts holding the spare tire to the car.  Those are the belts I received with the car and could be original equipment.  I planned to get them duplicated at my local shoe maker's shop but instead I restored the leather with a concoction of half and half Neat's Foot oil and black enamel paint..  Spread the oil with a small paint brush, let soak in and wipe with a dry rag, came out pliable and dark, with a semi-gloss sheen.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Gary,

 

Replacement of the straps is easy.  Just look up dog collars the width and length that you need and you can buy them for a  reasonable price.  I just bought new straps for the top for my car and they were about $14.00 US each.

 

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Thanks Larry;  These belts are somewhat unique because they have two loops.  One on the backside is used to attach the belt to the spare tire clamp and the other loop is used after the belt is cinched tight to store the loose end.

 

Todays interesting story is for my plater, The Plating House in Vaughn, On.  The Plating House redid all of the nickel plating for this job and they said the headlamp rings were too far gone.  These rims are spun copper and I have a shop also in Toronto who would spin some new ones but I would have to make a wooden buck or pattern for them to use.  Just another problem to work through with 100 year old cars.

 

The guys at the platers called me back and said they would like to give the rims to an apprentice so he could get some hands on practice.  No charge to me and they may not even be acceptable but they would try if I was not in a hurry.  Well, to me they look nicer than I expected.  I offered the Plating House a token payment, likely what I would have paid if the parts I sent them were any good, they accepted and everyone is happy.  In the photo they are on the buckets and working.  I have a pair of Monogram fluted lenses but I read somewhere the 1915 Buicks had clear glass.  I got new glass cut in 1/4" but the rims would have fit tighter to the base with 1/8"  Finally in the USA the headlamp parts are black painted but in Canada the McLaughlin parts showed the remnants of plating, expensive but it's only money.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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6 hours ago, cxgvd said:

 the remnants of plating, expensive but it's only money.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Never saw a Brinks truck following a hearse to the cemetery even though I know of some persons that thought that could happen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sunday starting near dawn, Bev and I are pulling our 1913 Buick to Kingston, On to join a ACCA Snapper's/ HCCA tour for five days of fun and comradery.  Since this column is concerning pre '16 owning thought I would show you my choice of towing equipment.  I use a 2010 Toyota Tundra, regular cab, 2WD, gas v8 engine which I bought new for this duty.  There are as many tow vehicles as there are personality types, some guys use motorhomes, some use Suburban type, a lot of fellows like diesel trucks, etc.

 

Almost everyone, 99.9% has an enclosed box trailer.  This one I bought new in 2016 with three options, an extra foot of height so I can drive in with the top up, 5200 pound axles because when loaded I am over 7000 pounds which is the standard weight and aluminum wheels just because I like the look.

 

I'm told the organizers have 65 registrations, that's great.  My project for the week is to meet people and get everyone's picture with their old car.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Gary,

 

Among the joys and pains of owning a brass car is continuing to work on keeping them road worthy. 

 

I have not been able to fix the running hot issue yet...but....I am fairly sure I found the problem.  Bad radiator.  It will only cool about a 10 degree drop from the inlet to the outlet.  Flows great, but will not heat transfer.  I dropped it off for a new core that will need to be special made because of the crank hole and top slants.

 

I asked to guy at the radiator shop for a guesstimate and he said "I have no idea".  Oh well. When you drive them like we do, it needs to be fixed.  I am getting ready to go the tour in Kingston the week after you are there so I need it fixed now. Unless you want it as a space taker in the garage, you just approve the repair. 

 

Smile!  Go back two posts for my answer for getting it done.

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Larry;  As you know Buick guys are helpful.  You can stop by my house on the way to your vacation in Kingston and we can mount my good rad to your car.  Problem solved, go and take care of the boy scouts.

 

Regards, Gary

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Thanks for the offer.

 

The radiator is at radiator shop and they said they will have a new core in it by the time I get back from my volunteer work at the Boy Scout International Jamboree.  I asked the shop owner if he could give me a "guesstimate" on price and he said, " I have no idea" because someone else is making the core. 

 

It is only money, can't take it with you.

 

I will come home on Fri, install new radiator Sat, and head to Kingston on Sunday.  That is if everything goes according to plan.

 

 

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Sounds good Larry, you are invited to stop in for coffee on your way to Kingston.  A friend used to say " Go ahead and buy it, I've never seen saddle bags on a coffin!"

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11 hours ago, cxgvd said:

 I've never seen saddle bags on a coffin!"

 

That's cause they hide it in the lining... 🤣

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The joint Snappers/AACA tour has 65 cars, 150 people including 12 children under 12 years old.  There are 3 Model 31 Buick, we outnumber the 1913 Fords, I think.  Everything is going well after the first day of 5 days driving.  Here are photos of two of the other than mine 1913 Buicks.  The green car is the first outing with a new owner and is from NY, the blue car is from PA and is owned by a young family with two boys.

 

More tomorrow, Gary

 

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Day 1 is over.   We visited a creamery, the oldest general store in Ontario, had a cold cuts on fresh buns at a small town Legion for lunch and visited a cheese making operation all in just 46 miles.  All the Buicks performed great, one time after a left hand turn there was a steep grade going up, of coarse, which made me drop down into first gear.  Later there was a longer grade and two of the Model 31s made it on top gear and the green car had to gear down.  We gave it a tune up in the parking lot last night, I donated four Champion W89D sparkplugs which have a longer reach than the Autolite 3076 he was using and he reset his valve clearance from .020 to a more reasonable .008 intake and .010 exhaust.  The engine started with one pull and sounds stronger.  Fingers crossed for today, 90 miles.

 

Two of the guys got out a 1904 Northern and '06 Cadillac, both single cylinder cars, and were giving rides last night, just love these tours.

 

Did I mention 12 children under 12 years old?  Life is good.

 

Regards, Gary

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Finished day two of five days and all Buicks are performing well.  Here are the others to attend, a '15 C37 from Mi with new owners, a 1915 C55 7 passenger touring car with new owners and a 1912 model 35 touring car.  Lovely weather, dry and temps in the mid 70's.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Day three was a wow.  We all visited the town of Bath, On and had three stops before lunch at a luxury golf coarse, but because the stops were small we broke into three groups.  Antique cars driving everywhere and in all directions, smiling, waving buzzing horns many visitors in town to talk to.  All of the Buicks still running and getting stronger.

 

Todays photos are 2 1912 Model 35 touring cars in beautiful trophy winning condition and at lunch 4 Buicks in a row, 2 model 31, a C37 and a Model 35.

 

Tonight, it's 9:30 PM and the group is out on a gaslight parade.

 

Regards, Gary

 

 

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Finished day four and a few interesting items.  We were on a boat trip through the 1000 Islands and the sky and radar said there is going to be an unforecasted rain shower or thunderstorm.  Out of 60 cars, only 6 decided to wait for the rain to pass.  I was one and we had a nice coffee break with another couple, drove back to Kingston on drying roads, missed the stop and go rush hour traffic.  Got back to the hotel at 6PM and heard everyone got wet.  That would be 90% of the drivers thought they could beat the rain?

 

There is a nice mixture of cars, 7 Buicks second most popular after Ford, 4 big Locomobiles, '14 Cadillac, '13 Stephen Duryea and a Columbia were the large powerful cars.  Mid sized cars include 2 REOs, '14 Overland, EMF, '10 Cadillac and small cars included 2, 2 cylinder REOs, '05 Northern and an '07 Cadillac.  Also there are 4 professional car restorers here and on tour and they are all helpful sorting out problems and keeping the cars on the road and having fun.

 

Todays photo is my 1913 Buick at one the stops.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Day five is over except for the wrap up dinner at this hotel.  About 30 miles today driving around Kingston, visited an old folks home, a few museums and put the 65 cars on display downtown in Market Square while everyone found a restaurant for lunch.  We had lunch with Joe and Lynn Konarowski, ( Joe from Canada) they are hosting the AACA Vintage Tour out of the same hotel as this meet in two weeks with 40 cars ranging from 1907 to 1931.

One Locomobile was out with an electrical fault, one of the 1912 Buick model 35 had their muffler fail and long story short one of the 1913 model 31s had a steering wheel rim come apart.  The rim was taped up and finished the drive.  Likely many of the cars had parts wired together to complete the tour that I do not know about.

The first photo is a resident of the retirement home.  The second is all three Model 31 Buicks posed together for the first time in five days of trying.  Enjoyed our trip to the HCCA/AACA Kicking it up in Kingston tour.

Next year the Southern Ontario/ North Jersey HCCA annual meet will be in Belfast, Maine starting the week of July 19th.  Bev and I are hosting the AACA Snappers in Chatham, On for five days starting the week of July 12th.

Regards, Gary

 

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A week before our trip to Kingston, On I dropped a large filling in one of my teeth.  Luckily for me there was no bleeding or pain but the dentist said it was too far gone for a filling and I needed a crown.  Two weeks of eating soft food then yesterday, the dentist, hygienist and I began the procedure.

 

It wasn't very painful so yesterday I finished installing new glass for the windshield in the '15 McLaughlin, and picked up the right front fender from the restoration shop.  They made a new skirt, sanded the fender down with 80 grit and sprayed it with epoxy primer, ready for me to finish and paint.  I did not feel up to starting the last fender today so I began to fabricate a metal plate for the floor which is missing.  Many people say car restoring is too expensive and a person should buy the best car they can afford.  I say it is expensive, maybe more than if I could buy one, except every part of this job satisfies me and the car looks just right to my eyes.

 

Bev and I registered for an Aug 23, 24 and 25th pre war tour in Simcoe, On we learned of while we were at the HCCA tour in Kingston.  Not this car however but soon.

 

Regards, Gary 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sometimes my 1939 Century clutch will not disengage.  A mechanic friend of mine has a shop which is now closed because he retired but he offered some help with the clutch problem.  He adjusted the linkage to get the maximum push, made sure the throw out bearing was not contacting the forks, and I was helping him the whole time.  It is not the kind of shop where you talk to a service writer, fill out a work order and wait in the showroom.  He also found a rear brake issue and we repaired that as well, we adjusted the brakes for best effect.  Might have saved a life.

 

The '39 is driving better than ever, so far the clutch is working perfectly.  Today Bev and I are driving across the county to a mega car show at Bothwell, On, next weekend we are going over to Flint, Mi for Back to the Bricks, then a pre war car weekend in Simcoe, On, next a car show in Essex, On where I plan to have the 1915 McLaughlin on display for the first time and finally the Old Car Festival in Dearborn, Mi with our 1913 Buick.  Life is grand.  Gary

 

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After five days of driving with the HCCA I had to degrease under the bonnet and try to get the 1913 Buick clean to go on display at a cruise in Flint, Mi this Saturday called Back to the Bricks.  In the first photo is the mighty 201 cu in. (3.3 l) 32 hp engine,  Buick built this engine for three years, 1911 to 1913.  The second photo is after a liberal hosing down with Spray Nine, rinsed with copious amounts of water and blow dry with compressed air followed by new oil for the rocker arms and valve guides.  Walter Marr, Buick's chief engineer invented the overhead valve engine.

 

The third photo is my Air Friction carburetor, though not original to the engine, works well and is simple enough for me to understand.  I have the correct Schebler carb but it is not consistent, sometimes the carby will go to very rich mixture and blow black smoke everywhere.  Embarrassing.

 

In the fourth photo is some oil staining on the felloe of my right rear wheel and that means, likely, a leaking axle seal.  Finally my car carries the monogram of Mary Ellen Carter (mec) it is a folk song about a fishing boat with a great story, please look it up on Wikipedia.

 

Regards, Gary

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A part of having a Snapper's car is giving rides, something I know does not happen in other vintages of the car hobby.  This is the first time however I have ever gotten a thank you note via email.

 

"We did not properly thank you after your hubby took us and our granddaughter for a ride in your beautiful vehicle in our village of Bath recently.  It was such a lovely and generous gesture on your part.  The Horseless Carriage Club of America coming to Bath was a unique and special event for us.  We hope you had pleasant time during your visit to Kingston." 

 

We did indeed and your welcome, Gary

 

 

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 In a way, I think that we should be giving people, young people esp some first hand experience with these very old cars. I have done that with my '41, and intend to do the same with my recently acquired '16. Otherwise it is so easy to ignore and forget, and be misinformed about them.

Congrats to you!

Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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Returned home late Sunday afternoon from a pre war car weekend thanks to the Antique and Classic Car Club of Canada, A4C's, with a positive outlook for usefulness of early cars.  There were no children on tour however there were young adults participating or driving their own car and are proud of their cars.  I estimate at least half or maybe more had jobs and were too young to retire.  I call BS on the theory people are only interested in cars from their youth.  The A4C's host 3 pre war weekends per year in Ontario, the AACA Vintage Tour, the Gilmore Museum has a pre war weekend in Mi and the Old Car Festival (OCF) in Dearborn is in less than two weeks, these are the good old days for early vehicles.

 

In the photos are our hosts Buicknutty, entertaining the group at his home after a welcoming BBQ.  The second, as I traveled past 7 foot tall corn I stopped to get this photo of our 1939 Buick.  See how the light separates the roof of the car from the dark background and the corn from the other side of the road is reflected in the center of the doors.  This was the first time we used this car for an overnight trip and it performed well and without incident.  We were in great Buick company since there was a '32 McLaughlin 67S; 2 limousines, '37 and '41 series 90's; '40 Special coupe and a '41 McLaughlin Roadmaster coupe.  Also a 1914 B55 and 1916 D45, and Studebaker, Plymouth, Nash and others.

 

When at the OCF look me up, Gary

 

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Edited by cxgvd (see edit history)
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Another milestone restoring a 1915 McLaughlin C25 was passed today.  I installed the last fender, bolted everything up tight and added the runningboard trim.  Looks like a car again after I gave it a sponge bath in the driveway.  All the flat sections of the fenders have been wet sanded with 1000 grit, next will be finer and finer sand paper until I machine compound then hand polish until everything is beautiful again.

Spoke with my "friendly" mechanic who will hopefully issue a provincially required safety inspection so I can attach antique auto license plates.  The safety inspection was changed a few years ago and is much more stringent now, my car, however, only has a few safety items like steering, brakes and lights to check.

Also when Bev and I were visiting Flint and Back to the Bricks we met an upholsterer who I believe I can talk into helping me finish this project.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, hope it is not a train.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Visiting the Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village of the Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mi.  Beautiful weather has the public clicking the turnstiles,  spectators everywhere and people are asking intelligent questions.  I managed to catch a ride in a fast two cylinder Maytag, designed and built by the Duesenberg brothers and a 1909 EMF (Every Mechanics friend).

One more day, Sunday, to savour the 800 pre 1932 vehicles without modified or hotrods.

Since it is a festival rather than a car show under hood problems are studied like in the photo I snapped of this Buick.

 

Regards, Gary

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For the 1915 McLaughlin, I found some medium density white rubber at my local craft store which I used to restore my door bumpers.  It was just 1/4" and I need 1/2" thick so I glued it together, the parting line will show and someday I will replace it with the right thickness.  In the photo I show the new pieces, a few of the old hard as iron pieces and tin covers in black finish, prime and raw metal.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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New subject since this has nothing to do with 100 year old cars, a friend of mine is into firetrucks and today there is a large fire muster in Chatham, On.  I hung around his shop yesterday getting 8 pieces of equipment polished and prepped, meeting other collectors and learning about firetrucks.  This morning, Saturday, I photographed some of his vehicles rolling by my front porch.  I missed his 1925 Seagraves pulling a 1917 Province of Ontario horse drawn pumper and his newly restored Model T Ford chemical truck.  Downtown King St. there will be over 70 fire related trucks, ambulances and other equipment from as far away as N.C. and the City of Detroit has there own special display.  Following the show and parade the fire fighters are having a party and BBQ at the property of another collector in Chatham.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting day Sunday, began with a pair of turkeys in my front yard.  Then we piled into the '39 Century and met up with 60 of our friends from our local car club, Kent Historic Auto Club for a 50 mile drive to Mooretown, On for a guided tour of their Museum.  Even though we ran through light rain the Buick's handling was comfortable and not twitchy on my very old bias ply tires.  My friend, however, told me that cold and wet was all part of the British sports car experience as he struggled to install his plexiglass side curtains and poorly fitting top.  His wife elected to stay home.  After a tour of the Museum which included buildings such as a general store and firehall the highlight was a display of running Lionel trains.  We left the tour at a communal dinner and stopped on the way home to run some errands.  All in all, even with light rain a wonderful way in which to enjoy a Sunday in the fall.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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She sure looks good Gary!

I'm going to print a shot of her sitting at the log cabin and show Fred (who used to own it once) and see what he has to say about it.

Good to see you are exercising her!

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This afternoon I post photographs of my brass car friends, some of which I contact often, others a few times a year and yet others I might see once in a while.  It is a small gathering, I think the Snappers Brass and Gas Touring Region of the AACA has 300 registered members, the HCCA has 4000?  They are a great bunch of friends, we have repaired cars everywhere, parking lots, trailers and one time a Ford rear end was swapped on the side of the road with an axle someone else borrowed.  Gary

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bev and I are hosting a five day tour for the brass era cars in Chatham, On starting the week of July 12th, 2020.  We are making our plans based on 40 cars and 100 people and this what we have come up with so far.

 

Arrive Sunday; hospitality night.

Monday;  drive around Chatham, kick off lunch at a café owned by a firetruck collector, tour of RM Restoration's workshops and collection.

Tuesday; visit two large firetruck collections and a firehall.

Wednesday; travel to farms and small towns in the county, dinner in the Armories and evening entertainment by Chatham Concert Band.

Thursday; drive along the St. Clair river, picnic lunch, visit the Mooretown Museum.

Friday; short day of driving, a restored theater will be showing the best old car movie " Genevieve" for free to everyone, closing dinner.

 

This tour is hosted by the AACA Snappers Brass and Gas but is open to any pre 1916, if you would like to be added to email list send me a message here.  Registration materials should be available in December.

 

Bev and Gary

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This is the one thing I find exciting concerning the 100 year old vehicle part of the antique car hobby.  When I acquired my 1915 McLaughlin touring car project ( which is getting new upholstery and a top this winter) it was wearing two nickel plated brass hub caps and one cast aluminum example.  The top photo shows a near mint cap with 24 threads per inch, TPI, could be a model 10 but they were usually brass, my '13 and '15 have nickel plated brass, 24 TPI, where was this one used?

I also found this project, somewhat crude, of someone having a go at trying to reproduce them.  They are not correct for my car, however, I would like to complete the job some time.  Much of the work has already been started.  BTW, through a buddy I now have two more proper hubcaps on the C25.

In the last photo the two wild turkeys survived our Thanksgiving!

 

Regards, Gary

 

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