cxgvd

owning, fixing and driving a Snapper's era Buick

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I no longer have a Buick, but I wear this full length horsehair coat, circa 1920 and which weighs about 15 lbs., while driving my 1918 Pierce in winter.

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Dad would wear this outfit while driving and showing his beloved '28 Whippet.

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Unfortunately being quite a bit taller and skinnier I can't wear it...

I proudly wear the cap though! 🙂

Edited by dei (see edit history)
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You know me too well, Doug.  It is a break wall at Erieau, On and protects the commercial fishing boats which harbour in Rondeau Bay from the lake.  Last fall Bev and Ihad a one day tour with lunch at Erieau, a drive to the point at Rondeau Provincial Park then a drive home through the fall foliage of Sinclair Bush with 6 or 7 cars from the London area.

 

Regards, Gary

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Gary,

What is this Snapper era that you talk about here?  I have been playing with old cars (Buicks in particular) for almost 57 years and have never heard of a Snapper era.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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1 hour ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Gary,

What is this Snapper era that you talk about here?  I have been playing with old cars (Buicks in particular) for almost 57 years and have never heard of a Snapper era.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

 

Not to take away Gary's opportunity to answer I too wondered your question so did a quick Google search typing '"snapper era" and came upon this: snappersbrassandgas.com .

 

In my case not ever having a brass era car did not know it existed but pleased to learn there is an organization for these early cars.

 

Having a 1920 Overland know it is not always the type of car able to go for a ride safely these days however, having a group outing is loads of fun! 

Now that Gary has started this thread maybe we can convince him to post pictures of some of the events and the cars that attend.

 

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Doug is correct, as usual, the Snappers are the pre 1916 touring group with membership in the AACA similar to the Horseless Carriage Club.  On pages 80 and 81 of the latest Antique Automobile is an excellent story with photos of the last Lansing to Dearborn Endurance Run (LDR) titled Snapper's Brass and Gas Touring Region.  The '07 Darracq in green with red trim was stored at my house for 3 weeks prior to the run, it is a small and tight group of people who appreciate odd mechanical things.  I do not know how many different ways to describe the early car hobby like pre '16, brass era, motorized buckboards or Snappers but I have likely used them all trying to keep this writing fresh.

 

I've learned to time my magneto by ear, adjust the fuel mixture by smell and when traveling in a group I keep my eye on the pavement looking for spilled oil drops so I know we are on the tour route.

 

The Snappers were invited to the Pre war tour and show at the Gilmore Museum and these are some of the scenes.

 

Regards, Gary 

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Bev and I are hosting a five day Snapper's Tour in and around Chatham, On starting July 12th of 2020.  The theme is Fields, Factories and Firetrucks because we are in farming country, there are many current and former auto factories to view and three firetruck collectors nearby.  We have secured the local Travelodge for accommodations and that is all for openers.  Get your pre 1916 vehicle and join us in this AACA event.

 

Regards, Gary

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"If" I had the Overland ready I would still miss attending as it is too NEW being 1920! LOL

Should be a good showing of cars!

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Wheel painting update.  When I refinished the paint on the body some 5 years ago I decided to chose a lighter gray colour than was correct and original.  I chose the very pale gray, or most people call it white, because I think it is beautiful, formal looking, and the original gray is drab and boring looking to me.  Second, a friend we tour with has a very nice warm toned, gray car and finally another friend would say " why did you leave the Buick in primer.  When are you going to paint it."  and he would repeat it every time I saw him.

 

Now, the question.  I have to decide the colour again, I have some mixed paint left over and I could go with the same colour as the body, which is correct.  Or I could add some black paint and go a few shades darker gray, which is closer to the original factory colour.  I've seen cars recently with different coloured wheels, is that a modern look?  In the photo is a wheel in gray primer to give an idea how it would look.  Sorry for the quality of the photo, the Buick is in a heated one car garage and somewhat tight.  

 

Our first event is the Pre War tour and show at the Gilmore Museum in mid May, so I'll be busy now that spring is near.  No robins yet but I've seen geese flying north.  

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Posted (edited)

I was always told by all the old timers who toured to paint wheels darker colors and/or paint them the color of "rust" or close to "rust" (ie Reds and Maroons) - I believe they were referring more to maintenance though than attractiveness. In the 1970's you saw a lot of brown wheels and orange wheels - solved the rust around the spoke problems though also made cars very 1970's looking and does little to help their value today. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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With warmer weather coming I must finish painting my 1913 Buick's wheels, the magneto, which I had rebuilt and still is not reliable, and the carb was running rich last fall.  Three jobs which need to be completed by the middle of May and our first summer event, Pre war Days at the Gilmore Museum.

 

For my 1915 McLaughlin, which I hope to finish this summer, I have had the seat covers stretched out on the floor of my rec room all winter.  I hoped to reinstall the upholstery and start driving the car and at some later time if all works out then replace the top and upholstery with new leather.  This is a replacement interior though well made it is not the original.  The material remains hard and brittle so I do not think my plan will work so I am talking with a shop to replace the interior with new leather sooner rather than later.  I bought 10 yards of Stayfast topping material  some time ago, that is enough for the top and side curtains.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Wheel bolt dilemma.  My 1913 Buick had the original tall, round headed carriage bolt on the front wheels but the rear, which has been re spoked had smaller plain carriage bolts.  Since I've come this far I wanted to fit the correct wheel bolts to the car.  I call them wheel bolts though a better term would be hub bolts since they trap the inner and outer metal hub parts and secure the wooden spokes to the center hubs.  A very important function, if the connection between the wood and metal fails, which I have witnessed, it can lead to an accident and personal injury.

 

I scouted various catalogues and the internet and found a near perfect replacement bolt, 716th" x 2 1/4" long.  When I ordered them it came back as obsolete.

 

I bought 18 7/16ths" carriage bolts in mild steel, since they are painted anyway, and turned the heads down to the proper diameter to fit the hubs.  I tried the braze up the top of the head with brass but I found that difficult and messy.  I made a die to match the original contour and now fill it with steel epoxy and give the carriage bolts a hat.  Each bolt takes four hours in the die for the epoxy to harden.  The bolts are strong as new and the tops are decorative, I bought new thick walled nuts and thin serrated washers.  Hopefully it will work and the epoxy will hang on while whirling away at a furious pace carrying the happy tourists along life's highway.

 

In the photo and from the left, is an original, hundred year old bolt, the epoxy topped one, then the brass top first try and finally the new carriage bolt after turning to size on a lathe.  Also the die I made to form the tall round head.

 

With a hundred year old car a person has to be inventive.  I recall when I was invited to carry dignitaries during a parade and they were dismayed they could not get their magnetic sign to stick to the car.  My car has a wooden body, non magnetic, I placed their sign on the hood.

 

Regards, Gary

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I reside near Chatham, On which also is the starting place and current head office of RM Restorations.  I say this because this is the fourtieth anniversary of the business RM/Sotheby and they are throwing a party on the weekend of June 21st, 2019.  Last night I attended a regular meeting of a local car club, KHAC, of which I have been a member for more than thirty years and heard the plans.

 

RM with the city governments enthusiastic approval is mounting their own parade downtown lead by 10' foot tall mechanical elephants and cars, of coarse with invited celebrities.  RM has also hired big name bands for our local restored 1500 seat theater and they are hosting their own car show with fabulous cars from Alfa Romeo to Zagato.

 

The local club, KHAC, is putting on our usual show called Retrofest at the same time with a popular Friday night cruise and Saturday car show downtown.  The city mayor when asked where we are to park the expected larger turn out of cars told us they will close as many streets as is needed.

 

So RM is in the driver's seat, the city is riding shotgun and the KHAC is along for the ride.  I think the weekend is going to be spectacular.  Funds from the various shows is going to be divided among three local charities.  Chatham, On is an hour east of Detroit and three hours west of Toronto.

 

My wife, Bev, volunteers at the restored theater and our 1939 Buick has been invited to be on display there.

 

Mark your calendar, Gary

 

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I'm registered already for the show and looking forward to it.

The good Lord willing will have the Special there for the parade and the Saturday Show, especially since I had them do my top back in 1984.

See you then if not before Gary!

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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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Good for you AND Bev!

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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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Tada, success.

 

before and after,

 

Gary

 

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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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Looks really good 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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